Napa has deep roots in the Native American culture. There is a place where only the bravest of the brave go. That place is up old Partricks Road. The road has been closed for several years because several people and or animals have been killed and sacraficed up there. MY mom and dad would always tell us kids about the Reebobs that live there. Strange creatures that would come out of the woods and looked similiar to monkeys. Being a kid I always imagined them looking like shoes with wings, like Reeboks!

At the top of the road which takes a while to get to, there is a fenced off cemetery. This cemetery has been there for years and was originally closed down after a girl was raped and murdered up there back in the 1960 or something.

Seeing as the place is fenced off, what better place to go then there for overnight underage drinking trips. Kids from high schol would go up there all the time to drink and do whatever. One night a bunch of my friends went up there and drank themselves silly. eventually falling asleep on a grassy patch of land near the cemetary but not inside it.

When they woke up in the morning, they noticed a good amount of blood on one of my friends. He took his shirt off and across his cheast were three deep scratch marks. He still has the scars and pictures of it. I’ll see if he can send them to me for posting. Probably Skin-Walkers left over and the kids disturbed the place.

Also this area of Napa is within the Devils Triangle which is supposed to be touted as a highly satanic hot spot in California.

My friend Ricky kept telling us about his grandfather’s house up in Maine, and how it’s the greatest place to just chill out, so he decided that we would have a camping trip up there one weekend. It sounded like a great idea, and it was. One Friday morning we packed his car up, and set off on a long drive north. The original group was Ricky, Burger and I, but one person ended up getting added. Burger’s girlfriend. We didn’t have a problem with this, as long as they weren’t making babies in the camper. We drove up north, met his grandfather, and he took us across the street and up the hill to where his camper was. He chilled with us for a bit, and told us that he had seen a bear in the area recently, but that we shouldn’t be worried, bears are afraid of humans (we make too much noise and smell bad).

Friday night came and went, and when we woke up in the morning I cooked some bacon. Then we shot some guns. He had brought two shotguns, (12 and 20 guage) and a .357 special rifle. We made sure to make enough noise to keep the bear away. We heard someone shout “HELLO” at one point, so we stopped firing and looked to see who had called. There was a man and his son walking into the woods with a big plastic bucket. Inside the bucket were many, many doughnuts. They were baiting bears. We made sure to inform them that we were camping, and did not want any bear bait anywhere near where we were staying. They told us they were putting it deep in the woods. These people do this every year, Ricky told us, so he trusted them. We went back to shooting and general chillaxin’. Night came, we brought everything inside, locked up the guns, and played some card games by stove light (it was cold, so we were both lighting and warming the cold camper). When we grew tired of the card game, we went to bed.

I could hear the sounds of flirtatious behavior eminating from Burger’s room, and it kept me from sleeping. So I started telling them ghost stories to try and shake them up a bit (I was rather bitter about a failed relationship). They continued. Then they stopped. “Did you hear that?” asked Meghan, Burger’s girlfriend. “Hear what? besides you two, I haven’t heard anything” I replied. We decided that it was just a bear, or some woodland creature or the wind or something, so they could relax and get some sleep. I’m a terribly light sleeper, so I was awake long after anyone else. Then I had to pee, and unfortunately this meant going outside, as the bathroom inside the camper was broken. I had spent the night telling ghost stories, and was slightly disturbed by the cold darkness outside, but nature called. I walked into the woods, didn’t want anyone else to have to dodge my urine puddle in the morning. It was dark, and 10 feet into the woods it became impossible to see anything. I whipped it out and let it flow. I heard a stick break, and stopped mid-flow, and bit my tongue... nothing. I continued where I left off. I heard another noise. There was a loud THUD of something heavy hitting the ground, and the snapping of twigs. I looked around, but it’s impossible to see anything in that darkness. My breathing was heavy, and I was scared shitless. I ran off to the camper, without regard for common decency. Once inside I shut the door, and stood out of breath, feeling like a moron. I zipped up my fly and headed off to bed, hoping the adrenaline would wear off in time to allow me to sleep. I told myself it was just a squirrel.

I had left the entrance-way when the door swung open, the sudden rush of cold air hit me from behind, and that terrible fear returned. I spun around and shut the door as fast as possible. As I shut the door I saw something by the firepit, I cant tell you what it was I saw, just that it wasn’t a bear, and it was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. I spent no more time looking at it than it takes to slam a door shut, yet the image persists. This time I made sure to lock the door. I don’t know how anyone can stay asleep through all the noise I was making, but Ricky somehow managed to do so. I stood, leaning against a wall, attempting to catch my breath. My asthma was kicking in, and my stomach was churning acid. Something hit the door. I froze. Something hit the door again. My throat was choking up. Thats when I remembered, the shotguns! If I shot this thing I could save us, and study it for . I searched for them, and when I found them came to the horrible realization that they were all locked, and that Ricky kept the keys in his pocket. I wasn’t willing to wake him up, I was becoming rapidly irrational, and I didn’t want to ruin his trip with my fears (not to mention the fact that he is easily frightened, and quickly becomes a quivering mess whenever something slightly scary happens). I relaxed a little, decided I was hallucinating and went back to bed. I lay there on the verge of sleeping when the camper began to shake. This was getting ridiculous. It was the wind, I told myself. It was easily possible, the wind did shake the damn thing whenever it blew. I was still at unease, I dared not look at the window above my bed. My mind imagined all kinds of horrible things behind the window, faces, creatures, a long furry spider leg snaking its way in through the broken window above me. I finally gathered up the courage to look, and I snapped my head to look out the window. The shaking stopped immediately, and I saw nothing out the window, nothing except darkness. Fear consumed me, I lay there staring at the ceiling wondering when I would die.

There was the sound of a shotgun firing outside. My eyes snapped open, when did I fall asleep? Ricky was obviously awake, did he see it too? Another shotgun blast. I ran outside, he was standing there shotgun in hand, and grinning. “Red neck alarm clock” he stated, and fired the last shell from the chamber. The others came out of the trailer and looked around, Ricky simply repeated the redneck alarm clock thing, then we got to making breakfast. I looked back at the trailer. There were two charred marks on the door, and a piece of charred log lay on the ground, as well as chunks of coal from where the weakened, burned wood has struck the door. I drew no attention to it, and didn’t tell the other’s the story, I had scared them pretty badly with the other stories, there’s no way they’d believe this one. I threw the stick into the woods, and ground the coal into the dirt, hoping they wouldn’t notice it. They didn’t. On our way out, Ricky told his grandfather about the baiters. This was the first year they had done it without permission, and his grandfather was rather angry about it. It turns out the man had baited rather close to where we were, a lot closer than was comfortable (I want to say about 30 feet, but I fear it’s an exaggeration). When the man who set the bait went to retrieve the bear he found his bait gone, the trap sprung, blood on the ground, but no bear. He figured some other hunter must have taken his bear. But I shudder to think of what really could have happened to it.

I never described what it was I saw, but this skin-walker sounds very much like it. It had a human-esque form, and it’s features were mainly human. It was sitting on it’s heels by the fireplace (kind of like dogs do), But there was something inhuman about him, and I couldn’t really see his back, only the profile of his front side was visible, and those creepy eyes.

The last time I told this story someone reccomended I look into the local folklore, I did, but couldn’t find anything other than Native American stories of various things. One was about two hunters who must make camp. They see a dead man there, but camp anyway. The dead man attacks one of the hunters while he sleeps, the living one refers to the dead man as a “werewolf” (most likely the american who retold the native’s story called it that) and runs. He is chased by a fireball until he makes it back to his villiage.

I used to live in a rural area of Louisiana before I left for college. One night before I learned to drive I was sitting in the back of our family van on the way home. My dad turned down a side street because he thought it was a shortcut. The speed limit on the road was only 25, so we weren’t going too fast when I looked out my window and saw several naked men running alongside our vehicle. They weren’t exactly men, though, because instead of human heads they had the heads of white-tail deer, with antlers and everything. They were beside our van for a second or two, and then they were gone. I can’t remember whether I shut my eyes in terror and when I re-opened them the figures were gone, or if they ran off into the woods. I did not tell my parents what I had just seen, but I have avoided that road ever since, and even now in my early twenties if I am riding with someone who chooses to take that road I silently shut my eyes until we get onto a different street. I don’t know if they were some sort of creature of their own or if they were perhaps a manifestation of something evil going on or that had gone on in one of the houses on that street, but I do know that there was something inherently terrifying about them.

At a different time my two best friends, Josh and Stephen, were at Stephen’s grandfather’s cabin in the woods in central Louisiana. They had heard strange noises throughout the day that they said sounded like the hum that a swarm of locusts can produce. In the woods it’s not uncommon to hear stange noises, so they ignored it. As the noise reached its loudest point, however, they looked out the window of the cabin and saw a man walk by around 15 yards away. They said that he was wearing leather pants and a leather vest with a headband. He looked very native American. The cabin was far enough out in the boonies that no one would have chanced by it “just passing through,” and the figure they saw did not acknowledge them or the cabin.

Other things like this have happened to me over the course of my lifetime, and the only conclusion I can draw from them is that there are things that happen in this world that science does not explain. There are things beyond humans, and they don’t show themselves often, but they exist nonetheless.

I have a friend from my boy scout days, mostly Native American and really really chill. We would commonly go out to the middle of the wilderness and hike around for weeks, building fires with sticks and cooking fish that we had to catch from streams and things like this.

I remember one summer our trip took us to the BWWCA at the very top of Minnesota, which, to those of you who don’t know what it is, is about a billion square miles of absolute desolation. Woods stretched as far as you could see, pocked with large lakes and islands. Our canoe trip had us rowing out to a smallish island and living there for a few days. We’d jump off of rocks into the water and whittle and talk and laugh during the day, and at night we would return to our tents that were pitched about fifty yards from the water in a clearing in the trees.

One morning we all woke up and put on our swimming suits and walked down to the water to splash around and sort of get clean. While I was in the water, I saw my friend shivering alone outside of the water, sitting on a long log that looked like the remnants of a fallen tree or something, so I climbed up the bank and went to talk to him. He was pale and quiet, like he’d seen some sort of ghost, so I asked him if he was alright and he recounted this story, which to me seems fairly related to this Skinwalker thing.

Apparently, he’d been awoken in the middle of the night with the burning need to piss, so he slipped on some pants and shoes and exited his tent to find a nice tree to go on. While he was standing, about fifty feet away from the tents at the edge of the woods, he heard the far off call of a loon, something fairly common in northern Minnesota. Now, if you are not familiar with what a loon sounds like, I would reccommend googling it, because it is the lonliest, most mournful sound in the world and will scare the shit out of you on normal occasions. He began to get nervous, for no good reason, and willed himself to piss faster, when the loon call came again, louder and closer, and again, louder and closer, until it seemed to be directly over his head.

He finished, pulled his junk back inside his pants and buckled up and was looking up in preparation to run all the way back to his tent, when he saw it: a naked man, covered from head to toes with black tattoos, wearing a buffallo skull over his face like some sort of mask, crouching at head level on the low branch of a tree inches away from him. There was a long moment of silence where he just stared into the face of the mask, before the man sort of curved his back and let out a long, mournful loon cry. My friend tore off back towards his tent, panting and shivering and trying to keep from throwing up and when he got to the zippered entrance he chanced one last look towards the woods, and, of course, there was nothing there.

He told me all this in a low voice, without a hint of irony or any clue that it might just be a ghost story. He didn’t mention the name Skinwalker, but he did tell me later that his grandfather, a traditional Navajo man, sat him down in the middle of his kitchen and blessed him for a full hour after he recounted the tale.

It sounds fantastic, but the kid had no reason to lie to me and if he was faking his signs of distress and terror throughout the rest of the trip, whenever we heard a loon call, he was a damn fine actor. Take it, I guess, for what you will.

My fathers family is from the Caribbean. St. Thomas to be exact. We still have strong ties there, but I’ve never been. Now, I have never personally witnessed anything strange BUT I’ve heard first-hand accounts of weird voodoo-type stuff!

1) Not really all that supernatural, but I personally think it’s strange to sleep with a bible under your pillow to keep the spirits away. My grandmother used to make us do that. SO UNCOMFORTABLE! But at least spirits never attacked us.

2) Grandma would tell us stories like the time one of our uncles came home from partying really late and brought a girl with him. Grandma claimed that a ghost came in with him when he opened the door and tried to possess her in her sleep but she fought it off.

3) My younger sister claims to have seen my grandma with little dolls made out of scraps of cloth that she would keep hidden. I never saw them, so I’m hesitant to believe her. My sister assumed they were voodoo dolls, I’m not so sure of that myself.

4) This is the story that really freaks me out. Now, I don’t consider myself a believer in supernatural/shamanistic stuff. I’m Christian, meaning that I believe and follow Christian beliefs. The bible is clear-cut, there are no curses or scary stuff happening in the New Testament, and I like that. I try to stay away from unpredictable things. Maybe I’m boring.

Getting to the story; my Aunt P is really really new-agey, rasta, and loves the islands. She’s also crazy feminist, in that she refuses to conform to the usual gender stereotypes and is ridiculously independent. Not that I see anything wrong with being independent or refusing to follow norms, I just feel that when you’re weak with sickle-cell anemia it only makes sense to ask people for help, or let them take care of you.

Anyway, her man-hating girl-power self goes on one of her yearly trips to Jamaica with a man friend. He takes her to his mom’s house, and they have dinner with his family. They’re all talking at the table and he makes some comment like “Yeah, I’m gonna make her mine!”. Man-hating Aunt P laughs and says “I’ll never let no man own me!”. Then of course, dude just happens to be crazy and tells her that if she won’t be his, no one else will have her.

Now I don’t know what he did, or even what went down. I was told this by Aunt P herself. She told me that after she left Jamaica, and after she stopped associating with crazy man, she started having sexual problems. Meaning, she couldn’t have sex without experiencing horrible pain. She went to several different doctors, but noone could find the cause of it. Then one day she happens to bring the subject up to a friend of hers, and the person told her that it seemed that she had a curse on her and that she needed to go to a healer. So Aunt P goes to the healer, and the healer told her what to do and she did it and now she’s fixed.

The freaky part though, is that the ritual that she used to heal herself involved rolling a raw egg. I really wish I could remember exactly what she told me, but it’s been at least 5 years. Plus, I really didn’t want to hear the story to begin with because who wants to talk about their aunt’s sexual problems!

It just seems odd for the raw egg deal to be present in both native american and afro-caribbean beliefs.

Reading this thread released a memory that I has lain dormant for a very, very, long time. Like a previous poster, I used to attend a church camp when I was younger, and had been going there for years. It was in rural Indiana, and sat on a small lake surrounded by a massive amount of land and some very thick, very beautiful, forests. The nearest town was Terre Haute, where the Colts have training camp. The Wabash river flows through this town, I noticed it was in a previous post also.

As I said, the camp sat on a large piece of land. The cleared field where we used to go play was at least 10 acres. The main lodge area was 6-7 acres of well kept grounds and took up one side of a small lake. The cabins we lived in sat on top of a large hill that you could see the surrounding area from. They are basic metal and wood cabins that would hold eight to ten kids and a counseler who was usually around college age. The girls and boys had separate areas of the hill, the boys were on the higher part, and the girls were on a lower part of the hill closer to the forest side. To explain the layout; from the west side of the hill rested the camp, main lodge, lake, chapel, clearing, bonfire, etc. On the east side of the hill it was all forest for miles and miles and you would get some good views on a clear day. It would look like a multicolored sea when the leaves started to turn and a breeze would waft over the forest. It really was some beautiful land.

We were not allowed into the forest, so there really wasn’t any hiking or backwoods stuff. In fact we really never went into the forest at all, now that I think about it. The camp had rules about where you could be and you usually had activities taking up your day. So people and kids were not running around all over the place. I don’t know if older groups were allowed out there, if they were I never heard about it, nor saw any trails leading out to the woods. All the land was owned by the church that ran the camp so I guess they used it how they saw fit.

Well the event that leads me to post here happened on the last night of my first week there (two week camp). Fall was just starting to set in and the leaves were changing. I was in the last year of my age group, 8-13, so we had some young kids around. I was a junior counselor, a position that basically allowed me to tell the younger kids to stop doing something stupid. Duties included walking the younger kids to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Making sure they made it to breakfast. That kind of stuff.

Well that night I got woken up around 1am by a couple of the kids who needed to go to the bathroom. I said ok and we headed down the trail to the separate showers and bathroom for the boys. As soon as we stepped out I noticed two of the counselors (ours and another next door, the boys had three cabins together and one farther away, the girls had four together) were up and talking outside. They had hushed voices so I couldn’t hear them. They saw me and asked where I was going. I told them and they hesitated for a second, then nodded and said ok. They watched as we went down the trail which was only about fifty yards. I stayed outside and walked the kids back when they were done. The two counselors grew silent as we approached again and we went inside. The kids got back in bed and I went outside to see what was happening. The counselor from the other cabin saw me and said I should go to bed, but my counselor said I could stay, he was a pretty cool guy and didn’t mind. I was about to ask what was going on when I heard it. Drums coming from the forest below us. I looked down there confused because I knew there was nothing down there. I asked what it was and the counselor smiled and said oh probably some hippies snuck onto the land. Well I didn’t know what a hippie was, but he seemed nonchalant about it so I guess it was ok. Then they grew louder.

They started echoing up the side of the hill, there couldn’t have been many of them, it didn’t sound like more than ten, but they had to be large to carry that far up the side of the hill. The counselor from the other cabin ran down the trail to the main lodge and I stood there with my cabin counselor listening to the drum beats. As we waited we could hear them grow even louder again. This time my counselor grew irritated. Soon the lights in all the cabins started coming on, and we could see the girls lights come on below through the trees. Everyone started filing out to peer over the edge to the forest. There were about 25 of us now looking down there and I got to fill everyone in on the hippies (whatever those were) down in the forest making all the noise. I saw some flashlight bulbs weaving up the path from the lodge and the counselor who had run off came back with the head of the camp. The head looked very disgusted and tired. We parted for him, he had a short temper and we had all seen him go off occasionally. He took about five seconds to assess the scene and then yelled down into the forest “shut up!”. The drums seemed to dim for a second, but then came right back. The head said it again louder “shut up!”. But the drums kept on beating. He looked around to us and raised his hands as if to say ‘join in’. And so all together we yelled “SHUT UP!” That really went down into the valley. We could hear the girls laughing below us and we felt pretty proud of ourselves at that, puffing out our chests and smiling. We did it again, and again. Soon the girls joined in and you had everyone yelling down into the forest to “SHUT UP!”. Over and over, “SHUT UP”, everyone saying it at different times and our voices were carrying over the forest.

And then it came, a chilling scream pierced through the din, over the drums and over our voices. It was so loud, it drowned out everything else. For ten seconds it screamed. It was unlike anything I have ever heard... it’s very hard to describe. It was cold, and angry, high pitched and almost hollow, with a kind of depth to it. With an animal kind of ferocity, but not wild, it sounded intentional. It went on and on rising above everything, then faded out abruptly. The drums never skipped a beat. We were all silent, the mood instantly changed, I didn’t know what to think. I looked over to my cabin counselor and he looked scared. I looked at the head of the camp and he was pale. Then some of the younger boys started to cry. And we could hear a few of the girls down below become hysterical. I don’t know how long we stood there like that but it seemed forever.

Finally, the head turned to my counselor and told him to get us back into the cabins. He then took the three other counselors, who were older and two who were pretty big guys, and headed straight down the hill to the forest. There was no trail there, it was just dirt and rocks on a steep incline down. I watched the flashlights bob down the hill as they angled over to the girl’s cabins. I could see the head’s wife, she must have gone to the girls side, and he seemed to tell them the same thing. Then my counselor grabbed me and told me to get everyone inside. We shuffled in and laid in our beds. We could still hear the drums going strong outside and every once in awhile we heard that same voice, but not screaming so much, sometimes more of a moan and at different pitches and moods. And a couple times others that sounded deeper, and more resonant. They would sometimes sound like animals like staccato calls, sometimes not. But they were very infrequent when they sounded. We sat in there with the lights on, some of the younger boys eventually fell asleep. The one counselor left kept walking between the cabins checking on everyone. I stayed up as long as I could, but eventually fell asleep. When I woke up it was near morning, the lights were off and the counselor was inside asleep. I went back to sleep and didn’t wake again till breakfast. Breakfast was an hour later that morning (which never happened) and all the kids were talking about it at breakfast. But none of the adults were. Later that day I asked my counselor what had happened when they went down and he said they couldn’t find anyone. They wandered around for hours and couldn’t find a camp, lights or anything. There was nothing to do but come back up, and I guess the drums eventually stopped. Nothing like that ever happened again to my knowledge. Well there it is, the only other time I told that story was to my parents when they picked me up. But after reading this thread it came back vividly.

I don’t know what possessed the head to go down there. Faith in God, or just anger, but I think on it now and wonder if I would go down there now, and it takes a lot to freak me out. I have done a lot of traveling and camping since then. From Rocky Mountain national park to Bryce Canyon (the clearest night skies I have ever seen), to Mt. Rainer, and deep in the forests of Banff, from Seqouia to Joshua Tree. And I have run across a lot of animals, bears, wolves, coyotes, buffalo, mountain lions, car sized raccoons (kidding, maybe motocycle sized) owls, eagles, falcons, giant freaking elk/deer, and I was even charged by a moose in Grand Tetons. But I have never heard a cry like that since. One of the voices I heard soundly vaguely like a moose. But nothing like that first scream. Sorry if this is a bit long, but I tried to recount it to the best of my memory.

Well, this isn’t the skin-walker you guys are talking about, but it’s also probably the most terrifying aspect of my life.

When I saw the title of this thread, I thought I might not be alone in this. I am haunted at night, in my dreams, by these:

I’ve always referred to them as skin men. I made this drawing today to try to graphically represent what they look like, but I’m not willing to spend the time it will take to accurately portray these things.

I’ve had reoccurring dreams about skin men for as long as I can remember. It’s not an every night thing, and I haven’t had it for at least a year, but these things were the incarnations of absolute terror to me for a long time.

The dreams start out inconspicuous, just regular stuff happens. Usually they take place at night or near dusk, and I am usually at a cabin in the dream. I will be doing something inane at the cabin, but an outdoor light will go on somehow, and through the dark I will see a shifting humanoid shape.

This is the worst part of the dream, because every time it happened I knew what was coming next. The creature lurches into the light, awkwardly stepping on hollow feet. The walking is an unsettling process that is distinctly inhuman, the creature dips and peaks almost at random, apparently based on the way it’s skin folds as it’s feet hit the ground. It’s skin ripples, but not in the way a flag ripples. It distorts to it’s movement, often folding so tight as to make him partially flat.

Every time, I am mortified by this creature coming towards me, towards my cabin. when it steps completely into the light, it’s head wobbles awkwardly, flipping and turning but always remaining mostly erect. It’s eye holes catch the light of the house rather distinctly each time, in such a way I can clearly see there is nothing inside it’s head. The skin man is completely hollow.

It continues walking towards my cabin. Beyond him there is just forest, and I have no chance of escape. He opens his mouth, revealing his cavity yet again, and he speaks. I can’t remember what he says, but I can remember how he says it. It sounds wispy and hoarse, like the only thing inside his framework is a voice box, suspended in his neck. It sounds like everything I don’t want to hear.

He leaves after this, and as I start to calm down/phone the police/begin my task again, the light goes off.

Seconds later, it goes on again. Skin man the begins to walk towards my house again, and it’s still shocking to see, no matter how many times I see it. As he walks closer and closer, I realize that there is more than one of him, and there are many, many skin men walking towards my house.

I either wake up here or cannot remember what happens next. I haven’t had this dream for a long time, but I used to get it at least monthly. Every time I woke up, I’d be pissed off for forgetting that skin men aren’t real, and that I’d forget this even though the dream was pretty much the same every time.

It’s hard to rationalize the dark as anything but skin men now. I just realized how much I typed about a damn dream, so I will cut it off here.

I spoke to my aunt last night. She’s 100% Sioux Indian, but not into the whole tribal roots thing. They live in southern South Dakota in the middle of no where in the hills / mountains, they recently moved there from Alabama. No neighbors for miles. Her husband is the grizzly Adams type of survival guy, with a beard and a shotgun.

She told me once about one evening, outside her ranch she saw a fire lit in the field and heard the drumming. It was a slow beat. She was too far away to see people, only the light of the fire in the distance. Bear in mind, no one is near them for miles.

Her husband, who was away on a camping trip, has his own story. He swears that while out hunting one day at dawn, he saw a man in the distance crouching in some shrubs. He described him as a skinny male, with black markings or tattoos on his face around his eyes, and a buffalo skin complete with head and horns on his back. Near the man was a 12 point buck or however they score deer, with its head lowered down, not moving. Sort like you see on the nature shows when bucks are about to fight each other with their antlers. He then heard a gunshot which made him turn his head for a moment, when he looked back at the deer it was running away and the man was gone.

Uninvited GuestsAs our usual attempt, my family went out to camp have fun and spend time together. Previously we had camped on various island throughout the keys and everglades as well as places throughout Florida. However we were greeted by an immense and dense wave of misquotes which was odd for the year and more importantly the time, winter. As odd and unpleasant it was, we set anchor and pitched the tents. As night fell we returned to our tents to flee from the bugs and were tired from a day of fishing. I had been used to the bird calls and noises of the sea so it was discomforting but at least regular in a sense to me.

Now as midnight approached things took a turn as did the noise did. Now like a kid I stayed in the tent as if I was hiding from a monster under a blanket, but my body challenged me, I had to piss. I had and haven’t done this since that night but I woke up my friend to come out with me to piss, though in the circumstances"hot and humid you could only will yourself into sleeping. We attempted to open the zipper quietly and failed and opened to see our boat on land. How the tide brought up our boat so far eluded me as well as thought. The boat had several raccoons as well as two wolfs or whatever the hell they were. As you could assume we closed the zipper immediately.

We failed too sleep and the boat had scratches all over but was out at shore the next morning. Our tents were a cameo red from killing so many misquotes. I will upload a drawing of it momentarily. Keep in mind none of these animals seemed indigenous to the island or how they would even get close to an island so small and practically at sea still baffled me. We have not gone camping in the everglades sense then.

Honka on the busFor a while, I worked as a bus monitor for the tribe, working on the elementary bus and watching anywhere between 40-70 kids and making sure they didn’t get rowdy, making sure they got off on the right stops, and so on. Well, my second day on the job heading into school, the boys in the back of the bus start getting rowdy and I started going through my usual ordeal of “allright guys, cut it out” & “stop now or everyone has to put up the gameboys & PSPs!”. Nothing was working, so I used it for the first time. I brought out... The Honka.

In a loud voice, I belted out “O.K. kids, since you don’t wanna listen to me, i’ll tell The Honka to come to your house and pay you a visit!” They shut up quick and for the whole ride into town & back not a word was heard out of them. It was a nice break from the usual screaming bus of kids. The next day as one of the kids got on, he sat down across from me and said “Mister Devyl, I saw The Honka last night!” I replied “Oh did you? Did he tell you to not yell on the bus?” After a heavy gulp, he replied “Hey-la nah! I saw The Honka cutting something up! He had bright red eyes!” I respond “Where’d you see Him cutting things at?” He told me that it was on a road leading into town heading around Lake Okeechobee, which is the opposite direction the bus went into. I took that road to get to & from work, so I figured I’d check it out and look where he told me.

After the morning run while i’m heading home, I remember what he had mentioned. I get close to where he told me he saw “The Honka cutting something”, and begin to slow down. As I get really close, I see a brownish-red lump laying on the side of the road. I stopped my car & threw on my hazards & got out of the car. As I walked up to investigate, the smell hit me like a punch in the face. The nastiest fragrance ever wafted up my nose. Imagine leaving a pound of beef in a bucket somewhere dark & warm for a month then taking a deep whiff. Now you can imagine about half as strong as this smell was. With vomit in the back of my throat and the lower half of my face covered with my shirt, I ease up to the pile of whatever. I get close enough to recognize what it was. A dog. A dog that was probably around 35-40 pounds when it got killed. How’d it get killed? Let me just say this... It got slit open from the neck to the lower stomach area. That’s not the scary part. The scary part is that whatever did this took half of its’ fur. That’s right, it was 100% skinned from the middle of the body all the way to its’ tail, tail fur & skin included.

However it had to have been recently killed as the corpse wasn’t bloated or showing any other signs of having been killed in more than 24 hours.

Honka Wants a taste...Every end of spring/beggining of summer, the tribe holds a sacred ritual called the “Green Corn Dance”. While I’m not allowed to tell you what exactly happens, I will tell you this: During the Green Corn Dance, a cleansing ritual is performed amongst all the men who show up called “scratching”, which entails a man being blessed by a medicine man then getting scratched from the neck down with 3, 4, 5, and sometimes ten needles (this used to be done with Palmfrond ends until worry over medical issues like hepatitus, AIDS, and the like ended palmfrond use among most men. Elders still use the palmfrond method though). A 12 year old boy whom i’ll call “Josh” told his mom he didn’t want to go to Green Corn Dance last year.

During the ritual, you stay at the site for a week. Well, I got a phone call from the kid’s mom (who is like my fiances’ second cousin) to come out & check on Josh every now & then. Well, after the first night I go & check on him & he’s doing ok. I asked him why he didn’t want to go & he told me he didn’t want to. I told him “You better watch out Josh, you KNOW The Honka’s gonna come get you.” We both laughed and I went off to my house which is about 30 minutes away. Well, that night about midnight, I got a frantic phonecall from Josh, in which he was balling his eyes out on the phone. All I understood was “Devyl, Get out here now! I’m scared! Honka’s here!”

I managed to get to his house in about 15 minutes hauling ass over 100 mph to get there. I get there and pound on the door; no answer. I ring the doorbell constantly, still nothing. I finally yelled “JOSH! It’s Devyl! Open the Hell up NOW!” Right as I go to slam my fist onto the door it swings wide open. There’s Josh, still sobbing & sniffling. I asked him to tell me what the hell was going on and all he keeps saying is “Honka. Over there. Honka...” while pointing to a window. I check it out inside & everything is fine. I grab a super-bright LED flashlight I have in my truck for seeing at night on the rez, as it gets dark dark dark out.

I start walking around the house and finally get to the window he was pointing at. What I saw scared the crap outta me. There were several long 6-7 inch scratch marks along the window sill & down the side of the house. They were freshly made as you could see stucco from the outside of the house along the ground. I quickly hurried inside & grabbed Josh by the hand and ran him to my truck. With a quick breath I told him “We’re outta here dude. You’re crashing at my place tonight.” After I calmed him down, I asked him what had happened. All he could tell me was that he saw something tall with glowing red eyes scratching along the window like it was trying to get inside.

In my hometown, there’s a place right on the outskirts called Hills Lake. I’ve mentioned it in a thread or two before, and the stories around Hills Lake alone could make their own thread or a whole book, probably. The place is creepy as fuck at daylight, with twisted, fucking evil-looking trees and moss and who-the-hell-knows-what-else growing out there, and it gets five times as scary at night. Between racial integration conflicts in the 40’s and 50’s, and general white trash disappearances, there are probably at least a hundred or more bodies at the bottom of Hills Lake, with even more buried in shallow graves in the woods around it, depending on how many rumors you believe.

The most common thing that people see out there is a local ghost/thing called “The Haint”, which is a human silhouette that chases people through the woods every so often, but people see all kinds of weird shit at that place, like this story that happened to my friend Jason and his wife:

Before they were married, they once drove out to Hills Lake to make out. Only the bravest couples will do this, because just about everyone in town seems to have some kind of fright-fuck story from Hills Lake, and most people you ask that’ve gone out there swear they never will again. So the two drive out, park close to the water, in the middle of a small clearing in the woods, and commence to gettin’ bizzy.

At some point, Jason’s (future) wife, Neena, jumps up and screams, and starts telling him she saw someone running around at the edge of the trees. Jason always has blades around of some kind, so he takes one of his bigger knives, steps out of the car, and yells for whoever’s in the woods to either come out or go the fuck away. Nothing happens, so he climbs back inside, and after taking a few minutes to calm down, the two go back to making out.

So after a few more minutes of things getting nice, hot, and heavy, they’re suddenly interrupted again by the sound of an animal screaming, and Neena starts to freak out. Two more screams, that Jason says sounded like a wounded Panther, and even he’s ready to get the fuck out. Then the big one comes. Jason said he could only describe this next, much louder scream as the combination of metal being cut in a press mixed with the cry some kind of demonic mountain lion. He scrambles for his keys, and tries to crank the car, but no go. It starts to slowly turn over, but it’s acting like the battery’s dead.

But in the dim light from the parking lamps, he sees movement on the edge of the trees.

At this point he’s cussing at the car, Neena’s screaming for him to get it cranked, and finally as it sparks to life, he slams it into gear and starts carving out a U in the dirt as they jet it the fuck out of there. He told me what he saw on the way out in the headlights will keep him from ever going back to Hills Lake again. At least a couple dozen humanoid forms, covered in animal fur, maybe four or five feet tall at the most all running around at the edge of the forest away from the headlights of the car.

This scared him so badly, that this bad-ass, antisocial, drinking, fighting psycho became a hardcore fundie christian a month later. Still is to this day. It’s the only reason I give any credibility to this bizarre story, because he doesn’t ever lie, since that would break a commandment. He’s convinced that all those deaths out at Hills Lake have called the Devil there or something, and that what he saw were demons from Hell come to take him.

My friend’s youth pastor once told us a story of a skinwalker. He was messaging to some Hopi Indians, and he was staying in a trailer. Naturally, the medicine men didn’t take kindly to this, and at night they’d fuck with him, banging on the trailer, chanting outside his door, throwing rocks, etc. It got to where he had to sleep with a shotgun next to his bed.

One night he heard a knocking on his door and figured he’d threaten them with the gun so they knew he meant business. But when he opened the door, there was no man there - there was a coyote, and it took off running. Frightened, he shot at the coyote once; the thing flinched, but kept going. It ducked into a bush; a second later, a man stood up from the bush and continued running. Still scared shitless, he shot at the figure once more; it ran into a bush, where it transformed back into a coyote again, then fell to the ground and stopped moving.

The next day, one of the medicine men was reported dead from shotgun wounds.

Anyway, I have a story of my own to share. It may not be directly related to skin-walkers, but it kind of fits into the general mood of the thread.
Back when I was about 11 or 12, my family went camping. I have no clue where we went since it was quite a while back, but I’d assume it was somewhere in or near CA (We live in Long Beach, CA. It was probably an 8-10 hour drive.). We were out there for probably a week or so, if I remember correctly. The nearest town was a good drive away, and there wasn’t anybody around for miles aside from me, my parents and my dog.

I had my own tent which I proudly set up all by myself. Most of the trip was pretty uneventful. I had a great time hiking around with my dad (One of the few times I can remember that he wasn’t constantly working or drunk), and even a few times by myself (Well, with my dog). When I was on the hikes without my dad I sometimes got some wierd feelings. You know, that paranoid feeling where you just *feel* someone watching you. I figured that it was just the imagination of a city boy that was new to being out in nature with just his dog for company.
I was out on one of my hikes when I found a nice little spring. I had gone to Camp Hi-Hill (Some nature class thing that 5th graders attended in my school district) a couple years earlier and still had some of my nature knowledge and decided the spring was safe. I decided I should refill my canteen and let my dog have some water. My dog acted really strange when I tried to get him to drink, like he diddn’t want to approach the water. He eventually got a nice long refreshing drink. Then I started filling my canteen. My dog was behind me and started whimpering a little. Now this was strange, as my dog was fucking fearless. He was a pretty big dog, a mix of Boxer/Rottweiller. The only time I heard him whimper was when he did something bad and I had to give him a little slap on the nose with a newspaper. The logical side of my mind immediately thought that some animal in the wooded area scared him, but if something was near me and threatening in any way, he would just go into crazy defense mode. That dog would protect me with his life. I honestly believe that if there was a huge fucking bear staring us down at that moment, he would have tried to fuck up its day to give me time to get away. While he was whimpering I got the worst feeling. It was like the “Oh fuck somebody is watching” me feeling, but amplified.

Anyway, I figured it was time to just get the fuck back to camp, so I finished topping off my canteen and headed back to camp. When I got back to camp my parents were getting done cooking dinner, so I had some food and mostly forgot about the hike. I sat by the fire for a few hours reading until the fire died down too much to read comfortably. I figured it was about time to get some sleep, since my parents had gone to sleep a while earlier. So my dog and I went into my tent and I fell asleep without a problem. Sometime later in the night I woke up to the sound of my dog whimpering. I opened my eyes and could see what seemed like the glow of a good sized fire outside of my tent that was casting the shadow of a person onto the side of my tent. I kind of jumped and blinked my eyes hard, and when I opened them again the glow of the flame was gone and I heard some shuffling (The sound could have been my dog and I shuffling around in the tent, I was a bit foggy). When I got the courage to look outside of my tent (Flashlight in one hand, bigass camping knife in the other) I saw nothing. No fire (Aside from the nearly dead embers of the one from earlier), no person, no wierd footprints in the dirt (Just mine and my parents). Nothing.

I used to live in Mountianiar, new Mexico. It’s a tiny little dead community on top of the Monzano mountains. Some semi-famous Anisazi ruins around the area, like Abo National Monument and Gran Quivera.

There is also a priveate ranch out on the Becker Flats between Mountianair and Belen called Mountian Shadows, where the Zuni Skinwalkers were supposed to congregate. I dunno about all that, but I do have a kind of freaky (and pretty typical) Skinwalker story.

I was driving home from Albuquerque (about two hours north of my home)and was just past Mountian Shadows when I saw this Zuni guy walking along the side of the road. I still remember very clearly what he looked like...he was about five-eight, skinny, and wearing really faded jeans and an army field jacket with the faded spots where rank patches used to be. Serious vintage jacket, and I slowed down to take a good look, as it looked pretty cool. When I slowed down to look at the jacket, I also saw his hair was in a bun and he was wearing this beaded headband like for with yellow beads and such in the front. I thought to myself “cool jacket, cool headband, I need to stat wearing my hair like that.” and drove on.

I got back to Mountainair almost an hour later (I was going about sixty the whole time and not a single car passed me) and went into the cantina to see if my boss was going to unlock the mortuary or if he was gonna stay drunk, and sitting on the second stool from the door was the same Indian dude I passed on the way in.

I guess I looked a little shocked, cause my buddy Ricky was there and he asked what was wrong I looked like I’d seen a ghost (haha), and I told him I passed that dude walking up the pass an hour ago. Everyone in the place went dead silent and stared at this Indian guy, and he looked all disgusted and got up and went out the front door onto the main drag. Me and Ricky were right behind him, and it was like door opens-guy leaves-door closes-I immediately open the door and guy is nowhere to be seen. Anywhere. The only place he could have gone to vanish like that is the roof, and we were so close behind him we would have seen him climbing.

Creepy? You damn hell ass betcha.

I went to highschool in rural Utah. The area had been a mining town since the late 1900’s. The mines had always been dangerous, even with modern technology they remained deadly. I knew several people who lost family in those mines while I lived there.

But around the turn of the century a fire swept through the mine. Killing every man that went into the mines that day, the fire was one of the worst natural disasters to hit Utah. And the mine never recovered.

The mine was in a canyon that opened up to even higher mountains. You could drive most of the way into the canyon, which was rimmed with buttes that would slowly start to become steeper until they’d go vertical. Brush lined the old road limiting what you could see at night.

The accident left many interesting sites, and several of the abandoned sites never had their machinery removed. Those places were interesting in the day light since devil worshipers would make sacrifices in several of the more eerie buildings. You would find bones everywhere (mostly deer I hope). But every now and then you would find a fresh shine of sorts. An animal hanging from a pentagram. But I digress.

The town had a legend for this canyon. A woman that lost everyone in the mining disaster. Her husband, sons, brothers, and father, all at once in the same mine. She was left with nothing, and after a brief time she killed herself.

When I was 18 we went up and decided to camp out in one of the abandoned mining buildings. Scary as shit on its own, the walls were 12 feet high with vaulted rusted metal, and covered in blood and cryptic messages. The floor was thick with broken glass and animal bones. In the center of the rectangular building was a huge rusted steel converyer belt. We set up some tarps and sleeping bags and started to have a few beers when I saw her.

Along the top of the butte I could see a faint light, like someone walking with a lantern in a heavy wind. I could hear a faint voice on the wind. Not speaking, but moaning, the way a terminal patient in a hospital might moan. And she was gone, the butte went back to pitch dark, but the moaning continued as I felt it growing closure.
Needless to say I got spooked. My friends were all convinced it was the white lady, and we booked it back to our cars. As we started back down the canyon there was suddenly headlights right behind us, Less then 10 feet from out cars. Scared shitless, we drove as fast as we could, only to see the lights staying exactly the same distance away from us.

Then we reached the bottom of the canyon, and the lights were gone as fast as they had arrived.

Needless to say I never went into that canyon again after night fall.

My roommate told me this story. Her family is from the Philipines, and her uncle experienced this was he was young.

There’s a beast called an Aswang (”self-segmenters.”)

The self-segmenter can lengthen her thread-like tongue to reach a victim sleeping on the floor while she crouches on the roof. Her favorite dish is in the womb, and the phlegm which tuberculars and asthmatics spit out. But the most striking trait of this creature is her ability to discard her lower members-from shoulders down; from hips down and from knees down. She leaves her discarded lower body in a closet, in the backyard, or, right in her bed. In the last case she quietly pulls the sheet tight over her pillow at the other so that the gap in-between does not show she is not home.

The self-segmenter alights on the roof and insinuates her tongue through the shingles. The tongue enters one of the ten bodily openings of the sleeping victims- eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, navel, anus or genitals If the victim is awake, she spins out her tongue to the fineness of a spider thread and floats it on the air while waiting for him to go to sleep.

When my friend’s uncle was a kid, he lived on one of the smaller islands away from Manila. Once he was on his front porch at night he saw something with red eyes sitting in a tree. It had no legs, just a body and arms. He told his father what he saw, and the father told everyone to get inside and they closed up every window and all slept together until daylight.

An aswang is a member of the village by day, but by night they remove their legs, crawl through the trees and use their tounge like a thread to devour the legs and organs of sleeping people. The tounge can fit through door cracks, windows, shingles, anything. The only defense is to stay awake.

I had a very indirect experience with skin-walkers a few years ago. I went down to a Navajo reservation with a group of other high schoolers my age plus two chaperons, and we all spent a week watching people’s kids during the day (everyone was remarkably trusting with us around their children) and camping outside a church at night. The first day or two people started mentioning hearing people walking outside our tents, usually leaving when local dogs started making a fuss and chasing them away, but we assumed it was just a few curious boys.

Then our older chaperon mentioned to one neighbor woman that he was seeing prints like those of a peccary outside his tent, to which she replied, “oh, have you ever heard of skin-walkers?” He told us this later, giving us only a brief summary of what skin-walkers were (“they wear animal skins and walk around” was the jist of it, heh), which was probably for the best, because most of us " including the eighteen-year-old chaperon " freaked out. I think we refused to do anything after dark alone after that (the weather was horrid, though, so I don’t know what we expected them to do). We did, however, gain a newfound respect for the local dogs and the neighbors “guard” rooster. Okay, less so the rooster " damn thing crowed every hour of every day " but the dogs, definitely.

Oh, we also asked a few of the kids if they had ever seen skin-walkers, and the response was always “oh, yeah, a couple of times.” Hardly the response of a terrified youth, but there you go.

I was at Bryce Canyon at another program after wilderness, we were going on a spring break trip (so I guess almost exactly a year ago from today, hrmm). The last day hiking out of the canyon towards the cars, one of the staff came across a small chip of ancient pottery (about the size of two quarters). She picked it up and showed it to all of us, so we all were responsible for disturbing the Native Americans.

A few weird things happened that night. The staff that picked it up talked about how she heard drums at night very very faintly. A couple other students were also affected. One woke up and saw a staff standing there and asked him to use the bathroom and the staff said it was fine. When the kid returned the same staff wasn’t there, he was in his sleeping bag. The kid woke him up and told him he was back, and the staff asked from where.

Another kid said that he could see people 200 feet or so away from camp.

Whether or not these are true, I don’t know, but I do know it was a strange night. All night I had a strange feeling, even though I wasn’t aware of these occurances that happened to one person at a time in the middle of the night.

I became interested in the subject of skin-walkers after time spent in Arizona on the reservation. Prior to traveling there, I had never even heard of them. While there, I only heard about them once as a quick warning and got no information on them whatsoever, due to the taboo nature. I’d have thought I was the butt of some white guy joke, if I hadn’t known the man so damn well to see he wasn’t kidding. He, likewise, knows me well enough to not yank my chain or screw around on much of anything; so I just filed it as one of those cultural oddities and made mental note to myself to respect it as I respected their religious beliefs.

Having seen odd things and returned home, I shrugged it off as either someone screwing with me anyway, or the standard variety odd stuff that could be explained if one took the time. Forgot all about it. Having continued to see odd things on future trips and being unable to discuss it with the people who could perhaps answer questions (out of respect for the culture and my hosts); the rational side in me demanded a search for the explanations that would surely abound. The scientist in me was somewhat bothered to keep running into bullshit fairy tale stories of similar nature instead of definitive “you’re a retard and should see a doctor for some manner of physical ailment” crap I wanted to find on the subject.

Imagine that a pair of your underwear just walked across your bedroom floor, bowed toward you, and said “hello” while you were completely sober. Imagine shaking that off, only to have various other weird shit happen on subsequent days. Then imagine going around to look for the explanation of your hallucinations; only to find that stories of walking, bowing, friendly underpants had been well documented and decidedly fictional bedtime stories for generations and you’d just never heard of it. There your underwear are anyway...looking at you like you’re a simpleminded retard for not being able to accept the concept that they’re sentient.

It’s kind of like that.

Trying to push a singular experience into a form for people with no context for it is difficult. I’d imagine most people here don’t have the type of background I do and wouldn’t understand some of it even if explained.

I can’t think of them being particularly exciting as simple accounts, sadly. The hyped up legend stuff reads so much better. Not being there takes a hell of a lot of punch out of things; much like watching video of 9/11 fails to compare with having run for your life from the debris near ground zero. I’m currently trying to figure out how to keep things brief without leaving out the details that make it interesting in the first place (and I’ve already failed, looks like).

I guess I’ll make a new post in a bit when I figure out how to remove the cultural history lesson from it all.


This has always been among the more interesting of ghost style folklore to me, though. Due to the time I’ve personally spent with and around the Navajo down in Arizona, I’ve had chance to be closer to the origins of these than I have with standard ghost or mystery stories. The individual Hopi tribe I was around occasionally down there, you don’t really spend time with. They might spend time with you and they’re good people when they do, but they’re generally not fond of their Navajo neighbors...much less total outsiders. (They’re best left alone, that lot. Creepy.)

Behind most ghost stories, you’ll usually find a guy looking for a good laugh or some quick cash. Behind the good ones, you’ll often find the things of legend that originally spawned the multiple perversions or imitations and that’s often interesting in its own right. The ones tied in some manner to a place or a person in our reality are always the most fun and spooky ones, of course.

Skin-walkers are one of the very few things that remain among my list of the unsettlingly unexplained events in my life. It’s one of the very few heavy-rooted legends I’ve found myself unable to easily cast aside (due to having experienced things related to it prior to having personal knowledge of such things). Having spent time among the people whose culture is at times creepy all by itself and which spawned the original stories certainly doesn’t help things.
Dharma Chameleon posted:

It creeps me out more because skinwalkers just seem completely malevolent - when you read a ghost story a lot of times the ghost is just kinda there, or in some stories they’re even helpful and offer warnings, or things of that nature.

I’ve always found this interesting, because that isn’t how they are viewed in the original form, best I could ever tell. There seem to be two main branches. One is of the same sort parents always used to scare their kids, mixed with a bit of truth. (Psycho, cultish witch-doctors who did not-so-good things to people along the lines of the creepiest voodoo you see down south.) They took a bit of an unfortunate historical reality and turned it into some supernatural bogeyman who would come after bad children, same with any culture.

The other line seems to be more of a pure and spiritual sort. Of the two, nobody speaks much on either, but the spiritual and non-malicious line seems to be the one that is most respected and feared. The “wolfman” skin-walker legends I have heard referred to casually by some of the tourist pleasers. The other brand, I can’t say I ever recall being discussed much at all. The wolfman lore, after all, is at least partially human and a little easier to wrap your mind around.

I was not introduced to them as hostile or malicious entities, personally. The brief explanation I was actually given was more of a watchful guardian to something left undefined. Not so much a malevolent entity as a potentially dangerous defender. A non-casual observer who would not hesitate to seriously wreck house, if disrespected. It means no harm to those who bring none, essentially; but you will recognize it and respect it. If not, you are failing to respect that which it watches over. (Nature? Specific people? It’s somewhat hazy on that part, since nobody cares what something they mortally fear and universally respect is up to, generally.) It doesn’t command some manner of poltergeist power and it isn’t coming to get you, but it can well serve as a harbinger, going from the scant lore I was offered in my time there.

There were pieces that blended together, but the general concept was always the same and treated as cold a truth as a blade. They were physical embodiment of a spirit of some sort and you absolutely, positively, did not want to fuck with the things.

One of my good friends throughout the years became a missionary to the Navajo in Arizona upon retiring, way back. He’s how I ended up around them. He lives in a little city on the reservation like 80+ miles from pretty much everywhere. I go see him best I can, when money and time allow for it.


I got the standard and quick “how to not offend” cultural briefing upon arriving for my first visit, back in the day. One of the first things addressed to me was the subject of skin-walkers. I had never heard of anything of the sort. The prospect of some style “we do not speak of it” spiritual thing I had to honor got the expected “wha?” from my rational mind, but I figured he wouldn’t go into anything that he didn’t count as important to them. When you’ve been shot at enough, you generally stop being as afraid of things that simply go bump in the night. Call it a job perk, I guess. Things get interesting out there in the desert, though. Between somewhat jaded people that have seen it all, you tend to take note when your hardcore mate is actually made uneasy by something.

When he spoke to me of them, he said the name, stated that they were spirits in coyote or man form, then I got a quick list that went something like this:

“Don’t speak to anybody about them. Don’t ask anybody about them. You see something weird out here, you just leave it be and it’ll leave you be. If you see a coyote with an odd behavior pattern, don’t speak to it and don’t gesture to it. Acknowledge it and be aware of it, but you go about your business. Stay out of his path while doing so. I know you. You know me. I’m saying this stuff is real to these people and you need to respect that.”

Then we got to talking about the happier subject of guns.

I respect the culture of any host I have, when traveling. Skin-walkers I just stuck into the same category as the Christian god and all other things supernatural, in the end. The “I can’t really believe em’ till I see them for myself, and perhaps not even then” category. If something is willing to walk right up to me and introduce itself, I’ll acknowledge it. I remain a rational person and rational people don’t abide with nonsense, bullshit stories. Regardless of my nature, I have to acknowledge that I’ve seen some things in the Arizona desert that easily fall into the category of the unexplained and outright fucking creepy.


The town itself is cool. When you hit the edge of town, there’s no question about it and no sign needed to inform you of the fact. You’d never go there unless it was between you and somewhere else, for the most part. There was a Taco Bell and a local diner for food.

Most people don’t get near the skin-walker tales or hear much of them in their lives for two main reasons, I think: Cultural barrier and actual physical location. It’s hard to hear tales about something that absolutely nobody ever talks about, after all. It’s also hard to understand something when you haven’t been there. I can tell you about how odd it is to see an animal behaving in abnormal fashion. I can explain to you that the behavior is odd. You cannot truly appreciate how very odd or what a surreal thing it is unless you have actually been around those animals long enough to know them well and see how very strange it is.

Hopefully that makes sense. Most of it is in being there, and you’re not often going to be there unless the culture itself already accepts you and trusts you to respect both them and their beliefs. Also makes you loath to speak of some aspects of things, because you feel a personal responsibility to the people and the culture for welcoming you in that fashion.


For starters, about the dog.

A skin-walker is always associated with the coyote down there, as mentioned throughout the thread. As I understood it, something along the lines of a disembodied spirit being allowed to return as or somehow otherwise control the dog. It was an animal in form, but with an unusually human intellect. It might be someone guilty of a terrible crime before their death, very powerful and seeking to do harm; but bound by specific rules. Alternately, the spirit of one murdered, returned to exact vengance on those who had done them wrong. Otherwise, simply a spirit of relatively disturbing power that actively guarded...something. Any way, you step wrong and you’re boned.

I’ve been around a lot of coyotes. They fear people on the lone, unless they’re diseased, in which case they behave a few different, yet pretty standard ways. In packs, they get bold but they still fear people pretty well for the most part unless they’re badly sick. They’re more acclimated to humans these days than they perhaps used to be, somewhat like polar bears; but they still stick to their rules as a species. You sure as hell don’t domesticate one out there where they’re hated.


The first night I was out there, I woke up and it was too hot in my room so I pulled pants on and went out to look at the stars. The night sky is absolutely amazing out there, away from the cities in which I’ve spent much of my life. It’s also disturbingly dead out there at night. No birds chirping, not a thing moving but the wind. It’d be creepy if it wasn’t so peaceful. Occassionally, you hear a coyote howl in the distance. That’s a nerve rattling sound when one starts and then they spark up all around you. Dead that night, though. No wind or anything. Everybody goes to bed at a reasonable hour around there, then nothing moves in the city at all. Perhaps you hear some distant highway car once, but it’s about as desolate as civilization generally gets.

I’m standing out front of the building, just staring up at the stars like a goober and the hair on my neck prickles because there’s someone there with me. I never even heard them come up. Everything’s dirt out there. You’d have to be shoeless to be silent, and even that was hard. In my mind, I cursed myself for not wearing my shoes out, because I was caught unaware in a strange place wearing only my pants like an idiot. I spun to look behind me and put my hand to my knife, just in case. Nobody there. Somebody here, but not behind me. I was embarrassed. My mate would’ve laughed. Jumpy-ass white guy in the AZ desert, surrounded by some of the most laid-back and friendly people I’d ever met. Probably the drunk guy I’d been told wandered around town that I was warned might come into the dorm and crash out for the night occasionally while I was around. Still, though. I looked to my right and there, about 10 meters off, sat a coyote.

I’d been around them plenty before, as I said. Not unusual, in my mind. I was boarded at the edge of town and it was straight on desert far as you could see from the right side of the building. Uncanny that they’re so damn quiet, though. It was just sitting there and staring at me. I smiled at it. I like animals more than people, in most cases. The fact that the thing was so completely silent when it came up on me gave rise to the idea of another one sneaking up, though. I decided I should be inside.

Didn’t mention it the next day. Didn’t think about it. A day later, I’m standing outside, waiting for someone to swing by and pick me up. No phone, so I couldn’t call and wake him up. I supposed I could walk over, but I didn’t want to be wandering the town unescorted, right away. No serious sense of time out there whatsoever, though. It’s awesome. Clock? Huh? They actively shit on daylight savings time, too; saying “it’s like cutting the end off a blanket and sewing it onto the other end”...a sentiment I love and agree with.


I’m sitting on the porch, chilling. Once more with the feeling that someone is there. To my right? There it is again. Never heard it. Unreal. What appears to be the exact same coyote, sitting in the exact same place, best I could tell. It’s just staring at me again. Stone still. Never seen even a sick animal or the most domesticated of dogs hold posture quite like that. I wondered idlely if somebody that used to live here got into the habit of feeding the thing and it was waiting for me to do the same, but there was no shaking the fact that the thing was unsettling and admittedly quite unnatural in its stature. I count its presence as right odd and look away, in case someone’s around and paying attention to me. It would have to pass in front of me to get onto the porch and I’m always armed, so I don’t have to watch it.

My mate pulls up in his truck and I go hop in. He glances at the thing, but instead asks me if I want bacon and pancakes, or bacon and pancakes for breakfast. We go off and do some work on what’s going to be a new church there in town. Lunchtime, we hit the diner for Navajo tacos (which are awesome). As we’re coming out of the place, I know it’s there before I even look. I can feel the fucking thing’s eyes on me. I give a glance to confirm my suspicion, as does the local who is on his way in. I then do the deed and ignore it on the way to the truck. Odd to see one running around in daytime. They mostly stick to the evenings. More odd that it looked like the same damn dog. I opened my mouth about three times to ask my mate if he thought that odd, but it never came out because it felt too entirely silly and was probably normal for them out there.

The next day, I met most everyone from my mate’s church at a big barbecue. All locals. There were a number of non-church people there, as well, because nobody needs an excuse to party. I found myself being introduced to an actual chief from the area. After introductions, the others pretty much left us alone. He introduced me to his son and I ended up talking to that guy for a while. He’d gone to some smaller university, which I hadn’t expected to hear from someone so far removed from standard society. He filled me in on a ton of local and general Navajo history and was a genuinely entertaining guy. He stayed and helped us pack up the gear after everyone left in the evening. I shook his hand and he smiled. He nodded to my right, then he walked off. Sure enough, the thing was right there. Around ten meters away from me, just sitting there and staring. Table scraps explain that easy enough. They’re scavengers.


I get in the truck and go home to the dorm. He drops me off and drives home for the evening. I look out into the desert, half expecting to see the bloody dog in its usual spot. Thankfully, he’s not to be seen...

Because he’s on the motherfucking porch in front of the goddamn door, staring at me. It was too far away to lunge at me and was just sitting there, but I was startled. I felt stupid, but I was still unnerved by this point. It was the same coyote. Having just seen the thing across town, there was no doubt about it. My mind was sufficiently wrecked at that one. Some asshole with a sense of humor had to have loaded it up in his vehicle and hauled ass over here to beat us back.

Of course, I’d have seen the dust cloud from that. We were the only ones out in that part of town in a vehicle that evening. So he was just damn fast. Fine. That’d work. Didn’t explain why it was apparently following me, but it worked for the current explanation. I backed off and was trying to figure out what to do for a second. He stood up and casually walked off the porch, stopping at the front edge for a moment. Then he walked over to the same place he’d been sitting before and plopped right down, staring at me. I went straight inside and proceeded to not sleep at all. The thing wasn’t right, but to mention that to anybody around here would be to piss off the populace and probably injure my mate’s respect among the people. Ugh.

The next night, the drunk came in and scared the everloving shit out of me. It was okay, though. He had forgotten I was there and I scared the shit out of him, as well by being there. I remember wondering how it would look on a police report that I had stabbed the town drunk to death because I thought he was a strange dog that had been stalking me. After he saw who I was, he said, “Your friend said it was okay to stay here” and I was like, “Yeah, Mark told me you stay here sometimes, sorry”. I handed him a spare blanket and got back in bed. He looked at me with a bigass “you idiot” smile on his face and was like, “Nooooo, mister. Your other friend.” He meant the dog, which would be right outside, off right of the porch, sitting. I suddenly realized I had never heard the door shut. I was going to turn the corner and see it right there in the hallway, I just knew it. Culture or not, if that thing was in the hall I was going to blast it into chunky kibbles in a blind panic.

No sign of the thing. The drunk was looking at me curiously, as I guess he’d never seen a crazy white person before. I went out on the porch. There he was in his spot, staring at me. It could have come in if it wanted to. I guess that was okay, then. I still shut the door and I still moved my ass up to a top bunk. I tried not to think of the drunk guy actually speaking to the dog. The nearest hospital was in Flagstaff, I thought. I wondered if they took crazy people. Something was obviously very wrong with me if I was getting bothered by a loopy, sick dog.

A sick dog that looked more healthy than virtually any coyote I had ever seen and also stared at me and followed me all over town and was becoming disturbing as shit to even think about.

The thing was a constant fixture in my life almost every day until I left. I never saw it eat or even so much as lay down. It just sat and watched. My only consolation was that it appeared to visibly un-nerve every single other person around me that saw it, so I didn’t feel quite so silly in the end. It was like my own personal companion that everyone acknowledged on some silent level, but didn’t acknowledge at the same time. It was odd, but I wrote it off soon after I got back to my real home and verified the thing wasn’t waiting for me there.


As I said, the dog was around constantly and was constantly weird as all hell. I saw a series of odd things, but I’m still unsure what all I am willing to share. I figure I’ll probably have to post about the trip to the canyon and the guy I met when I was out doing some target practice, but that will probably be the end of it.


When I next went to visit my mate, I’d forgotten completely about the dog. Everyone local seemed glad to see me again. I was invited to a sweat the first night. They’re awesome, but I thanked them and bowed out. The whole idea surrounding a sweat is one of a spiritual nature. To have been offered to attend the particular one they approached me about was a great honor. He’d never allowed white men at his before us. He understood and was not offended by my reasoning.

The old locals speak with their ancestors, my mate and his ilk pray to their god. I felt very out of place with nothing to pray to. As awesome an experience as it is in general, I feel uncomfortable in joining something I am not able to properly participate in. They assured me I would always be welcome and that makes me feel good, even if I’ll probably never go back to one again.

Instead, on that first evening; I played basketball and frizbee with the local kids and a church group that was leaving the following morning. I ended up sharing the dorm with them for an evening. It was fun. I met a kid in their group that could practically put a frizbee through a wall. I taught the lot of them how to play rugby, along with the local kids. I ended the game when someone sprained an ankle and I remembered how far out we were from any manner of emergency services. The middle of the desert is about the last place you want to break a bone or something.

Getting back to the dorm reminded me of the dog. I laughed at the very idea of it. Saw a few dogs around town last time and got all creeped by it like a garden variety dumbass. (As opposed to my likely status of professional dumbass, mind you.)

I was happy to meet the church group, but glad when they left. I enjoy the quiet. One of the kids was a jogger and I went out with him in the morning before they left. He’d just been lapping the blocks in town for a route. After my last trip, I felt comfortable enough with the climate and the surroundings to know what I was doing and where I was going. I took him on a loop with more interesting scenery. It’s safe unless you step on a snake or something, and they’re not lounging around on the roads in the cool morning hours, anyway. After the group left, I decided to keep the jog up in the mornings. It would beat sitting around and waiting for the town to wake up. There’s something special about being the only one out there as the sun rises or sets over the desert. Makes me smile just thinking about it.


My standard route took me out some dirt roads before looping back onto the main highway and trotting along it back to town proper. Never much traffic at that time of the day, so I could often run straight down the center of the paved road if I wanted to. On the second morning, I heard something ahead of me when I was about a mile off the highway. Still pretty dark out, but I could see somebody’s dog without my light, even at a distance. It was trotting up from ahead of me, but not really toward me. Looked like it was giving me room. I picked up a couple of rocks, just in case it wanted to get friendly before I could go for my knife. None of the local dogs were mean, but sometimes an unwanted gets ditched by passers-by. I slow to a walk and start talking to myself while I wait to see what it does when it gets close.

You can’t outrun a dog. Best not to excite it or have your back to it. Don’t stare it down, but make sure it knows you’re there. The “minding my own business” human voice and figure, alone, is often enough to discourage most solo types from bothering you in the wild.

To my dismay, I recognize it as a coyote when it gets close. Unmistakable profile. Nothing else looks or moves quite like them. I ditch one of the rocks and get my knife out instead while scanning the horizon for more. Time to pitch some rocks and yell at the thing, in hopes it goes away. I’m confident in my ability to handle myself, if not. At worst, I’ll be jogging back to town with my shirt wrapped around a bloody forearm prior to getting some rabies shots. Ugh. I laugh out loud when I realize that I’m more annoyed by the idea of having to get rabies shots again than the prospect of a bitten or broken arm. (I was once bitten by a rabid bat and fuck rabies shots. I think now they give the full series in your ass instead of abdomen, but I can’t imagine that being much more pleasant.)


I figure it’ll piss off after I heave a rock at it, but it gives me room, so I stay my hand. The dog just pulls up short and watches me. I decide to angle left to give it a wide berth on the way to the main road.

It paces me in parallel. Weird ass critter. It isn’t coming closer and it isn’t menacing me. I decide to put the knife away, since running around with a knife is a great way to have an accident. I pick up another couple of nearby rocks, to ensure a less serious accident. I’d feel a lot more comfortable about the whole affair if it was just a regular dog and not a wild animal. I break into a trot toward the road while keeping an eye on it. The thing continues to pace me, so I stop. It stops, sits, and looks at me blankly. I find myself wondering if it’s the same dog, but I decide that’s quite silly. I also decide this will be my last morning run in this town. Time to make it to the highway. It paces me all the way there at a trot, but stops shy of the road when I go up. Good.

When I hit the asphalt, it watches me go by. I keep it in my peripheral and see it start to fall in behind me at the same lazy trot. I stop and spin. It does a little circle to back away from me, then sits. I don’t like having it behind me, but I can hear the claws on the pavement so I’ll know if it starts to do anything different. I back away again, slowly. Still scanning the horizon for more of the things. It gets up and keeps the distance. I stop again. Never thought I’d long for a bit of traffic. I decide to step toward it and see if it gives way. It does. Thing is completely unafraid of me, but it seems quite intent on keeping a pretty specific radius. Damned odd on either count. Maybe it is the same dog. Who cares. Loopy ass thing. Still have my rocks and I’m quick with the blade. No worries. You just keep your distance, pal.

I go back to my jog, but I’m strung tight as a cable bridge. The moment it breaks stride and makes for me, I’m going to have to turn and kill the thing. It keeps not trying to kill me, so I relax a bit. We run back toward town that way, an odd little pair crossing the sunrise on a barren road in the middle of nowhere AZ desert. I thought it would make a pretty cool picture.

I hesitated to even mention this next bit, as it’s more of a damned comedy and completely ruins the mood. I decided the people need to be memorialized, though. I conveniently exchanged the coyote for a stray when I told the locals later and it got belly-laughs, all round.


I’m jogging with the dog in step behind me. I hear a vehicle behind us, in the distance. Thank goodness. It’s light out, but I slide off the side into the desert a bit to give myself plenty of room and stop to wave them down. Dog doesn’t even look at the car. Sits right there on the shoulder of the road watching me and doesn’t even flinch as the van whips by. Thing’s gotta be out of its head sick. “Hooray for tourists”, I find myself thinking. Hooray! They pass me, stop abruptly, and reverse. The lady in the passenger seat is looking at me somewhat worried and asks “are you okay?” All the people in the back are piled in the back windows gaping at the dog or scrambling for cameras to take pictures.

I told them I needed a ride the rest of the way into town and the lady looked in her mirror at the dog. “Is that yours?”

He’s a coyote, babe...he don’t belong to anybody. “No.”

So they let me in. The conversation that followed is something I’ve always wished I had on video. I got in like twenty words in form of sentence fragments beneath a barrage of questions from all sides. By the time I got home, the coyote felt pretty normal in comparison.

“Was that a wolf?”

Haha. No.

“Was it chasing you?”

Not really. I dunno. They...

“What’s with the rocks? Are those from out in the desert? Could we have one?”

Eh? Oh. Yeah. I still had the rocks in my left hand. (Yes. Somewhere in America, there is a family which proudly displays their bona-fide anti-wolf desert rocks alongside the silver jewelery they bought during their trip to the Grand Canyon.)

“You jog out here with crap like that running around?”

Yeah, well...

“Why was it following you?”

Dunno, I...

“Holy cow, I mean...are there snakes?”

Yeah, but...

“Aren’t you afraid of snakes, too?”

No. They don’t...

“Look! The Grand Canyon!” ... “That’s not the Grand Canyon, dumbass. It’s too small. Hey, mister, is that the Grand Canyon over there?”

No, that’s a wash. Water runoff causes em’ during rain.

“That’s silly. If it rains in the desert, why is it a desert?”


“How do we get to the Grand Canyon?”


“This is the center of town? This is it? Can we get gas here this early? If this is an Indian town, where are their teepees?”


“You tard, they don’t live like that anymore. You probably offended him. Are you an Indian? If so, my idiot friend is sorry.”

I’m Scot-Irish.

“Like Sean Connery?”

He’s Welsh.

“I thought he was from England? Anyway, we’re very sorry.”

No problem. Thanks for the ride.

“Thanks for the rocks.”


Man. That’s even more surreal now that I read it. People never cease to amaze me.

By the time we hit the gas station, I was quite ready to be out of the van. I felt like I was in a Douglas Adams book or something and now had a headache building. I jogged back to my place for a shower. Same dog, indeed. Not out of the question for it to beat me back, though. Whatever. He was gone when I came back outside. We were going to hike the canyon later in the week. I’d ask my mate about the thing on the ride out, when we were well alone.

I’ve spent lots of time camping, and understand the most dangerous thing in the woods is me. Knowing this, I still cannot leave the camp at night without the fear that something watches from those black patches of darkness between the trees. When I venture away from the fire I’m usually focused at the task at hand, whether it’s to gather more wood, go take a piss, find a forgotten item, whatever. At some point between when I leave and return, there’s always a brief (or not so brief) moment when that fear runs an icy, prickly finger up my spine. That’s when the line between reality and imagination becomes irrelevant. I know there’s nothing out there but me, but I also “know” there’s something walking just a step behind, waiting for the slightest hesitation so it can... be discovered.

In those moments only tremendous force of will keeps me from bolting like a rabbit. The fear never leaves entirely, not until I reach the edge of the firelight.

I was surprised to see a thread on skinwalkers, but doubly surprised to hear all these creepy stories set out in the woods, of all places. That’s seriously out of my experience; not that I spend much time in the woods, but on the few occasions that I’ve run into them, it’s always been in an urban setting. Always in a bad neighbourhood, of course, and around the small hours.

They have this ghastly appearance; animalistic, true, but the whole creature in face and body is contorted into a hellish parody of a human female. The lips are inflamed with angry scarlet, and they’re clad in these pitiful rags that leave acres of their sallow, puckered flesh on display. And then there’s the smell; a miasma of ammoniac decay that portends their arrival and lingers when they’re gone.

But worst of all are the cries. You deconstruct the banshee howl and realise with icy horror that it a gross mockery of human speech. “You lookin’ for a good time, baby? I got an ass that won’t quit! Me love you long time, honey child!” One day, I’ll day.

I spent four months in Albuquerque, NM on and off the Navajo rez the whole time. Every skin-walker story I heard had something to do with dogs or wolves keeping pace with speeding cars. Some dumb-shit whiteboy would be joy riding drunk through the rez, and a dog of some kind would chase the shit out of him, and leave him shivering and pissing himself outside a convienience store along I-40.

That being said, one night, my girlfriend and I were driving through the Navajo rez, and our car broke down. In the middle of fucking nowhere. I had heard all the stories about the dogs and the skin-walkers fucking up people since I had been there. With nowhere to go, and our car totally fucked, we locked our doors, and rolled up our windows, and went to sleep.

I woke up to scratching on my window(the passenger side). I pulled back my shade, and staring me in the face was a medium-sized emaciated dog. After waking up my girl, and having her calm my nerves, and help wipe the piss off my seat, we invited the dog into our car, and spent the night with him eating luke-warm balogna slices, and drinking old water. In the morning, he gave us each a lick on the face, and jumped out my open window.
I’d like to think that if he was the cursed spirit of a shaman, he thought the stinky homeless kids were on the level, and we didn’t need to become his next hell-bound victims. That’s just how cool we are.
Or, it was just a fucked up stray desert dog, with a love for smelly hobos, and week old cold cuts. Regardless, skinwalkers don’t freak me out too bad, because I feel that as a chicano kid with an unhealthy love for vagrancy, I kind of belong in their club.

That, and I eat people.

Basically, my parents were driving along that one highway in southern Australia, the one that stretches from like Port Augusta to Perth? Aussie goons, help me out. However I digress, they’re driving down the lonliest piece of highway known to man, not one other car in sight. My father has to take a leak, proceeds to pull over and get down to business.

He hears a scream from the direction of the car, turns around and sees an Aboriginal man clad in animal skins on the hood of their car, staring right at my mother through the windshield with some kind of crazed look in his eyes.

Doing what I’d do in the situation, he stands there for a second completely psycho before diving back into the car with the guy still clawing on the windshield making all kinds of weird hissing noises. He guns the engine and the guy? He’s gone.

Pretty weird, I’d say. I don’t really have much (read: any) experience with anything like you guys, but one thing always stuck me as odd with their story. They swore up and down that the guy looked like a panther, and they don’t live out in the middle of the desert as far as I know.

I lived in Arizona for a number of years as a child and our family would often travel to the Grand Canyon, then up through Navajo country on the way to Lake Powell or southern Utah. Hearing these old native tales from my child hood stomping grounds reminded me of those years. It also reminded me of the last trip I went on to AZ a few years ago in my early 20’s.

I had not been back to the south west in years and wanted to go on a road trip of sorts to “reconnect” with my youth. After spending the first day sliding around in Sedona on this fantastic natural water slide rock formation and dodging rabid bats (another story) my then girlfriend and I made it up to Flagstaff and got a hotel room. The next day was spent half at the Grand Canyon and then half on the way to Paige and Lake Powell.

The only thing of note (other than the obvious hole in the ground) was some crazy road side attraction involving the Flintstones and some farm touting the sheer awesomeness of the albino buffalo. No sense in going into the specifics of the native lore behind the white buffalo, but needless to say the world peace that was promised by its arrival on this world has yet to transpire.

In the northern stretches of the state, where things are more desolate and more removed from any civilization is where the real gritty parts of the story take place. Being used to the forested mountains of the pacific north west I think its ancient weathered look doesn’t belong on this planet. Our way through was entirely non eventful but our map included several points of interest we decided to hit up on our way back from Lake Powell.

As I had promised the lady of the trip we decided on the way back down to Phoenix to hit up those points of interest we had identified. The first one on this list was marked as “Dinosaur Footprints” then in small print below the billboard (*as seen on National Geographic). If was good enough for National Geographic it was good enough for us.

As we turned off the highway and headed towards the site things felt different. The drive was quiet and peaceful without telephone poles, power lines or fences. Not that there was anything to bother fencing in, but coming from civilization I’m just not used to unfettered access to the countryside.

The road narrowed and grew smaller and the once grand billboards pointing the way to the “dino prints” were growing smaller and less impressive. After awhile they were hand painted and less than enticing. The last one pointing to our destination was a dry rotted piece of plywood nailed to a stake in the ground it simply read “Dinosaur Footprints” and had an arrow pointing left in white paint that had ran before it dried.

We joked about how it was all some scam and we were going to get ravaged by the natives if they weren’t all drunk on “firewater”. Yeah I realize how bad that sounds, but I think I was ultimately punished for my flippant disrespect.

We pulled into the dusty dirt parking lot and got out. The ground was a hard baked clay-like substance that you would need a jack hammer to break up. Great track of land the Navajo were “allowed” to “settle” in, just great. A few ramshackle flea market stalls were all that was visible so we wandered around looking lost. We were the only white people in sight and the only vehicle in sight. I have no idea how the flea market got there or where things went at night. We shuffled arounf for a bit before one of the natives approached.

He was a short, burnt looking man who reeked of cheap vodka and urine. He had wild unkempt hair that spilled down behind his back with bits of dirt and leaves stuck in it. His eyes were yellowed with jaundice and blood shot and he had a distant look in his eyes that never seemed to focus directly on you. When he smiled his teeth were all rotted out and his gums looked sunburnt.

“Ya here for the dinosaurs?” We nodded and then asked where the foot prints were. “Ya stand’in in em.” We chuckled thinking he was joking then looked down. What the FUCK we were! Images of velociraptors and T-rex came flooding into my mind as I hopped backwards in alarm. The fossilized foot prints were large, maybe 9 inches in length and they were everywhre. They were long pointed toes (three front toes, one back toe) just like a birds. As we stared in wonder the man just laughed and introduced himself as Paul. He extended his hands to shake and I could see his nails were long and overgrown. Like he just stopped caring about them and let them go every which way. I shook his dusty weathered hand and had the odd sensation of ice running up my spine. I shook it off which was easy because it was about a million degrees out. I took out the trusty camera and started taking pictures.

While I was snapping away a lady came over to us from one of the flea market stalls and told us we should pour our bottled water into the foot print so we could see it better. At first we hesitated. I wanted the awesome picture, but it seemed like we were defacing this wonder of history just for our simple gratification.

I did pour the water and nearly shit myself as this mangy dog/coyote looking thing jumped out of the bushes and started drinking the water right out of the fossilized foot print. Paul started throwing rocks at it to try and chase it back into the bushes and half succeeded before he wondered off with it half tlaking to it half yelling at in the way that only a drunk can.

We were getting a really odd vibe at this point and I felt I was a trespasser in this place and time. We had come to gawk at the one point of interest in this sun blasted country then kick up a cloud of dust on our hosts as we left with our pictures. I felt like they were an exhibit at the zoo, there for my viewing pleasure and not to be let out its cage. Maybe it was part my own guilt for my earlier comments or the unearthly vibe, but I was ready to leave.

As I turned back to the car Paul grabbed my arm and my hackles rose. “Do you wanna see the “real” good stuff?” I nodded my approval even though I felt like I wanted to just get in the car and drive for days. “Give me 20 and I’ll take you over tha hills where tha’s bones and claws the size of ur head.” He made this little hooking motion with his finger which was made gruesome by the aforementioned need for a manicure. He started to walk me down the trail as my mind kept saying “fucking stop, fucking stop, fucking get back in the shitty rental car and fucking drive.” I couldn’t move away from Paul though and my ex started to follow. Finally the lady from the stall shouted something before we got to far and I snapped out of it grabbed the girlfriends arm and half walked, jogged over to the stall keeper.

“Don’t listen to Paul, he’s a drunk” she warned. Paul meanwhile started off on some half delirious rant about how he was a great and powerful man who knew everything and could speak with animals and some shit. He was furious and spittle was flying as he waved his arms in a crazy flapping motion. The lady in the stall shouted something at him in Navajo and he spit in our general direction then walked down the dusty road. She then showed us her array of charms and jewelry which we gratefully purchased a few silver and turquoise trinkets then hustled back to the car dodging the glaring Paul and his mangy dog.

As we tore hell out of there we kept talking about how shitty that place made us feel and how strange the vibe was. That night our moods hadn’t improved and we sat around a lantern in some distant park that boarded on the Painted Desert. No one was camped near us which we liked because it usually made for some sweet sweet vacation sex. It seemed odd we were alone because there were all these cool ruins from some long forgotten tribe and it was prime camping season. There was no vacation sex that night because even I wasn’t in the mood for it. We went to sleep early so we could hit the road at the crack of dawn.

I tossed and turned that night and I just couldn’t drift off. I felt sweaty and agitated like I needed a smoke and had drank too much coffee at the same time. Eventually with my ex sleeping soundly I got out of the tent and figured I would enjoy some stars, try to cool down and then see if I could sleep. I walked out of tent and goose bumps assaulted me. It was cold, colder than it should have been and quiet. In the tent I had heard all manner of bugs and coyotes (you get used to them) but now it was silent. The sky was dark and the multitude of stars seemed dim and far away. I was marveling at the milky way’s visibility when I felt a presence directly to my side. It felt like when Paul had grabbed my arm and before I even looked I expected to see him there. I slowly turned my head and there was nothing. My heart was pounding in my ears and what moving into my throat. I tried to slow it down a bit, thinking it was just my nerves and I breathed then turned back to the picnic table I had left the lantern at earlier.

I jumped back a foot and tripped and fell half into the tent. Sitting there mere yards away was a man or a beast (I now think a skin walker) staring at me. It was the size of a man but its head took up an enormous portion of its body like 1/3 instead of 1/8th. It had this huge jutting chin and thin black tattered lips that looked like a jagged under bite. Its mouth was enormous and had a lunatics smile from ear to ear stuck on it. It had almost no nose and its eyes glowed a sickly peach. On its shoulders sat piles of fur and feathers which wrapped around its arms and over its head in a great hood. I couldn’t see its hands or feet but I instinctively knew they were the size and shape of the fossilized foot prints I had taken a picture of earlier.

On the ground half in half out of the tent I scrambled backwards for my bag. I turned to open it and I heard a sickening clicking of a large bird’s talons on hard rock right next to my head and then something went over the top of the tent in a great woosh. I grabbed my MagLite and turned it on, straight up into the sky through the tent’s moon roof. Nothing was there. I sat there petrified for what seemed like hours every noise registering as instant death to my brain. Slowly my breathing returned to normal and I began to relax thinking maybe I had just imagined it. The gentle breathing of my ex slowly calmed me down further and I somehow relaxed and went to sleep.

The rest of the trip sucked as my horrible night and experience hung over me. With a couple of thousand miles between me and AZ I figured things would return to normal. They did until I read this curse of a thread some 4 years after the fact.

For the last three nights I have woken up in the middle of the night with my body paralyzed (yes I know its probably sleep paralysis or a dream) and I’ve felt Paul/Skinwalker’s presence in the room but been unable to make myself look out the window. Last night I was able to turn my head and I did look out the window. There hovering in my view was that grinning too large head, the too large mouth and the peach eyes. I think its just a nightmare at this point, because I live on the 6th story in a major metropolis with a view of nothing by city, not some tract of unexplored wilderness. But maybe its not a dream, there were three dead crows on the ground below my window today, maybe that’s just a coincidence. I think I’m going to try the “you’re a skin walker” defense.

The Watcher in the TreeHere in Finland, urban areas often mingle with forests and the like, and the apartment I lived in about ten years ago was a perfect example of this. Right outside my window was a steep, rocky hill with a fair bit of trees and brush growing on it, so despite living on the fifth floor, I could look out and only see a strip of sky at most.

One warm autumn night, I was getting ready for bed, doing a little relaxation ritual with my window open. (If the hippy shit works, do it.) Well, I was about half-way through, all calm and centered, when I hear this huge-ass crashing sound coming from outside. You know how it is in cartoons when someone falls from the tree, or over a cliff, hitting objects along the way, snapping additional branches? That is exactly what was going on, right outside my window: something heavy and organic falling from a tree, possibly trying to catch a new hold along the way.

After one solid *thud* things were quiet for about two seconds, with me opening my eyes, my back to the open window, having one of those ‘I may have just peed a little’ moments. Then, an almighty rustling sound, which reminded me of a gorilla or a large chimpanzee really making time through the undergrowth, vegetation just snapping and tearing along the way. Also, this sound was not progressing downhill, but just the opposite, up the hill and away from the building.

So, I am yet to move, just recapping for myself what the hell just happened. Something, was up a tree right outside my window. It fell rather clumsily, and rather a long way by the sound of it. It hit the earth good and solid, and needed all of two seconds to recover before just tearing ass up a hillside that I had trouble navigating in daylight. As a bonus, it never once made any kind of human or animal sound. No surprised cry or pained gasp, no meow, no bark, no nothing.

I stood, and I listened. It took about fifteen seconds for this Watcher - because that is what it seemed to have been doing - to get out of earshot in that steep, rocky terrain. I then turned to the window, closed it, drew the curtains, and went to bed, very much not relaxed.

To this day, I do not have the foggiest idea what that was. I did go and look for tracks but hell, I am no tracker, and that hill was frequented by the local kids during daytime, so there were broken branches and twigs everywhere, not exactly virgin forest this.

I kept my curtains closed in the evenings after that.

So I do not know if we had a visiting skinwalker here or what. The closest thing we have historically were some werewolves over in Estonia, and they were just guys with unibrows and an antisocial disposition.

Let me relate an experience I once had (in Israel though, where there aren’t any Native Americans to be found).

I was studying for a year in a small village on the outskirts of Jerusalem called Beit-Meir, built over the ruins of an ancient village (I don’t know the date, but there were wells all around so it was at least a couple hundreds years old).

All of the houses were made out of stone blocks and while most had crumbled inwards, there were some that were standing and overrun on the side of the road, mostly used for junk and storage. They are little bigger than the typical mausoluem you’d see in an modern cemetery. It made for a very surreal experience, walking around at night, hearing jackals howling and laughing as they surrounded a kill in the underbrush around us and passed the structures.

We’d often see glowing eyes poking out the darkness within and recognized them to be of stray cats. But it still freaked us quite a bit.

Once, I was walking with a friend after midnight past one of these structures on a completely empty road and got that feeling... the one that you’re being watched by something close.

I’ve never had that feeling before, but let me tell you: It’s the most uncomfortable, uneasy feeling you will ever have. I wanted to scream and turn around and shiver out of my skin like a madman, but held back. I noticed my friend had the same look on his face. He whispered to me:

“Keep walking, but look back in the doorway of the hut there”.

I turned my head and saw a hut on the side of the road, about 20 feet from us. In the open doorway there was what seemed to be a wolf’s head peering out and clearly watching us. Making the situation more horrifying was the fact that the head was about 6 feet off the ground.

It was attached to a man-like body that was standing upright, in the shadows of the structure. It’s eyes and head followed us as we moved.

At that point, we had enough and we both took off like we’ve never run before. It didn’t chase us.

It couldn’t have been a hoax, because that road was essentially abandoned and nobody knew we were planning on coming down it. We didn’t know what to call it... we both assumed it was a wolf or coyote standing upright in the structure, though that area is not known for animals larger than jackals, nor can I imagine a wolf standing upright without falling over for more than a few seconds, and this thing stood absolutely solitary and was there for the entire duration of our walk in its position.

Let’s talk, he said in the dying light of the campfire. Let’s talk about greed, envy, killings, the Wild West, and ghosts. Let’s talk about the Steer Called Murder.

The date is January 28, 1890. We’re standing on a range somewhere in the Big Bend region of Texas, near the town of Alpine. There’s a roundup going on for some of the small ranchers in Brewster County. The roundup is to help them fill out their herds with any unbranded cattle they can find. And this one is a humdinger of a steer"he’s large, black as doom, absolutely magnificent, and completely brand-free. Any cowboy would be thrilled to have this animal on his ranch. The problem is that two men"Henry Harrison Powe, a one-armed Confederate Army vet, and Fine Gilliant, of whom we know almost nothing"want to claim him. They argue, the argument escalates, shots are fired, Powe is killed, and Gilliant is on the run.

At this point, after a friendly communal roundup has been marred by anger and murder, none of the other ranchers wants the steer anymore. Seeing it as the source of the trouble, they brand it " on one side:


And on the other side, the date: “Jan 28 90?.

And they set it free.

Days later, when the Texas Rangers caught up to and killed Gilliand, the steer was seen watching the proceedings in the distance.

It’s been seen since then. The doom-black steer, the huge brand red and oozing on its side, roams the American West. It always seems to show up where someone’s going to get killed. It’s not known if it appears as an omen of death, or if it’s somehow compelling violence. It doesn’t show up often. But it shows up.

The campfire’s dyin’ down. Best get some sleep.

I go wilderness camping and backpacking in the South-West on a pretty regular basis. There have been numerous times out in the middle of fucking nowhere, that I and others have heard unexplainable noises.

After having not heard a chainsaw, an airplane, a rifle-shot or a 4-wheeler for days or weeks and then hearing laughing or murmuring which sounds like it’s right outside your tent in the middle of the night is really unnerving. Once I thought it was just in my head, but the 120 lb. brendel pit-bull who is my camping companion went fucking nuts and practically tore down the tent trying to get to the voice. There was no one out there, and she looked for quite awhile. This phenomenon has been experienced by at least a dozen different people I’ve known over the years, and I don’t think it’s necessarily malevolent. We call them land wights.

The “drumming” I think is usually rocks rolling around in fast-running bodies of water, although it could be an itinerant dread-headed member of the Rainbow Family off in the middle of nowhere banging on his bongo in the middle of his kind-bud patch.

SKIN-WALKER GAS CO.?This happened to me when I was around 13-14 (I’m 20 now). I swear to God it’s true. I’ve never really told anyone about because a) no one believes things like this and b) it still scares me.

I lived around Charlotte, NC. I had an audition at ScreenGems in Wilmington which was like two hours away. By the time we stared driving back, it was dark. When you get out of Wilmington, there is an hour of thick THICK forest. So half way through, we stop to get gas at some shit-stain of a gas station that only has “cash inside” payment. So my dad parks the car. There is ONE light that illuminates the storefront and pumps. The rest of the building is surrounded in trees. I tell him I want a Coke or something and he goes in. I get out of the car to take off the gas cap when I smell it. It wasn’t gas. It wasn’t even really that bad of a smell, kind of like rotting trees, but it hit me like a sledgehammer. I started looking around to see where it was coming from. Then I saw it. It was behind one of the pumps. It was covered in brownish, greenish (?) fur. It was facing away from me (towards the woods), so I couldn’t see it’s face. It stood at LEAST seven feet tall, and IT WAS STANDING TEN FUCKING FEET AWAY FROM ME. I’m fucking frozen in terror. Literally. Then, I see a horrible green hairy arm reaching my way, swiftly. I can’t explain it, but I wanted to go to it. I was strongly drawn to it. I wanted to follow it. It was the most horrible feeling, I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was debating whether to kill myself or not.

And my Dad says, “Bran?? What the hell is wrong with you?”

I look away and it’s gone. Then I realize that I’m gripping the gascap like cold death, shivering, with tears streaming down my face. I tell him that I just got really scared. He said he didn’t want to know. I still can’t believe I didn’t piss myself.

I haven’t thought about that in years until I read this thread and realized it very well could have been a skin-walker. (I have a weird mental thing where I forgot incounters with extreme emotion.) I’m not saying it was a skin-walker or wasn’t, or that they even exist...just saying. Thanks guys. Now I’ll never sleep again.

There is a place in Payson called Green Valley Park. It’s a man made ‘lake’ filled with ‘recycled’ water. Next to this park is the town cemetary. Thats creepy enough, but whats worse, and a lot of people don’t know this, is that a large number of natives were killed on the very ground the park was built on. There was a reason that the valley it used to be was untouched before then.

It wasn’t uncommon to hear stories about strange things happening at Green Valley Park. Especially at night. Not the least of these strange happenings was the chance meeting of an ex-stripper who had just been stood up. She had just moved to town a couple of weeks ago, so she figured the best thing to do was to start dating random people in the town. Well, since I had a penis and she had a vagina I figured it was a good match so we ended up pseudo-dating.

Turns out she actually believed in a lot of supernatural-ish things, and even claimed to have a ‘guide’ who she lovingly refered to as Fred, who apparently was litle more than a dark shape of a person. I had heard about ‘beings’ like that from a lot of people, including my mom. I didn’t put too much stock in it though since, after all, she was an ex-stripper.

Rewind just slightly to another ex. One night she was leaving Green Valley at night, since it’s the place to go at night in Payson, and she looked in her rear view mirror and saw a dark, featurless figure underneath one of the street lamps. As mentioned, this wasn’t uncommon however what happened to our ex-stripper is a little out of the ordinary.

It was about midnight at Green Valley, and we were swinging on the swing set at the play ground there. We were talking about the paranormal, strange experiences, etc, and so I start talking about the strangest story I have (which does not fit this thread). Ex-stripper starts freaking out and she tells me to stop talking about what I’m talking about because...

Her: “He’s everywhere.”
Me: “Who?”
Her: “Fred! He’d peaking around a corner, then he’ll be next to a tree, then he’ll...”
Me: “He’ll...?”
Her: “Holy fuck we have to leave. He’s everywhere.” (refering to Fred)

So we start walking briskly back towards the car, me, ex-stripper, and another friend. Suddenly she freaks the fuck out. She locks arms with my friend and I and runs towards the car chanting in latin. Yes. Latin. Once we were in the car I asked her what she saw, because Fred wouldn’t have caused her to go nuts like that, and she wouldn’t tell me. She wouldn’t tell me for like a week. Then she told me that she saw something that, by the accounts I’ve read on here, was a Skinwalker. My friend and I didn’t see it, and she could just be crazy but it fits in pretty well with the culture of surrounding areas and also the fact that there have been quite a few skinwalker sightings in the area.

It is entirely possible that she is absolutely insane. It is equally likely that she is completely sane. It’s hard to tell in Payson. When someone tells you they saw such and such, some of the locals know not to immediately discredit it because weird shit just happens up there.

One of the creepiest local native american stories I’ve ever heard was from a Pauite baseball coach I had once.

About an hour northeast from Reno, NV is a giant laked called Pyramid Lake. It gets it’s name from a natural pyramid shaped rock formation that sits in the middle. It’s controlled by the Pyramid Lake Pauite Indian Reservation. All pretty nice people. When I was in elemtary school, I was doing a report on the lake/tribe and came across a little blurb about malevolant spirits called Water Babies, who lived in the lake and would tangle up your fishing line, steal your fish or try and rock your boat over. Seem pretty harmless to me until I asked my coach about them once. He got really quiet , then told this story to a bunch of us.

Back in the 1860’s, the Pony Express was just getting started. They cut across some Pauite Territory, so the Pauites initiated a series of raids and ambushes. One day, in retaliation, some soldiers raided a Pauite camp, stole all the small children and babies, chained them up and tossed them into lake, drowning them all. This turned into somewhat of a past time, seeing how many Pauite babies you could drown at once. Not to be left out, the Pauites started drowning white babies as well. One day, the soldiers captured some one whom a holy man had placed a curse on. The curse was the he was to rise from the grave and kill whomever killed him, and then stay an eternal spirit forever after. They drowned him, and he came back to life. But it wasn’t just him. All the children who had drowned previously also came back to life. During the day, they all walk around the bottom of Pyramid Lake, waiting for people to get close enough. Once you get close enough, a bunch of them grab onto the bottoms of your feet and start pulling you down. More and more of them will grab onto you until you can’t fight back and drown. That’s not all.

On certain nights, all the water babies will start to cry. Coach said they are all crying for the comfort of their mothers milk. They will cry and cry and cry, then just stop. Once they stop, they will walk along the bottom of the lake until the come out onto the beaches, and will scour the surrounding lakeside , dragging all the females they can find back with them and stealing the breath of all the males. The part that freaked me out the most was my coach was saying while they did this, they didn’tmake a fucking sound. Not one fucking peep.The only way to know they’ve been aound is the thousands of tiny foot prints . Just imagining an army of waterlogged , bloated infants , silently walking around campsites and dragging people off scared me so bad I slept with the light on for 3 days.

Truck Bed Coyote thingMy neighbor used to live out West in New Mexico or something, and he used to tell the most damned scariest stories I’ve ever heard in real life. I don’t have time nor do I remember enough to type the whole thing, but his scariest one consisted of one of my neighbor’s buddies and his fiance.

They were apparently driving back from something to their new house when they started hearing scratching on the back window of the car. He assumes it may have just been a rock, stick, or something, and doesn’t give it a second thought. A few minutes later the scratching persists, and he turns around and, again, sees nothing. This goes on for a while, the scratching getting increasingly violent until it sounds like someone is literally banging on the window and scratching at or literally jumping on his truck bed.

He can’t take it anymore, and this particular time he looks in his rear-view mirror only to see a giant coyote standing in the back of his truck. He freaks out and guns it, he’s swerving around the road and going as fast as he can, meanwhile this coyote is standing there, slobber coming out of both sides of his mouth, going everywhere, gnawing at his back window and pacing back and forth while the truck is going as fast as it can. His fiance is freaking out and they don’t know what to do. They both start to panic and this coyote, this ... thing just isn’t budging.

I forget what happened after that, I think they got home and it jumped out. After that I think some guy came to their house looking for his lost dog, and he didn’t have a car or anything. That’s unusual because the houses there were miles apart " the nearest grocery store was an hour or something. I can’t tell his stories very well. He told this story like it was completely true, but he did tell it in Boy Scouts on a camping trip right before we went to bed.

It still scares the shit out of me to this day.

I started talking to my friend about Skin Walkers today at lunch and he reminded me about a ghost at Glamis Castle here in the UK. Bear with me here, the details will probably be a bit off.

Glamis is pretty famous for being haunted but the most interesting ghost is, ”Running Jimmy” As I say, that name is probably way off. But this spectre is often seen by people driving towards Glamis running alongside their cars or busses.

Seeing the connection now?

The weird thing about Jimmy is he’s kind of apeish looking. He’s not fully human but he’s not an ape either and he isn’t as aggresive as the Skin Walkers in the other posts, he’s more curious. One of the legends is he was born to some wealthy lord who was in the castle but because he was deformed he was left in a room to die but escaped or something like that. Either way I REALLY want to drive on a coach to see if he pops up and if he does I’m not going to be a moron and just point. I’d take a video of his hairy ass.

But that leads me onto European Skinwalkers in general. My friend was telling me about Irish and Skandanavian version of the same stories you guys have been talking about. He’s going to lend me some books about them and I cannot wait. I find the whole thing much more interesting than regular ghost stories. I guess it’s because there seems to be a strict set of ”rules” with all these stories coming from all different kinds of Goons.

Now with a ghost you get a hundred stories and they’re all vastly different. Ghostly light, voices, evil fucking monsters crawling backwards out of mirrors

One time I was hiking in the woods with my father. As we walked back to the car we heard the sound of drums. We thought it was odd but figured it was probably some native american club or something like that. We got closer and closer to the drumming sound as we walked. All of the sudden the noise stopped just as we were about to enter a clearing that would give us plain view of where the car was parked. Not a single person or vehicle was there besides our own.
When I was 13, I lived near Fisheating creek, close to a Seminole Indian reservation in Okeechobee, Florida. The boonies, to put it that way. We lived on a decent sized ranch, bordering a HUGE hunting reserve owned by a man who was a family friend, and thus let me hunt on it. My mother is an airline pilot and frequently had to be gone for several days at a time.

Let me start by saying that my grandmother lived a 10 minute walk from our house, and immediately next door on a small lot lived a “mini-tribe” of Navajo, I mean really traditional Navajo. They literally lived in two large teepees and had a small trailer where some of the other family opted to stay, I assume. I used to play with their kids, so I was pretty well acquainted with them. They had an old man who I assume was their “patriarch.” When we played, there was a small section of the lot that was fenced off that we were specifically not to enter. The old man conducted rituals and the older family members would dance and chant around a fire for hours on end, which I saw them do frequently. The small section of lot was “special” because it was bordered by 4 young oaks in an almost perfectly square pattern, which they would hang long strings of bead-like pouches containing tobacco. (in fact they often came over to borrow tobacco from my grandmother when they ran out.) They were very poor, and my grandmother was a kind woman, so she would often buy them groceries and whatnot, which they were extremely thankful for. But this is besides the story.

One morning I decided to wake up and see if I couldn’t shoot a buck in the large property bordering ours. I woke up at 5 am, and got ready. I chose a tree stand deep in the woods where the bigger bucks would pass by to avoid the open field. I got my shotgun, a small LED headlamp, and my gear. I got onto my 4-wheeler and made a 20 minute drive into the woods, then stopped at the edge of the thicker forest and began walking in. I was walking for about 5 minutes, at this point it was barely light enough to see by without a light, so I turned off my headlamp, not wanting to spook any deer. This is where shit gets weird. I hear an unearthly screaming, which to anyone familiar with the everglades or who grew up near it, would immediately attribute to a panther. It is very very similar to a woman’s screaming. The sound was easily within 500 feet of me, so I quickly switched my headlamp back on and readied my shotgun, I did not want to get mauled to death by a Panther.

Then the smell hit me, it was like carrion, only it was like taking a bucket of guts, letting it sit in the sun, then shoving your nose in the bucket strong. I figured a cow had wandered nearby and died (the land was used for grazing as well.) but decided to hurry to the stand since I was almost there and the stand was a good 30 feet off the ground. I took maybe 10 steps or so when my light caught the carcass of what was obviously a deer, headless and completely skinned. Anyone familiar with hunting will tell you that if a deer is shot by poachers, they will quickly remove the head trophy and leave the area ASAP, the weird part is that it was skinned. My first thought was poachers, but it wasn’t until later that I realized it was skinned. Like in Devyl’s post about his Seminole fiancé, I did not understand why it would appear to be freshly killed yet smell so terrible. I later attributed that the smell simply came from another dead animal nearby. This is when I became more terrified than I ever have in my life. I looked to my right and about 30 yards from me there is a distinctly humanoid figure with a panther’s head, and appeared to be wearing the skin of a panther, in a slightly crouched position, about 6 feet tall, It’s eyes shining bright red in my headlamp. Now I was not terrified right away because, well, duh, all animal’s eyes shine a strange color when in headlights. The only reason I did not shoot it right away was that it seemed so damn human, and I certainly don’t want to be responsible for killing another hunter, but that thing was NOT a human. I cannot really explain that part.

At this point about 5 seconds or so had passed, with the thing just looking at me. The growing sense of panic came with the realization that what I was looking at WAS NOT human. I raised my gun at it and the thing moved faster than I have ever seen any living thing move, and was gone in the trees within one second. I was in full-stage panic at this point and sprinted all the way to my 4-wheeler and drove home doing 65 through the field.

I later recounted this incident to the patriarch grandfather at my neighbors, and he got real quiet, and stared at me as if I told him I just raped his dog. Then he took me by the shoulders and quietly said “what you have seen was a panther. Do not think of it again.”

I am a high school teacher. At my last school, we always used to take our Year 9 students down the Mitchell River in Gippsland on a rafting trip. On the last night, we would always camp at this place near a spot called the Den of Nargun.

The Den of Nargun is one of the few genuinely spooky places I’ve ever visited. A large hole in the ground leading to a waterfall and full of a dense, tangled temperate rainforest, the area has the feeling of a place where the walls between our reality and immaterium are very thin.

The Nargun was supposedly the guardian of a women’s sacred site. She was a being made of rock, who could deflect spears thrown at her. Her favorite food was children.

It was always great taking the kids down to the cave in which the Nargun was supposed to live and see them shut up and go pale. They’d be silent until we were on the bus and halfway back to Melbourne.

It’s not the Den of Nargun that bore witness to my freaky experience. Nearby the den was another site, a flat rock shelf in front of a cliff which was called Dead Cock Den, which was used as an initiation site by teenaged girls.

On the last night of the 2004 camping trip, I was sleeping in my tent after an exhausting day when I woke up about 3am. I heard laughing, like that of children, coming from outside my tent. Pissed off at being woken up, I grabbed my headtorch and stormed out of my tent. The campsite was dead silent.

I crept from tent to tent, checking to see whether anybody was awake. I woke a few kids and asked them if they knew anything about who had made the noise. I performed a quick headcount and made sure everyone was there. Everybody was exhausted from rafting and didn’t have the strength for mischief.

Unsettled, I walked back to my tent, the closest to the entrance to Dead Cock Den. Just before I zipped open my tent, I shone my torch down into the hollow leading to the rock shelf.

There was a gust of wind and the unmistakable sound of children giggling.

I rushed back into my tent, zipped it up, buried myself in my sleeping bag and lay there, terrified until morning.

The baggy eyes and croaky voices of the students next day told me that some of the kids had heard the same thing.

whoa, this thread has kind of changed my mind about a story my best friend of 17 years told me one time back in high school. We had been out drinking in the desert (we live in southern new mexico by the way) one night with a few dozen friends and had the typical keystone light and bonfire thing going on. Anyhow, we all caravan out of there with like 7 cars and he takes up the end of the line while driving alone. Granted we’re not that far outside the city limits and there’s plenty of houses going up and shit like that, but we’re still all traveling down this tiny, winding dirt road and throwing up dust in eachother’s wake. Now according to my buddy, the dust from the other six or so cars in front of him was so thick he couldn’t see shit in front of him as he followed along, but suddenly out of nowhere the silouette of this thing with crazy long legs in proportion to it’s torso emerged from the dust on the passenger side of his car and kept pace with him at about 45 miles per hour for almost a minute.

It ran on two legs though, not four and he said it eventually bolted to the right into some bushes just before we reached the suburbs of the city. Every just made fun of him when he told us, and he’s not native american or anything and I’m positive he’d never heard of skin walkers or what not. I guess I never really believed him either, even though he’s not the type to just randomly make this stuff up, but after reading all these similar ‘weird fucking animals chasing my car at unbelievable speeds in the southwest’ stories, I guess I’m less sceptical.

I went to open the balcony in my mom’s room so that my cat could sun herself out there.

From my mom’s room I can see into the backyard of the house across the street. The house takes up both lots so instead of a house it’s the fenced off backyard with stairs going up to the house on the other block. Anyway all of a sudden I see what looks like a big black dog come around a corner and sit on top of the concrete stairs. It is looking right at me, a huge black mass with two yellow glowing eyes. I suddenly realize that it’s not a dog at all but a cat. But to be a cat it would have to be the size of a lab, because there is a chair a little ways down the stairs and this things would be just as tall as it.

For some reason I can’t look away while this cat is looking at me. We just stared at each other for about two minutes until it turned slowly and walked off, confirming that it was cat from the way it moved.

I stared at the spot where it was until my neighbor came out of her house a minute later. I sickly realize when she gets to the spot where the cat was sitting that the top of its head would have gone at least to her waist.

My childhood best friend and I were camping by ourselves when we were fairly young, outside of his cabin in the middle of Canadian wilderness nowhere. The area wasn’t normal, the land wasn’t owned by anyone except for small patches where these cabins were built but a fair distance apart from each other. His cabin wasn’t normal, we never ever sleep in the cabin anymore unless we actually don’t want to get any sleep and would rather have the crap scared out of us every 6 seconds by something. We built a small fort in one of the nearby trees, which was basically a plank of wood with a rope hanging down.

There was a narrow dirt road that sort of connected most of these cabins together. The nearest one to us was unoccupied and the story about the lonely guy there was in short he was eaten by his dogs. The weather was a -40 degree (celcius) hell storm of cold with snow and ice everywhere.

When we drove out this one time my friend started the trip off right by managed to back the car into a snowy icy ditch which we could not get out of. Also the cellular phone died suddenly because we took it with us inside the cabin directly afterwards.

So, as nightfall was coming we decided to build a fire and sit in the woods for a while before going to bed as we figured we could spend all day tomorrow getting the car working. We talked about pixies (aka demons) most of the time, we were fascinated by them as they were the protectors of nature and therefore hated humans. There was all kinds of folklore about pixie leading, pixie mischief, and pixie lines where the pixie presence was strongest and lined the entire Earth. The cabin we were right outside of was according to legend right on a major intersection of two pixie lines, so we never ran out of things to talk about.

Suddenly all at once there was a loud barking/wheezing/howling that could be heard from a complete 180 degrees on one side of us. Our eyes went wide “What the fuck is that!” and we both sat there paralyzed for a good 20 seconds while we tried to think and waited for it to go away, but it was getting closer. My friend started talking, he had heard of this ancient story before called “the hunt”, the solution was to get somewhere private that we owned. “The tree fort!” we both exclaimed at the same time while we picked up our asses and hauled as fast as we could through the trees towards the sound. One at a time we climbed the rope as two people couldn’t climb it at the same time, it was hard to get up enough as it was.

Although the howling was happening this whole time once we were in the tree fort, the sound was gone. Then about two minutes later the wheels on our car could be heard spinning in the ditch, even though the engine wasn’t running. This was a very specific sound and we could hear it very well with no mistake, it went on for hours. I peeked over the side of the tree fort and could see something moving on the ground, except it was a pink in color and shined like rubber. We did not leave the tree fort for the rest of the night and went to sleep, the next morning nothing was out of place. We spent two more nights out there until we were lucky enough someone drove down the road while we were making the two day hike to the next nearest cabin.

Devon TruebloodMy pastor told a story about working on a church in middle of nowhere arizona. The church had a dirt floor, a real shamble of a building. So he and a few of his church-friends went out their on a mini-mission to build it up. Once there they met a very strange man named Devon Trueblood. He was a native(sorry, unsure about the tribe), and he was a very large man, who had long black hair that went below his shoulders. He would always drive them around in his two seater pick up, from the church to their general store, to wherever else they needed to go. He was just a decently nice guy, although he had a bit of a learning disability.

So he was a bit slow, but he was nice all the same. One night, they’re driving out a long this ridge, with Matt (my old pastor)’s buddy in the passenger seat, and Matt and two more guys in the bed of the truck. They had just completed fixing the roof, and Devon wanted to show them something cool.

Suddenly it is apparent that something definitely not right, the back little window of the truck open’s and Matt’s buddy sticks his head through.

“I think there is something wrong with Devon. He’s really pale and he’s not saying anything.”

Matt Calls up to Devon.

“Hey, you don’t look so good, you want to pull over.”

The look that Devon gave Matt was told to me as the most horrid-scary look he’s ever seen someone give. He wasn’t sure a human mouth could contort in such a way. Spittle drips over bottom lip, as Devon slams on the brakes and Jumps out of the truck. He begins convulsing on the ground, speaking in a language that they only hear the old people of the town speak- and only to each other. They get out of the truck, on the middle of this trail out in the middle of nowhere, and they are freaking out.

This is before cellphones, and they are literally miles away from anyone. They go to help Devon up, but he is convulsing too horribly for any of them to take a hold of him. They are sure he’s going to die, and one of the guys starts crying. Devon then leaps up, and screams an ear piercing noise at the 4 of them. I was told it was not quite a scream, I imagine it resembles the wail of a banshee. Devon then jumped up into the bed of the truck, almost directly over one of the guys, and then leaps off, running away into the darkness. They find Devon’s flashlight behind the seat of the truck, and they go looking for him.

They don’t look too hard. They get in the truck, turn it around and drive back to town. They leave the town before Devon returns.

The scariest part is what happened a few days later. Devon shows up at Sunday service painted entirely blue. He stands in the back, wearing only his pants, and says nothing the entire service. He leaves when it is done. The Pastor at the Church was closing up at dusk, when Devon’s truck came barrelling down the road towards him. It slammed into the Church sign on the lawn and Devon came out of the truck, crying and apologizing, still painted blue.

He won’t tell the pastor what’s wrong, only that he needs to come with him. He takes the pastor to his trailer home on his little piece of property, all the way something rolling around in the back of the truck, but the Pastor is too afraid to take his eyes off of Devon, having heard and seen how he had been acting. They arrive and Devon demands the Pastor go inside. The Stench was unbearable. The Pastor finds the source of the smell.

There are several dead animals hung in the bedroom, skinned and flayed open. But the bathroom was the worst. Devon’s girlfriend lay headless in the bathtub, blood filled up in it. The Pastor begins to run outside, scared for his life when he hears a gunshot before he can get out the door.

Devon had shot himself in the head. The Pastor gets into the truck to get the fuck out, and he looks into the bed. The girlfriend’s head had been rolling around in there.

It was said that Devon had spent too many nights alone on the sacred land, and had been possessed by some creature of native lore.

I don’t know the legitimacy of all the happenings, but fuck if that story didn’t scare the shit out of me. The next story happened in Eastern Oregon, on the Deschuttes River, and happened to me, so I can promise you it is true.

My stories aren’t too interesting, but I have a few. When I was in middle school, I was on the cross country team. We used to go to meets 70 or 90 miles away because it was so rural, and those were the nearest schools we compete with. The drives are always long stretches of road with no lights except the headlights and the occasional house in the middle of nowhere.

I wasn’t on this trip for some reason. I don’t remember why because I always went to every meet. I probably had my teeth removed or some other mouth-related thing. But I digress.

The week after the meet, my teammates all talked about how crazy the bus ride back was. Most of these people are 100 percent Navajo. Some even grew up speaking it before English. So they’re for real, and they know all about their tradition.

They told me they were about 30 miles from our hometown by a mesa called Black Mesa. It’s a really long and dark stretch of road. To the south immediately next to the road for about 15 miles is a huge mesa jutting up out of the landscape. They were playing games on the bus and talking when one of them felt really odd and got cold all of a sudden.

This guy is one of the most traditional Navajos my age I knew. He spoke Navajo with his friends all the way to high school. Everyone else had pretty much forgotten it or spoke it with their grandparents. So he told everyone he was really cold and didn’t feel well. A few of them gathered around him and started talking about the possibility of skinwalkers.

They said they saw something appear at the side of the bus. It was like a really skinny man wearing a coyote skin. The coyote’s head covered the man’s head, and the hide ran down his back. He ran alongside the bus for a long time. They said they started praying to Navajo gods and saying some things, and eventually it went away.

That scared me for a long time. Riding the bus after meets was never the same, even though I never experienced anything. Everyone else acted different on the rides back, especially when we passed Black Mesa. It was far from an act.

I grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Navajos believe in skinwalkers, and plenty of my friends had told me stories about them. But these two stories stick out.

A police officer was driving his cruiser down the rural road in the middle of the night. These places are so out in the middle of nowhere, you won’t see light from a town or house for 10 or more miles. Towns are separated by 50 miles.

So he’s driving down a highway when he sees an elderly woman standing on the side of the road. He pulls up next to her and asks her in Navajo if she needs a ride. She says yes, and she gets in. She gives him directions to her place. She’s not much of a talker, but then again, Navajos are pretty quiet.

When he gets to her hogan, he turns his head away from her for a second, and when he turns to tell her she can get out, she’s gone.

The door didn’t open, he didn’t see her step out, she doesn’t appear to be anywhere. Just gone.

I know, that one sounds kind of fake, but it’s a story.

This next one is absolutely crazy. A good friend of mine told me this, and I have no idea why she’d make it up.

She was in her house about midnight one night, and someone knocked on her door. She opened it, and it was a mutual friend from high school. He was bloody and covered in cuts and bruises. His clothes were torn, and he was freaking out.

He said some skinwalkers beat him up. They scratched at him and tore his skin. He asked her to walk home with him because she’s a Christian, and “they don’t go after those who believe.” He was pretty badly beat up, so she had to help him walk at times. His house was only about 10 houses down and around the corner, so she got him to his porch and he went inside.

The next day, she saw him and he was all clean. No cuts, no bruises. No evidence that something happened. But his blood was as visible as if it were day.

I believe that one simply because she wouldn’t lie to me and because of the look on her face and sound in her voice when she told me. I don’t understand it at all, so skinwalkers and supernatural forces are all I can think of.

About 18 years ago, my buddy Kyle and I went canoeing down in south Georgia during the summer. The first part of the trip took us down the Satilla, a beautiful black water river with white sandy beaches. That part of the vacation was uneventful. The trip through the Okefenokee Swamp was not, however.

Even at the age of 17 we were fairly experienced campers. Every weekend we would hike or float down a river. We never left without first plotting a detailed map and we had the best equipment a couple of teenagers could afford. We always planned for the unexpected and made sure to take an extra couple of days worth of supplies. The trip into the swamp was only going to be a short day trip, leaving early in the morning and returning before dusk. We were totally unprepared for what happened.

We set off into the swamp early Saturday morning, leisurely paddling along the well marked canoe trail. We took in the sights of the gorgeous landscape, the beautiful plants and of course we marveled at the alligators. The two of us were loving every minute of our trek. Nearing midday, we became hungry so we paddled away from the trail a short distance, tied up to a tree, and made lunch.

After eating our ramen noodles and jerky we relaxed in the canoe, and soon both of us fell asleep. We woke up a couple of hours later and started paddling back to the main path. We thought so, anyway.

It didn’t take us long to realize that we were lost. Neither of us felt any panic or distress. We had been in worse situtations and never failed to get through them. We were both confident we would soon find our way out of the maze in which we found ourselves.

The hours passed and the sun was getting lower in the sky. Still far from panicking, we were growing a bit anxious. We were just chalking it up to another ‘Scott and Kyle Adventure’.

The sky continued to darken. At this point, we realized that we were going to have to spend the night in the swamp. Again, it was nothing we were really all that concerned about. We knew that the park rangers would be out looking for us the next day since our return time had come and gone. Kyle’s family was staying in a nearby lodge, and even though we knew they naturally worried about us, we also knew that they were confident in our abilities and outdoor skills.

In the Okefenokee, camping is allowed only on platforms built above the water. That way the gators can’t get ya. Obviously, we didn’t have the luxury of a platform, so we tied up to another tree and just made ourselves as comfortable as possible in the boat.

We passed the time by eating, fishing, and watching the gators. Soon the sun had completely decended and it was night. It was eerily beautiful, and it seemed that Mother Nature had cranked up the volume to 11. The birds, frogs, insects and other swamp creatures became louder and louder. We talked about the sort of things that teenage boys talk about. We laughed and just enjoyed the moments.

THUMP. Something hit the bottom of our boat. THUMP THUMP. Again, something hit our boat. Kyle raised our small lantern and we saw what had to have been the largest alligator in the whole freaking swamp swim past. If it was less than 15 feet long I would be surprised. It turned around and came straight at us, hitting the boat again. Kyle grabbed his oar and smacked the water, hoping to scare the damn thing away. The gator seemed to grow even more brazen and aggressive and once again made a pass at our boat, really hitting it hard and rocking it a good bit. I felt like I was in an alligator version of ‘Jaws’. We needed a bigger boat, indeed! I too grabbed an oar and we both began beating the hell out of the water. The gator went under us, REALLY knocked the shit out of the boat, and swam away. We thought it had left for good, but it returned after about 5 minutes. We repeated this entire cycle about 4 times. We were really getting scared that this fucker wanted to kill us. It swam away again, and we waited for it to make another strike.

Then everything went silent. Instantly. And by silent, I mean there was NOTHING making a sound. Not a fucking peep. Even the mosquitos that had been pestering us by buzzing around our faces had suddenly disappeared. We both looked at each other; our puzzled faces were illuminated by the dim lantern. Neither of us wanted to say anything to break the silence. I don’t really think either of us could have said anything, anyway.

SPLASH. SPLISH SPLASH. The sound was off to our right, probably 20-30 yards away. That damn gator again, I thought. Thankfully the eerie silence was giving way to some sort of activity. Nope, nothing else made a sound. SPLAAASH. This one sounded heavier; more violent. I told myself it was still just the gator.

Kyle whispered. “Why is it so quiet?”
I didn’t have an answer. Surely, no animal in the swamp was so threatening that even the damn crickets and skeeters shut up. Not even our gator menace had quieted the sounds of the Okefenokee.

Of course, as in all movie thrillers, the lantern went out and we couldn’t reignite it. And of course, as in all situations like this, the clouds parted and the moon revealed itself.

And of course, the two teenage boys who up to this point were relatively unrattled nearly pissed themselves.

SPLASH! Something darted through the trees to our right. It was not an animal. Well, if it was an animal it was walking on its hind legs. A bear maybe?

“Christ. What in the fuck was that?!” I said, but not too loudly. Didn’t want it to hear me.

“SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS”. Something made a sound like air escaping from a tire. The same figure we saw earlier moved through the trees again.

CRACK! THUMP. CRAAACK! The cracks were sharp and violent. The thump was dull and had a hollow tone to it. Still no other sounds in the whole freaking area.

“SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS”. There it was again, only a little louder.

Several minutes passed with nothing happening. Our little part of the world was still deathly silent.


Something landed in the water right next to our canoe. PLOP. PLOP PLOP PLOP. It became apparent that the thing was throwing pebbles or something at us.
Okay, now this is getting fucking ridiculous, I thought. Bears don’t fucking throw things. Both Kyle and I simultaneously drew our hunting knives from their sheaths, as if that was going to do anything whatsoever.

What happened next was something I will never forget. It is something that both of us wish we had dreamed. It is something that we don’t even speak about when we see each other almost 20 years later. Jesus, I’m getting goosebumps and quite nervous even typing this.

CLINK. Something landed in our canoe. CLINK CLINK. Two more somethings landed in our canoe. CLINK CLINK CLINK. Ok, enough with FUCKING THROWING SHIT INTO OUR CANOE!

It was then we realized that whatever the objects were had come from above, NOT from either side. We looked at each other, our faces so white they rivaled the moon. At the same time, our gazes drew upward.

There it was. Sitting in the tree. OUR TREE. The tree to which we were tied. You know that goat in Jurassic Park that was tied up for the T-Rex to eat? Yeah, we were that goat.

I swear to christ that this thing must have been a child of the moon. The moon seemed to cast down its light on our friend in particular, illuminating it much more clearly than anything else in the area. It was as if the moon wanted us to see this thing in all its glory.

It was humanoid- it had the body of a man with the head of the skull of some kind of animal. It looked kind of like a wolf or coyote or something similar. The eyes glowed yellow, and there was fur covering the shoulders and upper body. This thing was built like a tank, too. Its muscles rippled under its pale skin. It breathed deeply and slowly. In one hand it held some sort of staff that was maybe 3 feet long with a huge knot at one end. Around its neck there was a pouch made from leather.

Oh, one thing I should mention is that this tree had no branches on the lower half of the tree where the creature was. It was grasping the tree with one arm, the staff clutched tightly in that hand. Its feet seemed to be dug into the tree trunk.
With its free hand, he pointed at us. Keep in mind that Kyle and I were in opposite ends of the boat, but each of us swore that it was looking straight into the eyes of each of us. Strangely, our sense of fear went away once it gazed into us. A sense of calm and ‘This is gonna be ok’ came over us. Slowly, it withdrew its outstretched hand, opened the pouch around its neck, reached two long fingers inside and took something out. It slowly extended its arm again, and dropped the objects into our boat.

“GWAHHHHHHHHHHHHH SSSSSSSSSSSSSKKKKKKKKKKKKKHHHHHH” is the best approximation of the sound it made. It pointed at us again, then pointed off into the distance, to our right.

It leapt from the tree, landed with a very quiet splash, and darted off. The clouds gathered around the moon, and all the swamp’s inhabitants began making their music once again.

Of course, we didn’t sleep a wink. We sat in silence for the rest of the night, too awed and scared to speak.

The direction it pointed to turned out to be the way back to the trail.

The objects in our boat? Alligator teeth. Freshly dug out from a recently dead gator.

It was clear that this thing had been watching over us.

Once we got back to the canoe center, we told the story of being lost and the gator to the park rangers and Kyle’s family. We left the part about our friend out. After we all settled down a bit, we talked to the rangers about the history of the swamp, hoping to gain some insight into what had happened. They mentioned nothing about ghosts, and scoffed at us when we brought it up. They did say that many indian burial mounds have been found, though... some 4000 years old.

Anyway, Kyle and I talked it about once and only once after it happened. It was so amazing, unbelievable, and awe inspiring that we have no need to discuss it I guess. As for telling the story, no one would believe us anyway.

God’s WorkDuring the summer, usually for a week, me and most of my friends attend a summer camp in northern Ontario. If anyone knows where Monetville, Ontario is, it’s just outside of there. Monetville is south of Sturgeon Falls, if anyone knows that place.

Anyway, the place has been around since the late 1950s, and a lot of weird things have happened up there over it’s history. It’s a Christian camp, but nobody goes because of that, they go because it is a fucking awesome place. I am going to relay you a story of something that happened up there that may or may not be related to this subject. At the very least, it falls into the “fucked up shit that happened in forested areas” category.

This story was told to me by a guy named Rob. He is in his 50s, and has been attending the camp ever since the 1960s. This story takes place in the early 70s, about 1972 or ‘73. Now, Rob is a fairly straight edge Christian guy, and not prone to bullshitting at all.

At this time, the camp wasn’t very large. All they had for lodging was a single building (capable of holding perhaps sixty to seventy people). That year, there were well over a hundred people attending. As such, accommodations were very cramped. There were only two shower stalls for the entire camp at the time, so it was very hard to get a shower.

Rob was staying in a trailer on the south side of the camp, crammed in with about ten other people. One night, he was woken up around one by what sounded like a kick to the side of the trailer. He couldn’t get back to sleep, so he figured he would grab a shower at the time when nobody would be there. He headed out, stuff in hand, and only got halfway there.

He saw a dark figure standing at the edge of the path to the dining hall, which was about 90 degrees perpendicular to the path to the showers. Now, typically when you see a dark figure standing on a path in the middle of a forest, you assume that it’s a camper up to no good. He walked over, intending on asking what they were doing up, when he realized that it was way too tall to be a camper. Suddenly, the guy tore off at a dead sprint. Rob knew that something was up, so he went after the guy.

He chased him past the bathrooms and up to the dining hall. Now this is where it goes into weird territory. The thing jumped over the dining hall. That’s right, jumped over the dining hall. That thing would have had to have jumped close to twelve feet in the air to clear the roof, but it did.

Rob, always one to think of others first, decided that he needed to protect the campers, as he still figured that this was some kind of tricky intruder. He ran around the dining hall and faced the field out back. The whole field is perhaps a few hundred feet from path to forest, with the lake off to one side. The figure was standing in the middle of the field, just standing there. He was only about ten feet from the administrative lodgings, so he ran over (still in sight of the field) and woke up the camp head through the window. After a quick explanation, he was out there, hunting rifle in hand. Yes, they kept a rifle around back then, whereas nowadays parents would go crazy at the thought of their children being near a locked up and unloaded gun.

They started to walk towards the figure in the field, and it started to run again. They went after it, not wanting it heading for the dorms, when it veered off for the forest. The only thing in that direction was campfire rock, followed by miles upon miles of wilderness. This thing was fucking fast, and it had reached the edge of the forest before they got halfway there. However, it waited at the end of the path to campfire rock. They got within fifteen feet of it, and it pulled off a pretty unreal move. It jumped close to ten feet straight in the air, caught the branch of the tree above it, and swung off into the wilderness. As it went away, the administrator got fed up and took a shot at it. Of course, he missed, but woke up half the fucking camp. At the same time, there was a scream from up the path.

Seconds later, a small group of campers ran down, and they went completely white in the face, not at the gun, but at Rob. I’ll get back to that in a minute. Meanwhile, someone had run to the dining hall and called the OPP outpost in Sturgeon Falls. Pretty much the entire camp gathered in the dining hall before they got back. When they entered, I hear it was quite the sight. Rob and the admin completely out of breath, the admin carrying a hunting rifle, and five scared as fuck campers, plus two counsellors. That was when the whole story came out.

Earlier that day, a few of the campers had expressed that they were doubtful about the existence of a god. Not THE God, just a god. Now, this camp is liberal as fuck, and they actually encourage you to look at other religions if you think Christianity doesn’t fit you. Those two counsellors decided that, late that night, they would bring them up to campfire rock and try to help them at least believe in something. Apparently, around one, they had been sitting up there talking, and one of the doubtful campers said, “Okay, if there is a god, let Rob meet us at the bottom of the path when we are done up here.”

Sure enough, look what happened. I have no idea what to think of this story. It is very clearly real, as one of the counsellors at the time was on staff and confirmed that it happened. He was in his teens at the time, and in his forties now. They both swore on their faith that they weren’t lying. I’m not sure about the other guy, but in order for Rob to swear on his faith in god, he would have to be DEAD serious. All I know is that I am never going to go into that forest alone again.

Thoughts? It seemed to be benevolent, and doesn’t really resemble the whole skinwalker mythos much, but I know it’s something weird. I would get hold of Rob himself and find out more, but I lost the camp log with his email address in it.

I woke up in the middle of the night. Everything in my bedroom was normal, nothing out of place, nothing dreamlike about it except for the general mental feeling of things being a little off. I’m sure most of you have had this sensation at one point or another either in a dream or one of those crazy waking-still-kinda-dreaming states. Anyway, I’m lying in bed, wondering if I’m awake or not, when I start thinking “Don’t look out the window” over and over again. It’s urgent, this thought, really serious and pressing. So of course, what do I do? I sit up in bed and turn around to look out the window (which was just over the head of my bed at the time).

The window looked out into my backyard, which was very woodsy and set back away from all the other houses in our neighborhood. There was a big tree right outside of my room and then a clearing of grass and behind that a thick stand of trees. The moon was out, so everything was cast in that lovely silvery hue. But standing there, just outside of my window, underneath that tree and staring right at me, was the most frightening thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

A woman, tall and gaunt, dressed in a tattered white dress, with long, stringy brown hair and deathly pale skin was looking at me. Her eyes were all pupil"just solid black. She stared me down for a brief moment and then opened her mouth into this crazy wide gape and screamed. It was a sound that I’d never heard before nor since, something that tore right down to the pit of my stomach. Something earth-shattering, full of fear and despair and just good, old fashioned horror. It was awful. So awful that the impact of that sound alone sent me tumbling backwards onto my bed.

I crawled under the covers, willing the thing to go away, and after another moment everything got quiet and seemed to go back to normal. Finally, I fell asleep.

So I told my friend the next day at lunch about this dream, that I wasn’t really sure if it was a dream or if I was hallucinating while awake or what, but that it was pretty weird. His first response was “It was a banshee.” I wasn’t all too familiar with them, had only really heard the name before but not the mythology behind them. He explained that, in Irish/European mythology, banshees are harbingers of death and all that good stuff. Usually women, they scream and whoever they appear to / hears them is either going to die themselves or have someone close to them die.

Great. Awesome. Just what I needed. But we went on with our day and after a few weeks I’d managed to put it out of my head. One month later, my mother died from complications during brain surgery.

Yeah, so, that freaked me out a little bit. I don’t know, maybe it was just my subconscious dredging up a story I’d heard but forgotten. Who knows? But it’s always stayed with me and just remembering it makes me shake a little bit. So, there you go, make of it what you will.

We lived in Steens, MS, a very small-ass town. (It’s also the place where giant Native American bones were dug up.) My Aunt told my parents she was driving down the twisty highway right at dusk and something ran up out of a ditch and started pacing her car. She thought it was a huge dog or something until she looked out her window. She said it was a naked man running on all fours with a wolf skin tied around his neck. She said she got up to 80 and the guy/wolf kept up with her car. She drove to my uncle’s house and laid on the horn to afraid to get out of the car but it/he was gone.
This entire event takes place in bumfuck southeastern West Virginia, but very close to Virginia and near the headwaters of the greenbriar river. It was mid-spring and had been raining heavily a day or so earlier. What that means is that water levels are excellent for small creeks and rivers if you like whitewater paddling.

Anyways, my group and I decided to try getting to a creek we had heard about that fed into the greenbriar, or rather into another river that feeds the greenbriar, the basic plan was to use an ancient forest service road to get close to the creek, hike, with our gear and enough shit to camp one night, out to said creek paddle it hard and fast, camp on shores of greenbriar, and have a leisurely paddle to a take out.

Well, shit went poorly on the hike and we didn’t get to the creek till within an hour or so of sun down, but the creek is pounding, so we figure we can make it down fast. We have to scout a lot of rapids though and its dusk by the time this creek is leveling out and we can be sure we are near the greenbriar. This is where it gets strange.

We’re basically home free and I am second in line on an easy ledge, first decenter calls back there is no noticable hydraulic, so I plow ahead and take the drop, and the minute I hit the water after the ledge I know something really bad is happening, if you’ve ever heard of a “paddlesnake”, this was ten times worse, I was getting pulled backward into the ledge and my paddle was just shaking violently, as in I couldn’t get it out of the water, and it was throwing me around. I managed to blow my whistle twice to warn people I’m in trouble, and bam, my paddle is back under my control, unfortunately now my boat is caught sideways in this rapid and I can feel something tipping my boat over, I know I braced perfectly, this is class 3 stuff, it should not be flipping me, but over I go.

So now it is dark out, I’m tired, and fucking capsized, and this water is cold. So, I setup for a roll, and I execute correctly, problem is I only get out of the water long enough to get some air before the something is back and I am upside down again. I go to setup a roll again and as I shift the paddle it gets to shaking again, this time it gets shaken/pulled right out of my hand. Well, Fuck! Thats the biggest mistake in the book, you never lose your fucking paddle. I try to hands roll but I still can’t get upright and stay that way, so finally I realize its time to wet exit, pride be damned. But thats not working either, every time I think I have a hold on the exit loop of my skirt something knocks my hand away, and I need air, so I go to last resort and grab my safety shears, and pray someone got my paddle, cause after I cut my boat and skirt open, I’m gonna want something left from this hellhole. So I get my shears out and find the start point for cutting on my skirt when something grabs my hand, and because everything is already gone so horribly wrong, I panic. I recoil from whatever and drop the shears. It now feels like I have no breath left, and no hope, I figure I’ll pass out and die now, when I find the fucking exit loop. THANK FUCKING GOD. So I wet exit, get above water, get some air, look around...

Now I should mention, that paragragh is long as hell, because when your stuck underwater, it feels like forever, I can honestly say I feel like I spent 10 min under during that, but in fact, the whole ordeal was probably a min to a min and a half tops, no more than 30 sec under water at a time...

So, back to getting my bearings, my first coherent thoughts are, “What the fuck”, how am I ten feet down stream from the rapid, what squirrely currents are this far out that the first guy through didn’t notice. So I blow my whistle 3 times to signal all clear and swim for the whistle response. I find the first guy, we signal all good for the others, and not a single oher person out of 4 has a hint of trouble, now I’m confused and pissed, so we decide to camp. One friend and I go to set up camp, while the rest go to scout the flat water and look for my paddle.

Camp gets setup, others get back, no one has my paddle. We eat our stuff and go to sleep.

Not a damn thing happens all night.

In the morning, with daylight I borrow a set of hand paddles, and we go to take a look at this rapid. I can slide right up to it with everyone else, I can surf it smooth as ice, so what the hell happened last night. Most of the others assume I was too tired, or messed up the line so bad I found a strange eddy, I am starting to think I must have as well. Oh well, we set out down the placid second day of our trip.

We get about 5 miles down stream and onto the greenbriar, when we notice something in a tree about a hundred yards away.

Care to guess what is was?

Thats right, my fucking paddle is tied 15 ft up in a tree that over hangs the river, as stunned as we are, we decide it had to have been a fisherman, who was kind enough to tie it up there. SInce it’s my paddle I get tree climbing duty. As I get to the tree though, I realize it has no lower branches, you have to shimmy a good 10 feet to get a branch, who in their right mind would put a paddle up this stupid tree. Despite this, I struggle up the tree and find that my paddle is tied with very rough leather, and holy safety shears are tied up here as well. I know safety shears, they don’t float, and even if they did, a fisherman would have to have incredible eyes to spot them. I climb down and show everyone, and we’re all pretty speechless. All we can do though is finish the trip, get back, tell a few people, and never get a real good conclusion, other than that it was the weirdest paddling trip I ever took. I know something was fucking me up in that rapid, I’ve had “paddlesnake” experiences, but nothing like that, and I know from going back to it in the morning, there is nothing normally in that rapid that could cause what happened, and I still have no good explanation for how my paddle and shears got in that tree.

Every time I hear the name skin-walker, a shudder runs up my spine. I can’t even say it without convulsing. And that was before reading all these creepy stories and seeing all the freaky pictures.

I live in Arizona, and since high school have run into a fair amount of folks from one of the many reservations about the state. They always have a skin-walker story to tell. I barely remember the stories my old roommate (Navajo from Winslow, AZ) told me, but here’s what I recall:

First story:
Involved my roommate’s aunt, cousin, and niece. Her aunt had an extra-marital affair with another man, and the husband found out. He supposedly enlisted the help of one of the skin-walkers to get her back. One evening, when the aunt, the niece, and the cousin were out on the reservation that night, driving along the road in the aunt’s pickup, the niece looked back behind the truck and asked the aunt, “Who’s that man?” Sure enough, when the cousin and aunt turned around, they saw a man leaning against the back window staring into the truck’s cabin. His eyes stared forward, his hands pressed against the glass, willing himself to get in. The aunt slammed on her brakes. The skin-walker jumped up and hopped over the truck and started running off in front of them, out of sight. Apparently, you’re not supposed to watch them shapeshift, otherwise they die.

Second story:
Happened when the grandmother and the cousin were riding along a rather bumpy road on the reservation, so the car was only moving at twenty miles an hour. Just then, the cousin sees a woman pulling at the handle of the back door. This woman was running along the side of the car and pulling at the door handle. It’s a good thing the grandmother makes a habit of always locking the door. The grandmother sped up, and eventually the skin-walker ran off into the darkness.

A Creature Myths Are Made OfShe lived in Jimboomba, Australia- it’s like a counrty town really, in the middle of no-where, you could hardly call it suburbia with 8 houses and dirt roads. Her parents had gone on a getaway and her sister and she were left in the house. Her room was next to the front door so her ceiling to floor window was facing straight out and could see who was coming and going. Her sisters was too, although her view was a little more obscured.

It was about four in the morning and was moderately warm, and the sun was just threatening to rise. She woke up to a scuffing at the base of her window, scuffing at the gravel outside it followed a moment later by the pawing screeches of something hard at the base of the glass right by where she lay her head. It sounded like a dogs claws scraping... but larger, as if someone were slowly dragging large rocks down it. She felt a shiver travel over her and the room become cold so she pulled her blankets up and tried to convince herself it was just a harmless dog, probably the neigbours got out and was spreading it’s particular breed of havoc on various gardens.

The thought training was working until she heard the huff. It wasn’t like any dog she’d ever heard, it was like a horses puff at twice the volume. A large horse huffing by her window... clawing by her head. She got that feeling everyone keeps talking about, it wasn’t just cold, it was freezing, and she could feel eyes on her, her hairs on end all over her body even under the warmth of her covers. It was so cold her nose started to run. The huffing kept on, she didn’t want to make a noise- she didn’t want to move, she barely took a breath.

She heard a loud thud from something hitting the outside wall and then a heavy scuff, as if a horse were digging it’s hoof into the ground and leaving holes. It was followed by the vibrating sounds of something large moving. She let the feeling of relief that it was finally leaving warm her, it was short lived when overcome by the sheer terror or a rampant rattling and scraping at her front door. She pulled the covers over her, crying with the fear. The screeching of bone on metal and the booming huffs left her imagination wild at what it could have been. She heard her sister scream, and the attack stopped... there was no more noise. She lay there terrified. A few minutes passed and she stretched her hand out to look at her window- sure enough the dirt around her window was scuffed, she pulled the curtain back a little, enough to peek to the door where nothing stood. The scuff marks outside were as if someone had scraped a shovel into the hard dirt and dragged their way up to the dig, but the thing that scared her most was the print. At the top of her window, near the roof of the house, was a mark the size of her fist- a wet nose print at an angle than implied the head had been looking downward.

There was nothing in the fair light to behold. She dared get up finally and shuffled quickly through the house to her sister’s room.
“Did you hear it?” she asked the huddle tightly nestled to the wall. Her older sister looked at her with a face so white she could have been mistaken for dead and said “It looked at me.”

Her sister tried to describe it later that day “like a dog...” she said “black, or really dark brown. It’s hair was so short like a horse’s- but the thing seemed so much larger, it was thinner. It was taller than my window, i’m sure it could have got up on it’s hind legs and just stepped to get on the roof. It’s feet were paws, definitely paws, it didn’t even have big claws -but it’s face,” She had a look in her eyes and wrapped her arms around herself as she paused, scared to simply recall the thing, “Long like a saluki’s... it had round eyes, the size of eggs and creamy white -and there was no light around to make them shine, not like that... it was breathing, I could hear it breathing as it walked away. It looked at me, it looked right at me, and walked away.” and when she finished she wiped the cold sweat from her forhead.

They both moved overseas shortly after.

First OneMy family and I used to camp out in the Texas Hill Country around the Bear Creek area. One weekend, we decided to go to a remote part of the hills and do some camping. We had done a lot of hiking around the place and noticed that the woods were practically untouched. It didn’t even seem to have animal life. One night I couldn’t sleep. I was laying awake in my sleeping bag (on a cot) looking at the roof of the tent when there was a flash of light next to the wall where my head was. I of course freaked out and covered my head. Then I began to hear footsteps. Not careful sneaky footsteps but hard crunching footsteps. I could hear rocks and pebbles being kicked out of the way. I woke up my dad and told him there was something outside the tent making a lot of noise. He told me it was probably some deer and to go back to sleep. Obviously I couldn’t. About 30 minutes after that, the footsteps were back but much closer to the tent. I listened for a while until the footsteps suddenly stopped. There was just complete and utter silence. Then the wierdest thing happened. My dad is a heavy snorer. He stopped snoring. In fact all noise stopped. All I could hear was this heavy raspy breathing coming from right underneath my cot. I screamed as loud as I possibly could, jumped up, and flipped my cot over. Nothing. That night I slept in the center of the tent.
Second OneI was out camping with some friends close to Lake Travis in Texas. The area we went to was pretty crowded (this was summer) and so we tried to find a place far away from the crowd. We ended up hopping some wire fences and moved out on to a private piece of property. After setting up camp, we were all sitting around thinking about what we should do for the weekend. I had to take a massive dump so I told everyone I would be off in the woods. I find a nice clear area covered by underbrush and drop my pants. I’m in the middle of my poo when I look up and staring me right at eye level through a bush about 80 feet out is a human face. I screamed bloody hell and pulled up my pants crapping all over myself. I took off back for camp and had to explain to everyone why I smelled like feces. What irks me to this day is that the face looking back at me had its mouth sewn shut. Well, I was 80 feet away but damn I could’ve sworn.
My mom used to live and teach on the Navajo reservation. After reading this thread I went and asked her if she knew anything or had any stories about the Skin Walkers (they also call them shape shifters). The first story she told me was very similar to this one. Cept one of her Navajo friends saw a man wearing a wolf skin walking on the side of the road. No matter how fast she drove it stayed along her car. *shudders*

She also told me that this sort of thing, witches and skin walkers are VERY real on the reservations and with Indians. The believe it is real and therefor it is real. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to white people usually because they don’t believe it. The skin walkers try to become them and it’s a psychological evil. They have huge ceremonies to cleans people of the evil spirits if they take somebody over and have 9 day sings. These medicine men are trained to memorize NINE DAY sings for these ceremonies.

My mom experienced some really scary shit out there that couldn’t be explained in a logical way. She knew and knows very educated and sane people with these frightening stories from the reservation. I think it’s incredibly interesting and pretty creepy. I sometimes wonder if anything like that happened to me when I was a baby because I lived on the res before my mom moved us to Austin. I stayed with a Navajo family when she worked and they basically worshiped me, this little blond white girl. I wish I could get in contact with them to see if they had any stories from back then.

I have to back up the OP here. I’m originally from southwest Oklahoma, heavy Native American culture. Our stories down there are about owls (major stuff in Kiowa culture) and Deerlady (she’s still your baby). I’ve heard a lot about skinwalkers too. One of my buddies is Kiowa and Navajo, so he had a lot of stories. There is supposedly a place out in Arizona, close to his family’s reservation, where the road bends. You can pull off to the side and shine your lights out over the desert and see this cool rock formation poke out of the desert valley. It’s a sacred place, so these guys would get all excited and jump out of the car and run to the rock, touch it, and run back WITHOUT the car lights on.

So these guys do it - they are laughing and yelling at each other, having a good time. One of the kids that stayed behind in the car flips the car lights on - and BAM! There are “half-animal/half-human things” all around them, running with them, but they scatter as the light his ‘em. Then my friends really, really ran quickly. They wouldn’t go back. They all knew they were skinwalkers.

What’s interesting is.. my reaction, as a white boy, to these stories was curiosity and wanting to explore. I don’t have anything to fear. But for them, you don’t talk about these. You tell the story one night around a few beers, but you don’t play with it. It’s like a warning tale. You don’t bring it up nonchalantly - it’s not entertainment. It’s connected to something deeper. That always made me pause about their stories.

I know that many of these stories aren’t true, but they are interesting.. and the way many Native people treat them is the only thing about them that freaks me out a little bit. There is a chance that my buddies were just trying to scare little ol’ white boy, but if I said something about Deerlady or a skinwalker, they would clam up and get pissed at me. For some of them, if an owl crossed our path, say we are out hiking or driving along the backroads, they would stop the car and go another route. Very serious.

Perhaps some of it is a healthy respect for the mystery and danger of nature. Some of it is a preservation of their culture and where they came from. Some of it may just be superstition. And maybe some of it has truth somewhere.

One more story about the Kiowa tribe...

The Kiowa tribal headquarters is out near Carnegie, OK, and the tribe had been on the decline for some time. There was mismanagement of tribal funds and other political issues. The people sort of formed a movement to have spiritual dances (pow wows) for their tribe. They would do this regularly and try to call the spirits to give their tribe life.

Of the old artifacts they used at these pow wows, they had one of the original Kiowa medicine sticks, a roll of something bundled up with string, vines, old cloth, and leather. I guess there was dissatisfaction with the way the pow wows were working and a lot of skepticism about how to move forward as a tribe. Some of the leaders then decided to open up the medicine stick to see what was inside. They went into a sweat lodge for the better part of the day, praying and chanting. Then their tribal chief opened it up " it turned out it was just a bunch of old sticks.

Since then, the tribe has actually been doing well, especially once it started to get into some casino business stuff.

That story made me both excited and sad. Excited because I wanted to imagine the cool things that one of the original medicine sticks contained. But sad to see such an awesome relic removed of its mystery... Cool stuff.

I’m fortunate enough to live in a part of Australia surrounded by the ocean on one side, and the Great Sandy Desert on the other. The indigenous population in this part of the country have fallen on hard times but before the mining industry really caused this area to boom, they had a very rich oral and traditional culture. The traditional holders of this lore are still too superstitious to talk about it freely, but stories of the Bunyip and the Featherfoot still manage to get around.

When you’re in town surrounded by the trappings of modern civilisation, it’s easy to shrug the stories off. When I was young I was more scared by aliens and ghosts, than a spirit whose feet are covered with feathers, and kills by inserting a long, skinny feather through your clavicle into your heart.

But you don’t have to travel very far out of town to reach the ‘Sacred sites’ where traditional business is conducted to this day. Initiation is surrounded by great secrecy and gravity and you can be speared to death for being the wrong gender on the wrong patch of ground. One man told me that in his native land, the Northern Territory, there are ant hills that reach up to 3m tall. Over there, they sometimes dealt with trespassers by slicing the top off an ant hill and entombing the unfortunate (and still-living) soul inside. A brutal land breeds a brutal people.

My story is from a friend of a friend of mine, a ‘white’ man who decided to go camping in some of the most remote land this country has to offer. He is an experienced camper, knows enough to tell people where he’s going and carries more supplies in his one car for himself than most families need for a week.

He told one of his Aboriginal mates at work about his intended destination, and that he was going alone, and received this one piece of advice: “I know where you’re going mate, and it’s a great place. But if you wake up in the middle of the night, and you hear someone moving around your camp"DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES. Just pretend you’re asleep, and you’ll make it to the next morning.”

He laughs it off"he’s camping way out, far from even the isolated mining camps that spring up around there. He thinks it’s just a cheeky blackfella winding him up.

So he leaves for the long weekend, drives for a few hours and reaches his spot. He does the usual camping stuff"setting up his camp, including the swag, which is a kind of canvas sleeping bag durable enough to not require a tent. He does the usual fishing, rock-climbing, sight-seeing, etcetera. He’s really digging the solitude of being hours and hours away from the nearest human life. Night falls, and he goes to sleep.

He is awoken at some point during the night by the sound of footsteps. Not just one pair of feet, either. Several, passing by his swag and milling around the campsite. He knows for a fact that the nearest settlement is many hours away by 4WD, and he’s sure he didn’t hear any cars approaching. Remembering his mate’s advice, he continued to feign sleep which I imagine is hard to do when you’re fearing for your life. It may have sounded laughable while at work, but here in the middle of the desert and the middle of the night, it’s easier to buy into the superstition. I’ve been camping, I know this.

At some point, fake sleep becomes real sleep, and he woke up in the morning to see an untouched campsite. His fire has burnt down to ashes and the fish he caught the previous day are undisturbed in the esky. He doesn’t see any footsteps. With the lack of evidence, he decides that the incident was just a very vivid dream, brought on by the five beers before bed and the spooky stories of an Aboriginal man.

Until the same thing happens that night as well. By that morning, he is seriously starting to consider leaving, but other than having the willies frightened out of him, nothing is actually touched in the camp and the fishing is good. So he decides to stick to the original plan of one more night. It’s a lot easier to be brave when the sun is beating down.

So that night, he is awoken again by the sound of feet shuffling around the campsite. He can hear several pairs shuffling around but by now he is practiced at being quiet and pretending to sleep. As he is getting lulled back into sleep by the hope that it is merely a hallucination, a PIERCING SCREAM RIPS THROUGH THE NIGHT.

He goes, “Fuck this!”, and scrambles to his feet as fast as his trembling legs allow him. The screaming turns out to be his car alarm. And the shuffling of feet turn out to be a dozen silent Aboriginal warriors, all now looking directly at him. My friend’s friend had encountered one of the nomadic Aboriginal tribes who had set up their own camp not too far from his. One of the men had leant on his car and set off the alarm.

He got the fuck out of there as soon as the light allowed him.

About 4 years ago it was my freshman year of college. I had a new girlfriend and some new friends. Spring break was coming up and we all just wanted to get the hell out of Albuquerque for awhile. One of the guys was an ex-super boy scout or something, and said he knew this great area up north. We took his parents brand new Jeep Liberty, packed up some gear, and hit the highway.

The ride there was beautiful. One of those surreal, once and awhile type of rides where dusk is drawing near, and the desert resembles those corny velvet paintings you find in every southwest gas station. Really relaxing. The first night we set up camp, hung out around the fire, drank beer, and went to bed. My girlfriend and I stayed up late just chit chatting. Eventually we fell asleep.

The next day everyone woke up, ate a ton of bacon, and got bored since there’s not much to “hike” in the desert. Imagine the area we were camped out in though, if you will. Think of a large area, probably 1-2 miles wide in certain sections, with a slightly rocky, slightly sandy, slightly hilly valley. Not a valley in a traditional sense, but the type of valley that is the product of two fault lines tearing apart. Now imagine this valley being surrounded by cloud shape mesas with very, very vertical walls.

Fuck it, we were still bored and wanted to see what the view was like from the top. So we hopped in the jeep and started driving. Eventually we found what was probably a forest ranger trail that looked relatively untraveled. We drove up it, winding back and forth for about 30 minutes until we got to the top.

At the top, everyone got out at about 100 yards before the mesas edge because suddenly the trail became nigh impassible. It just STOPPED. really fucking weird to have a dirt road lead straight into a tree. So we hoofed it for the remainder.

You had to pass through a bunch of pine/cedar trees. If you havn’t been around New Mexican desert/forest area, cedar trees seem to die a lot. And take forever to decompose, they just dry out and practically petrify until some large animal trips over them and splinters them into nasty looking wooden death-spear trees, waiting for you to fall and impale yourself on. By now it had grown overcast, with slight breaks in the cloud cover for rays of sunlight to break through. We make our way past this all and hit the cliff edge. We do the usual college retard stuff, hollering “ECHO, ASSHOLE FUCK BLAH BLAH” and toss a couple of rocks over the edge. I’d guess we were an extra 800-1000 feet above the valley, looking into a nook that extended for about 1/2 mile into the rest of the valley. Finally, we quit being assholes and shut up to let the view soak in. I was watching patches of sunlight crawl across the valley, and noticing the temperature rapidly dropping from what it had been less than an hour ago. It was like the calm before a storm.

All of a sudden, my ears strained. *Thump thump*. Huh? *Thump thump*. I look at my girlfriend and say “Do you hear that?” *Thump thump* “What the hell is that a drum?” We look at each other totally bewildered. As far as we knew, we were the only people around here. You could see anywhere in this valley to look for a vehicle or campsite, and we saw nothing. The trail we took had been unused for at least a week. *Thump thump* Being the curious cat that I am, I started walking toward the sound. I was nearing the edge of this mesa, and could see straight down. I started getting some surreal vertigo thing as I neared the drums. As you round about on this mesa edge, suddenly there is this big fuckoff rock right on top in the edge next to it with a thicket of trees everywhere, a lot more dead cedar than anywhere else. The drumming sounded like it was coming from the other side of the rock.

I couldn’t get there, and I don’t think I really WANTED to see what was on the other side. So I turned around and walked back to everyone else. As soon as I opened my mouth to talk, the drumming increased rapidly into a *thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump* like someone on drugs was going nuts on it. All of a sudden, it stopped.

A couple of seconds later, one of the guys whispers “Look down there, below us.” An absolutely enormous Elk had burst out from underneath us, running as fast as an Elk can probably run. We watched it the whole time as it ran away from our direction, and through this little nitch area. Like I said, it was about 1/4 of a mile. It probably took this thing less than two minutes to cover that distance over some nasty terrain.

While it was kinda freaky, we all felt oddly calm and at ease. Almost as if we all accepted what had just happened. There are stories I’ve heard around here of drumming in the wind, and spirits taking the form of animals etc. I never really bought into them until that moment. While everyone had acknowledged what just happened and had heard the sound, none of us really talked about it. We just silently walked back to the jeep and drove back to camp. Night had just started to set in when we arrived back at our campsite. We all went to bed.

That night it snowed 8?. In March, in New Mexico. I woke up with my tent collapsed on my body. My bag was wet, and so was my girlfriends. Out tent which was water proof and supposedly structurally awesome had protected us from jack shit. The rest of the night we fought off hypothermia, and had a generally miserable experience. We packed up, and went home.

Well I’m not sure if this is a skinwalker story or simply a ghost story or what... but it’s something that chills me to the bone every time I think about it. I was going to make a thread about it sometime but I guess now is as good a time as any.

Last summer, I was over at a friend’s place on a Friday night. It was one of those nights where you could hear thunder rumbling in the distance but watching the radar, you’d think that it would just miss you. It pretty much did: the sprinkling came and went for most of the evening. After a thrilling night of video games or movies or whatever-the-fuck-else I did, it ended up being around 3AM and I figured I should get going because I lived a half hour away and didn’t want to be driving while tired.

Usually when I am driving on the weeknights, I will turn on Coast-to-Coast AM [a radio show about the paranormal and the like] and it keeps me entertained and awake on the drive home. The journey begins in a suburban development and, linking that to another, is about a mile of forest. Because I have a very active imagination, I dread driving through there at night, not because of deer but because of something much worse that could probably eat me.

In any case, this night was strange because I couldn’t get the signal tuned in correctly. I figured that it was because of the weather so I ended up putting in a CD to entertain myself. As I entered the forest... the second I entered the forest... it started to downpour like fucking crazy. The kind of rain where I had to put my wipers on full-blast and it was hardly doing the job. As I was leaning forward, squinting my eyes and navigating the road like a complete nerd, my CD stopped playing and ejected itself from the system. Once it did that, the radio came on [as it always does] and some person was talking about conspiracies or something. I looked down for a split second to comprehend what just happened, as minor as it was.

Once I focused back on the road, the rain cut out and as soon as it did, I saw a figure walking on the right side of the road, facing my car, on the shoulder. It was a woman [I could see bright red hair] in a long white dress. It was flapping in the wind and seeing her there for the split-second that I did, it scared the living fuck out of me. The other thing I noticed was that on her hand [the one I could see], she had the longest fingers I have ever seen in my life. They were so long they they really didn’t seem like fingers but more like blades or something. I can’t explain it. I felt like I was going to have some sort of minor panic attack [I was all wound up at this point] because I KNOW I saw a woman there. It wasn’t my imagination and it wasn’t due to poor weather visibility. There was a woman there in an old white dress, walking in the downpour. After thinking about it, I decided that I would turn around because 1] I really kept telling myself I didn’t see anything and 2] I am a complete idiot. I just wanted to see.

I turned around at the end of the woods and came back the way I came. To make matters worse, this time back, the radio signal was DEAD. I put on my brights and hoped I wouldn’t see anything, yet at the same time wanting to see her again. When I was almost to that end of the woods, I had to slow my car down because there was a gigantic fucking tree that had fallen across the road and there was no way I could ever cross it without severe damage. That JUST happened? Because I was already anxious as hell, I made the quickest U-turn in my life. As I was taking off, SOMETHING banged the fuck on of the back of my car. It was like someone was standing behind it and slapped their hands as hard as they could on my trunk. Along with that, I heard some sort of yell or scream. I hit the goddamn gas as hard as I could, spun my tires in the rain and exited that forest as fast as my car would let me. I was worried there would be another fallen tree on the other side.

I kept thinking it was a goddamn banshee but who knows. I didn’t see any cars broken down and I don’t know why the hell a girl in an old white dress would be walking in the middle of the forest at 3AM during a thunderstorm anyway. If it happened to be innocent, I have a very active imagination. If it was something more, then all my nights awake have been justified.

The Ghandi MonsterThis is a true story. This happened to me when I was 8 years old. I’m now 28 with 3 kids of my own.

It happened in my home town of Sauk Village, IL. Which is known to be a place that Indians passed through using Sauk Trail to get to other destinations. At least that’s what the *offical* story is. There are others, like myself, who believe more. We believe that Indians actually settled there ..if only for brief periods of time. There’s always been talk of bones being found when a pool was dug up or a garden was put it in. But most say it’s just that Not me. I believe it. I also, not only believe, but KNOW, that the ground that Sauk Village is residing on is ...SOUR. Cursed. Beyond anybody’s wildest dreams. And I have many stories to support that belief. But, for now, I will start with my first story of *proof*.

It was a cold *normal* night in the season of Autumn. Cold enough to keep you inside your house and snuggled under a blanket. I was doing exactly that. An eight year old can only do so much during these times and I chose to do my homework so I could read later. I had been listening to a Rick Springfield album on 8 track. I was playing it on my 2XL robot toy. This was a toy that you could put 8 track cartridges is that was made by the company to be a sort of trivia game. You’d play the cartridge and it would ask you questions and tell you jokes. It had two big red robot eyes that flashed red when you were correct. It had 3 buttons you could push to answer your questions. 2XL could also play normal 8 track music. And of course it’s red robot eyes flashed in time with the music. So it was doing exactly just that, on that cold autumn night, flashing it’s eyes to Rick Springfield. And I was quite contented.

My bedroom was on the second floor of my house and faced north. Along with my bed. I had a window north of me and east of me. Of course it was dark outside but it was so warm inside and so very comforting. Every now and again I’d look up from my homework and just look out into the darkness. No reason. It was just something I did. Well, this was the last time I ever did that again in that house.

As I was sitting there ...all of a sudden ...I felt instantly cold. And every single hair on my body was raised. My blood felt like it had ran cold and decided to just stop pumping through my body. My heart was racing. I was perfectly terrified. And I didn’t even know why.....yet. My 2XL was suddenly stuck and it kept playing the same verse from Rick over and over : “Hole in my heart...hole in my heart ..hole in my heart..” and it’s eyes weren’t flashing anymore. No, they were just burning bright red. Blood red. Then I felt this magnetic pull. Like something was pulling me to my right. I turned my head right and looked out the East window and saw *something* that has haunted me for the rest of my life.

Sitting just barely outside my window, levitating, was the most horrifying image I will ever see in my life. A creature. About 2 feet tall ..but sitting Indian style. His skin was snowy white and you could see the outlines of his bones because he was that skinny. He wore some sort of white cloth draped sideways on his body. (This is why I later named him the Ghandi Monster. My young mind thought his skinny body and his white cloth looked like the real Ghandi’s did.) This *creature’s* head was too big for his body. But he was completely bald. His two horrible big dark eyes were piercing my soul as he stared at me. He opened his mouth and grinned a grin at me that haunted my dreams for years. His mouth was full of long snarly razor sharp looking teeth. Dripping with blood. I don’t know how a mouth could fit so many nasty teeth into it. But it did. I watched as the blood dripped from his teeth and slid down his chin and onto his white cloth “diaper” shorts. He raised his hands and reached for me. The fingernails were at least 4 inches long, gnarled looking and sharpened to points. Also dripping with blood.

I wanted to scream. I wanted to run. But I was locked into place by his piercing eyes. I couldn’t breathe. I felt as if my brain was being scrambled and my soul was being raped. His grin became larger and he opened his mouth wider. He kept looking at me. As if he knew me. As if he had been waiting for me. He started to lift his arms more and it looked as if in seconds he would actually be INSIDE my room and not just outside my window.

All traces of reason disappeared and my mind snapped. I still don’t know how I did it but I managed to tear my gaze away and leap off the bed and out my bedroom door. Screaming with every inch of my soul! All in like 2 seconds. I could feel him pulling me. I could feel that horrible stare penetrating my back as I screamed down the hallway to my mother.

Of course when her and my father and younger brother came back ..IT was gone. But they knew I saw something and they did not try to tell me it was imagination. They comforted me and taped up all the windows in my room. They actually had to pull down all the shades and seal all sides with duck tape. I couldn’t sleep in that room for almost a year. The whole family, Mom, dad, and my brother and sister know about this experience. My brother even remembers coming into the room with my parents afterwards. The Ghandi monster was a story we didn’t tell often. But it always brought fear to speak of it. To us and to others. My parents never spoke of it again either.

As I grew up I tried to face my fear and sleep in that room. But never did I sleep with my back to a window. Never.

18 years later I moved to Florida with my own little family and have found peace within myself. But I will never forget that creature. And I will never sleep or sit with my back to a window. And I will never forget the one thing I “heard” it say to me in my mind as I was running out of my bedroom door.
“Someday, I’m coming back....”

Mark was always one of the weirder guys I’d known. He was never content to live what he considered a “mundane” life. He was an artist, an explorer, a scientist in some sort of field never imagined by man. I’ll always wonder what he would have done with his life had he lived past twenty-four. Surprisingly, the fault of his death was not placed on his shoulders, but on the shoulders of the rather inebriated gentleman who plowed him down one day on Main Street.

The funeral was the largest I’d ever been to. People who had only heard of him in vague descriptions and anecdotes were there, crying, laughing, talking about his life and how unfairly it had been ended. I had known Mark well and was not handling the situation in what one would think to be a levelheaded manner. I almost didn’t even show up. Closed-casket. He wouldn’t have wanted this.

It’s funny. I always assumed I’d never see his face again, saving old photographs and home videos.

I was driving on a long stretch of road that ran between our town and a larger, neighboring one. One side was covered in forest, the other pure farmland. I’ve always been uncomfortable driving on roads like that. They’re a little too isolated for my liking, and while I wouldn’t call this particular road’s condition “bad”, the possibility of wrecking in such a place was absolutely nerve-wracking to someone as already anxious about driving as me. It also didn’t help that it was nighttime.

The radio was fading in and out, which, despite sounding spooky to more of you urban types, is actually pretty common out in the countryside. Still, I’d prefer something to listen to, and the car I was using at the time didn’t have a CD player. I eventually turned the radio off, quickly regretting the action and growing uncomfortable in the silence that followed. It was then that I spotted the pedestrian walking about twenty, maybe thirty feet, up ahead.

Wondering why anyone would be walking such a lonely and creepy road at night, I merely glimpsed in his direction. We managed to make eye contact for a brief moment, and I almost drove off the road. It was Mark. Same hair (facial included), same strange little smirk, some posture. Mark had always been a fairly harmless guy, but I must’ve went double the speed limit for about the next mile.

Eventually I convinced myself it was just some random pedestrian who happened to look like Mark. Still, every now and then when I was out in the more rural areas of town, I’d catch glimpses of what looked like the same guy. He was always just walking with a Mark-esque smirk on his face. One very memorable occasion happened to me while working on my uncle’s farm to earn some extra cash during the summer. Now, there was quite a bit of distance between us, but I watched the Mark Doppelganger (or at least, that’s who it looked like) walk the road by my uncle’s farm. He only looked at me once, and though I was too far away to tell, I just knew he had that horrible smirk on his face.

I became very paranoid and avoided that part of town as much as possible. Sometimes, while in that area where you’re not quite awake and not quite asleep, I could’ve sworn I heard Mark calling my name. I was on the verge of a breakdown. Things were only worsened when I had to take part in an activity that required me to drive down the same road I had first seen Mark Doppelganger. I came up with every excuse possible to get out of it, but there was no hearing it. If I had had a full bladder, I probably would’ve pissed myself at the very mention of having to go back there.

By this time I finally had a CD player in my car and was listening to some Doobie Brothers. I remember the song that was playing when my car broke down - “Jesus is Just Alright”. Oh, yeah, my car broke down. I actually whimpered when it made that last shudder as I pulled over to the side of the road. I was still somewhat young and stupid, and this was my first breakdown, so my first decision was to call my mom. Fortunately, she was intelligent enough to call people who could actually help me.

I laid in the car for a few minutes, and my eyes got that feeling where it seems like they weigh at least twenty pounds each. I actually fell asleep. I awoke maybe three minutes later and noticed a figure walking out in front of my car. It was Mark Doppelganger. I had been completely vulnerable, yet he had done nothing to me. I finally gathered up all the nerve in me and got all of the car.


The figure stopped in its tracks. Turning around, it slowly walked back towards me. We were soon only about fifteen feet apart. As my eyes squinted to get a good look at his face, it took on what some call the “Uncanny Valley” effect. It was Mark’s face alright, but there were a few things I hadn’t noticed from the brief glances I’d gotten of it prior. First off, the face sagged grotesquely in the front. Not wrinkles or anything like that; it was more like a poorly-fitting mask. Behind the “eyeholes” was only pure darkness. What I had thought was a smirk was actually the mouth frozen in a way almost reminiscent of a stroke victim. This was all horrible enough, so just imagine when the thing, lips moving slowly and just a bit out of sync, began to speak.

“You idiot, Mark’s dead.”

I grew dizzy, and I guess I must‘ve fainted. I was woken by a strange guy named Ed who smelled of corn chips. I tried to explain what had happened to me, but he seemed a little too spaced out to care. Not long after our “conversation”, I decided it’d be best not to tell anyone. I was just too worried about what people would think of my mental health. I have never gone back down that road again, and on the few occasions I‘ve been through the countryside, I haven‘t spotted him again. I still have no clue what the hell that thing was, but I can tell you this: it sure as hell wasn’t Mark.

When I was six or seven I was past using a night light, but I liked to keep the bathroom light outside my room on and the door to my room slightly cracked. I woke up and the door was fully, inexplicably open. Set perfectly in the light of the bathroom was a figure taller than my father but with his same general build. Taller than my father means a lot; my dad is 6'5?.

The apparition/hallucination was sepia colored and covered in tattoos. Very geometric black bars. He didn’t have a loincloth or anything, but there was nothing between his legs. And it wasn’t scary or gross, not like some of the nullo fetish shit I’ve seen. I understood that it’s lack of genitalia did in no way prevent it from being very male.

I said “Dad?”, knowing it wasn’t dad, kind of confusedly/half asleep and saw it slowly, patiently, not just patiently but with what appeared to be genuine compassion, shake its head.

My vision became skewed and no longer under my control and I felt myself dissolve to flatness under my blankets. My view zoomed in to his face and he had big, like twice as big as they should be for his head, almond shaped eyes. His iris were the color dark blue appears to be in sepia photographs. Then my view zoomed out and I saw his mouth. It was like the mouth on a praying mantis and I was disgusted but he smiled with it somehow and I was put at ease. Very much at ease. I have never before or since that moment felt so blissfully free from fear. Like, I was unaware before that I was so afraid all the time, that there was this constant and terrible negative emotion that I carried with me. That anxiety was the background of my life.

He raised his hand from his hip and I was aware of him doing this in a weird way. I saw him do it and I felt him do it, as though I was privy to his body. I felt my body back in the bed begin to rise and I saw it from my eyes and his eyes and the eyes that were neither of ours that zoomed in and out and suddenly, very suddenly the room twisted and collapsed in on itself and I lost consciousness.

For a number of years it was not a bad memory. I recollected on it often and was grateful to have witnessed it.

When I was fourteen I was at summer camp with the boy scouts. We had just moved in to our campsite at like six in the evening. I remember being pissed because the road into camp was too rocky and we had to haul all our shit in from the trailer like 50 yards over these like football to large watermelon sized brown rocks that jutted out of the ground. Or, more specifically, pissed that I had to coordinate a bunch of younger kids to do this.

It was too hot in the big canvas military surplus tents that all boyscout camps seem to have and there was this wonderful breeze coming in off the lake. It was one of those outdoor experiences that orgasm cannot match; it was more sensual and more pure. So I strung up a hammock and a mosquito net about 20 yards away from my tent and slept outside in just swimming trunks and boots.

I woke up while the moon was in the middle of the sky, thankfully. You could have read a newspaper by it. I was incredibly thirsty and my water bottle, which according to boyscout rules I always had to have full and in my possession, was empty.

I got out of my hammock and began walking towards the campsite and our water cooler. As I came out of the trees and into the open field our site was in, I became very, very aware of the rock field that lead in to our camp site. I stopped and stared into it, trying to pick out whatever was in the dark. I was used to feeling paranoid in the wild at night, and passed it off as the usual unfamiliarity with my surroundings.

As I looked away and began walking towards the water cooler again a rock moved. I stopped and stared into the field again and could pick out nothing but rocks. Knowing that rocks do not move and tacking it up again to paranoia, I looked away again and began walking towards the water cooler. Again, I saw in my peripheral vision a rock moving, moving towards me very slowly. I stopped but did not look directly at it and it kept coming. When I did look directly at it, it stopped. I did not feel scared. I felt maximally, totally alert.

Like it was staged, I played the stop and let it get closer look at it to stop it game to time the rocks approach so it and I would arrive at the water cooler at the same time as I did and not somehow end up behind or to the side of me when I got my water. I understood these to be the rules of the game.

The water cooler sat on a bench, and the path the rock and I took put us on opposite sides of it. I had won the game and the rock was directly in front of me. This next part will cause you to say that this was nothing out of the ordinary, but this is one of those instances where I have to say that I know what I saw. The rock changed into a cat. It became the cat stepping out of it. A big cat. Not a puma, but something like a long housecat with a very long tail. A tail as long as its body. I was at the extreme northern range of the ocelot in north central Texas, and this is what I assumed it to be. I saw it dissolve out of a rock that followed me and look like no cat I had ever seen, but I rationally guessed myself to be stalked by an ocelot. Which would not happen.

I went right up to the bench and filled my water, now actually shakingly afraid and sweating. I stopped filling my bottle as it came closer and began to cross under the bench, slammed the lid shut (it was a big sports bottle) and squirted water at it while hissing at it. I did not want to yell and I don’t know why.

It did not do what a wild animal would do with a human being ten times its weight stomping and spraying water and hissing and you know, run away. Instead it stopped and cocked its head to an extreme angle. Almost a full hundred and eighty degrees. I stared at it and though it was ten feet away and a bright night I couldn’t see a single feature on it. We stood still for a few seconds and it shrugged, yes shrugged, and walked away into a small stand of bushes. I walked to the bench and stared into the bushes and my vision cut out and I saw the being that appeared in my door way seven years before, but he was no longer sepia colored or a man. He was the cat and in color. The black bars of his tattoos had become a sky blue and terracotta paneling that covered his body. They looked like stained wood and rock and clay. It looked at me with it’s mantis face and I didn’t feel comfort or calm, it didn’t smile, but I wasn’t afraid. I was confused and paralyzed. I could feel nothing.

My vision returned to me and I stared into the bushes. I wanted to go check it out. I needed closure, I wanted to know why this happened again. What before was a curious gratitude was now anxiously mysterious and I didn’t like it.

Instead of checking it out, I “realized” that I had been “stalked” by an ocelot, maybe by one that people had fed before. It was used to people and didn’t realize we were afraid of the dark. But when I thought this I became scared and cold and goose bumped and I pissed myself a little.

Then I went into my tent that was too hot and laid awake. I told myself I had made it all up, that the mantis man in my childhood was a dream or sleep paralysis and that I had just got scared of a cat. Then I tried to read a book I brought with me but I couldn’t focus at all and forgot every paragraph I had read by the time I got to the next one. I wasn’t afraid but I felt like I had the worst caffeine hangover I have ever had and I was tense and every muscle ached. I fell asleep just as the sun rose.

I have read Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World, where he talks about alien abductions and ghost stories and about how all have a rational psychological basis. I had read it just before I went camping that summer. I have experienced sleep paralysis once since, and it was nothing like what I have related here. I have had, twice, shared hallucinations that I am sure were hallucinations. A sense of a presence where both myself and another person simultaneously got the willies and thought another person was with us. These were both while walking in the dark, under power lines. I understood them and laughed them off with no anxiety.

Me and my family used to drive down to Moclipse (I live in Washington, just to make sure)and stayed at this little motel by the beach. Moclipse itself was an odd town, consisting the “downtown” area was some cheap restaurants and tacky tourist shops with maybe one gas station around the center of town while the outskirts were filled with dilapidated vacation houses and abandoned building. The road leading to the motel literally had no public functioning public buildings and the majority of beach shanties that dotted the outside were abandoned.

One year I took a friend and to pass the time we would walk around the quasi ghost town and just tell jokes and stories and generally just hang out long past sunset, I could never help feeling uneasy on the walks back during the the unusually foreboding nights. One particularly lazy day we walked down to the beach and just sat on the beach walls and toiled away the day talking about typical teenage things.

The anatomy of the beach was kind of odd and worthy of mentioning, there was the standard beach that spanned for miles onward; to the right side facing the motel was a plateau of what appeared to be made of clay that was separated from the rest of the beach by a urine hued creek, which seemed to get its color from the tide ebbing through and soaking rusty pillars that protruded out of a section of the river that extended wider than the rest of it, creating a circular junction where it continued onward. If you followed father it would lead to a densely wooded area that smelled like algae and dense brush.

Around mid noon we waded through the river on a spur of the moment decision and followed it to said wooded area and just let the scenery soak in. My friend decided to go back and call his girlfriend, I told him I’d be in a little later since I wanted to chill here for a while. He shrugged and made his way through the thin shoreline that lead back to the regular beach and ultimately the motel. I just lounged around in a lulled state of mind, it really was a beautiful area and the euphoric feeling persisted until nightfall.

I was surprised how easily I lost track of time (I later found out I was gone for 3 hours). Night seemed to go from a soft blue to an inky black in an unnaturally fast time. Now, I have an extraordinary sense of direction, I once was able to find my way back to a friends house in a completely unfamiliar town when I was at least 6 or 7 miles away in the dark (uphill, in a snow storm, on horse back, and whatever grandpa story telling mechanic you can think of) but I found myself lost on the way back. I had continued for a while yet nothing looked familiar and there was no one around as far as I could see. At this point I felt a shiver go down my back, which I normally wouldn’t give a second thought since this is to be expected in cold weather, but this seemed almost unnatural.

I began hearing strange bird calls that I’ve never heard before or since. I can’t really describe it as anything other than a hollow moan followed by a coarse whelp. I was feeling pretty creeped out by now as I was lost and hearing phantom bird call and naturally I started walking at a hotfoot pace. The plateau seemed to continue indefinitely into the horizon and I couldn’t even spot the coast line, it was creepy as fuck not being able to see the ocean at a beach.

At this point the ghost birds had stopped for a while so I eased up a little, but as soon as I started walking I felt like I was hit with it. It sounded like it was no more than 2 inches in front of my face and in the darkness I could notice the silhouette of a tattered animal that couldn’t have possibly belonged in a beach. It took every inch of me to force myself to move any part of my body and I booked it in the opposite direction until I reached the river which seemed like it took an eternity to reach.

As I made it back to our room I told everyone what happened and they just dismissed it as an overactive imagination ( I was 14 at the time). I found out that side of the beach was an Indian reservation a considerable time after. I hadn’t given it any thought until now.

ALL OF HER LIFE, Frances T. has “seen things,” heard things and felt them. Born into a family of sensitives, this was rather normal. “In my family, you were considered odd if you didn’t experience ‘abnormal’ things,” Frances says. “We never talked much about our experiences or our feelings about them. We just accepted them as normal - which, in fact, to us they are.”

But nothing could have prepared her family for what they encountered on a dark, desolate road in Arizona 20 years ago. It’s a mysterious and traumatizing event that haunts them to this day.

Frances’s family had moved from Wyoming to Flagstaff, Arizona in 1978 shortly after her high school graduation. Sometime between 1982 and 1983, 20-year-old Frances, her father, mother and her younger brother took a road trip back to Wyoming in the family pickup truck. The trip was a vacation to visit with friends in and around their old hometown. The only member of the family not present was her older brother, who was in the Army and stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

The course along Route 163 took them through the Navajo Indian Reservation and through the town of Kayenta, just south of the Utah border and the magnificent Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Anyone who has lived in Arizona for any length of time knows that the Indian Reservation can be a beautiful if harsh place for non-natives. “Many strange things happen out there,” Frances says. “Even my friend, a Navajo, warned us of traveling through the reservation, especially at night.”

Along with the warning, however, Frances’s Native American friend blessed the family, and they were on our way.

We have companyThe trip to Wyoming was uneventful. But the trip back to Arizona along the same route more than justified the warning from Frances’s friend. “It still gives me goose bumps,” she says. “To this day, I have major anxiety attacks when I have to travel through the north country at night. I avoid it at all costs.”

It was a warm summer night, about 10:00 p.m., when the family’s pickup was heading south on 163, about 20 to 30 miles from the town of Kayenta. It was a moonless night on this lonely stretch of road - so pitch black that they could only see just a few feet beyond the headlights. So dark that closing their eyes actually brought relief from the fathomless black.

They had been driving for hours with Frances’s father at the wheel, and the vehicle’s passengers had long ago settled into quiet. Frances and her father sandwiched her mother in the truck’s cab, while her brother enjoyed the night air in the back of the pickup. Suddenly, Frances’s father broke the silence. “We have company,” he said.

Frances and her mother turned around and looked out the back slider window. Sure enough, a pair of headlights appeared over the crest of a hill, then disappeared as the car went down, then reappeared. Frances commented to her father that it was nice to have company on this stretch of road. If something went wrong, neither vehicle and its passengers would be alone.

Thunder began to rumble from the vast, clouded sky. The parents decided that their son should come into the cab before he got soaking wet from any rain that might fall. Frances opened the slider window and her little brother crawled in, squeezing between her and her mother. Frances turned to close the window and again noticed the headlights from the following car. “They’re still behind us,” her father said. “They must be going to either Flagstaff or Phoenix. We’ll probably meet them in Kayenta when we stop to fuel up.”

Frances watched as the car’s headlights crested another hill and began its descent until it disappeared. She watched for them to reappear... and watched. They didn’t reappear. She told her father that the car should have crested the other hill again, but hadn’t. Maybe they slowed down, he suggested, or pulled over. That was possible, but it just didn’t make sense to Frances. “Why in the hell would a driver slow down or, worse yet, stop at the bottom of a hill in the middle of night, with nothing around for miles and miles?” Frances asked her father. “You’d think they’d want to keep sight of the car in front of them in case anything happened!”

People do weird stuff when they are driving, her father replied. So Frances kept watching, turning around every few minutes to check for those headlights, but they never did reappear. When she turned to look one last time, she noticed that the pickup was slowing down. Turning back to look out the windshield, she saw that they were rounding a sharp bend in the road, and her father had slowed the truck to about 55 mph. And from that moment, time itself seemed to slow down for Frances. The atmosphere changed somehow, taking on an otherworldly quality.

Frances turned her head to look out the passenger window, when her mother screamed and her father cried out, “Jesus Christ! What the hell is that!?”

Frances didn’t know what was happening, but one hand instinctively reached over and held down the button for the door lock, and the other tightly grabbed the the door handle. She braced her back against her small brother and held firmly onto the door, still not knowing quite why.

Her brother was now yelling, “What is it? What is it?” Her father immediately flipped on the interior cab light, and Frances could see that he was petrified. “I have never, ever seen my father that scared in my whole life,” Frances says. “Not when he came home from his tours in Vietnam, not when he came home from ’special assignments,’ not even when someone tried to firebomb our house.”

Frances’s father was as white as a ghost. She could see the hair on the back of his neck standing straight out, like a cat’s, and so was the hair on his arms. She could even see the goose bumps on his skin. Panic was filling the small cab. Frances’s mother was so frightened that she began shouting in her native Japanese in a high, squeaky voice as she frantically wrung her hands. The little boy just kept saying, “Oh my God!”

">From out of the ditchAs the pickup sped around the bend in the road, Frances could see that the shoulder dropped off deeply into a ditch. Her father slammed on the brakes to prevent the truck from swerving into the ditch. As the pickup was slowing to a stop, something leapt out of the ditch at the side of the truck. And now Frances could clearly see what had started the panic.

It was black and hairy and was eye level with the passengers in the cab. If this was a man, it was like no man Frances had ever seen. Yet despite its monstrous appearance, whatever this thing was, it wore a man’s clothes. “It had on a white and blue checked shirt and long pants - I think jeans,” Frances testifies. “Its arms were raised over its head, almost touching the top of the cab.”

This creature remained there for a few seconds, looking into the pickup... and then the pickup was past it. Frances could not believe what she had seen. “It looked like a hairy man, or a hairy animal in man’s clothing,” she says. “But it didn’t look like an ape or anything like that. Its eyes were yellow and its mouth was open.”

Although time seemed frozen and distorted in this moment of fantastic horror, it was all over within a few minutes - the headlights, her little brother coming into the cab and the “thing.”

By the time the family reached Kayenta for gas, they had finally calmed down. Frances and her father climbed out of the pickup and checked the side of the truck to see if the creature had done any damage. They were surprised to see that the dust on the side of the truck was undisturbed, and so was the dust on the hood and roof of the truck. In fact, they found nothing out of the ordinary. No blood, no hair... nothing. The family stretched their legs and rested at Kayenta for about 20 minutes. The car that had been following them never did show up. It’s as if the car simply vanished. They drove home to Flagstaff with the cab light on and the doors securely locked.

“I wish I could say this was the end of the story,” Frances says, “but it’s not.”

The ‘men’ at the fenceA few nights later, around 11:00 p.m., Frances and her brother were awakened by the sounds of drumming. They looked out his bedroom window into the backyard, which was surrounded by a fence. At first, they saw nothing but the forest beyond the fence. Then the drumming grew louder, and three or four “men” appeared behind the wooden fence. “It looked like they were trying to climb the fence, but couldn’t quite manage to bring their legs up high enough and swing over,” Frances says.

Unable to get into the yard, the “men” began to chant. Frances was so scared, she slept with her little brother that night.

Sometime later, Frances sought out her Navajo friend, hoping she could offer some explanation for these strange incidents. She told Frances that it was a Skinwalker that had tried to attack her family. Skinwalkers are creatures of Navajo legend - witches that can shape-shift into animals.

That a Skinwalker attacked them was quite unusual, Frances’s friend told her, as it had been a long time since she has heard of any activity about Skinwalkers, and that they normally don’t bother non-natives. Frances took her friend back by the fence where she had seen the strange men trying to climb in. The Navajo woman considered the scene for a moment, then revealed that three or four Skinwalkers had visited the house. She said that they wanted the family, but could not gain access because something was protecting the family.

Frances was astonished. Why, she asked. Why would the Skinwalkers want her family? “Your family has a lot of power,” the Navajo woman said, “and that they wanted it.” Again she said that Skinwalkers usually don’t bother non-natives, but she believed that they wanted the family enough to expose themselves. Later that day, she blessed the perimeter of the property, the house, the vehicles and the family.

“We haven’t been bothered by Skinwalkers since then,” Frances says. “Then again, I haven’t been back to Kayenta. I have gone through other towns on the reservation - yes, at night. But I’m not alone; I carry a weapon. And I carry protective amulets.”

I went to college in a place with a bunch of history, and had a number of very strange, and/or very odd experiences. A lot of them were related to the group of people that I was hanging around with, others were things that personally occurred to me. A lot of what I could say, I won’t, because I don’t trust the validity of many of these things. So I’ll just relate what I personally saw or felt and stick to that. This all happened about 6 years ago.

It’d been my second semester at college, and I had just gotten started with Wicca (that’s awhole ‘nother story, and no I haven’t been Wiccan for about 3 years now), I was getting on my feet with that, being a newbie basically, when I undertook a project to make myself a broom. I’d figured a handle would be easy enough to find, and I knew where to get some straw. It was late at night, probably after 1 am(because I do everything at night, and sleep during the day; still do), so I went out to find the stuff. My dorm was down by the river (Wabash river for anybody interested), so I went down there, to find the straw, and get my project done.

It was dark, and when I got to the place, where I knew I’d find the straw, I gathered up what I wanted and started poking around in the brush looking for a handle. That’s when it happened.

I heard a sound coming from the direction of the river, like a small child giggling. It was really creepy, and I looked around and didn’t see anybody. At the same time, I was assaulted by a strong sense that I really shouldn’t be there, and that I should go. It was unlike any feeling I’ve ever felt before or since then. So I got the hell out of there, with my stuff for the broom. I didn’t run, I didn’t jog, I just got out of there. Within a couple of minutes my shoulder began to hurt, like I’d been hit with a heavy weight. I didn’t trip or fall, or do anything to injure it, and I was never able to explain why that suddenly occurred. Never had any similar problems with it before or since then.

Just One Of Those ThingsI still don’t know what exactly happened. When I was 13 I was sleeping over at a friend’s house. It was summer time and it had just gotten dark so I’m guessing it was about 10 pm or so. His dad wasn’t home and his mom had already gone to bed. We decided to sneak out to a big field filled with broom bushes behind his house to smoke some cigarettes.

By the time we were halfway through smoking our second cigarette we started hearing noises in the bushes. At first we thought we had been caught so we quickly stamped out our smokes and ducked down to try and hide. The noises persisted but we still couldn’t see anything. We decided to make a break for it and head back to his house hoping no one had seen us smoking.

When we got back to his place we washed our hands and brushed our teeth to cover up the smell of the smoke and went to the family room in the basement to watch tv, read comics, and in general act all innocent. That’s when we heard what sounded like footsteps walking toward the back door. Well, we were freaking out big time by then. We were sure we were busted. Someone was coming to rat us out to his mom. I turned off the tv and we waited with baited breath for the inevitable knock at the door. It never came.

My friend turned out the light and crept up to the basement window that faced the back yard to see who was out there. A few seconds later he let out what sounded like a sigh of relief and said “Oh!” I asked him what it was and he said “Just one of those things.” I then asked him “what things?” He said he didn’t know, he had never seen one before. I asked him to descibe what he saw but he couldn’t remember what it looked like.

The really odd part of all this is he didn’t think any of this was strange at the time. It wasn’t until the next day that he started feeling scared and uneasy. Even though he couldn’t remember any specific details about what he saw he knew what he saw walked upright like a person but it definitely was not a person.

I don’t think he was screwing around with me either because he maintained this account for several years after the event.

Okay, Let me tell you a story to chill the bones,about a thing that I saw one night wandering in the Everglades, I’d one drink, but no more. I was rambling, enjoying the bright moonlight, gazing up at the stars, not aware of a presence so near to me Watching my every move. Feeling scared and I fell to my knees as something rushed me from the trees, took me to an unholy place and that is where I fell from grace. Then they summoned me over to join in with them to the dance of the dead. Into the circle of fire I followed them, into the middle I was led.

As if time had stopped still I was numb with fear, but still I wanted to go and the blaze of the fire did no hurt upon me, as I walked onto the coals. And I felt I was in a trance and my spirit was lifted from me, and if only someone had the chance to witness what happened to me: And I danced and I pranced and I sang with them - all had death in their eyes. Lifeless figures they were undead all of them, they had ascended from hell

As I danced with the dead my free spirit was laughing and howling down at me. Below my undead body just danced the circle of dead. Until the time came to reunite us both my spirit came back down to me, I didn’t know if I was alive or dead as the others all joined in with me. By luck then a skirmish started and took the attention away from me. When they took their gaze from me was the moment that I fled. I ran like hell faster than the wind but behind I did not glance. One thing that I did not dare Was to look just straight ahead

When you know that your time has come around you know you’ll be prepared for it. Say your last goodbyes to everyone, drink and say a prayer for it - When you’re lying in your sleep, when you’re lying in your bed and you wake from your dreams to go dancing with the dead. To this day I guess I’ll never know just why they let me go but I’ll never go dancing no more ‘Til I dance with the dead

But seriously, folks, a friend of mine was camping in central Australia with some Aboriginal friends of his. They were sitting around a camp fire, as you do, when suddenly the ghost of an Aboriginal Elder appeared sitting in a tree. He began talking to the Aboriginals in the group in their traditional language for about 15 minutes before he disappeared again. I know this story isn’t as interesting as some of the other stuff in this thread, but its always weird when you hear it from someone you know.

Here’s my story. It’s a firsthand experience of my best friend (Joe) while I was with him, completely true, and we have never been able to explain it. He is not at all the type to make shit up either, he’s a real quiet sensible person.

We were both probably 15 or 16 at the time. Every easter, his family and mine would go camp on a 10K acre peice of land that has been in the family for a long time. It was originally a Spanish Land Grant (google it if you want) and it’s about 40 minutes south of Santa Maria, CA. I have grown up camping there several times a year my entire life. We have different campsites, but this one is up on a foothill and splotched with juniper bushes and whatever those bushes are you find all over CA desert. During the spring the hills are covered in lovely grass and wildflowers, and it’s a great place to be. This photo is taken from the campsite, facing 180 degrees from the area this story takes place in.

Anyway, our families were all gathered around the campfire after dark, roasting marshmallows or something similar. Joe and I were restless, and I went to take a shit. I armed myself with shovel, TP & matches and walked about 100 yards away from the camp, just off the crest of the hill and into a thicket of junipers.

Night time at this land is very neat but somewhat eerie. The closest big city is about 40miles to the north as I previously mentioned, so there’s no ambient light except for the moon and stars - it’s very beautiful and a great place to stargaze. It’s so dark that an amateur astronomy group once set up their telescopes to watch a meteor shower or something along those lines.

I have never really felt threatened up there having spent so much time on the land. I know almost every area of it and could easily navigate it in the dark from one end to the other if need be. However, I have always had a feeling that it’s a strange place - like maybe something strange lives there, or aliens visit it or something. I don’t believe in “aliens”, but I always felt this way. I have always expected to come across a grimly tortured and mutilated cow, or something like that.

I felt this way that night, but having taken hundreds of shits on the land I shook it off and did my business. Afterwards, I walked back through the dark junipers, which were eerily and impressively silhouetted against the night sky. I hurried back to the warm circle around the campfire, but Joe was gone. I sat down and he came trotting back to the camp and went over to the kitchen area, looking jittery.

I walked up to him and asked where he had been. He looked kinda white. This is the conversation that followed:

Joe: “Dude, um... have you been back at the campfire long?”
Me: “Yea, like three minutes”
Joe: “Seriously, you weren’t out there just now?”
Me: “No, why?”
Joe: “Come on, you scared the crap out of me”
Me: “No, I’m serious, I did my business and came right back”

He was silent and his eyes were wide. I had never seen him look this scared and bewildered, he has always been a very tough kid and is actually in the Army Rangers right now.

Joe: “Fuck dude, I went out there to find you and try to scare you as you shit. I couldn’t find you, so I walked back through those junipers. Right when I was in the center of them I saw a tall person standing in the heart of one; I could see his face in the moonlight, staring at me. I thought it was you and laughed and said you got me, but you just stood there staring. I told you again that I saw you, but you just kept looking right at me. I could see your face, dude, tell me if you were in that bush.”

I convinced him I wasn’t and he freaked out even more. He was absolutely sure he saw a person and definitely a head in that bush. This was before we drank on our trips, so we were both stone sober. We armed ourselves with .22 rifles and flashlights and walked back to the juniper grove, but couldn’t get ourselves to walk inside. We shined our lights around but didn’t see anything.

We spent the rest of the night near the campfire and checked out the bush in the morning. There was sort of a hollow area in the branches, but junipers tend to do that. They have dark bark and there was nothing white or face-like on that side of the bush which looked just like the ones in my photo.

He maintains to this day he saw someone looking at him. I have wild goosebumps just retelling this story. The closest human life lived about five miles away at a little ranchouse tucked away in the foothills, but you would have to do some serious hiking to get to where we were.

I still think his imagination got the best of him but he swears against it. I don’t think there was any indian activity in those mountains, but the skinwalker stuff got me thinking.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight.

Mysterious Wampas CatOf all the fabulous creatures in East Tennessee folklore, nothing stirs the imagination like the so-called Wampas Cat " a giant feline said to walk on its hind legs.

There is, for instance, the account of a Knoxville man. He heard a commotion in his garden late one night. Thinking that a raccoon was after his vegetables, the man stormed out the back door determined to shoot the intruder. Halfway to the garden he noticed two glowing yellow eyes staring at him from behind the pole beans. They stood about four feet off the ground and were unblinking. A cold shiver went up the man’s spine. He dropped his shotgun and ran back into the house, locking the door behind him. He thought that a lion had escaped from the Knoxville Zoo.

On another occasion and man and his wife were staying at the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, Virginia. The first night they decided to take a moonlit stroll around the historic town. Just as they were crossing the lawn in front of the Martha Washington, they noticed something stirring under the metal fire escape of the Barter Theater across the street. The thing, whatever it was, must have seen the couple coming because it scurried away. The man and woman looked at each other in amazement.

Both of them had just seen a large cat running away on its hind legs. Another time a fourteen year old girl was retiring for bed. Just as she turned off the lights, she had the uneasy feeling that something was watching her. She looked toward her bedroom window. A pair of eyes stared into the room. It looked like a huge tom cat. She screamed in terror and the eyes disappeared. The occasion was especially hair-raising because the girl’s bedroom was on the second floor of the house.

There was no porch roof outside on which to stand and look in a window. Who, or what, is the Wampas Cat? There are several theories about this elusive animal. One is that the cat is a demon that terrorizes the countryside. Another, and my favorite, is that the cat is the ghost of an young Cherokee woman who, hundreds of years ago, chased a demon away from her home village. In life this woman was married to a great warrior. One day, a demon appeared just outside of the village, where the couple lived, and made itself known by hideous howling in the woods.

At the urging of the rest of the villagers, the husband went into the woods to slay the demon. He returned a few hours later, but something was terribly wrong. The warrior was totally insane and the demon could still be heard howling. The demon had surprised him " taken him unaware " and the sudden sight of the terrible monster had driven this great warrior completely out of his mind. The warrior’s wife then claimed her right of revenge against the demon. She consulted the medicine man who gave her some sound advice. “You must see the demon before it sees you,” he said.

He gave her the sacred “black drink” to cleanse her body and soul. Then he gave her a mask to wear. It was made from the face of a large wildcat. Hopefully, the mask would scare the demon. Late that night the woman ventured out into the woods to hunt the demon. She could hear it howling in the distance and followed the sound, walking slowly and carefully, daring not to make the slightest noise. Finally, after an hour, she peered around some bushes and spied a great hulk of fur, sitting beside a steam in the moonlight, face turned away. It was the demon.

Luckily it hadn’t spotted her first. The woman in the mask reached out and grabbed a twig from the ground. Then she broke it with a loud snap. Startled, the creature whirled around. It’s face was the most horrible thing that the woman had ever seen and she screamed so loudly that the entire woods reverberated with the sound of her terror. But the demon had been caught off-guard. The sight of the “screaming cat” so unnerved it that it leaped to its feet and ran away. The demon was never seen in those parts again.

A description of the Wampas Cat roughly fits that of a small woman wearing the mask of a cat. Could this legendary creature, then, actually be the ghost of that Cherokee woman, still wandering the woods, and still looking for more demons to exorcize? Might be. You’ll have to admit one thing. You seldom hear demons howling in the woods around here anymore.

Drums at NightThe following story was first told to me by a good friend who went on a therapeutic wilderness program trip in eastern Oregon. Therapeutic wilderness programs basically take kids between 12 and 18 and dump them in the woods and make them live under tarps and make fires by rubbing sticks together (which really works). There is also a lot of hiking and therapizing. They tend to be pretty damn serious and solemn places.

Anyways, my friend Robert was at this program in the middle of nowhere Oregon and the entire group was getting ready to go to bed in the shelter they had made out of a tarp. One of the staff (who all had hippy-native-american-earth-names like “yellow water under buffallo” or “Purple Sage...” that sorta stuff) we’ll call Rain, after taking everyone’s shoes and pants so they couldnt run away at night, started playing her flute like she did most nights. She sat out for about half an hour playing the flute literally a hundred miles from any town bigger than Brothers Oregon (population 13 or something). After about half an hour of playing, drum beats could be heard in the woods. Like the sound of hitting a big leather drum with a big stick. They would be regular and would speed up and slow down and sometimes would be in a rhythym.

Being in the absolutely middle of nowhere, they got scared. Like really, really scared. It was night and seriously dark. Both staff and kids alike got so scared they tore down camp in the middle of the night, packed it up and hiked ten miles away AT NIGHT IN THE DARK. The drumbeats followed them about half of the way.

Not the scariest story, I know a couple that are a lot worse, but the thing that gets me about this story is that I later met Rain when she started working at a boarding school I used to go to. She had not met Robert in three or four years and told me the identical story. Both Robert and Rain swore that what they heard absolutely and without a doubt was drums. I also later met another kid who went to the same program a few weeks later who said people were still scared about that incident when he arrived.

Unexplainable PicturesThis one isn’t a sure-fire skinwalker story, but it is scary as hell nonetheless. It gets lumped in with my skinwalker stories because I dont know any other explanation for it. It also makes sense with skinwalkers mischevious ways of trying to get people away from nature they are about to harm.

This takes place at a wilderness program that was shut down a few years ago after a variety of life-threatening incidents (not skinwalker related, rather negligence related). A girl was on what is called “Solo” where a student goes way the fuck out on their own and spends a few days to a week or more on silent, solitary reflection. Noone goes near their camp and everyone basically forgets they exist. Well at this program the students all get a disposable camera so they can take pictures of themselves making fires by bow drilling (rubbing sticks together) and of being general unbathed, filthy messes.

Anyways, this girl was on solo way the hell out and had a fairly uneventful time. However she returned to the group and a few weeks later graduated from the program. A week before she left the camera was sent in to be developed. In the office of the program as she was getting ready to leave she was given the photos. As she was looking through them she started to scream.

In the photos were four pictures of her. Asleep. In her shelter on solo. One from each corner of the tent. There hadn’t been any strange footprints around her tent (believe me, when you spend five days in a 30 foot radius, you notive every single last detail. You’d notice wierd footprints in about three seconds.

The craziest thing? I first heard this story from a staff who had worked at the program. A couple years later, after the program shut down, a lot of the staff moved over to another program I was involved in. There I met one of the people who had been in the office at the time.

The Hand Reaching out of the BrushA substantial part of skinwalker lore and behavior talks about how they try to lure people away. For what purpose, to recruit them into their priest-hood or to make them into stew, I’ve never been too clear, I just know it always gets mentioned.

This is a story from the founder of a wilderness program I attended back in my crazier youth. This was from the founder himself who was one of the more integrous people I’ve ever met. He was fucking hardcore, btw. He was the most bad-ass 5'2? guy I’ve ever seen. He could take ANYONE down. But I digress.

He refused to talk about this story except to say it was true (I was told by a staff at the program he’d told it to). After he left the military, he got REALLY into the outdoors as a way of relaxing. He’d go on weeks long backpacking trips through Utah and Arizon and New Mexico and California and Oregon. This story takes place way the hell out in the middle of nowhere in Utah.

While walking through some seriously dense brush, a hand reached out and grabbed the leather pouch he carried around his neck. A fucking arm in the fucking woods in fucking bumblefuck Utah. It then pulled back and dissappeared without a sound. He almost started chasing it but realised how crazy the whole situation was and hauled ass out of their. He swore it was a human arm, with a hand, that had reached out and tore the bag from his neck. While unnerving as all hell to have happen, a large part of skinwalker legend/myth etc. is that they will take important things to try to lure you away. A medicine bag, btw, is where you carry tons of important shit to you " some dirt from some special place you visited, a rock from the top of a mountain you climbed, a dried flower your wife gave you, those sorts of things.

SnowboundThe following takes place about twenty five years ago and was related to me by a very close friend. The founder of one of today’s major wilderness programs told him this story. This was also way back before they had really figured out a system for supplying groups of kids in the field. Probably in large part because cellphones hadn’t been invented. Anyways.

Back in the olden days, wilderness programs were kinda ghetto because noone knew that well what they were doing. They were also fuckin hardcore. They would take kids way the hell out and actually get them into some pretty dangerous situations. Well this time, they were way out and it started snowing really, really hard. Now the way things worked then is that everyone would have enough food to last until the next resupply, usually weekly. If needed it could be stretched out for a couple more, and people always have extra of some of the shitty food. The way resupply worked before they had cellphone to simply call in where they were is that the group would have to hike over to some predesignated place, otherwise, the group was MIA.

Well when it started snowing on the third or fourth day while they were about 50 miles out from resupply that wasnt good. It was doing one of those once-in-decades sorts of blizzarding so they all stayed in camp and got a bunch of firewood and basically sat it out waiting for it to end. Well they waited. And waited. And waited. It stopped snowing, but if anyone has tried to hike in two-and-a-half feet of snow and especially at any decent speed, you will know it is damn hard. If you can normally hike 20 miles a day, youll be lucky to hike 4 or 5 in that much snow. Hence their problem. There were two staff there: the owner/founder and one other field staff who was one of those crazy cool native americans who can track fruitflys.

The owner left, knowing they were in deep shit if they didnt get more food. Also if they didnt meet up, they would be reported missing and a search party would be sent. A search party would mean terrible press, this was back before everyone and their goldfish had sent a kid to wilderness and trusted them decently.

He started walking through the snow, really pushing himself to make it because his company and, to a large degree, the safety of the kids depended on him meeting up with a guy coming out on a snow mobile. This is where it starts to get really, really bizarre. He hiked his ass off and the second day, he hiked until he passed out (hiking in snow takes soooo much energy). He passed out in the snow probably in pretty serious trouble. By the way, they are absolutely out in the middle of nowhere. Moreover it had just snowed so much that noone would be out.

He wakes up in a cave. He regains consciousness and sees a fire burning. he is wrapped in a coyote skin and a buffallo skin. He has a :wtfhat: moment but gets himself and starts walking. Also in the cave were two walking stick sorta things. When he would walk with them they would make a noise kind of like those rain sticks. But he started walking and discovered quickly that he could cover tons of distance REALLY fast when he walked with the sticks.

He made it to the rendezvous, loaded up on enough stuff to let them wait the snow out and started walking back. With the sticks, he hiked back in a single day.

Getting back his Indian friend sees him and gets super serious: “Bury those sticks RIGHT now. Dont ever think about them again.” After it was all buried, the Indian guy explained. “That was skinwalker stuff. Skinwalker sticks. If you use them enough, you become one of them (or something like that) and can never leave.” All kinds of bad energy sorts of stuff about it too. Well he buries this stuff because the Indian guy was totally, utterly serious and they move camp. Apparently his Indian friend says that no matter what they have to get away from the stuff because the Skinwalkers will come back for it (then why did they bury it? never got that part). Well they finally hike a mile or two away and set up camp anew. Apparently the guy also kept the coyote skin in his office for a long time.

Cliff WalkingThis is one of the craziest but simplest stories I have ever heard and considering I know the person it happened to and have been to where it happened, it creeps me the hell out. Eeeek.

A friend of mine who was a staff at a wilderness program at the time went to take a shit, whereby you dig a lil hole, shit, fill it in, and go merrily on your way. A note on Eastern Oregon geography. Eastern Oregon apparently used to be a lake or some shit a long as time ago. Either way, there are some bigass hills and ridges out there that tend to be a couple of hundred feet high. Some are A LOT more. Well there was a side canyon going into the ridge where a stream came out. It is a really cool side canyon actually, really peaceful and beautiful " lots of wildlife and stuff. Ive seen people find a few obsidian arrowheads in it too.

Anyways, one evening, this guy Don was walking up this canyon to take a shit. Around a bend you can see a couple of hundred yards upstream. On one side is a sloping wall with some junipers and sage, on the other, a cliff. Don starts to do his business. Don looks down the canyon. A few hundred feet down, and up near the top of the cliff, is a dark, man shaped creature walking straight down the fucking cliff as if it was flat. Apparently it looked at him and kept walking. As in walking upright, perpendicular to the ground. the ground in this case being a vertical cliff. Don got scared shitless (lol pun alert, he didnt end up shitting i guess) and hauled ass back to the group where he told the other staff about what hed seen.

The SkullJust today a friend from work told me this story. its not exactly about skinwalkers but native american creepy stuff in general. This story actually takes place quite a long while ago.

I forgot the name but in New Mexico there is a village called “xxxxxx mesa” that is the oldest continually inhabited settlement in the Americas. The buildings are mostly all adobe and ancient. many are hundreds of years old. Well Bill, my buddy from works good friend was native american and, as part of the tribe, was entitled to a piece of land. He eventually moved back to the reservation after his grandparents died and claimed some additional land. He inherited their house also.

A few months later, Bill and his friend were trying to improve the house (old, small and made of mud) and they got to breaking apart a bench called a braco or something like that. Well it was hollow. The managed to break a hole into the bench (adobe becomes as hard as concrete after a while) and stuck his hand in.

What he found wasn’t gold. it wasn’t arrowheads or pottery or some shit. It did, however, scare him so bad he and his friend put it right back and resealed the chamber. He pulled out a human skull.

And not just any skull.

The skull had horns a couple of inches long coming out of the forehead. Fucking horns. He put it back, resealed it, had some drinks at the bar later.

I went to a wilderness program in central Oregon about 5 years ago. The program is based in Bend, but the actual area was about 50 miles south (they blindfold you on the way out, so you can’t find your way back if you manage to escape the desert.)

Anyways, after about 3 weeks of hiking and camping, we make a long trip out to this one camp called Viper. (All the camps had dumb names like Porcupine and Kenobi and Bear.) Viper was kind of mythical among the “students” due to the fact that some giant sand dunes mysteriously exist in the middle of the Oregon high desert. I don’t quite know how I feel about “spirits” and “energy” and all that, but even being a delinquent and misaligned teen, one could feel the different vibes hanging around this place. One of my instructors (Painted Oak) told us that he had had some interesting experiences there involving Native American spirits and “Skinwalkers.”

So the protocol goes like this: one must ask to leave the circle to go to the bathroom, change clothes, etc., and as long as you’re not in the circle, you have to call your “number” out loud. Your number is the designation you get that ranks your seniority. I was 5 out of 8. 8 being the senior and 1 being the junior member.

So I ask to leave the circle so I can put on my long sleeve shirt because it’s getting dark and take a piss. So I walk out towards some trees while calling my number, and we’ve been at this camp for a couple days so I know kinda where I’m going. Now, while I’m changing, I hear someone calling my name. Really loud and clear. Three times. Like they were standing 15 feet away and really needed to get my attention. I pull my shirt down off my head and look around. No one. No one was on solo, everyone was back at camp, no one was within 100 feet of me. I finish changing, and don’t hear any more voices. I turn to walk back to camp, all the while calling my number, and I happen to look down to my right and see a kitten. A fucking pure white kitten in the middle of the Oregon desert sitting on a log and licking its front paw. It’s one of those things where what I saw was so unbelievable that it almost didn’t register with me. I slowly realize what I saw and look down again and the kitten had changed to black and was no longer licking its paw. Oddly enough, whatever it was didn’t feel threatening at all. I didn’t freak out, I didn’t scream, I didn’t run back to the camp or anything. It was almost comforting, even soothing. I wasn’t coming down off any drugs or anything (I wasn’t sent away for drug abuse) so it wasn’t a withdrawl hallucination or anything. I went back to camp and told one of the counselors there, and he just nodded and seemed to understand. It stayed on my mind into the night, and that night was the only time since I was 3 years old that I pissed in my bed. Swear to God. I had a dream that involved pissing and the next thing I knew I woke up in a puddle of urine. I’d never pissed it up until then, and I sure as hell haven’t pissed it since. I wasn’t really that embarrassed about it out there, because even though everyone knew about it, we were drinking 9 quarts of water a day and sometimes shit (or piss) just happens. I think it had something to do with that cat, but I think that the place was trying to tell me something.

That reminds me of a story my guitar teacher told me about his friend who was trying to get his life together and decided to trek out into the woods by himself and camp for a few days. He was a pretty funky dude, and for some reason he brought a tape recorder with him to record the sounds of nature while he was by himself. One night there was a really loud thunderstorm so he set up his tape recorder and went to sleep. He listened to the tape the next day and it was pretty sweet, thunder cracking and all. But at one point in the tape everything goes SILENT and an old woman’s voice can be heard, saying a phrase in a different language. And just like that, the thunderstorm resumes. I wouldn’t believe this at all except for the fact that my guitar teacher told me he listened to the tape himself. They looked up the phrase that the woman said and it turned out to be some Navajo phrase for “Peace be with you” or something along those lines.
The only similar story I can recall happened two years ago here in Puerto Rico. We have our own legends: the Chupacabra, el Vampiro de Moca, and so on. However we had our own natives, which had a very different culture from that of the Native American indians but maybe could explain the skin-walker resemblance.

This happened to a very good friend of mine, I wasn’t there. He was riding as a passenger in a car, with another guy and two girls. This was in Rincon, a sparsely populated area full of surfers and Americans who move here to enjoy the peaceful outdoors. Well, they are heading towards some beachside pubs and they have to drive through the windy, dark rural roads that lead from the highway to the beach.

There’s this one lane road where suddenly there are no more houses along the road, just barbed wire fence on both sides. Even with high beams, you can’t see too far off into the distance. That’s when my friend sees it. Something just ran across the road, right in front of their car. He stays quiet, looks over to the two girls and they are too busy chatting to have noticed. He assumes that since one of them was driving, if something really had crossed in front of their car, they would have noticed. He shrugs it off as just something he might have had seen that wasn’t really there.

Well, a couple of minutes later they get to the populated area. The girls get out of the car, but the other guy is pale, not talking. That’s when my friend tries to decide if the vision was just that. He tells my the other guy - “I may sound crazy, but... did you see that... thing.... half a mile back?” The other guy is still pale, and hesitates when answering... “What did you see?”

“I just saw this humanly creature run across the road, very very fast. Even though there was barbed wire on both sides, it just went through both fences. It was kind of hairy, but worse of all... its arms were not attached to the body AT ALL. They were just kind of there. Disembodied, floating right next to the humanly creature but still going along with it.”

They both sat quiet for a while, and the other guy says “If you hadn’t described it exactly that way, I wouldn’t believe it. But I saw the same exact fucking creature.” He was just going to drink it away, not wanting to believe what he saw, but the two of them had actually seen the same thing. Both tried to ignore it, but minutes later had each confirmed each other’s sighting.

My friend told me about it later that night. I met the other guy months later, who confirmed the story. Same as with the skin-walkers, you don’t mention this as a way of entertaining. To this day, bringing it up will turn my friend pale again.

We went back to Rincon a couple of weeks later and met up with some locals, who confirmed the sightings. I recall a story about them seeing a similar creature up on a tree when their car broke down in a nearby road and they had to hike it. They were able to scare it away, but he described it as being the same, disembodied-arms, hairy creature.