; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Walking to the Store

I received the following encounter report recently:

Hello Lon,

I have read several of your articles about strange things here in New Mexico. I live in Gallup, NM which is surrounded by Native American culture and history. We have many nearby towns and reservations that have been here for a very long time and many of the people claim they are haunted.

My experience takes place right in Gallup on the east side of the city near a very small reservation. My best friend visited her sister every weekend. She lived in the low rental apartments on the east side. Right across from these apartments is an elementary school, the one I actually attended when I was a little girl.

During those weekends I would spend the night with my friend at her sister's apartment. When there was absolutely nothing to do and the kids and parents were asleep, we'd go outside to the park located in the middle of the apartments and hang out. One night we became so bored we actually took off walking. I'd say it was about 2 AM. We were used to being up late and were wide awake. We walked behind apartments where there is no light, tons of bushes and prairie dog holes in the ground.

As we were walking, I sensed that someone was staring at us or following us (I am very sensitive, so when I sense someone is looking at me or following me, I'm usually right). I turned around to look and nothing was there. As I turned to look forward, my friend suddenly grabbed my arm and said in a scared whisper, "oh my god what was that?" I looked into the darkness and saw nothing. The wind was blowing lightly and there were a few trees ahead of us, so I passed it off as the wind moving the leaves. I told her "it's just the wind, chill out" and kept walking. But as I looked again, I saw what looked like a black figure moving through the trees. I stopped and said "I think it might be a drunk crashing out back there for the night."

Just so I wouldn't scare my friend I kept a calm voice, which was awful hard for me to do because I was sensing that this thing in the trees wasn't good, I said "do you want to go back home?" And she said "no we're almost to the store, let's just keep going." So as we kept walking we heard movement in the trees. We started walking faster. I heard something behind us and I looked, and it was like a wounded or hurt dog. I wasn't really scared because where I live there's a lot of that. But what I heard next stopped me dead in my tracks and paralyzed me. I heard this "dog" moan and growl at the same time as if it was ready to attack. I literally couldn't move and my friend was trying to distract me saying "Come on! Come on! We gotta run!" Her screams sounded distant as if I had gone deaf or if she was far away. I had made eye contact with this thing and I knew that that was a bad move.

I closed my eyes and said a short prayer and, without even thinking, I turned around and ran for my life with my friend close by my side. I tried not to look behind us but something was telling me to look. I glanced behind us and a man was running after us! He wasn't just running, he was running on all fours! I screamed and my friend joined in, only because I scared her when I yelled. We finally got to the road where there was light and cars passing. We must have run for about 5 minutes straight and were completely out of breath. I remember our sides were aching and cramping as we stopped to catch our breath. I turned to look behind us and saw the man in the distant darkness running back to where we had come from.

We walked a few more minutes until we finally reached to the store. The lady behind the counter gave us a weird look and asked us "are you girls okay?" We replied out of breath "yes, just a late night run." I could tell she didn't believe us, so she asked "did you girls run from the apartments?" I answered "yeah...why?" and she said "Oooh! Are you girls sure your okay?" We looked at each other and my friend told her "well not really, we just had a horrible encounter with something, we don't know what it is or who it was." The lady said "you girls just ran from a skinwalker. Whoever it was always chases someone he catches walking the road at night. You girls are lucky you made it this far!" As if we weren't shaken up already, what she had just told us struck a nerve. I have heard similar tales from my grandmother.

We didn't have any money but she offered us a bottle of water and a ride back home. She closed down the store and we got into her pickup. As we passed the bushes and trees where we had previously come from, we both saw something running. The lady told us to ignore it and close our eyes.

We finally entered the apartment complex and she asked us "which is yours?" I pointed in the direction of our apartment. As we were getting out of the pickup she told us "you girls stay home at night now. There's no need for you two young girls to be running around at 2 in the morning. Keep yourselves safe, you hear?" We nodded and said goodbye and thank you.

After that night we never left the apartment complex after it turned dark. To this day I am still shook up about what I had experienced that night and I still don't really know what it was that chased us that night. MH


Navajo Coyote Tales: The Curly To Aheedliinii Version (American Tribal Religions)

Pollen Path: A Collection of Navajo Myths Retold

Diné Bahane': The Navajo Creation Story