Skinwalkers in Arizona can be something of a mystery. They belong to tales of the unknown and intriguing stories, but are they fact or fiction? What are the stories behind these creatures that give us chills at the name “skinwalker?”
Also, why do people not often talk about them? Read on for some intriguing legends–or facts–of skinwalkers in Arizona.
What Is a Skinwalker?
There are many stories and legends about skinwalkers in Arizona, but their origin is shrouded in mystery. Some say that they are witches who a shaman cursed.
Others believe that they are evil spirits who have taken the form of animals to prey on unsuspecting victims. Some legends even say they were once medicine men seeking increased power and chose to do evil deeds to gain that strength. Whatever their origin, many cultures fear skinwalkers.
In Navajo mythology, a skinwalker is a type of evil spirit. According to legend, skinwalkers in Arizona can transform into any animal they choose, most commonly wolves and bears.
There’s a Navajo phrase that expresses some of these abilities well. That phrase is “yee naaldlooshii,” meaning “with it, he goes on all fours.” This phrase covers only one of many skinwalkers, which in Navajo are “anti’jhnii.”
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The Dangers of Skinwalkers
Tales of skinwalkers include many dangers, including a legend about how one becomes a skinwalker. The skinwalker must first kill a member of their family to gain this power.
Once they’ve done this, they can transform into any creature, including a coyote, wolf, bear, crow, or owl. They generally use this power to harm people or animals.
Some also believe that skinwalkers in Arizona can control the minds of others, and they often use this power to make their victims act against their will. Another legend tells the tales of skinwalkers entering homes through tiny holes and stealing the children that reside there.
You should also know that Navajo cultural values do not encompass putting up with witchcraft, which includes skinwalkers. According to some legends, when a person does become a skinwalker, they need to be dealt with swiftly.
Meaning that they should be killed because they are no longer human and can cause harm to others. But these creatures are not easy to kill, as they may be witches, and trying to get rid of them may result in the witch placing a curse on their enemy.
Today, the dangers of skinwalkers in Arizona may still be valid according to your beliefs. Still, the more imminent threat is not knowing the stories and tales behind the legends, causing misunderstandings across cultural lines.
About Skinwalker Ranch
This begs the question; Are people cashing in something sacred to the Navajo people, or is it real?
Take Skinwalker Ranch, previously Sherman Ranch. Located on over 500 acres of land northwest of Uintah, Utah, this land is 400 miles north of Navajo Nation, next to Ute territory. Rumors say the ranch is the site of numerous paranormal activities, and scientists and UFOlogists have investigated it.
Some of the alleged paranormal activity at Skinwalker Ranch includes UFO sightings, animal mutilations, and strange creatures, leading to the name of Skinwalker Ranch. In 1994, the Sherman family purchased the land as a cattle ranch. However, less than two years later, they sold the ranch due to strange happenings.
In 1996, businessman Robert Bigelow purchased the ranch. He then founded the National Institute for Discovery Science to investigate paranormal activity. Although scientific investigations have not confirmed the existence of paranormal activity at Skinwalker Ranch, the ranch became a popular destination for those seeking to experience the paranormal.
However, in 2016, Bigelow sold to a shell corporation by Utah real estate tycoon Brandon Fugal, and he closed off all entry roads, allowing for no more public visitation. He also trademarked the name Skinwalker Ranch.
Skinwalkers and TikTok
Maybe the real danger of skinwalkers is how many people benefit from and belittle a Navajo belief.
Take the social media platform TikTok as an example. People have begun posting videos of possible sightings of skinwalkers.
While a few do believe these are actual sightings, many others are taking advantage of the views and posting videos that are portraying images as being skinwalkers to get likes.
The hashtag “skinwalker” on TikTok has over 600 million views and increases daily, with many videos going viral within moments of being posted. True or not, we need to remember to respect that skinwalkers are “deeply terrifying figures for Indigenous peoples, and their threat is taken very seriously, but the legend isn’t always treated with respect in this wave of videos.” (Celeste Kaufman, Dazed.com)
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Are Skinwalkers Real?
Are skinwalkers real or just a figment of our imagination? It’s tough to say for sure. Many people claim to have seen them, and there are even some possible eyewitness accounts.
However, there is no concrete evidence that skinwalkers exist. So, for now, we can only speculate whether they’re real. One thing is for sure; The idea of skinwalkers is undoubtedly intriguing, and it’s sure to fascinate us for years to come.
Stay Alert the Next Time You’re in Arizona
Real or not, will you ever know for sure? Think about it this way. The next time you’re wandering through the desert or the Superstition Mountains, and you hear a noise, will you be sure what that noise is?
It could be a bird or a mountain lion. It could be a rabbit or a scorpion scurrying across the desert floor. But could it also be something you don’t know, like a skinwalker? It all depends on what you believe.
Regardless, stay alert the next time you’re in Arizona. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of something otherworldly. Have you heard of skinwalkers in Arizona before?