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Urban Legends: The Skinwalkers

One of the creepiest urban legends is that of the skinwalker, a human that can shed its flesh to become an animal. Originating with the Navajo Indian tribe these beings are said to be powerful witches that can change into a bear, fox, raven, eagle, owl, or crow when wearing the pelts of the animal. Some believe they will steal a person’s face and if you make eye contact with one, you would freeze up with fear and they can then absorb themselves into your body.

These “shapeshifters” travel by night spreading misery and can run faster than cars and jump cliffs without effort. The Navajo rarely talk to outsiders about these skinwalkers as some fear the creatures may hear and follow them home. The beast will then beat on the walls, windows, and even climb on the roof to scare the person out. Spreading terror is the main goal for them as it increases their power which is used to cause unfortunate accidents and even death to those that have wronged them.

Skinwalkers Terrorize People Outside Of The Tribe

Even though these monsters usually only torment those in the tribe, there have been more recent cases of sightings among outsiders. Such was the case of an Arizona woman who was delivering newspapers one early morning with her child in the passenger seat. She heard scratches at the door before it flew open revealing a half-man half-beast with glowing red eyes. As it clutched for the child, she sped off down the road. But to her horror, the beast ran alongside the car keeping up with the high speeds and pounding on the door for miles. Eventually, she came to a convenient store and rushed in screaming and hysterical. The employees ran outside to investigate but the skinwalker had vanished.

Another story involves Sarah Saganisto whose mutilated body was found in 1987 at rocky area behind the Flagstaff medical center where she worked. Her left breast had been bitten off and she had scratch marks all over her. A professor at Northern Arizona University was tried for her murder but the defense said that based on what they heard, it seemed like a skinwalker/witchcraft type murder as a broken stick was found on her neck and a clump of graveyard grass was found next her truck. The professor was aquitted of all charges and her brutal death remains unsolved.

As one Navajo commentator remarked, “Navajo witchery is the essence of predatory criminality. No law enforcement agency of any kind intrudes into the matter of traditional Navajo self-defense when this extremely ancient evil threatens one’s very health and life.”

Origins Of A Horrifying Native American Urban Legend

Navajo myth says that these humanoids actually started off as medicine men or healers of the tribe. These healers were taught rituals that can change them to animal form in times of need as when the tribes’ people would become deathly ill. Upon changing, the medicine man could then gather the healing herbs he needed more quickly as well as traverse places that they otherwise could not reach like high mountainous regions.

There are, however, those that took their power to the dark side and would attack and maim via black magic. The rituals that were originally used to save tribes would sometimes corrupt and twist the mind. Witches with a more malevolent agenda that have trained in the dark arts became the nightmare the tribes dare not speak of.

To this day, sightings are still reported around reservations mainly in the Arizona and New Mexico regions but fear of talking about them and spreading the terror has kept this mysterious creature in the darkness where it hopefully will stay.

Written by:

Published on: July 24, 2014

Filled Under: Scary Urban Legends

Views: 16026

6 Responses to Urban Legends: The Skinwalkers

  1. I stopped along farm rd.387 to urinate into the ditch ,its 1:45 a.M.- i had 3 more hours on my shift and i was tired of stopping speeders and wreckless drivers. As i stepped out of my patrol car ,i proceeded to relieve myself of coffee,gatorade and a can of dr.Pepper . Suddenly the bushes across the ditch were moving and somthingg big was grunting and growling at me!!! I almost shit on myself for sure !! I immediately drew my .45 cal. And aimed at the rustling sound ,switching my lazer and flashlight on.-. Well sir, this huge hairy dog.Thing was starring at me and he was at least 7 feet,400 lbs and all the features were clear when i lit him up with the flashlight . I was terrified shitless!! I just instantly bolted for the squad and flew crazyass quick down the road !!! But,i am a police detective and i turned around to get another look!! Upon returning ,there were two of these son of bitches now!! My headlights beamed at the creatures,but i acted like a lawman and turned on my lights and sirens and blasted them with the p.A. System, ” i said” fuck you dogshit mutherfuckers,you aint scarring me!!! And i watched them scamper off into the woods!! so, night shift was differant for once on old farm road 387! Next time ,its buckshot and dogman booty a running!!

    • My assumptio is that those creatures actually were created after a chemical interaction between bacteria and your urine, somehow a new life have been formed, I’m afraid you actually killed your own offspring…

      • ” there are now thousands of reports of encounters with these creatures in the country and the reports are still being given on a weekly basis.Therefore , we must assume that by the number of individual accounts that these Dogman werewolf animal critters exsist and have populated to a Greater numbers and have been here for hundreds of years!!! The next big attempt ,Would be to capture one or more for observation and study!!

  2. Cindy says:

    My neighbors were Navajo and they told a little about skinwalkers. For instance have you ever put a babies feet in soft mud so they can fill it squish between their toes? If the child is not walking they say never do that because the skinwalker can follow them home. They also say after the skinwalker has transformed into an animal there will be something wrong something off. It is not a perfect transformation. My neighbor believed her son drowned because of a skinwalker. She said days before he drowned she saw an owl fly across the road and it left a powder residue on the ground. In our apartment building where she was our neighbor my children would complain about a man in their bedroom closet. My daughter also started having night terrors. She said there was a vampire in the trees outside our second story apartment. This was bad enough she actually started to go grey. The neighbor told me there was a skinwalker in the trees. They were having similar problems with their children. They called a medicine man and things got a lot better.

  3. bart trahan says:

    ……..from experience—and vietnam lessons of the bush…always be prepared!!!never doubt your ability to seek-find-move-lay-low-and be stealthy quiet!! dogman needs some .45-308. experience. i have heard dogman tales since 1975-deep woods-alabama-mississippi-louisiana-texas.—remember—you are extension of your rifle-fire on instinct-the n.r.a. wont save you…..but keen sences always return to camp……chow-s.sgt trahan-u.s. army ranger-vietnam -1966-68

  4. mike edwards says:

    the sighting i had was a 9ft dogman creature in the bayou here in louisiana while hunting with my dog hunterbone-which actually scared the sh$! out of both of us !!! this thing stood on its hind legs and was starring at me–i had a 6-round buckshot 12 guage remington –but i was frozen glarring at the eyes of this dogman–hunterbone wanted to attack the creature—but i called him to me and fired a warning shot–the creature fled into the briars and we split hurriedily towards the pickup at a fast rate!!! i turned to look back every 45 feet to insure i wasnt being followed by the beast–ready to pepper his ass with double-ott-buckshot—we left to main road asap—then to the house!! ***\date-11-10-07 -location –mermantau river –escaped – quickly for sure!! never hunt alone in bayou!!later days–mike edwards-crowley.louisiana.70526