The proud Navajo Nation sprawls out over a vast area of the corners of the U.S. states of New Mexico and Utah, and it is a place steeped in legends, myth, and all manner of spirits and magic. Among some of these stories are some that truly stand out as unsettling and spooky. Among the many creatures inhabiting the lore of the Navajo one of the most frightening and inscrutable is a shape-changing evil entity that prowls the landscape looking for victims, and by some accounts it is more than mere myth.
Definitely one of the creepier and downright terrifying creatures of Navajo lore, as well as within the myths of some other tribes in the American Southwest, is that of what are commonly called the Skinwalkers, or the yee naaldlooshii, which literally translates to “he who goes on all fours.” They are typically described as having once been powerful witches or medicine men who, through magical means that vary from tradition to tradition, have acquired various supernatural powers, chief among them the ability to shape-shift into various animal forms such as coyotes, crows, wolves, bears, cougars, owls, and others, as well as half-human abominations that merge the features of animal and man. They are also said to be extremely fast, strong, and agile, and have an assortment of other powers, such as the ability to mesmerize, instill supernatural fear, read minds, sow confusion, and to possess the bodies of others for short durations. They are usually described as being rather animalistic looking, even in human form, are often naked, but not always, and are generally seen as being almost impossible to kill, with one of the only ways to use a bullet or knife covered in special white ash.
The most common method for becoming a Skinwalker is said to be for the medicine man or witch to in a sense bring a dark curse upon themselves by performing rituals and rites of pure evil. In order to be imbued with their dark powers they, in addition to gruesome rituals, are said to be required to commit great atrocities, grotesqueries, or grave taboos, often including the murder of a loved one and other horrific acts. If all is all done correctly, they are infused with the insidious curse and all of the sinister powers it comes with. This most often results in the newly minted Skinwalker being banished from the tribe, after which they wander the wilderness, stalking and tormenting anyone they come across, feeding off of the fear they conjure in those who look upon them. They are in a sense cursed to walk these barren badlands forever, and they are at once both evil monsters and tragic figures, but they have brought this down upon themselves. This is the main lore, although there are variations, but it is hard to get complete details as this is a legend very much kept within the tribe, almost never spoken of to outsiders and rarely discussed even among the Navajo, as it is considered taboo to do so and can even draw the attention of the creatures.
Although it sounds like it must all just be another spooky legend among the tribes that believe in them, there have been many purported sightings of these entities by Natives and outsiders alike throughout not only Navajo lands, but also throughout a range that seems to extend across a large portion of the Southwestern United States. Interestingly, many of these reports involve people just driving through these lands, having frightening encounters with prowling Skinwalkers while in their vehicles. One such account comes from a person who contacted me directly in response to a strange encounter I myself had with some possible Skinwalkers. The witness claims that he had been driving along with his father through the remote desert near the small town of Window Rock, Arizona, when he had a rather frightening experience. He claims that as the monotonous scrubland and the mesmerizing lane lines drifted by in the night they came across a very large coyote sitting right there in the middle of the road. He says of what happened next:
We slowed down so as not to hit it and we could see that this coyote was a big boy, larger than usual and just sitting there out in the middle of nowhere right in the center of this lonely desert road. It didn’t seem afraid of the car at all, and just stared us as we approached, not moving a muscle. So I honk the horn trying to scare it off but it just stares at us with these big, yellow eyes that looked very eerily almost human. We were a little unsettled at this point, and just decided to drive around it and continue on our way.
We get past it and start driving off when my dad says, “would you look at that?” I take a peek into the rear view and that coyote is loping along behind us, following us. I speed up and it matches our speed, gaining on us. Then, just like that there is a man, a naked man running along side our car, and he begins sort of slapping the side of the vehicle. He has this freaky grin on his face and we are at this point going over 50 miles per hour and gaining speed, but there he is running alongside the car! He then lets out this sort of wail and swerves off into the night. It scared the shit out of us.
Another report from the same vicinity comes from a Reddit forum from a user called Neptune420, who says he often helped with his father’s delivery service operating out of Farmington, New Mexico. Their business often took them out into the middle of nowhere, to rural areas surrounded by nothing by desert wastelands, and on this scorching summer day they were making a delivery to Window Rock, Arizona. Along for the trip were a Navajo friend of his father’s, Travis, and his girlfriend, who tagged along in a separate pickup truck so that Travis could visit some relatives out there. The delivery and visit went off without a hitch and they were heading back when they had their bizarre experience, which he explains as follows:
We’re somewhere on the highway between Window Rock and Gallop, NM. It had just rained earlier in the day and the road was kind of slick so we were taking it pretty slow. On the left of the highway there is nothing but sandstone cliffs and on the right there is a huge field separated from the road by a small barbed wire fence. We crest the top of this hill and down at the bottom of the hill we see what appears to be a very large dog, sitting back on its haunches in the middle of the road, facing the cliffs. My Dad calls over the radio “Hey Trav, do you see that big ass dog?” Travis starts yelling back over the radio “That is not a dog! Speed up right now and hit it!” He sounds almost hysterical. He just keeps screaming “Hit it! Jj you have to hit it! Please! PLEASE! Hit that f*cking thing right now!”
So my Dad starts to speed up and as we get a bit closer I can begin to see it a little more clearly. It’s covered in this brown, wiry, matted hair that appears to have dried blood all over it. It’s still facing the cliffs but the moment our headlights hit it, it turns and looks at us and it has a…face I don’t know how else to describe it other than a mix between a bear’s and a humans’ face. It looks twisted and distorted and almost in pain. As we get closer to this thing we start to realize it’s actually f*cking huge. Though it was still sitting on its’ haunches it is about shoulder height with the hood of the truck.
We get literally inches from hitting it when it lets out this scream that sounds like someone screaming as their lungs were filling with water and it leaps backwards, towards the field, landing just on our side of the barbed wire fence. Then with another leap it was gone from sight. Travis is comes over the radio again, “Holy sh*t! Keep driving! We have to get out of here! We have to go faster!” he kept repeating that last part. We have to get out of here and we have to go faster.
Pretty soon we are speeding like crazy and just as we start to come near the outskirts of Gallup we get pulled over. Travis pulls his truck over with us. Naturally this makes the cop, a Navajo man himself, very on edge and he immediately asks why Travis felt the need to pull over as well. Travis says “We just saw a skinwalker a few miles back and it’s been following us!” The officer immediately turns white, stammers something about a verbal warning gets in his car and takes off. We do the same.
There are numerous roadside encounters with Skinwalkers likes these. In another report a Redditor named “nakedreagan” describes how his roommate had two experiences while driving late at night in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. In both accounts the roommate had been driving along when he spotted something animalistic in nature but also disturbingly humanlike, and the commenter says of these sightings:
The first time, he was driving alone on a road that has an open field to the left of it when out of nowhere a black figure on all fours bounds up out of the field and across the road in front of his car. As soon as the figure got to the other side of the road, it stops with inhuman quickness, turns around, and looks directly at my roommate. He described the figure as looking simian, completely black except for the face. The creature’s face was a stark white human face. Not white as in Caucasian, but white as snow.
This happened again a few weeks later, but this time the creature was sitting in a tree. As his car approached, it climbed down the tree, again with inhuman quickness, bounded across the road, stopped on a dime and turned around and made eye contact with him. This time he had a friend in the car who also saw it and began freaking out. It was the same exact thing as the first time, a simian, black body with a snow-white, expressionless human face. My roommate, ever the curious one turned the car around and began searching for the creature, but it was nowhere to be seen.
Yet another account comes from Your Ghost Stories, by a witness named “Traker337,” who claims to be half Navajo and half Hopi and lives on the reservations. The witness expresses his apprehension in sharing of his experience, afraid of ridicule or scorn from other Natives reading it, but he nevertheless goes on to paint a very spooky tale of his own encounter with an apparent Skinwalker. He says that this happened when he was a teenager, and that he had been driving around the Navajo reservation with his 9-year-old brother and their dog, and as dusk approached they headed back to their grandmother’s house, where they had been staying at the time. The witness says of their ominous encounter:
It was evening and the sky was a deep red as the sun began to set behind us. We were leaving a nice dust trail from the dirt road and the radio was playing music from the only radio station that could be picked up from the nearest town of Holbrook, Arizona.There was nothing unusual, nothing weird. It was at this time that my eye caught movement of something in the bushes a little up the road to the right of us. I remember slowing down thinking that it was one of the many free roaming sheep in the area that would dart out in front of the truck. As I passed where I thought I saw it, I sped up thinking nothing else of it. 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.
As I play this memory back in my mind, there are only a few clear memories that I have of that evening. I clearly remember looking in my rearview mirror and seeing the dark silhouette of something very tall and very skinny that seemed to be covered with some kind of hair or fur running behind the truck after us! Whatever it was, it wasn’t a normal human or human at all. I remember hearing my brother crying and my dog barking ferociously at whatever was chasing us. I remember speeding very fast and shaking violently as the truck bounced on the washboard dirt road. I distinctly remember that this thing was only getting closer as 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. At the moment that I thought would be our last. I remember speeding around a bend in the road and seeing a car coming towards us in the opposite direction. At that moment I felt instant relief and felt that whatever was following us was gone.
Shaken up but alive, we made it to grandma’s house wondering what the hell had just happened. We ran inside not looking back, hoping that whatever was chasing us had not followed us home. As we told my grandma about our experience she didn’t seem too surprised, which surprised us. She continued by repeating stories that we had already heard at one point or another about black magic, witches, and something that the Navajos call Yee Nadlooshii or Skinwalkers. Needless to say, I didn’t even want to look out any of the windows at all the rest of that night. As a matter of fact, I never drove on the reservation at night until I was 21 years old.
Although extremely frightening, these road encounters are not all there is to Skinwalker reports, and many other accounts are from people who were on the ground at the time, out walking about or even within the comfort of their own homes. One account comes from a Redditor named “jibbyjam1,” who was exploring some old Spanish ruins in New Mexico. As they picked through this abandoned piece of forgotten history out in the desert night they suddenly heard something very angry and apparently very pissed off began bellowing forth an ear piercing shriek. The witness says:
It was going from wall to wall really quick, screaming the most blood-curdling scream you’ve ever imagined. We noped the f*ck out of there (one of my friends pissed his pants) and drove for a few hours to Bandelier National Monument where we planned to camp out at for the rest of the weekend.
We got to bandelier at probably like 6 or 7am and set up our camp. After a few hours just talking about what the hell happened at the ruins, I went to talked a piss behind a probably only like 300 feet from our camp. This is where everything starts getting a little fuzzy. I remember seeing 2 dust devils coming my way and when I turned around again, 2 of my friends were there and they were motioning me to follow them. I couldn’t help but to follow them, like I was being pulled behind them in shackles.
I followed them for what seemed like 10 or 15 minutes and then I snapped out of it. These weren’t my friends they had bright red hair, with my friends faces and cat eyes. Both of these friends were brunette. I stopped walking and they looked at me with probably the most terrifying gaze I’ve ever seen. Monsters in movies are nothing compared to this. I turned around and ran as fast as I could back the way I came from.
After like 5 minutes of a full sprint, I got back to that rock that I pissed at and found our camp. Everyone was there, still sitting around talking and didn’t even notice that I was gone. I told them what happened with the look-alike skinwalkers and we packed up everything and left probably within like 10 minutes and got the hell back to Albuquerque.
This is a very weird account as it suggests that not only can these nefarious entities take the form of animals, but that they can also mimic other people as well. Equally as terrifying was an encounter made by a part Apache man named J.G. Bucklin, who shared his experience with a Rosemary Ellen Guiley on the site OnStellar. The witness claims that this happened in 1993 when he had been a security guard at a small hotel in Taos, New Mexico. On this evening he had been working the graveyard shift, patrolling in his car around the hotel grounds, and he decided to park and take a nap. Little did he now that he was about to have a surreally terrifying brush with something beyond his understanding. He says of what happened next:
It was after midnight, close to 2 AM, and I was in my car patrolling. I parked under a tree and I guess I semi-drifted off. Suddenly, something struck the bottom of my car with enough force to make it sway. This car was a rather heavy 1978 Thunderbird. I started the car and pulled forward turning around in the lot.
Sitting where I had been parked was a dog-like thing with an odd face staring me down. I felt a dark energy about it, like it was invading my soul. It had human features, especially the eyes. They had that spark of human, but they were wholly evil. Its face didn’t have a long snout. It looked like a human nose, a bit extended but not black tipped like a dog. As for size and body, it was a bit bigger than an adult German Shepard. Its fur was rather mangy and dirty-looking black and tan. It was thickly muscled.
Looking at this thing gave me that feeling of fear instinctively, when you know you’re in big danger. I hit the gas and tried to hit it with the car. It ran off the property onto native land across the road. It then ran back across onto the hotel property. I made chase. It ran into a third parking lot.
It then ran into an area called the “ponds,” where the weeds grow about eight to nine feet tall. There were two large cesspools there, and the area was really weed-filled. I parked and grabbed my pistol and ran on foot after it. I could hear it moving through the weeds. It was circling, trying to come up behind me. Then it rushed and threw me aside like I was built of matchsticks! I felt around and found my pistol and made chase. What ran in on four legs ran back out on two! It looked like a shambling, nude man-like thing that screamed as it fled. The scream was both human and animal – it was horrifying. The thing ran across an area that had sagebrush and cactus, in the direction of some houses, so I could not risk a shot at it.
The witness claims that Native housekeeping crew at the hotel told him that he had certainly met up with a Skinwalker, and he also says that he had been plagued by bad luck, nightmares, and health problems after this, possibly related to his encounter. It got to the point where he actually sought out a Native shaman to cleanse him with a ritual and “sacred smoke.” As to why the Skinwalker came for him in the first place, Bucklin says that he believes that it had been stalking him for weeks, or even months, for reasons unknown. The meetings with the shaman he says have given him a spirit protector in the form of a white wolf, which has managed to break the spell of the Skinwalker, dispel the nightmares, and allow his health to stabilize.
Some of the most harrowing and strangest of all are reports from actual Navajo residents of the reservation, and such accounts, although mostly kept to themselves, often get out into the outside world, usually through younger members of the tribe not as held to traditions and taboos as their elders. One Navajo witness on Reddit says that he had long been skeptical of the stories his mother used to tell of the Skinwalkers, that is, until he met one for himself. One October evening he had just been coming back from the Navajo Nation Fair with his family and grandmother, at Shiprock, New Mexico, and the conversation came around to Skinwalkers, which his grandmother told him to stop talking about because it was dangerous. That evening, as he laid down in bed, wondering why his grandmother had been so upset about the subject, he heard something moving outside.
He got up and looked outside but couldn’t see anything moving out there in the night. Thinking it was just a stray cat or dog, the witness began to turn around when he was startled by a loud “distorted scream” from the dark. When he looked outside again he could dimly see a “coyote-like” figure crouched in the gloom, with messy grey hair and glowing eyes, which gave off an “evil vibe.” He also began to notice a stench like rotting meat befouling the air, and he backed away from the window to go tell his mother about what he had seen. At first she told him what he had himself first thought, that it was just a stray dog, but he knew better. That was when things took a turn for the bizarre, with the witness saying:
Then we heard it, the thing outside started making more of it’s dreadful like screams and started what sounded like thrashing outside on the ground. “Hear that?! That’s what I’m talking about!” So both her and I got back up looked outside the window and the coyote-thing was making it’s way to the door. It walked with an odd limp and dragged it’s back right leg as if it has handicapped. We could hear it start to scratch against the door and make this odd muffled moaning sound. My mom went and got my dad and they both started shouted in Navajo all sorts of words telling the thing to go away and saying it’s not welcome here. Well all this commotion was enough to get the rest of the trailer up as they came out into the hallway. The only thing my mom did was turn to them and said “skin walker” while proceeding to point to the door (noises STILL happening).
Apparently they already knew exactly what to do as my grandfather got out a handgun from a drawer and a bag of ashes. He coated a few bullets and loaded them into the gun and went straight to the door. Yelling out more Navajo that was too fast for me to comprehend he swung open the door and fired twice. Nothing. The thing managed to escape before my grandpa could put a bullet in it. “That’s the fastest one I’ve ever seen”, said my grandpa. Next thing you know my aunts and my parents are freaking out about what just happened saying stuff like, “What if it comes back tomorrow?” and “It saw us, does that mean we’re targets now?”. Afterwards my grandparents calmed everyone down (myself included) saying we’ll be fine and we all went to bed (around 3-ish)
Morning comes and my grandparents call one of their neighbors and explain to them what happened. Apparently one of them was a medicine man who used to partake in Yei Bi Chei’s (Navajo ceremonies used for healing and curing sickness) and came over to bless each family member and the grounds outside.
Another creepy report was a written account sent into the Confessional Podcast by a Navajo woman from the Four Corners area who had grown up in the Shiprock, New Mexico area and whose grandfather had been a tribal medicine man. She says that she had been off at a boarding school at Nenahnezad, NM at the time, but visited her family’s modest desert home every weekend. It was during one of these visits that she one evening heard the dogs relentlessly barking outside at something, and after a few moments of this something made a thud on the roof of the house, as if something very large had jumped up there. As her sisters cowered under their covers, the witness went to go wake her parents, who told her it was just a cat and that she should go back to bed. The witness did so, but she could soon hear it thumping about on the roof over her room, and could even make out the scratching of claws and heavy breathing, and she says of what happened next:
The dogs were barking and running around the house as it walked back and forth, and at one time it stopped. He was not moving and suddenly, he hit one of the dogs with a long 2″ diameter pole. My sister threw that pole on the roof a day before. When the dog was hit, he was hurt. I can hear that pole when it was thrown at the dog. I laid in bed listening to the foot steps. The foot steps is not a dog or a cat, it was a human, heavy person walking with two legs. I fell asleep as I listened to the heavy steps.
The next morning, and I check the area. There were weird foot prints, we tried to tell my parents but they just brushed it off. No one paid attention to us. The prints were not too clear because the ground was too hard. Since no one listens we didn’t bother. Within four days my cousin passed away, she was 25 years old. She is the one that lived on the north side of the house. Before she pass on, on Sunday afternoon, she mentioned a bad headache, that was the last time I heard her talking about the pain. In the afternoon, we went back to boarding school and by Wednesday Or Thursday my uncle came with the bad news. She passed away after two or three day. That was the hardest and saddest thing to take as a kid. After she passed on, my family brought in a medicine man and he conducted a ceremony.
And he said, TWO OF YOU KNOW ABOUT IT. Everyone looked at me and my sister. We never repeated our story to the medicine man. He said, “it’s a man in a bear skin, and I saw he was on the roof of the house. When it walk on the roof he was using a white powder and blew it over her. He walked round and round and round and he blew some kind of power on everyone to put you all to a deep sleep. He had a helper, it was a hummingbird, he did the lookout thru a peep hole. He blew this white power on her and that is how she passed away. Then he explained, I see lights, The light traveling toward our house. It was like a bright flash light, not a spot light. The medicine man says, that is it, it is that light. He conducted the prayers and chanted songs. He prayed using sacred words, words I never heard. He takes out the fire ashes and arrow heads to ward off the evil skinwalker. After singing and praying for several hours, the light disappeared. At the time I did not fully understand what he meant, white powder. Later my grandma tells me, that white powder is crushed human bone, and they get this from the graveyard.
Adding to these rather chilling Navajo accounts is one from a Redditor calling himself “Navajo Joe,” who lived on the reservation at the time of his own bizarre encounter. He claims that he had been alone at home on that evening with his two brothers when the dogs began making a ruckus outside. They tried to ignore it, thinking that the dogs had just gotten riled up by coyotes or some other wild animal, but they would not stop barking. Finally they managed to get to sleep, but the witness woke up in the middle of the night to go to the outhouse outside, with his brother joining him. They picked up some flashlights and headed out into the night, and the dogs began barking again and the witness shone his flashlight out into the darkness. That was when things got very strange indeed. The witness says:
Suddenly there was a very loud whine from one of the dogs. Then everything went quiet again. It was really too quiet for that time of year. Not even the sheep were making noise. Suddenly I heard a few of the dogs going completely mad by the truck. When I looked over, there was this man. He was unbelievably tall, leaning one arm on the cab roof of the truck. He was looking at the dogs for a little, and then suddenly kicking one of them. They all scattered in different directions. The thing looked up at me and I saw its face. It had a pure white face (like a full moon), two burning red eyes, and a slight smile that was pure black. I could not move or make a sound. It began to walk toward me with long strides, until if finally towered over me. All I began to see was a dark red. Like the colour of the blood when you cut the throat of a sheep.
I kept getting deeper and deeper into its eyes. I could faintly hear my brother coming out of the outhouse. With this, the thing looked up at him. Reality came rushing back to me. I noticed that my brother was too distracted with his buckle to realize what was going on. I also noticed this thing’s long hands hovering just inches from my head. Its skin was black ash, and he smelled like a bloated dead animal in summer. I was still unable to move or speak, the skinwalker began to move toward my brother. Finally noticing this figure, my brother became paralyzed as I was. Closer and closer it drew, reaching an arm out toward my brother’s head. Something finally snapped in me, I became unbearably angry.
I broke from the trance and lunged at the skinwalker. Raising my arms like a wild animal and barring my teeth at it. A growl came out that I never knew I could make. I became more and angrier at the thing that was trying to hurt us. It kept that smile at first, but the angrier I got the more the smile faded. Finally, with everything I had, I began to make this primal roar at it. It fell backwards and ran away into the night. Looking back at me, its eyes were dim and dull, its smile now long since gone. The next morning the family returned home from the feast. After relaying the story to my parents, they quickly hired a medicine man.
This case is interesting because it illustrates one of the main pieces of Navajo advice for dealing with Skinwalkers, and that is to not show any fear and to confront them head on rather than cower away from them. They are said to feed on fear, which makes them more powerful and deadly, but that they will back down if one is to show none. One Navajo resident has said of this, “If you ever see the skinwalker, just stand up to him. If you show him you’re scared, man, he’ll kill you. If you stand up to him and stare at him, he won’t hurt you.” Another way to combat them is to find their true name and speak it. One account appears to show this, with a Reddit account from a Navajo woman who said:
We live in a rural community on the Navajo Reservation. My aunt and her two brothers were home alone while my grandparents had left for the evening to attend a chapter house meeting. They were in the house and like many people from the reservation they didn’t have electricity. It had been dark outside for about an hour and my aunt and my uncles were getting ready for bed. Outside they heard noises, as if someone moving things around outside. My oldest uncle went to look out the front window and saw a figure out by the truck. This was immensely out of the ordinary because the closest neighbor was miles away. Whatever it was opened the truck door and began to dig through the personal items that my family had left in the vehicle.
My aunt and uncles were frightened by the sight and knew that they should take action. They took out the rifle and all steadied themselves to hold it up. They flung open the door and aimed the gun at the dark figure. The figure turned and started to walk towards them, totally unfazed by the weapon. My uncle pulled the trigger but nothing happened. The figure drew closer and my aunt began to smell something like a rotting corpse. It was so strong it made her gag. My uncle continued to pull the trigger with no luck and the figure came closer and closer. Off the the distance, headlights were coming up the road. My grandparents were returning.
The figure looked toward the lights and started to move away and tucked itself behind a tree near the house. My oldest uncle ran toward the truck with the gun. My grandfather got out of the car and my uncle pointed to the tree. The thing was poking out its head to observe what they were doing. My grandfather ran into the house and over to the stove and grabbed a hand-full of ashes and rubbed over the gun and placed a ash covered bullet into the chamber.
He walked out onto the porch and fired toward the tree. Whatever that thing was didn’t expect the gun to go off. The gunshot echoed and the dark figure began running. My grandma chased my aunt inside and my uncles and my grandfather went after it. There weren’t many roads or paths so as my grandfather and uncles chased after the figure, the truck was bouncing and the headlights we’re not fixed on one particular spot. My uncle swears that when ever the headlights would hit the figure he saw a woman, not only that… Whoever it was running on all fours like a bear.
My grandfather eventually stopped the truck and as they neared the ditch that drops about 20 feet. He got out and began to yell in Navajo. My uncle says that he was yelling about a local woman. He yelled that he wasn’t scared and that he knew it was her and to leave his family alone. A few days passed and there was news that the woman that my grandfather was yelling about, had passed. I’ve always been told that if you know who the skinwalker is, say their name, and it will kill them.
There are many more reports where these came from, they come from people of all ages, from all walks of life, and they all seem to imply the disturbing possibility that these may be entities that are far more than just spooky Navajo bedtime stories. If these creatures are real, then what could they possibly be, and why are they so malevolent and diabolical? Are these really witches and medicine men who have turned to the dark side, fallen from grace, and become shape-shifting revenants? Are they ghosts, spirits, or something interdimensional in nature? Do they really feed on fear? Or are these just the product of superstition and over imagination. It is important to note that many of the outsiders who encounter these things have no idea about the lore of Skinwalkers and only find out later, so what is going on here? Whatever the case may be, the badlands of the Southwestern United States is certainly a land of spooky myths and legends, and just perhaps may be the hunting grounds for something from beyond the fringe of our understanding.