Hunt for the Skinwalker
I was gripped with fear at what I was watching in the headlights of the car. At first it seemed to be a un-clothed man shrouded in some sort of an animal hide. A violent storm was raging and the rain was falling in buckets as I concentrated focusing my eyes in on the figure not ten feet in front of the car. There was a flash of light and what followed can only be described as 20 minutes of pure terror that left both myself and my vehicle in shambles, we both were a total wreak.
There have been countless stories about skinwalkers attacking a car or home trying to harm the people inside. A skin-walker is a legendary creature in the Navajo culture that’s somewhat like a werewolf. The skin-walker is a shape-shifter, human at times, is said to have the ability to assume the figure of any animal they desire, hinging upon what kind of abilities they require at that moment.
While the skin-walker is known chiefly from Navajo Legend, their existance traverses in the mythology of additional tribes. In a few Indian legends, the yee naaldlooshii (“with it, he goes on all fours”) are humans who have acquired supernatural abilities by breaking a cultural taboo. Using their powers they can transform into animal form to throw off pursuers. Similar events are seen in “Twilight” when Edward reveals the wolves of La Push are merely “shape-shifters”(Breaking Dawn page 704). The Quileute Legend explains that the first quileute was created from a wolf by by a traveling supernatural transmuter.
The Navajo believe that skinwalkers have the power to steal the “skin” or body of a person. That if you engage eyes with a skinwalker they can immerse themselves into your body. Skinwalkers avoid bright light and their eyes glow like an animal’s when in human form. When in their animal form their eyes don’t glow as an animal’s would.
Numerous attempts have been made to track and kill one, the attempts are not typically successful. I guess you typical silver bullet won’t work. Occasionally a skinwalker will be hunted down leading to the house of someone known by the victim. The skinwalkers are described as being quick, and impossible to capture. They’re said to be able to read your thoughts. In the film “Twilight” Edward had the ability to read others thoughts. Although he was not a skinwalker but rather a member of “The Cold Ones” (vampires) from this description and given the location of the story being in La Push, Washington State perhpas he should of been labeled a skinwalker in the series.
In ancient culture there was a ritual ceremony once performed, called the Ya Ya Ceremony. In this ceremony, members would convert themselves into assorted animals utilising the hides from the animal they selected, and the members use certain animals for their attributes. The coyote skin is for high-velocity, precise sense of smell, and the acute agility. The bear skin is for brute force, but not a good choice for speed.
When in animal form the skinwalker will retain their wits and because of this they make a really dangerous adversary. Also unlike the werewolf, they have a whole bag of tricks that includes immobilizing powder, mind control, and even disease. It’s said that a few can even kill applying their thoughts or using the “Evil Eye”.
According to legend the Ya Ya Ceremony was banished after members acquired a disease of the eyes. Perhaps there was a competitive Navajo skinwalker amidst them who wanted to be top dog, or wolf in this instance?
If you’ve experience a skinwalker leave a comment and share your story.
- Witchery Way of the Navajo Skinwalker Most societies have folklores and legends of witches, werewolves, Sasquatch, and creatures that walk
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