ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Many cultures all over the world have their own myths and legends which have been passed through many generations. The Maori people of New Zealand have Taniwha, the Algonquian people of North America have Wendigo, but possibly the scariest of them all is the legend of the skinwalkers, most often attributed to the Navajo people.

What is a skinwalker?

A skinwalker is a person with the ability to turn into any animal they desire. The Navajo skinwalker is known as 'yee naaldlooshii' and is a variety of Navajo witch. It is apparently far more common for men to be skinwalkers, though it is possible for women as well.

Skinwalkers are most frequently seen as coyotes, wolves, foxes, eagles, owls or crows and are not creatures to be trusted. Some Navajo believe that skinwalkers have the ability to steal the face of a person, and some believe that if you ever lock eyes with a skinwalker they can absorb themselves into your body, or that your body might freeze up with fear, allowing a skinwalker to channel that fear to gain power and energy. There are many other horror stories about things that skinwalkers do to their victims, such as using a poison powder of corpse dust made from ground infant bones (preferably the finger and skull bones of twin infants) to kill them with.

The legend of skinwalkers has interested people for years, sparking off horror films and TV episodes based around the myth such as the film Skinwalkers released in 2006:

Have people have real experiences with skinwalkers?

Skinwalkers are a very intense legend, and while non-believers are quick to devise it as nothing but nonsense, many Navajo will share their chilling skinwalker stories such as the selection below, so take a look at this collection of experiences people have had with skinwalkers:

1. A series of haunting events

My uncle and cousin saw a large deer on the side of the road. When they got closer it hopped over the fence like a bipedal man.
One time driving back from Gallup, my dad saw an old navajo woman walking on the side of the road and when he slowed to offer her a ride she took off into the plains, quickly with inhuman speed.
Once when I was a kid, my family was at my Aunt's house which is in a rural secluded area when we were toyed with by a few entities. They would make animal noises and when we looked to the direction from which the noises were coming they would turn a flashlight on and off. The noises would come from all directions, in increasingly shorter succession. Usually when I'm there, on the reservation visiting, alone late at night I will feel the presence of evil and dread, panic and paranoia will wash over me and as sudden as it comes it will leave.

Share by Redditor 6thgradehoodrat

2. Spooked cows and bipedal dogs

My family owns a farm in the heart of a Indian reservation. One winter I was home for Christmas taking care of the farm while my parents were away Christmas shopping. As I was home by myself, way late in the night and I hear all our cows freaking out. I knew it had to be the wild dogs that are rampant in the area. So I throw on some boots, grab a shotgun, load it up, and head out to the field. This was a perfect scenario for a horror movie, it was cloudy but there was full moon, and it was breaking through the clouds just right to light up all the snow. I ran out into the middle of the field, and just in time I see two dogs, they were standing up facing each other and fighting. I think "perfect two for one." So I pump a shell into the chamber of Mr. 12 gauge and then it happened. The two dogs heard the rack, they both stopped, looked over at me, and ran away, ON THEIR BACK LEGS. Immediately I froze, and every ghost story about Skinwalkers and all the other Native legends I grew up with flew through my mind. Keep in mind I am a white guy, and up until then, these were all just boogie man stories the Native kids like to tell to scare us. That night, they became real to me.

Shared by Redditor Punch_Drunk_AA

3. A family escaping a screaming nightmare

So, this was the VERY early 80's, and my Sister, who lived in Toronto came down to visit our Parents for a weekend. She was staying at a friends house, who loaned her a car so she could come out. After her visit, she left a little after 9 pm. She got maybe 7-8 miles away when the car broke down.
Thankfully, she broke down in front of a friend of the families house. They let her in to call Dad, and Dad came to get her. The family said she could leave the car in their driveway for the night, and my Sister decided to just stay at my parents for the night.
It was now a little after 10 pm and pitch black (Late november), while my Sister and Dad are driving back to the house and they pass through a heavily wooded area.
Out of no where they hear this INCREDIBLY FUCKING LOUD inhuman SCREAM that was heard over the engine, them talking and the radio. Dad SLAMMED on the brakes and they both started freaking out, when suddenly a 6 foot tall Coyote walking on TWO LEGS with a black/white stripped tail appeared on the side of the road and proceeded to walk in front of the car.
As soon as it passed, that same scream played again only this time 10x louder. Dad SLAMMED on the accelerator and they got the fuck out of there.
It was never seen again.

Shared by Redditor Ednulos

4. A bus trip goes sinister

...When we had crossed the rez's [reservations] border I noticed the bus driver had sped up and was now going about 85 mph. I thought this was a little weird because he never exceeded the speed limit, at least not in my high school career. For some reason, I couldn't fall asleep like the rest of my teammates, and I just sat at the back of the bus staring out across the desolate desert landscape that was lit up by the full moon. As I looked out, I could see a figure running towards the bus at an angle of pursuit...and keeping up with the bus at 85 mph. As the figure got closer I saw that it was a humanoid form. As a matter of fact it looked exactly like a human, only that the face was painted half black and half white with glowing eyes. Glowing eyes like a rabbit's eyes reflecting light from a spotlight. I immediately thought, "Holy crap! It's a skinwalker!!" The skinwalker ran up to the edge of the road and just kept up pace with the bus hurdling sage brush and rocks while staring at me. After I made eye contact with the thing, I COULD NOT look away. It was as if something was holding my head and eyes in place. The skinwalker just smiled at me this inhuman smile that went ear-to-ear, showing crooked, yellow, pointed teeth. I felt like I was going to throw up and I was panicking through the whole ordeal. The skinwalker started to crumple down on to all fours, still keeping up with the bus. I could see his bones crack and reform, hair started appearing all over the skinwalker's body and in about 3 seconds was now a coyote and it ran off back into the desert out of view. As soon as it was gone, I ran to the onboard bathroom and puked a mixture of food and blood. I didn't want to tell anyone for fear they would think I was crazy. I confided in my Navajo friend. She told me that I needed to see the chief, who also happened to be a friend of mine, and get a blessing. I saw him the next school day in the parking lot. He just came up to me and mumbled something in Navajo while waving a feathered scepter-like thing, turned around, got in his truck and drove away. To this day, I haven't seen another skinwalker.

Shared by Redditor Iron_jesus

5. The rocking dog

Not me but my uncle. He is Mexican/Native American. This happened in the Mojave Desert in southern California. He was driving around with his girlfriend late at night and they saw something that looked like a huge black dog on the side of the road. He slowed down and the dog began crossing the road. Instead of walking like a normal dog would, this thing moved like a toy rocking horse. He said it stopped in the middle of the road and stared right at them and it's eyes had a red glow. My uncle is the most badass person I know and it scared the crap out of him.

Shared by Redditor jyrrope

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