Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Skin-Walker

Many of the stories you still see today are inspired directly and indirectly from various myths. For the 2015 A-Z Challenge, I'm going to share mythology from all over the world - myths that are familiar and obscure.

I've seen several interesting supernatural/horror novels come out the last few years that give their own spin to the Skin-Walker tales. With its roots in Native American culture, I find the myth not just fascinating, but pretty terrifying.

Skin-Walkers originate from the Navajo, and they are not actually monsters. They're shaman who've developed enough power to shape-shift into other creatures and want to kill other people.

Okay, so maybe they are monsters. To the Navajo, they're more like evil sorcerers.

Skin-Walkers tended to shift into: coyotes, owls, foxes, crows, and wolves. These are all animals that were mostly associated with fear within the Navajo tribe. The transformed Skin-Walkers would often attempt to gain entry into someone's home, although they must be invited in (i.e. vampires and the Black Eyed-Kids).

They have the power to read human thoughts too.

Skin-Walkers were also known to use corpse dust to kill its targets. Corpse dust was finely powdered infant bones that would be blown into the face of the victim, and the poor person would start to have seizures before dying.

The only way to kill a Skin-Walker was to successfully track one down and then say their correct, full name. Three days later, the Skin-Walker will get sick and die as punishment for his sins.

29 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting how many myths tie together around the globe.

Melanie Schulz said...

Sounds completely terrifying.

Robin said...

I've seen skin walkers on several TV shows in the last ten years or so.

The black-eyed kids remain one of the most horrifying things I've read on this blog (creepy crawly stuff). All you had to do was mention them in this post and I all goosebumpy.

Sarah Foster said...

That is scary! The corpse dust seems particularly creepy.

Hart Johnson said...

I love skin changer lore. I also like the variation included in the Song of Ice and Fire series--Wargs don't CHANGE skin so much as leave their own and enter an animal so they are combined with the animal for a time.

Hart Johnson said...

I love skin changer lore. I also like the variation included in the Song of Ice and Fire series--Wargs don't CHANGE skin so much as leave their own and enter an animal so they are combined with the animal for a time.

Chrys Fey said...

Skin-changers are fascinating. They are scary for their power and yet amazing too.

Corpse dust? I'd imagine I'd sneeze if that was blown into my face. And if I knew what it was...I'd probably freak out. Interesting that it causes seizures.

jaybird said...

That picture just scared me! I wasn't expecting it. The Hubs is part Native American. There are many tales of skinwalkers amoung the various tribes.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have read or watched different versions of skinwalkers but had never heard about the way to kill them.

Pat Dilloway said...

Corpse dust sounds gross but I can't see how it would be lethal. Killing them is kind of like Rumpelstiltskin.

Pat Hatt said...

Readying my thoughts would scare them away from me. I'm safe lol

cleemckenzie said...

Euuu! I liked the Skin Walker story. I really liked how you have to know their full and correct name to destroy them.

Haneen I. Adam said...

Amazing, and you still need 3 days for the ***** to die. That's annoying.

Cherie Reich said...

Ooo, I didn't know how to kill a Skin-Walker, although I have heard of them before.

Patricia Lynne said...

I've heard of skin-walkers before, but haven't seen a lot of stories with them. I bet they'd made a great creature to write about.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

Melissa Sugar said...

I've never heard of skin-walkers but they look scary. I think the ability to read or hear human thoughts is the best skill or superpower to have. Wish I had it. Well, maybe not. Interesting post.

Jo said...

Sound like a nice bunch. Corpse dust does sound gross I agree.

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's interesting how many shape-shifting stories there are in the world from were-wolves to selkies to skin-walkers.
Great info!

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