; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Skinwalker Appears Twice in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

A man and a friend are driving late at night on the Navajo reservation, when they encounter a skinwalker running alongside them. The witness has a second encounter later that same night.

I found the following account included in some of my older notes, which may have come from an acquaintance of Jc Johnson. The year of the incident seems to have been 2011:

"There are lots of rumors out there about skinwalkers. Maybe I don’t believe them. Maybe I think that coming from a different tribe makes me immune to their evil. Regardless of what I believe, there are things I have seen in the lonely places of Arizona that I cannot explain. The business of my family often takes us deep into the Navajo reservation and lends us to spending the night in a hotel or at a friend’s place. However superstitious or practical you are, there can be no argument that those desolate desert roads are not always safe for travelers and locals alike after the sun sets. I know many people who have had dangerous encounters.

On a trip to visit a relative near Canyon De Chelly, we decided to attend an evening rug auction that took us a couple hours out of town. I was riding with my friend Jen, whose mother we were visiting. I would like to make a note that Jen is not the most stalwart of souls, and is one of the more superstitious native people I know. On previous driving excursions she has begged me to stop the car and take a different route after noticing an owl flying towards the road (I didn’t stop, owls are generally good luck for my people and in any case, I don’t put much stock in omens).

Anyhow, the auction hadn’t ended by 9 pm or so and Jen and I were getting antsy. We opted to head back to her mother’s place early and let the rest of the family catch up with us. As Jen drove the two of us home on the empty two-lane road, we quickly left all semblance of civilization behind for sheer night which seemed even blacker in the shadow of the canyons. Jen had settled on the least fuzzy FM station she could find and I was staring aimlessly out the window. That’s when I noticed the dog. At first it was just a flash of white in the corner of my vision, and then I craned my neck to get a good look. A big, white German Shepherd was running parallel to our car, about 100 yards off the road and a little behind us. Something about it made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I knew we must have been going 40 or 45 miles per hour, but it was gaining on us. I could feel my heart rate pick up while I stared at it. As it came perpendicular to us, it began to draw up off of its front feet until it was running on two legs like a human. When it turned its head to look at me my stomach dropped. Even from that distance I was sure I could see a red glint to its eyes and a feeling of dread washed over me. I must have made a noise because Jen touched my leg and asked what was wrong. I glanced at her wordlessly and then gestured out the window, but as I turned back, the dog was gone. Not wanting to scare her, I told her the dark was playing tricks on me, and closed my eyes, determined to sleep the rest of the way home.

The next night, after a lot of food and even more visiting, I had holed up in my room to get ready for bed. I was staying in the second floor of the house and my window overlooked the street. The houses are fairly spread out, but the road is lined with street lamps, the nearest of which is less than a block away on the opposite side. I turned out my light and went to the window to pull down the shades so the light wouldn’t keep me up. Fear hit me like a sucker punch when my eyes drifted across the road. There in the light of the street lamp was the German Shepherd. It was standing on its hind legs in a way that I knew canine anatomy should not allow, and it was staring straight back at me. From that close, it was obvious that it had deep red eyes and fur that was a yellowish-white. I don’t know how long we watched each other. I knew better than to stare it in the eyes, but I was too terrified to turn away. Finally, it dropped down to all fours and walked away. I slept with a knife next to my bed and the bedroom door locked that night. Some part of me thinks it was a skinwalker that I saw; a witch out hunting for trouble. I haven’t been back to Canyon de Chelly." GB

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