What Is A Skinwalker?

February 04, 2018 6:00 AM ‐ Paranormal

Before I was sent the above YouTube video form Top 5 Darkest, I had never heard of a skinwalker, but as a keen walker, camper and general fan of the outdoors, I really should be aware of them.

It turns out that these creatures are nothing new, it's said they've been lurking in forests and woodlands in North America and Canada for generations. In fact, the legend goes as far back as the Navajos, a southwestern Native American tribe.

However, there has been a worrying increase in the number of people reporting encounters with these illusive beasts. Recently more and more people have come forward to report their terrifying encounters online. Are these cases pure fiction, or are skinwalkers growing in numbers?

Due to skinwalkers' tendency to hide out in woods, they're most commonly reported by groups or individuals on camping trips, hunting expeditions, or hikes through the countryside. But they might not be as easy to spot as you might think. The most terrifying characteristic of a skinwalker is its ability to change its appearance.

Most commonly the creature takes on the form of animals, like coyotes, wolves, foxes, eagles, owls or crows, but they're also said to be able to take on human form and "steal" the faces of different people. This enables them to infiltrate unsuspecting groups who have been unlucky enough to unwittingly venture into the skinwalkers' territory.

No ones knows what a skinwalker looks like in their true form, but some have described seeing "hollowed out" dog-like creatures.
As well as sounding pretty scary, what makes skinwalkers truly terrifying is the way they approach their victims. Often their first move is to stalk you. While walking though woodland you might feel like something is watching you from behind the trees, or perhaps even hear the sound of a foot snapping a fallen branch in the undergrowth. After a while you might grow accustom to these sounds and ignore them, but chances are you are being stalked by a skinwalker.

Skinwalkers are believed to do this in order to observe and learn the behaviour of their victims, to copy their characteristics and even mimic their speech. Then when the moment is right, perhaps when someone has wandered off into the forest alone or has gotten left behind, the skinwalker will make its moved and kill the straggler, then take on their physical appearance before rejoining the group.

According to witnesses, it seems that these transformations don't always go smoothly and can result in a hideous partial transformations, leaving the skinwalker looking more like a monster from a horror movie than your friend who wandered off alone into the woods. But if all goes well for the skinwalker, it can be impossible to tell the difference between it and your actual friend.

Once the skinwalker has tricked its way into your group, it's only a matter of time before you are all recruited, one by one, and become one of its numbers.

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