A Skinwalker is an evil shape-shifting witch in the folklore and legends of many Native American tribes, but more specifically associated with Navajo folklore. Skinwalkers are generally associated with or are often referred to as "werewolves" but in reality Skinwalkers can transform into a variety of animals.
Appearance: During the day the Skinwalker appears as a normal human being, usually male though female Skinwalkers are possible. At night, Skinwalkers wear a magical animal pelt or skin that allows them to transform into an animal. For some tribes, Skinwalkers can also transform into other people or else possess people.
Lore: Skinwalkers achieve their powers by breaking a terrible taboo, such as by raping a family member, murdering one's parents, or committing cannibalism. Because of the methods needed to become a Skinwalker there is subsequently no such thing as a good Skinwalker. Skinwalkers need a pelt or animal skin in order to transform into that animal. Skinwalkers feed off of the life force of their victims, off of fear, terror, and especially the energy that escapes the bodies of their human victims upon their death. Skinwalkers also possess magical darts or arrows made from human bones. They shoot these darts/arrows at their victims. If the evil magic is not taken off by a medicine man than the victim will sicken and die. In seeking victims Skinwalkers like to scare people by stalking families for some time and by peaking in their windows, chasing cars, and showing themselves to people in the dark at night, all before making their move to kill. In effect, Skinwalkers being the evil monsters they are, like to play with their food. They need to produce the most fear in their victims as possible in order to feed. Skinwalkers are communal and meet up for nocturnal meetings in underground lairs that are strewn with human remains.
Powers: Skinwalkers possess the powers of; shape-shifting, powerful black magic, telepathy, mind-control, and can possess people. Additionally, Skinwalkers are immune to most natural weapons. Skinwalkers can run exceptionally fast, even in human form. They can run so fast they can keep up with a speeding car. Skinwalkers are generally stronger than normal humans.
Defense Against Skinwalkers: Do not look a Skinwalker in the eyes, for to do so will put you under their power and allow them to possess you. Pay attention to animals. Animals will act extremely bizarre when a Skinwalker is around as they can sense it's presence. Also, animals that a Skinwalker transforms into can hurt it when it is in such animal form. For example, if a Skinwalker is in Coyote form then another Coyote could attack it for stealing the shape of it's kind and mimicking their spirit, as the Skinwalker is an impostor. Be observant. When a Skinwalker transforms it never fully imitates perfectly an animal. There will always be something "off" or "not right" about it. For example, a Skinwalker may be too large in animal form or may walk strangely. Skinwalkers usually do not physically attack their victims upon the first meeting. Instead, they like to steal hair or fingernail clippings to use in black magic against the person first. So make sure to properly dispose of such items so that a Skinwalker cannot get them. Skinwakers can be killed with bullets or other weapons that have been blessed by a medicine man and dressed with holy ash.
Skinwalkers In Culture: Skinwalkers have somewhat falsely been presented as being "werewolves", when in fact wolves are only one of the creatures a Skinwalker can transform into. In the CW show Smallville, Skinwalkers are mere shape-shifters. In the HBO series, TrueBlood, a Skinwalker is a shape-shifter who has killed a family member who was also a shape-shifter. The characters of Luna and Tommy are both Skinwalkers on the show. Luna became a Skinwalker at birth after her mother died in childbirth. Tommy became a Skinwalker when he killed his parents in self-defense. In the 2005 book, Hunt For The Skinwalker, authors Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp delve into the paranormal phenomena that occurred at Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. The phenomena included the sighting of unidentified animals, Bigfoot, disembodied voices, UFOs and strange lights, cattle mutilation, and poltergeist activity. The paranormal occurrences were said to be connected to local legends of the Skinwalker.
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