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The S-Files

Episode 1: Skinwalkers

Suhjin King, Writer, Host of the S-Files

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You may not know much about skinwalkers–or maybe you do, if you’re a fan of the supernatural and the occult like I am. Most people know about vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, but skinwalkers seem to remain largely unheard of. That’s why I’m covering them for this first episode: welcome to the S-Files.

Skinwalkers, or yenaalglooshii, exist mainly in the one culture from which they originated: the Navajo Indian tribes. Skinwalkers themselves are humanoid creatures who can take on animal-like shapes, mainly predators. Along with this, skinwalkers can harness the power of familiar curses, meaning, if a skinwalker can get a hold of your clothing, hair, or a close possession, they can cast a curse on you. These curses are, as far as I know, only minimally harmful. They usually bring an onset of sickness, bad luck, and hallucinations. Skinwalkers also possess superhuman strength and speed, making them especially dangerous and hard to kill. Additionally, there is no singular way to kill a Skinwalker. Unlike werewolves and vampires, they can be killed with seemingly anything.

The nature of skinwalkers is similar to human nature in many ways.Their behavior is variable. They can potentially have murderous or tyrannical intent, but it is very unlikely. More often, they play the role of tricksters, terrorizing humans for fun. They are not characterized as a force specifically for good or evil.

If this article has piqued your interest, there are many ancient stories about skinwalkers. There is a book titled Yeenaalglooshi; Missionary Accounts of Werewolfism on the Navajo Indian Reservation about skinwalkers. It is an account of a skinwalker terrorizing a group of Mormon missionaries on a Navajo reserve. He performs tricks such as running alongside the truck of the missionaries and posing as one of the “greenie” missionaries. There is also a poignant story from The Legends of the Wofman, about a young child who follows his grandmother to a cave and witnesses her preforming a skinwalker ritual.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “The S-Files”

  1. Mitchell Dickinson on November 3rd, 2016 3:50 PM

    Beautiful writing

    [Reply]

  2. Niko Fannin on December 5th, 2016 11:03 AM

    Spicy

    [Reply]

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