ChangingSkinwalker

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Skinwalkers – Part Two

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the second part of our episode on Skinwalkers. I first contacted my guest through their postings on Reddit. I’m not going to pronounce their user name, ‘cause, I can’t – I have tried and failed miserably. I saw their post which I will read out in a second, followed by an experience my guest’s sister had with a Skinwalker. Then we will return to our conversation with my guest. So grab that blanket, and hot drink. Sit back and relax – if you can! Let’s begin.

The Beginnings

In the traditional Navajo (pronounced Na-va-ho) way, Skinwalkers are seen as witches, but they weren’t always seen that way. My late grandmother, who was a medicine woman that practiced the blessings way, told me of the origins of the Skinwalker.

Being a Skinwalker wasn’t always seen as a bad thing. In fact, they were seen as people with amazing gifts. They could change into the form of any animal, run vast distances very quickly, mimic people’s voices and some were known to use magic.

During colonization, Skinwalkers were used to relay messages between war camps and spy on the enemy without being detected. Having the Skinwalker abilities was a gift.

When we lost, the good of the community took a back seat and people began to focus on themselves. Instead of sharing what you had, people began to look after their own families, claiming property, and livestock. And there were people that got the short end of the stick.

Jealousy is a terrible thing. People became jealous of one another wanted more fortunate people to lose what they had. They looked to Skinwalkers who had other-worldly powers to do their bidding.

Now being a Skinwalker is not a gift. You condemn yourself to a life of unhappiness and anger. In order to become a Skinwalker, you must sacrifice someone that you love very much. This shows that you are indeed committed to depravity. The interesting thing is that you could have met a Skinwalker and not even know it. They are people like you or me, that have chosen a path in which they will hurt others.

Navajos want to separate themselves from death of any kind. We burn clothing and personal items of deceased relatives and it is very taboo to keep anything that belongs to the dead. Keeping such items can make a person sick or suffer horrible events in their life.

However, Skinwalkers surround themselves with death. Skinwalkers have been known to grave rob and search through people’s garbage. They use bones and hair from the dead and victims personal items to create “bundles.” They place these bundles near a person’s home and bad luck will fall upon the person.

The reason I bring this up, in my upcoming stories I’ll start addressing the bundles and retelling Skinwalking stories from my immediate family and myself.

The Sisters Experience

My oldest sister marches to the beat of her own drum and this story is about her.

In her younger days, my sister was very much interested in the rodeo scene. My family actually has a pretty impressive legacy when it comes to the sport. My sisters didn’t compete but had plenty of friends and family that they would go and watch. My two sisters would travel around the southwest following the rodeo circuit. The cowboy lifestyle isn’t always glamorous. It can be filled with alcoholism, drugs, and depression.

Unfortunately, this took hold of my sister and she got in trouble with the law.

My sister was looking at jail time and the family was very concerned about what might happen to her. This was very out of the ordinary for her. My mother went to a local medicine man and they talked about next steps. They decided to have a ceremony for my oldest sister.

A few days passed, and it was time for the ceremony.

The medicine man and his wife showed up a little past dusk. They came into our house and we served them the food we had prepared. Everyone chatted for it bit and when we finished eating and cleaned up, it was time to start.

Everyone sat down in the living room in a large circle. The medicine man sat on the far West side of the room. My oldest sister sat to his left. In the middle of the circle was a large pile of sand that was smoothed out on the top. My uncles got hot coals from the fire and placed them on the sand.

The medicine man prayed in Navajo and sang blessing songs. This went on into the night. At the height of the ceremony, the medicine man turned to my oldest sister and told her that they would have to go outside and pray in the darkness. He told her to not look around as he is singing. He told her to keep her eyes on him.

The medicine man, my sister, and my uncle went outside. The medicine man turned around and began singing into the darkness. My sister was watching him sing, trying to keep her focus on only him. Then she heard it. Off in the distance, she heard someone whistle. This made her feel sick to her stomach.

Our elders tell us about our culture’s taboos starting at a young age. One of the biggest things that they stress is to never whistle at night. They tell us only the dead whistle at night. So when my sister heard whistling out in the darkness, fear gripped her heart. She was so scared that tears began to well up in her eyes.

The whistling got louder and louder, as if whatever-it-was was moving closer and closer.

My uncle was also outside during the prayer. He admits that he was scared too, but he wanted to be there for my sister. What my uncle saw was even more miraculous. He claims that as the medicine man sang, a bundle came from up above. The eagle feathers that the medicine man was holding, opened up like a hand. The bundle gently floated down into the feathers and the feathers closed around the bundle. The medicine man stopped singing and the group went back into the house.

My sister stumbled in, clearly shaken from the experince. The medicine man could see how my sister was. She asked him what was whistling. He told her that it was a skinwalker and that he was trying to call the bundle back to it.

We gathered around to see what was in the bundle. The medicine man opened up what looked to be a leather pouch. Inside of the pouch was a bone about an inch wide and three inches long. Upon closer inspection, the bone was hallowed out and more items were shoved inside of the bone held in place with twigs and dirt. He dissected the bone to find hair and pieces of a shirt both belonging to my sister. And a very tiny drawing of a woman behind bars.

Whatever was calling out to this bundle had very ill intentions for my sister. Fortunately, after the ceremony, all of my sister’s charges were dismissed. I asked my sister what they did with the bundle and she said that she wasn’t really sure. She says that she vividly remembers being very scared when they were outside singing. My sister controls her emotions very well and so I can’t even begin to fathom how scared she must’ve felt in that moment. Personally, I find it hard to believe that these events are merely coincidental.

The Interview Continues

Do you fear for your safety, sharing this information?

I, I… sometimes! So, in terms of writing my stories online, I’ve had this fascination with the lore and personally, I do believe that they are real.

Right.

I’ve had my own experiences that have made me, you know, believe that there is something out on the reservation that’s kind of insidious and not necessarily in my best interests.

Right. Can you please explain for listeners, why this topic is rarely, if ever discussed?

Ok, so… What essentially… like the – it’s interesting because it kind of seems in whatever I’ve been told about it, in terms of my personal experiences, that they, because they are a. like a supernatural entity. They are aware of when people are talking about them.    

Right.

So when you start talking about them… You know, the Elders always mention that you know – don’t talk about them. They start coming around when you talk about them. And so, in terms of like my… me being anonymous and writing these stories from a place of – you know, I don’t want anyone to know my identity. It’s because I do believe in them. I know – I’ve had my own experiences. And I do… there is a level of… you know? Of fear.

 In terms of like – oh I’m writing these stories, I’m putting them out on the internet, and I do have a level of fear. That if my identity is found out, that they’re going to start coming around and I’m going to start experiencing… essentially, misfortune and travesty in my life, that I’m not up to. And in reality I haven’t – like, I have a handful of people know that I write these stories. But like, in my immediate family I have not told… like, I told my sister, and I’ve told my Mother. But every… anybody else, my Aunts, my Uncles who are some, who are some of the people that I’ve shared their stories… do not know that I’ve shared these stories.

Right.  Well honestly, I think you’re incredibly brave, because I know that culturally, it goes against what I’ve read, of what’s acceptable and not acceptable. So I think for you to share it that’s really a very brave thing. And, I understand the fear… and it’s really interesting how they didn’t start out that way, but turned that way. That actually makes me feel very sad. Makes me feel very sad, because obviously they were a force for positiveness at the beginning.

And I think like as – and you know, this is simply speculation, but I feel like as the generations went on. Like people did start getting jealous at the beginning, and then like it was more of a yin and yang towards the beginning where there was some good, some bad. But generally as the generations went on there was probably such a stigma of oh if you’re a Skin Walker, then you’re bad, instead of, you know… I do want to give them the benefit of the doubt and so, instead of – you know, I do want to give them the benefit of doubt, and say like, you know, there is that stigma against you, and you do bad because you’re expected to do bad.

And so, in terms of like the medicine women and people that practice the blessing way, they do provide a service and so I think on the opposite end of the spectrum you have the Skin Walkers who people do essentially contract to do their bidding. And essentially you never know, it might… it may just be their job.

Right

 I’m sure it’s like people come to them wanting… you know, that are jealous, that use their gifts to essentially do bad on people. And I’m sure that like… I assume… I try to connect it to an occupation, so like where medicine women, medicine men do provide blessing services, I’m sure it could just be an occupation for those Skin Walkers who have these gifts, but you know, their occupation is to bring misfortune to others, even if they are not necessarily bad people.

As I mentioned before…I don’t know if you know, but, people like your neighbour could be a Skin Walker, and you wouldn’t even know.

That was going to be my next question to you. You just bet me to it. You don’t know? There’s no way you can tell that a person’s a Skin Walker, male or female?

No, not at all. And in my previous stories, there was a woman living around the community, and multiple stories where the person is found out to be a skin walker and they lose their lives. And it’s interesting because I think that’s why they…they… To me, it’s kind of funny the way I think about it. It’s like they have a punch card, they put on their skins and they go out – you know? Have shenanigans and skins and then come back. I really try not to be disrespectful when choosing my metaphors, but I honestly… like I can honestly think like, my Grandmother provided those blessing services, and she did receive compensation for her blessing services.  And so, I’m wondering if it’s just a day at the office for them. They put on their clothes…they put on their attire, they do their job and when they come home as me or you would come home and try to relax and forget about their day – you know? I honestly don’t know what…if it’s like that? Or if it’s a little bit deeper and they’re essentially are evil? I do try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps…perhaps they started out as nice people at one stage, but got corrupted by the power that this ability gives them?

I, I … yeah, it could essentially be that they are drunk with power.

Yeah

And, it’s interesting because I’ve also like… I’ve also heard through multiple things, of like… if you choose to walk this path, you’re essentially shortening your life. And so, I guess they do try to get the best of what they have right now. And essentially, they live this half life and I don’t necessarily know if they’re happy or not, but I, I… it’s a shame that there are people out there, if they do have this gift – or curse, whatever it may be, that are living their lives, with this stigma of you’re evil, you’re evil, and that’s all we know about you. And, but see the thing is, if you have multiple experiences, where they are all bad. Your people are going to assume you are a bad person.

Right, right.

So unless you know, some random chance of like… somebody has a good story about these Skin Walkers then, that could change the way the stigma around them, and the taboo – but from all the stories that  I’ve heard, and from all the thing’s that I’ve heard it… I do like to give them the benefit of the doubt. But, in terms of what I’ve heard they are evil in they’re out to hurt them, to hurt people in some way.

Like you have… Like in terms of my job place, there’s a certain person… You have to be a certain person to be a kindergartener, a kindergarten teacher. I think you have to have a level of hatred, and anger, and you know… malice in order to follow that lifestyle, because it is such a taboo. It’s such a – you know, bad thing to be a Skin Walker. So I think they really… Something is pushing them so hard to do it, and so I think it does take a special person – a special kind of evil inside of their body or soul, that makes them want to follow that path.

I agree.

Yeah, and I honestly think, it probably wasn’t always that way. But, I think now it is. I do like to see both sides. I like to see, maybe it’s just their job and that’s what they do, but I also think that based on my experiences and my family’s experiences, I do fear and keep myself anonymous for a reason.

Yeah, yeah – and that’s fair enough, because these people who chose to become Skin Walkers, they know what they are doing. They know the choices that they are making and obviously, they enjoy it.

Yep.

Or they wouldn’t choose that path to begin with. You mentioned before, if their identity is found then they will die. Maybe you would like to expand on that a little bit?

I’m not necessarily sure of what exactly happens. But I know… I’ve found out that like, if they’re essentially found out, if somebody recognises them, then they have essentially a very tragic, odd death! Not necessarily that they take their own lives or anything like that, because they are found out, but I have heard instances where somebody was recognised in kind of an odd way. So something that, you know – something, I’ve heard in terms of somebody being recognised was…

My cousin was at home and they lived out – outside of Gallop, which has a pretty dense forest. And he was at home, and they lived out – they have a rural community. It’s way out there, and so for him to have somebody out in the wilderness, standing there, is very…like, very very odd! And so his experience was, he was at home, he was outside. It was starting to get dark. And he looked up into the tree line, and he saw someone sitting in the tree! He’s like oh my gosh, who’s that? And he like… my cousin is very like scientific. He’s a skeptic, he doesn’t think anything. He’s a traditionalist, very level-headed – walks up to the tree and sees a man he knows from the community in that tree.

And he calls him out by name, and the man doesn’t…the man acts very strangely. He crawls out of the tree and then just walks back into the forest. And my cousin was like, it was super weird. I don’t know what he was doing? And when he told his mother, who does believe in the traditional Navajo stuff, she was; oh no, that’s not good. What, what you experienced wasn’t good. And she was like did you…? What happened? She’s like… he’s like, no! I saw him in the tree, and I was yelling his name at him. And he crawled out of the tree and just walked away, and he wasn’t… There was some speculation that he was a Skin Walker, because people around the community were mentioning it. But my cousin saw him, recognized him, called him by name, and that gentleman – A few days… several days later, was found face down in like a puddle. Like he was sober, he didn’t have any alcohol in his system. He was face down in a puddle that was maybe three inches deep. And no… it seemed like he just fell asleep on the ground and drowned in the puddle.

Wow!

It was a really tragic way to die. But, there was speculation that he was a Skin Walker, he was caught – you know my cousin saw him. Out like, doing what he wasn’t supposed to be doing, and essentially, he died because of that. And you know, that’s my experience, my story, but I’ve also heard of other people seeing them. You recognise who it is, yell at them and tell them you know who they are, and essentially they, they’ve lost their anonymity. And, they can’t go out and bad things anymore, and so I’m not sure if they end their lives or if you know – whatever, whatever power they have over… whatever power they have is drained – I’m not necessarily sure, but they do…they do meet their end when somebody recognises them and calls them out.

For your cousin – After seeing that and hearing about this man’s death, did this alter his skepticism?

No. I don’t think so. I think they did keep it under wraps, in terms of like, what happened. But I do have cousins who do have… are very, very well educated, you know. Have Master’s degrees, have very well paying jobs, that have had their own experiences. And will full out tell me that they don’t want to talk about it.

One of the first experiences I had was um… So I lived outside of Gallop – a couple of miles outside of Gallop. And I… we have… we don’t have paved roads, and so amongst our family members, we would drive on these dirt roads. And one of the first experiences I had was, I was in the vehicle with my mother. And we’re driving home on this dirt road. And the road is about… because you… we drove on the road for a while. The indentions in the land were not too deep, but pretty deep. And the width of the road was maybe, like maybe seven – six or seven feet.

What I experienced from that night was… We were driving home, and something very long…like I can – the vision that I had in my head of it was very, very odd. It was a very dark figure. And it…the length of its body covered the entire road. It was very thin, very, very thin. Its torso was maybe like maybe… like I imagine, a thin, very thin man. He was, it was, all black. It had very long limbs and it walked across the road at such a speed that I can’t, I can’t fathom how something could run across the road so quickly. And it wasn’t off in the distance. It was right up against like… if we were going even a little bit faster we would have hit it with the vehicle.

And it goes across the road and it makes eye contact with me and my Mother, and all I can remember is, it’s a very distinctive eyes. Like I couldn’t see the outline of its face, I couldn’t see anything about its face, just its very, vividly white eyes.  And it wasn’t like the pupils were not white. I can like… When you shine a flashlight, like at your cat or dog in the dark, and you have that reflective shine back? That’s what I saw in that creature’s eyes as it passed the road, and you know I saw it. My Mom stopped. We looked at each other… And they talk about when you experience Skin Walkers, you don’t – you’re not supposed to get scared, cause that’s what they want you to do.  They want you to get frightened.

Right!

So my Mom… we had a pick up and we drove up on the side of the little road, and we shine the headlights towards the ditch. And we could see whatever it was, peeking back. Which like, if it was a coyote, that almost got hit by a vehicle, I doubt that it would be standing there, looking back at us. And, I remembered that and being like that’s weird… My memory of that, was not of fear but generally just thinking well that’s weird! What did we just see? And very, very curious. But the experience that… That’s the end of that first experience.

The second experience was the one that like… I don’t walk alone at night. I don’t like… the second experience that I’m going to share, is the experience that like made me fearful of being alone out on the reservation, in the dark.

Night Encounter Near Zenith Arizona

True story, glad to get this off my chest…Summer of 2013 I’m driving a packed Uhaul through a remote section of Navajo County with my twenty-eight-year-old daughter following in her car. Middle of the night, pitch black and the only radio station I could get was KTNN (The Navajo Nation.) The DJ had been playing old school country but switched it up and suddenly the cab of the truck was filled with the other-worldly sounds of the Bear Creek Singers.

We had just passed the turnoff to the ghost town of Zeniff – nobody lives out there…it’s just devoid of life…all I could see was the road illuminated by the headlights and that insane music filling my mind we’re doing about 70 and suddenly he was right in front of me.

The next couple seconds goes like this: there, illuminated in the headlights is a figure on all fours “walking” across the highway directly in front of my speeding truck. In place of arms and legs this creature had four long “sticks” and the body was draped in a colourful Navajo-style blanket. No head – just those sticks moving back and forth slowly propelling him across the road in the middle of the night. I swerved the truck and just missed him – looked in the rear views and saw him in my approaching daughter’s headlights! Then watched her car make the same last-second manoeuvre to avoid running him over.

I was stunned and just kept driving reassured that she was still behind me – 30 minutes later we pulled up to her new digs in Snowflake, Arizona, and her first words to me were “What the fuck was that??” For the record she is LDS and (almost) never swears. Since that night I myself have moved to Snowflake and driven that same lonely stretch of the 277 fairly often at night but never while listening to KTNN for fear of creating conditions that would result in a repeat of the incident.

I enquired with my native friends up here and the only advice was “don’t tell that story anymore.” So I still think gods, superstitions, and everything else is BS but will go to my grave believing Native culture holds powerful secrets the rest of us don’t understand. Skin Walkers are real – and apparently they like to mess with ignorant whites like me. Our Native friends won’t discuss it with us and nobody believes me except my kid.

Dogman Experience

So, I had kind of grown up a little bit and we… Again, like I said we live in a rural area, and there’s no street lights. When you go outside it’s essentially complete darkness, unless it’s a full moon night. It’s funny because my Uncle had internet, and I didn’t have internet at my house. And so, I would walk over to my Uncles, who lived about a fourth of a mile away from my house. I would walk over, spend time on the internet and I would walk home. The walk home in the dark, to my house, by myself. I was never afraid. I didn’t live in the city where people were going to come up and grab me or anything like that.

So, one of those nights I stayed super late, and it was like ten…eleven, and my Uncle’s like – you better go home.  That’s enough, you better go home.  And so, I start walking. I walk a couple of feet and I get on my bike, and I’m like ok, I’m going to ride my bike back to my Mom’s house.  So I get on my bike and I start peddling. And I’m peddling down the path, and on the way home we have sheep corral, where we would keep the sheep in. All the sheep are in there. It was night time.

I get to the sheep corral and I happen to glance towards it. And right next to the little shelter that they have, was something sitting. And I looked. I stared at it. I stopped my bike, and I sat there and stared at it! And I swore, I swore it was a dog! And I stared at it, and I stared at it. The moment that like peered… I’ve never been so scared in my life! Until… a total disequilibrium, of what I had thought, you know – what being real…? what? Like what reality?  What I had been told came forward, when the dog sitting next to the sheep corral stood up!

Wow!

I was so… I got so scared!  Off in the distance I could see my older sister in her vehicle, and her husband, they were talking with my Uncle. I rode my bike back and I was – you know, so so frightened, and they didn’t understand what I was saying. And I was in tears. I was crying. I was trying to talk and tell them.  The funny thing, is like, as adults if a child tells you… generally, if a child tells you something is supernatural as adults, they write if off – oh you’ll be fine…you know, you don’t know what you saw is kind of like the response that people… like adults have given their children when they have experienced something supernatural.

But the difference with Skin Walkers in my area, is when I told what I saw immediately the adults that were standing outside the home, took it very seriously. Put me in the vehicle – no.  Put me inside the house. They got into the vehicle and they went looking for whatever I saw. So, it not like it… it validated what I saw, and made me fear it even more. Because I saw something that didn’t make sense, that was so unnatural, so weird. And when I told the adults that were there it wasn’t like, oh don’t worry about it, you’re just seeing things. It was taken with such a level of urgency, and you know, seriousness that whatever I saw was truly seen as a danger, ‘cause, they went after it!

Did you need to go to a medicine man and get blessed afterwards?

No, not after that time… I have had blessings before, people generally do have blessings after they experience something like that. I’m not sure why I didn’t. Something that happened recently, a couple of years ago from here, like is another experience I have had. This one is not necessarily in terms of Skin Walkers and the transformation stuff. As I mentioned before they are kind of, they’re tied to witchcraft, the bad witchcraft, and I did experience something here at home that I do want to share, that is very much connected to the Skin Walker topic.

So I was… I had moved to the city and had been living in the city, we… I had moved in with my boyfriend, and we had just gotten, just purchased a new home. We had neighbours, we had people around here that are… We’re pretty spaced out here. We are fortunate enough to live in a home where our neighbours aren’t super close. But they are very, very nice. Very… they look out for us.

Right.

This was, I’d say two, three years ago.  So, I’m at home and I was finishing my…finishing school. And I have a smaller dog. A smaller dog that’s my companion, and we have a dog door. And one day, it was just like any other day we’d have. I tried to have her go outside and she didn’t want to. She didn’t want to go out of her dog door. And so I was literally what’s wrong, her back hair was raised, she did not want to go outside! And so I look into my back yard and I see like a plastic bag, and so I write it off as oh she’s scared of that plastic bag. And, I didn’t investigate it further. I literally was like oh go outside, and I put her out the regular door. I opened the front door and put her outside. I closed the door and immediately she jumps back in through the dog door. She’s like no I do not want to go outside! I was like what!?!

I lock the door, and come back into the house and I’m doing things inside the house. And then, a couple of hours later as it starts to get dark, I walk outside. I walk outside and there’s a substance – it’s – I don’t know how to describe it. It was thick, it was like brown, it had like… I would say it was like coffee grinds. Like if somebody had coffee grinds, and put it like in a bowl with water, and mix it up and they sprinkled it all over the outside of my house. Like from the driveway out from the street, all the way to the back of the house, into the back yard, towards the back shed. It was pretty like a distinct thing and I was like – how did I not notice somebody outside? And it wasn’t just like a little trickle of stuff. It was like this person, whoever did it, put a ton of stuff all over the side of my house. It was on the walls. It was on the sidewalk. It was, and it was like this weird substance. I don’t know how to describe it, but I’ll tell you what the Medicine Man said in terms of that.

So we had the substance all around the outside of my house –you know my boyfriend comes back and I say look! Look at all this stuff! He’s like ewww what is that? And I’m like, I don’t know? He’s like where did that come from? I don’t know. Well you were home all day weren’t you? I literally have no idea what that is, or who put that there, I don’t know. He’s like ok well, I’ll get rid of it eventually.

And then that night, I was in my room… and the set up of our home is odd, because our living room… Generally, your living room is towards the front of your house. Towards the street. Our living room is at the back of the house and our bedroom is towards the front of the house.   So our set up is a little strange. In the middle of the night, I get up to use the restroom, and as I’m going to bed, I can hear knocking. It’s in the back of the house. Whereas, if somebody wants to knock on your door, they would knock on the front door. The windows in the back door of the house.

So I get into bed, and I poke my boyfriend and I… somebodies knocking. He’s like where? and I’m like… it wasn’t at the back door; it was literally at a back window. ‘Cause, it didn’t sound like they were knocking on the door, it sounded like they were knocking on a window. I was like, what is that? He was like I don’t know! I’m like, well if they knock again let’s get up and check it out.

And so, we lay there for a bit. But then whatever it was changed position to the side of the house, and knocked on the window of the house. Not on the door, just on the side window. So we jump up, turn… we turn on all the lights, and go looking around. The window, the side window that the – whatever it is, knocked on, is in the dark path. Not very well light, and I wasn’t brave enough to go walking down that path, to go see what was going on.

The next day comes and goes. Maybe, three or four days later, I’m driving to work. Somebody in traffic runs a stop sign and hits me head on! Totals my car. I went to the emergency room. They checked to see if my head was ok. I hurt my back. I had to go into physical therapy for a couple of months. It was so odd. Well, after my accident I took the day off and I came home and rested. Then curiosity got the better of me. So I went out to that window, and there was black stuff all over it. I’m so superstitious and I believe so much in the traditions of the Navajo’s that I didn’t touch it!

So I called my Mom, and my Mom again does believe in that. Does believe in the traditional Navajo way. So she scheduled a consultation with the Medicine Man, and he told me that whatever came around that night had very ill intentions for me! Was looking for me to get hurt. Looking for me to possibly end my life. Because they put… He mentioned that the substance they put on the side wall was dirt from like a grave, and it was mixed with some kind of … He didn’t specify what kind of blood, I just assumed human blood, but I don’t necessarily know if that’s the truth.

But whatever that substance that… that person, that thing, whatever – sprayed along the wall of the garage, the wall of my house, the wall… the sidewalk, concocted this substance against my house. He’s like do not touch it! Do not touch that stuff they sprayed on your house. He said; you have to have somebody else come out and clean it. Not you. And I told him about the window. He says don’t touch that either! So my boyfriend, my boyfriend is Caucasian, and he – he was instructed by my family to clean the substance off the walls and the floor outside.

 It was interesting because I was having – I remember, very vividly, as I was having the blessing ceremony that the door of the Hogan – which was where we have our ceremonies, was open. And I remember… They tell you that your focus needs to be in the – on the voice of the Medicine Man. You need to be paying attention to what he’s saying. Because, generally… and you know, in one of my stories I mentioned that whatever was going after my sister – made an appearance that night and was trying to call back, whatever it was, was bothering her. And, my eyes wandered out the Hogan door. And I could see something. I can’t explain what I saw. But something running on the horizon, around the Hogan.  I just got scared I didn’t see, I , I… you know I just looked back down and I looked at the Medicine Man. When he finished his prayer, I told him that what I saw. And he said, well, I ‘m glad you didn’t look at it for too long, ‘cause, that could have essentially ruined what I just did for you.

Wow. Did he say what it was?

He said that… he… so whatever it was that came to my house – I’m not sure that it was a Skin Walker, he… they… It was implied that whatever came around my house was a Skin Walker. But, he said that the person that contracted that, essentially hired the Skin Walker, was… Oh, it’s interesting because, they can’t full out give you a name.

Right!

They described him… they described a person to me that has not necessarily been kind to me in the past. But I always thought that my interactions with the person was cordial. In that hey, I was always nice to them. I really try not to bring bad things upon myself, by treating others in a bad way, or acting in a way that would make people think less of me. But, apparently this person did not like me. Did not like what was going for me. Was essentially jealous! And was hired – you know, the people that do not follow the blessing way too have something happen to me, that would essentially end my life. Have me really hurt, have me lose my job, something, some kind of ill will?

Wow, and it almost succeeded.

Yeah!

Once the Medicine Man did this blessing for you, did you have any issues after that?

I did lose my car. I did have to go to physical therapy, but I find that… essentially that the misfortune that was happening to me ended, and was sent back at that person!

Goodness me… no wonder you have… no wonder you’re sharing your stuff because One: it’s a validation for you and Two: it helps you to come to terms with what you’ve experienced, I imagine.

Oh absolutely!

Yeah

Ummm.. I feel like it’s kind of interesting because there… I experience people that don’t necessarily think that my stories are true, and you know, they’re allowed to have their skepticism. But I have my truth. I know what happened to me

Right!

I think that my stories provide a validation – not only for me, but for people who also experience totally horrifying things, misfortune, and I feel like my stories are scary but they hold the truth in them that like – I hope that somebody sees them and they’re like on my gosh! I’ve seen this too! And just validates that I am not crazy, crazy person.

I wondered if that was part of the reason why you were sharing it, because reading your story in the Skin Walker subreddit, that thought occurred to me that might be one of the reasons you were sharing it, to help others, because, you can tell the stories on there that are genuine, and the ones that aren’t. they have a distinctly different feel to them.

Mother’s experience

So this is when I was an infant and my Dad, he passed when I was younger. He was an electrician so he would get contracted and because the reservation was so small, he would have to go elsewhere in order to work. And so this is around the time when I was like a toddler, and I was at home with my mother. She was home alone with me.

She said that she was in bed. It was dark and she heard her car door close. Because we live out in the middle of nowhere, that is highly disturbing to hear your car door close when you’re home alone, with a child, and you live in the middle of nowhere. Very, very off putting, and so she… When our home didn’t have a regular, like open, shut, close door. It had a glass sliding door, for our front door. Now I think about it, I’m mortified by the thought of having a glass sliding door as your front door.

Because, she said that she looked out and she saw something outside. It was inside the cab, digging around, like looking through her things. And she went out to the front – I’m still in bed. She goes out to the front and looks out that glass sliding door. She sees whatever it is, and whatever it is – I’m going to shoot it! She goes if it’s someone stealing my stuff, I’m going to shoot them! So she loads the gun…

The glass sliding door is super loud when you open it. You can’t like crack it open, it’s as loud as it can be – so she slides, the sliding glass door open just a little bit, and points the gun out. She says she wasn’t even scared to shoot her own vehicle. She was just like whatever it is, it’s – this is highly, highly disturbing, whatever it is!

She says she’s aiming at it. It notices that she opens the door and it turns its focus towards her. And she says, it started moving – having like erratic movements. She calls it dancing. She says it looked like it was dancing. And she said, it started to make its way closer and closer to her. She said she started pulling the trigger on the rifle – and it’s not going off!

And she’s pulling it, and pulling it, and pulling it. Trying to shoot what is essentially now coming up the walkway towards her house, dancing still – still dancing! I asked her – well how was it dancing? She said, it literally had its arms above it’s head. But like, it’s arms are above it’s head, but not straight. She said as it would walk, it would contort its arms, and move them in a weird fashion as it took steps towards her. Eventually, it came super close to the door.  She said she shut her eyes and began to pray in Navajo, and the gun went off! She said she opened her eyes and it wasn’t there!

Wow!

And she said she lay – that her legs got just so weak, that she fell down right at the front door, and that the door was… that the sliding door was still open, the rifle was still halfway out the door! She said she sat there and she just wept, because she was so frightened by her experience that she had, and she’s like… Her retelling of the story is so genuine, and she gets so shaken and so… Essentially she like… I don’t know how to explain it, when she tells the story, it makes her feel uncomfortable. 

Right – Right, ‘cause, it brings back all those emotions?

Yes! So that was you know, one of the stories I’ve heard where she… Usually the stories I’ve heard we have to have in terms of blessing, like something that blesses the gun or something that blesses the bullet so that you put like Cedar ash on the bullets. They put Cedar ash on the gun, then the gun will work. If they say that… they even tell us if you’re walking home at night, you need to put ashes on your forehead, ashes on you – so that whatever is out there doesn’t bother or touch you. And so, she said that – well, I’ve noticed it’s one of the only times that she, or a person hasn’t had to put some kind of blessing on the weapon, in order for it to work.

But she did say a prayer though.

Yes, yes she did.  She does mention that she closed her eyes, and began to pray in Navajo. That finally the gun went off and when she opened her eyes, nothing was there. So essentially… maybe, this is just a thought that I’ve had, that she started to pray in Navajo and whatever it was ran off, which allowed the gun to go off.

Oh good point. That’s probably, a very good reason. Wow that’s really interesting! Your poor mum must have been so terrified. Cause she would have had no way to get out, if this thing was in her car, initially. No escape, and where would she go? And with you in the house, she would have been really scared, I could see that. That’s pretty scary, wow! It sounds like you guys have had some, like your family has had some, very interesting experiences.

I’m sure that there – I’m sure in terms of native families, all of them have their own set of Skin Walker stories. But I feel like I am actively putting them out there. And so, it’s kind of interesting because I’m putting myself out there, and I’m hearing people telling me their Skin Walker stories and in response – people are so scared to tell them. They’re so scared to bring up something horrible that’s happened to them – and so, I think that’s like where the kind of skepticism comes in. Where like – oh well, you’re the only one telling these Skin Walker stories. But I think every, single family on that reservation, has had some experience one way or another, of like – where they have had to have protection – people walking on the roof. Seeing something running across the road. Seeing something abnormal. And you know, people don’t talk about it, and don’t share those experiences. So I think they just write them off –  like ok, maybe I’m crazy – and I think again that, that’s why I like to share my stories. No you’re not crazy! No your experience is not…. It is abnormal in terms of like –you don’t go and not everybody has these Skin Walker experiences, but my family has experienced these and I am sure there are many families out on the reservation that do.

I’m really grateful to you, for taking the time to share what you have with us. That’s really appreciated, Immensely.

Oh you’re very welcome. It’s good to talk about it and not necessarily get like a dirty look about it. Because sometimes when I – you know, I’m the weird relative that like, what kind of stories have you heard? And things like that. It does… people do get put off by my questions, but I see it as getting them out there – wanting people to understand that there’s a bigger, bigger world out there, in native culture, in… you can’t just take things at face value

Right

Cause there’s things and there’s experiences that we cannot fully comprehend

Correct! Correct!  Oh look thank you so very much, I’m really, really grateful

We have come to the end of our two episodes on the subject of Skinwalkers and have heard experiences from people kind enough to share their stories. We have had a very interesting conversation with my guest and heard their personal experiences as well as one’s that have happened to family. It has been, at least for me, and hopefully for you all, an interesting journey into this part of the shadowlands. If you enjoyed these episodes, then please leave a positive rating and a written review on iTunes. Who knows? You may hear your review read out at the end of an episode. So get writing! And of course, don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, or your favourite podcasting platform.

As with the previous episode our music was called Apache Moon, by Watchwolf. Copyright 2008 – Licensed under Creative Commons. For more information visit the podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com

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