Navajo Skinwalker

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.

navajo-skinwalkerWhile 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.

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  1. This is an experience that I’ve only shared with a small number of people. My brother who’s a hardened soldier is still frightened about what occurred.

    As a teenager, I’d travel to my grandma’s home on the Navajo reserve during the summertime. I was asked by my grandma to drive a worker home, which was approximately four miles out of the valley. I thought being 14 and driving sounded like fun, so my then 9 year old brother climbed up in the truck cab with me while this “worker” and my dog shared the truck bed. I dropped the worker off , then we steered back up the road to grandmas. It was getting dark as the sky was a deep red as the sun started to set behind us. We were leaving a nice dust trail from road and the radio was playing music from the only radio station that tuned in was from the closest town of Holbrook.

    Everything seemed fine. It was at this time that my eye noticed movement of something in the bushes a little up the road on the right. I slowed down thinking that it was a roaming sheep and I wanted to be sure it didn’t jump in front of the truck. Once clear I sped up but then out of nowhere I just felt this dark feeling of fear and dread. I had no idea why I was feeling this way but I definitely felt that something was wrong.

    I am tearing up just writing about this as this is something that really happened. I checked my rear view mirror and saw a dark silhouette of something very tall and very thin. I slowed down a little to get a better look, I could see that whatever it was, was covered with some kind of hair or fur. It then started charging after us! I accelerated, from what I had seen it wasn’t a normal human or human at all. As I write I can still hear my brother and my dog barking ferociously at whatever was chasing us, as if it just happened. I started speeding and shaking violently as the truck bounced on the washboard dirt road, my poor dog got knocked around. My brother cried “it’s coming up on your side!” I remember being as scared as hell and thinking that I didn’t want to die. I remember speeding faster even though there was a bend in the road. I could see a car coming towards us in the opposite direction. At that moment I felt instant relief and felt that whatever was chasing us was gone.

    Shaken up but alive, we arrived to grandma’s house wondering what just happened. We ran inside hoping that whatever was chasing us hadn’t followed us. We told grandma what happened but she didn’t seem too surprised, which surprised us. She told us of the legend about black magic, witches, and something that the Navajos call “Yee Naaldlooshii” or Skinwalkers. Needless to say, I didn’t even want to look out any of the windows in the least the rest of that night. As a matter of fact, I never drove on the reservation at night until I was 21 years old.

  2. ewendel says:

    I am starting a documentary film on the subject and conducting interviews with those who have first hand experience. Please contact me.

    • cris black says:

      Hello here I’m navajo from monument valley Utah if you need information on skinwalkers email me I glad to inform you on the subject my grandparents a medican people.

      • I live in Arizona and I really, really need some info on skinwalkers. All of the Native Americans in my town will not talk to me about it. Any help would be appreciated.

        • I understand how you feel about how they don’t like to talk to you about it… But I also have a lot of information I can share with you please contact me back. They don’t speak much to me here either :/

          • Hello. My name is Leo. I live near Navajo reservations and many others. I saw one of these things when I first got my licence around 16 years old. My life has been hell ever since. I had never heard of such a thing growing up. My family is not Native American, nor were we familiar with Native American culture or “legends”. So it wasn’t until I was much older that someone told me that what I saw was very bad, and that I needed to have some Native American ceremonies performed on myself as well as my home. The home is located on what is now known to be an ancient burial ground. I’m still waiting to have the ceremony done, as I am not Native, and they don’t normally do this sort of thing outside of their own culture. They’re not sure why I was able to see it at all. I’m looking for ANY kind of help. Please. It’s not a legend

      • your grand parnets are medacine man or women? would they be able to me my native name by change? let me know on myspace but not facebook. let me know

      • Hi i am not much of Native American but , i am trying to look up legends about Native American Creatures including the Skin walker because i was wanting to write an interesting Novel that includes real stories. i would be very much grateful if someone who is a real Native American can tell me about their home and of their stories on any of the Native legends i have listed. i will indeed give you the credit for your stories posted in my novel once i have it published hopefully in the near future.

      • I was wondering if you could shed some light on my possible skin walker encounter. it started when I moved to centeral Missouri one day I of bow hunting I decided to hunt down what has been long named the “big bad wolf lane”, as I proceeded my back back home down the trail I kept hearing a voice call my name but when I stopped it stopped. when I got home I asked my wife if she had called for me and she said no (no one in the area knew my name at the time). not thinking much of it I shrugged it off. then a few weeks later I went on a jog down the trail and told my wife to call me when she was ready to go to town, I proceeded into the woods I then tried to call her because I hadn’t heard from her yet and no answer on the phone. I made it back to the trail when I heard my wife yelling for me in her exact voice, thinkin she was in trouble I ran down the trail(the opposite way of the house) then she called me on my cell phone saying she was ready. she had never yelled for me. then about two months after the incident my father in law had a dream that a black panther had taken my daughter(not sharing this dream at the time) a black panther was spotted down the same trail. but when we would got after it and surround it , it wouldn’t be there. when I shared my story the family would talk about talking turkeys. at first I was thinking yeah okay but as I heard numerous accounts of them walking past there family members and calling there names, then walk away I became more and more worried. I shared my story with my native American friend from Oregon, and he said I described a skin walker, but he didn’t know a lot of In depth things and warned me not to go back there or to chase after it. I would like to believe im not crazy so any info or suggestions would be very helpful. thank you

      • Anonymous says:

        What’s your email ? I want to know about these skinwalkers more than I already know .

      • Michael B. W says:

        Hi Cris Black my name is Michael B. W and I want to know how I can get in touch with you to ask you further on the Skinwalker topic. I need to know, can you please respond to this message asap when you get it. Thanks.

        I am new to the site and don’t know where to find your email??

  3. Is there any Skinwalkers in forks?

  4. hey AL the reason nobody will talk to you abouut it, is because they are forebidden to speak of suck thing or bad will come to there families, them not explaining it to you should scare you enogh not to ask about it, if you keep on about asking them trouble will come your way! i am a navtive from MN on the fon du lac reservation, and i know better! i have heard stories through my mom that she has witnessed herself as a child being with her father during ceremonies but me myself do not wish to speak about it, for the fact i dont need them finding me, for the fact i have a little family being a single mom of a 18 month old. i wouldnt want anything bad happening to her! all i can say, is they are real, and not only turn into animals but also fireballs too! and this is all i am sayin good day all.

  5. Yeah been on the Rez all my life since I was born and heard lot of stories and seening them like when I’m partying with my friends and cousins we don’t bother them we just let them be…. So I don’t bother them and I just pray every night when I’m alone at home or out there with my friends late at night but it’s still scary tho….

  6. I’m a Native American and my first time that I got scared was at my friends place cuz we were just chilling just watching tv and my friend went to the bathroom and my other bro was pass out and I was alone drinking a beer and all of a sudden I heard something outside I thought my friend pass out in the bathroom and he was taking a shower so I just starting watching tv again and than a few minutes later I heard a big bang at the door and I got scared started yelling at my friend told him to get up and he got up and said what so I told him what I heard outside that there was a loud bang at the door so we grab the flashlight, he went first and I was behind him cuz I was scared and we open the door slowly and we flash around and my friend got out of the shower and he said what’s going on why u opening the door and I told him the story and he said let’s go and check it out an we did, but there was notthing outside so we went bak inside started drinking were just chilling than we all heard there were something outside slamming the door real hard and we got scared we hurry grab the flashlight started flashing the light towards the truck and all of a sudden a black thing it look like something a man was sitting n the truck it was just sitting there looking right at us, an my bro said get the f**k out of the truck but it did notthing my bro started to walk towards it like were trying to pull him away frm it all a sudden he fell dwn on the floor than my other friend got the rifle and shot it at the that black thing that was sitting n the truck and it open the door and ran off f**k it was fast and the neighbor heard the gun shot so they came and we told the story to them and they heard stories about them and we said what was that and they said a skinwalker….. That was my story I have other stories so I’m going to stop here now…..

  7. So I live in Southern Utah, and I don’t know much about the skinwalker legends, but last night, me and my friends were at a ghost town called Grafton and some pretty weird stuff happened to us. I’m not going to tell the whole story, because not all of it was eventful, but at one point as we were driving down a narrow road, and at the end there was a loop where you would be able to turn around. As we reached the beginning of the loop, me and my friend saw what looked like a large white dog run across the field. The headlights didn’t provide much light, so it almost seemed as if it was glowing. I was driving, and so I freaked out and hurried and got out of there, but didn’t think much of it after a few minutes, and just thought our minds were playing with us since we came out there for the purpose of getting scared. What can I say, we’re stupid teenagers.
    Grafton is a very small ghost town, with only a few houses and a schoolhouse. When you first enter Grafton, you can turn left into a cemetary or continue on into the town. My friend refused to go to the cemetary when we first came, because she said she had a really bad feeling about going there, so we went to the town. After the incidence with what we saw in the field, we decided to leave and visit the graveyard on our way out. We turned off the car and got out, us 2 girls and 4 boys. Right after we got out, screamo rock music (of all things) started playing, but it wasnt coming from the car. It was coming from behind a hill and the middle of some trees, where some of the haunted townhouses were located. The lyrics of the song that was playing said “worship Satan” and something like “lose your mind”. If that didnt freak us out enough, when we climbed to the top of the hill to see where it was coming from, there were no lights. We didnt know how this could be going on because it sounded like a live band with cheering, and you would have to have electricity to play the music and there was none. 3 of the boys climbed down the hill and started walking back to the car and the cemetary, so those of us that stayed on the hill listened for a little longer. The sound was getting louder and closer to us, nearing the edge of the trees towards the field that was in front of us. Right as it was about to reach the edge, the cheering and the singing stopped, and the instruments were playing quiet. After a moment, there was a blood-piercing scream, and it didnt sound human. It sounded as if it was a cross between a human and a wolf, and so we all ran down the hill and back to the car as fast as we could. We noticed that the boys that were down there were pointing to the cemetary and screaming, but we never got around to asking what they saw because we were so worried about just getting out of there. We rolled down the windows to hear if the music was still playing, but we could only hear it faintly and after a minute, it was gone altogether. None of us entirely know what happened, but some friends said that we had encountered a skinwalker.
    If anyone knows what might have happened, if it was a skinwalker or not, please feel free to comment.

    • What you were experiencing was not a skinwalker I assure you. You have experienced someone somewhere around that immeditate area that is worshiping SATAN. And they just so happen to be doing so we you guys were present. Not only are they practicing SATAMISM they are VERY SCHOOL AT IT. My advice is STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THERE AS POSSIBLE. Dont play around there anymore because believe me it is not a game nor a joke. Satan is as REAL to life as YOU are. And Unfortunetly does possess incredible POWER. But the GOOD NEWS is JESUS CHRIST is even more powerful and greater still. STAY AWAY FROM THERE PLEASE!!!!!!! PEACE & LOVE Gina D.

  8. Lukista.A says:

    thank you for the information…
    i liked this … 🙂

  9. melissa d. says:

    Need information about skin walkers

  10. anthony walkerhorse says:

    You guys are so stupid yee naaldlooshii is not to be talked about. These creatures are very smart and sneaky. Why would you want to know about them, all you need to know is that they will kill you. There are more and more yee naaldlooshii everyday because people think its cool to be one, or think it is a joke, and then you have those one that are curious to see one. this website should not be here, all your doing is getting people curious, and that is not good. “ashoog” to all of you.

  11. I’m from utah and would love more information from here. My friend barley told me about skinwalkers. i’ve had tons of run inns with a certain “skin walker” for years. I want to make sure first of all it is a skin walker. I thought it was more of haunting going on till i found out about these. i’m desperate.

  12. I would just like to know how to get rid of one that is attached to you already. Thanks!

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  15. They say if you encounter a yee naaldlooshii and you know that person’s name then you say their name, that person that is trying to play a trick or hurt you will eventually die a few days later

  16. Strength and shifter powres hmm, that sounds like the heroine of the third in the series, SOUL WHISPERER. She a raven shifter, strong, fast and she can fly. She appears in both the first and second books as a friend of Sebastian and Nick. Her name is Bess Suncatcher and her story appears in December.

  17. I just have a question. A simple one and this is because I don’t currently have contact with my elders and lack any real council. Can there be a skin walker gene? My family has been cursed for the past 6 decades and it all started with my grandmother. She talks to me in riddles all of the time and talks about how special I am when its just me and her. She says that I am going to change “the way” for good. She is full blood apache and my great grandfather is full blooded Navajo. Since I have turned 16 my father keeps dropping hints when I show any interest in my culture. I swear I can read vibes and small phrases that people think telepathy?. Since August of 2015 when I’m around animals they have a sense of curiosity with me and usually get surprisingly close. I am sick of Wondering and I just need to know. I was doing my research and found out that “the way” my grandmother was talking about was the witchery way and that correlates with Skin walkers. Ever since I was a child my father loved wolves. He said he loved their strength and power. I don’t know how but he gave me an animal, the owl. He said it will help me when I come of age. I’m so confused….. SOS

  18. Hello, I live in southern Utah. I’m not a Native American but I live about 5 minutes from a reservation. I have a friend who is Native American and she told me a chilling story about her grandma. So when her grandma was younger she was on a hike with her family, she and her little sister had ran up ahead of their parents and were playing when out of nowhere she got a really bad and dark feeling and suddenly her younger sister passed out so she ran back along the trail to get her parents. Her and her parents ran back up the trail to where the younger sister had passed out. When they got there the girl was gone when and the parents had a horrendous look on their faces and told the older girl do not turn around they ran as fast as they could back to the car all the while never looking back they finally made it back to their truck and drove away as fast as they could the older girl was sitting in the backseat when she looked out the back window and saw that her sister but her body was horribly demented her arms and legs were much longer than they should be and she was running on her elbows and feet. That’s all my friend told me so I don’t know the rest of the story.

  19. You should ask

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