Navajo SkinWalker

Native Americans believe in werewolves.
The Navajo (Native Americans of the Southwestern United States) have a term for werewolves (or what they call skinwalkers) – the Yenaldlooshi (more commonly however, the Navajo werewolf goes by the term Skinwalker).  The Navajo word Yenaldlooshi roughly translates to “he who trots along here and there on all fours”(hence the derivation of skinwalker). So for those humans that scoff at werewolf mythology and legends as a being solely of movie culture – think again…the Navajo culture’s beliefs are not based on movies of any kind – the legends go back generations, told down through the years only during the daytime, as it is superstitious to talk of the Yenaldlooshi at night.

The Navajo’s Yenaldlooshi are not what you would typically imagine the werewolf to be.  They are not humans afflicted with an unwanted curse, but rather witches who wear a coyote or wolf pelt on nightly forays, seeking revenge against humans that have wronged them.  Once the witch dons the animal pelts it give the wearer strength and speed, and often stories of Skinwalkers tell of them being able to travel hundreds of miles at extreme speeds.  They are also said to have extraordinatory senses as well as the ability for mind control.  Attacks from the Skinwalker or Yenaldlooshi are not easily identified, as they rarely leave any evidence, so it can be hard to determine whether or not it is a Skinwalker that is haunting you.  Once you have finally determined that you are being haunted by a Skinwalker, ridding yourself of it is equally hard, although it is said that a medicine man can perform certain ceremonies to help get rid of the Skinwalker.

Since one of the Skinwalker’s main purposes of being and one of the central motivations it has is revenge, it is important to note that Skinwalkers are not kind beings.  They have a purpose, and it is not to live quietly among the community.



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10 Responses

  1. Kitsunekraze900 says:

    For quite sometime, I was interested in the Navajo skinwalker. I even looked up some information on the skinwalker ranch book. I even talked to a friend about it. The friend is a Navajo and he told me a story about skinwalkers. Appearently a skinwalker killed his cousin. I’m not easily frightened by such legends, but the seriousness on his face as he explained to me the details of the account had the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up. He wasn’t the only Navajo to tell me about skinwalkers. Another friend of mine, told me of her encounter with a skinwalker, and a friend of my brother also told him about an encounter he had. I’ve always had an eerie feeling while we passed through the reservation, but now it’s an all out avoidence. I don’t care if they are real or not, they are real enough for me. I do not mess with skinwalker stuff.

  2. Applebottom says:

    i believe skin walkers are out there, my dad saw this happen when he was a boy living on the rez, i didn believe him at first but then i saw how serious he was and i was like mm why would my dad tell story’s that arent real, so i truly believe the skin walker legend, and just like you the hair on my body stood up to.

  3. Dream Catcher says:


  4. Creative says:

    well as for me. i sometimes hear them outside. uhmm never seen one. dont want to. my mom has seen them. my dad as well. many of my cousins. Its not just something to beilieve, for if you do or dont, they are completely real. despite what someone may say.

  5. skip says:

    I saw it…1967 ,I was teaching school at Toadlena boarding school..I am a responsible person and it happened to me. Anyone interested I would share the story…

  6. ArgharnaWelyn says:

    I don’t mess with skin walkers either

  7. Lee Ann says:

    Skinwalkers are one of the few things I will happily just walk the other way from.

  8. JT says:

    Im half Navajo,Cherokee,and quater Italian.My navajo grandfather has told me all about my native history except the skinwalker he acted very nervous

  9. Feral says:

    Do skin walkers appear different from people? Like… Possibly have a brith defect making them look a little “out of the ordinary?”

    And what does it mean when someone is told they are a skin walker by someone in their dream?

    Also, do skin walkers travel alone?

    • Quinn says:

      Apart from people, Skin walkers are said to look just like ordinary people. With the power to become anyone or anything needed to be to deceive you and get its revenge. Some sightings on Indian Reservations say they have bright golden eyes and thats how you can tell them apart from a normal human being.

      If your told you are in fact a skin walker in a dream, it could be your conscious mixing your reality with whatever you are focusing on currently. In your case, The “skinwalker”.

      I’m told skinwalkers almost NEVER travel alone. And on rare occasions they could. This could only be if they are getting revenge on the same person.

      (Hope this helped, I’m Navajo and live on the rez, my father and mother aswell as the generations nefore them were all medicine men and women, as I am too so there have been many cases of skinwalkers that I have seen

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