The legend of the Skinwalker comes from Navajo culture where a Yee Naaldlooshii or Skinwalker is a type of malevolent witch who has the ability to turn themselves into or possess an animal for their evil purposes.

Navajo culture prides itself on its positive cultural values. Navajo healers learn magic and supernatural means in order to help their people and heal any of their ailments. Some apprentice healers are corrupted by the power given to them through their rituals and become the antithesis of the healer looking to cause chaos and destruction to their people. It is said that in order to gain the power to transform into an animal the person must commit unspeakable acts of evil. Navajo leaders are reluctant to discuss the Skinwalker with outsiders as the think they will not be able to understand fully without the cultural background. The seriousness with which Native American people treat Skinwalkers is another factor which makes them so unnerving.

Skinwalkers are said to inhabit the body of an animal usually those considered to be bad omens or associated with death such as coyotes or wolves. Sometimes the Skinwalker is said to mimic sounds familiar to the victim like the voice of a loved one to lure them in. They will often have something about them that is not quite right which makes the victim uncomfortable for example hearing a friends voice in an unexpected place or seeing a coyote that walks in a way which is unusual. Skinwalker attacks are usually of a personal nature similar to a hex. The Skinwalker will likely target someone who has wronged them personally or may have their services purchased by an unscrupulous individual.

Many Native Americans have stories of encounters with Skinwalkers. One encounter that rose to prominence in 2020 was that of John Soto who posted several videos discussing alleged Skinwalker activity on his TikTok account. After a few months recounting his stories without having any video evidence he managed to capture something that was so unsettling it went viral within days. He managed to record a video of a voice calling out to him saying “hey”. When he panned the camera around you could see he was all alone in a rural area. Then the mysterious voice calls again and Soto’s horse bolts in the opposite direction.

After this encounter Soto found some of his chickens had been killed but not eaten. The his horses sustained some mysterious injuries and he found the skin of a javelina near his house. When asked why he thought the Skinwalker might be attacking him he wondered it it wanted to take his newborn baby. John called in a medicine man to protect him from the Skinwalker and he had no more problems.

It is difficult to know for sure if the strange animal or voice you encounter is in fact a Skinwalker until its too late. It might pay to be wary of anything that seems a little out of place or any voices that call to you from the wilderness just incase things are not as they seem.

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