The Skinny on Skinwalkers

Should one be introduced to the methods utilized by the editorial staff at Saint Michael’s Journal, that procedure we use to find new and interesting editorial content; one might be reminded of the scene in the cult classic, Men in Black, where Agent K stops at a news stand to check the tabloids for reports of Alien activity. I stress the word might as, should one jump to the conclusion that Saint Michael’s staff relies on less than serious journalism, one would be sadly mistaken. We make every effort to insure that our audience only receives information that is accurate and is as factual as we can possibly obtain.

Well, at least most of the time.

Aggregation websites, such as The Drudge Report, online pages in which the editors peruse the available news and then publish links to the diverse articles, are available for almost every topic, including the paranormal. We check these at least weekly in the hopes of finding new articles relative to the mission of Saint Michael’s Journal.

The factuality or perhaps the degree of credibility of a blog that publishes stories about paranormal activity is subjective, and depends greatly upon the sensibilities of the viewer.

As luck would have it, while perusing an online source of all things paranormal, we found a headline that reminded us of a story we were working on that, while it is presently on a back burner, the piece was none the less in the pipeline. So we pulled it out of moth balls and dusted it off.

Not too long ago we published Podcast Episode three that included a segment titled The Not So Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch; it was our intention to quickly followup with an episode taking an in depth look—not at the infamous ranch—but at the mythology surrounding Skinwalkers; thus The Skinny on Skinwalkers was launched.

Perhaps you are focused on the more important topics relative to your existence on this Big Blue Marble, choosing to remain ignorant of the latest fads and trends, —if this characterization is true of you—perhaps you should be congratulated. However if you have heard of the media phenomenon known as TikTok, you know it is the social media platform the young people love while at the same time it is the forum older people loath.

One of the websites we watch, for leads—just as Agent Kay watched the tabloids—recently ran a piece on the subject of Skinwalkers, in particular the work of one TikTok creator of the media platform who has published several episodes on a Skinwalker reportedly lurking about his neighborhood.

Before we delve into that subject, let’s take a look at just exactly what a Skinwalker happens to be.

The indigenous peoples of the Southwestern United States, tell of certain individuals who have obtained powerful magic, so powerful that they can change—or shift—into any animal form he or she desires. Some legends maintain that for the magic to work, the person must wear a cape like device fashioned from the pelt—or skin—of the animal in question.

One website that purports to be a mythology fan page had this to say about these hybrid creatures:

True Skinwalker lore is specific to the Navajo tribe and is linked to the sacred values of their medicine men and shamans, who the Skinwalkers are a twisted counterpart – many Navajo mystics traditionally learned both good and dark magic to further their knowledge but a select few became corrupted by the darkness and thus became “witches”, the Skinwalkers are the more malicious of these “witches” and take their name from their practice of changing into animals in order to trick people, raid villages and usually murder – traditionally almost all Skinwalker magic is devoted to killing in some fashion: in fact, in order to become Skinwalker one must kill a close family member.

Traditionally, the intent of Skinwalkers seems to be to harm humans. The Navajo people, in the past and into modern times, report that Skinwalkers will attack people walking alone, will try to break into houses, and will even attack moving cars.

Amazingly enough, there are similar legends of shape-shifting creatures from around the world.

Werewolves, also known as lycanthropes, are legendary shape-shifting humans. As the name suggests, the shape these creatures take on is that of a wolf. Werewolf legends have sprung up independently or spread to virtually every area of the Earth. It is also one of the oldest tales of human monsters in recorded history. Stories of lycanthropes are common in folklore prevalent across Europe.

One of the earliest mentions of the werewolf, predating Greek lycanthropy, is in the Roman poet Virgil’s Eclogue 8, written in 37 BCE. He wrote that a man named Moeris could change himself into a werewolf using herbs and poisons and call ghosts from the graves.

The ledgend of the luison mainly prevails in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It stems from the Portuguese belief that the seventh son of a family of all boys would turn into a luison on the night of a full moon, especially if it fell on a Friday. The myth is especially prevalent in Argentina.

In Mexico it is believed that powerful men can transform themselves into an animal to cause harm. A relationship exists between the latter belief and the word ‘nahual,’ which originated from the word ‘nahualli,’ meaning “disguise.” The name pertains to the sorcery by which magicians change their physical forms into that of an animal.

The French call such creatures loup-garou. Its origin is unknown. But from historic studies, it is said that all of France was plagued with lycanthropic terror in the 16th century. From the 16th century until the first quarter of the 17th century, the French killed more than 30,000 people for suspected werewolfism.

In 1521, Pierre Burgot and Michel Verdun were executed as werewolves. Historical records indicate that they were a serial killer team.

In 1573, Gilles Garnier, otherwise known as the “Werewolf of Dole” was executed for being a werewolf. He was also a confessed serial killer.

What is truly amazing is that diverse cultures separated by thousands of miles and even broad oceans, developed such similar beliefs. Of course this is not just limited to Shapeshifters and Were-wolves but also other creatures such as little people described as leprechauns, Fae, and a dozen other names. Stories of Sea Serpent like monsters are not just contained to Loch Ness and the infamous Nessie. Giant ape like creatures abound as well, such as the Sasquatch of the American northwest and the Yeti of the Himalayan region. More on this subject later, but for now, lets look at the contemporary reports of Shapeshifters on Tik Tok.

The website known as Mysterious Universe reports the following:

Although it is difficult to determine just when the TikTok trend for Skinwalkers began, one of the earliest series of videos was put up by a John Soto, who goes under the TikTok handle “that1cowboy.” Over the course of several months in 2020, Soto made a series of strange audio recordings on his rural property in the Southwest of the United States that he would claim were of Skinwalkers, which have long been said to use various sounds and voices to trick and lure people in to their doom. The videos themselves are inconclusive to say the least. In one, he

is walking with his horse when a voice frantically calls out, “Hey!,” after which the horse stops, the voice cries out again, and the horse bolts in the opposite direction. As innocuous as this might be, the video drew in 7.5 million likes and counting and he would practically overnight gain 350k followers.

More similar videos from Soto would follow, and in the videos he maintains that there is a Skinwalker lurking about the property stalking him, perhaps even after his newborn child. Soto would claim more and more sinister evidence of this, such as chickens killed but not eaten, his horses sustaining mysterious injuries, and the skin of a peccary found near his house, and soon he became so scared that he had his home blessed by a local shaman. Soto claims that this protective barrier keeps the Skinwalker at bay, but that it is still out there, with occasional recordings of it still popping up on TikTok. Soto’s hope in sharing the videos was to bring awareness to the beliefs of his Navajo and Apache upbringing, but mostly they just drew in a storm of comments either saying how creepy it was, asking just what in the world a Skinwakler was, or criticizing the sounds as being nothing more than those of mundane known animals such as goats or mountain lions. For his part, Soto claims that those sorts of animals do no live near him and that he has never heard anything like these sounds, explaining, “I can just tell by the sounds of whatever is calling me out that it’s not right, like it wants to do wrong to me.”

Indeed, reports of Skinwalkers have increased since the debut of the Harry Potter books and movies that featured similar characters. But reports of Skinwalkers are not the only phenomena to experience a resurgence, for example, nearly every week there is yet another new report of a Sasquatch or Big Foot that has been spotted somewhere in the United States, and there seems to be a growing number of reports through-out the Midwest of a creature described as a Moth-man.

To help understand this phenomena, consider this excerpt from Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers by Jacques Vallee :

But investigators have neglected to recognize one important perspective of the phenomenon: the fact that beliefs identical to those held today have recurred throughout recorded history and under forms best adapted to the believer’s country, race, and social regime.

Jacques Vallee makes the case that, throughout history, each generation experienced strange phenomenon that either fit within their current cultural belief system, or was a glimpse of things to come. He’s basically saying that we’ve gone from ancient myths and religion to ghosts and UFOs. And whether dealing with fairies and dwarfs or demons and aliens, the overall experience has been the same down through the ages.

So like the videos and photographs of UFOs and now UAPs, imagery that is fuzzy and lacking in detail, we see the same results in these presentation in which a Skinwalker has supposedly been photographed or filmed. Why is that? Why is it that with millions of people walking around with cell phones that contain camera systems that are many times more advanced than the average consumer film camera of fifty years ago, we still do not have a clear visual image of Big Foot, UAPs and even a Skinwalker. Could it be that these things are not of reality, but rather of the spiritual realm? Cruel deceivers that make themselves visible to the unaided eye but unrecognizable to technology so that it is impossible to photographed them?

Could it be that Jacques Vallee was right, that today’s UAPs and aliens are yesterday’s, demons and angels? If so, could it also be possible that the legendary Skinwalker—a creature that makes those that witness it feel as if they are in great danger—is no more than a demon, one of Satan’s minions?

Perhaps you need to explore your own feelings and opinions, because in all due probability, the answer you seek regarding the true nature of Skinwalkers, ultimately, will be found within….

Listen the above and our piece on Disappearing Object Phenomena at:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.