Navajo Skinwalkers – Do The Witches of Southwest Folklore Still Roam?

Navajo Skinwalker

If you grew up in the 90s like myself, you might remember a book series and, later, the TV show on Nickelodeon called “Animorphs.” The series, in a classic young adult narrative, follows relatively normal teenagers who have relatively normal teenage problems, but these teenagers also can morph into animals. The Navajo people of the American Southwest have in their culture, the folklore of similar entities. However, unlike teenagers who use their powers to fight aliens, the skinwalkers of the Navajo are considered to be harmful witches. 

What is a Skinwalker?

Skinwalker, or Navajo skinwalker, is not a supernatural creature like the name may imply. Instead, they are spiritual healers of the Navajo who have been corrupted by dark magic.

It’s sort of hard to know much about the skinwalkers from Navajo tribe. The Navajo are fairly tribalistic (no pun intended) when it comes to particular spiritual beliefs, particularly ones that involve the darker side of cosmic magic. But, there are a few things we do now. 

navajo skinwalkers

The main thing we know is that they have the ability to shape shift into a variety of animals, oftentimes coyotes, or wolves. Still, it could really be anything — bears, dogs, foxes—just about every animal that is known to that region of America.

The best skinwalkers could even take the form of another person. Even one who is still alive and known to the tribe. You can tell when an animal is actually a skinwalker by the eyes. They’ll look human. When the skinwalker takes on the form of another person, their eyes will look like an animal’s.

8 Quick Skinwalker Facts

  1. Skinwalkers are not any supernatural creature like their name sounds.
  2. A skinwalker is a witch or spiritual healer of the Navajo who has been corrupted by dark magic.
  3. Skinwalkers have the ability to shape-shift into any type of animal at will and gain the physical ability of that animal. Most frequently they are seen in form of wolves and coyotes.
  4. They wear the skins, and skulls sometimes of the animal they transform into, the name Skinwalker comes from that.
  5. Skinwalkers have ability to possess the bodies of human victims if a person makes eye-contact with them.
  6. The Navajo refers skinwalker as “yee naaldlooshii” which means “with it, he goes on all fours.”
  7. Despite their fearsome reputation and characteristics, skinwalkers can be killed.
  8. You can become a skinwalker by following some very hard tasks which involves killing your loved ones.

Skinwalkers History: The Origin of Skinwalkers

As stated before, skinwalkers are essentially just corrupted spiritual healers. You see, to become a healer in the Navajo tribe, you must be well versed in magic, period. It is not like you can just learn the “good” magic and not learn the “bad” magic.

Think of a skinwalker as analogous to a mad scientist. The only difference between a good scientist and mad scientist is that the mad scientist used their knowledge and power for bad.  

You see, it’s not as simple as just starting to use your magic for bad. In order to become a skinwalker you need to be accepted into an order of other skinwalkers. To let out my inner nerd, you need to perform some really cruel tasks.

It’s basically like the Sith in the Star Wars universe. Anakin Skywalker didn’t just decide one day to become Darth Vader. He was corrupted by the Sith and accepted into their order.

Prospective skinwalkers are brought to gatherings, which take place in the dead of night, far away from the rest of the tribe, and partake in a variety of dark rituals. What exactly happens at these gatherings is a bit of a mystery.

Are Skinwalkers Real

To Navajo nation, Hopi, Utes, and other tribes of the southwest, skinwalkers are not legend. All the tribes have their own version of the Skinwalker tale. But they all sounds same. They have a strong belief in skinwalker tale, specially in the Navajo nation.

While there, unfortunately, are not as many Native Americans in the U.S. as there used to be, the Navajo still boasts a population of more than 356,000, so there are definitely still skinwalkers out there.

The Reddit community /r/Missing411, which is dedicated to the widely underreported number of people who go missing across the country, often hypothesize that at least some of these are due to skinwalkers.

If you ever happen to be wandering the American Southwest, just keep your wits about you. If you see an animal with human eyes, or a human with animal eyes, just run. 

How to Kill a Skinwalker

You must be a very brave person to make this decision. Skinwalkers are fast, ferocious, aggressive. Killing them is not an easy task at all. Shooting or other methods will not work here. Still they can be defeated. Only way to kill a Skinwalker is to call them by their true (human) name.

That’s not an easy task too! Skinwalkers moves swiftly and leave no footprint. That makes it very hard to track them down and reveal their identity. You have to be a powerful shaman to track a skinwalker and identify him/her.

How to Become a Skinwalker

This is a desire you should never have. But you can turn into a skinwalker through some seriously difficult tasks.

If one wants to become particularly powerful that you must commit one of the evilest acts possible like killing and eating a family member or loved one. By performing this ritual, you will lose any sort of humanity that was left on you. Then there are some other tasks to be perform to fully transform into the skinwalker. Once you’ve become a skinwalker, there’s no way you can undo this!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *