The indigenous peoples of North America have rich and complex cultures stemming back thousands of years that vary widely from tribe to tribe. One of the most fascinating American myths and legends from the native Navajo people is that of the “skinwalker.”
Navajo legend has it that skinwalkers are shapeshifting evil witches that disguise themselves as deformed animals like coyotes, wolves, and bears to terrorize people. They wear the skins of the animals they want to transform into, like the wolf or coyote, and come out at night in the form of a monstrous, swift-moving animal to perform terrible and dreadful acts.
While it is difficult to believe that humanoid figures can transform into four-legged animals and terrorize people, there are those in the American Southwest that tell of skinwalker sightings that were as terrifying as they were unbelievable.
If you live in the southwestern United States and hear a pack of coyotes howling at night, you might instantly wonder if they're skinwalkers. You might think: "Are skinwalkers even real?" "What can I do to protect myself and my family if those really are skinwalkers disguised as coyotes?"
Well, skinwalkers may be real. If you encounter a skinwalker and you're brave enough to face off with it, sites like Mystic Beasts provide tips to confront skinwalkers and live to tell the tale of your encounter with the dreadful supernatural beings.
But, what can you do to protect yourself from skinwalkers if they are real and you encounter one?
Tips to Protect Yourself and Survive a Skinwalker
A skinwalker illustration.
Here are some tips that will come in handy to protect yourself from an encounter with skinwalkers:
1. Keep a watchful eye on your livestock
A common belief among local Native American tribes is that all manner of nasty critters of the deep will target livestock to feed and use for all sorts of evil purposes.
So, be on the lookout for skinwalkers hovering around your livestock.
2. Watch out for footprints or tracks too
Skinwalkers are evil and dangerous, and their tracks can be identified by their unique footprints that look like an animal's but also have a human print as well.
For example, if you're in the woods and see a footprint in the shape of a bear's paw with a man's fingerprint on it, that would be suspicious. The creature is said to have the power of invisibility and can disappear in front of your eyes.
If you see a bipedal animal (like a raccoon or possum) running on two legs and then suddenly disappearing, that's a good sign that it was a skinwalker.
3. Don't stare into the eyes of a skinwalker
If you ever encounter skinwalkers, do not to stare them in the eye. It will only make them uncomfortable and infuriated. Avoid skinwalker stares at all costs.
Looking directly in the eyes of aggressive animals is interpreted as a behavior in challenging or establishing dominance. Avoid its gaze, unless you want to challenge them to a fight.
Besides, when you stare into the eyes of a skinwalker, they can hypnotize you and make you do strange things that are out of your control.
A skinwalker stare can also make people think they see things that aren't there.
So, by all means, try to avoid a skinwalker stare if you want to avoid a violent confrontation and survive a skinwalker encounter.
4. Don't run away
In an encounter with skinwalkers, back away slowly, avoiding its gaze, but don't run.
Running away will only make it more likely that the skinwalkers will attack you, which can lead to being turned into one of them.
And don't turn your back on them either, or they will follow you to your home. Instead, stay calm and back away slowly.
The most important thing is to not show fear, scream, or shout unless they actually attack you—this will give off an air of confidence and power that could scare them off.
In Conclusion: Skinwalkers May Be Real.
The question as to whether skinwalkers are real has lingered in curious individuals’ minds for ages. If you have ever asked whether skinwalkers are real, or even wondered how you would survive a skinwalker encounter, now you have your answer.
The Native American legend of skinwalkers may not conform to any scientific theory whatsoever, and there is no concrete scientific evidence that these dreadful creatures actually exist, but there have been many reports of skinwalker sightings over the years. Books have also been written about skinwalkers, such as the popular “Hunt for the Skinwalker.”
Hollywood has also picked up on the legend of skinwalkers with popular documentaries and films on the creatures like “Skinwalkers,” a 2006 action horror film. There is even a ranch named after the dreadful creatures – The Skinwalker Ranch, or Sherman Ranch – located southeast of Ballard in Utah where paranormal activities and occurrences are reported on the 512-acre ranch.
An encounter with skinwalkers is said to be quite terrifying. But, as it is now be evident, you may still be able to survive a skinwalker. Use the tips listed above to reduce the chances of being attacked and increase your odds of surviving a skinwalker encounter if it happens.
Remember, watch your livestock, do not wander alone at night, and avoid a skinwalker stare. Do not stare into skinwalkers eyes as it may hypnotize you. Also, do not turn your back on a skinwalker or run away from it because it will charge or follow you wherever you go. Instead, back away slowly if you come face to face with a skinwalker and it may just not turn you into its prey.