Ute SkinwalkerMay 29, 2011
Right, so I’ve got a few stories that I could post here, but I think I’ll start with this one. It’s not particularly scary, but it certainly fits with the theme of this subreddit, and besides which I am hard to scare. Also, I know that the rules state that you should believe any and all stories told on here, whether they’re true or not. I don’t care if you believe me or not; that’s your business. Just know that this all truly happened to me, and while it may seem a little surreal to you, even to the point of incredulity, keep in mind that it seems that way to me, too. Sometimes I wonder if it really happened, or if it was a dream, but when I went to my cousin’s wedding I casually brought it up, and she affirmed that it had happened.
I’ve changed my cousin’s name and her boyfriend (now her husband)’s names at their request. This happened back when I was in high school, in the summer between my sophomore and junior years. I live in Texas, but that summer I was in Utah working for my uncle, who is an electrician. It was hard work, with long hours and hot weather, but I was enjoying myself thoroughly. One of the main reasons for this was that, when the work day was over, I would go hang out with my cousin Amber, her boyfriend David, and sometimes some of their friends. One particular afternoon, the afternoon with which my story is concerned, we were sitting around at home playing cards when one of their friends from the nearby Ute reservation dropped by. I cannot for the life of me remember his name, but I do remember that his first name was something unremarkable and European, like John, so that’s the name I’ll use. Anyway, John drops by and we all start chatting. We start talking about ghost stories and the like, but with the sun still up it was all in good fun. Well, John starts telling us about a local legend. You may have heard about something similar to this, reader, but I will recap as best I can remember his version of the story.
According to the Utes, there was a Skinwalker near the reservation. A Skinwalker is a Native American that’s been cursed to walk the earth forever or until he’s redeemed or something to that effect, and seeing as noone likes being cursed, he is of course malevolent. He is not alive, so he does not have his own body, but he is not dead, so he must (according to the Utes) have a body, and therefore he’ll try to possess someone. Please remember that it was years ago that I was told this legend, so the details may be off. Either way, John told us that the government had bought some land after some weird stuff had gone down. It had been a farm for a long time, up until the Skinwalker had decided to inhabit the land. After that, the land exchanged hands once every few years. The various families refused to live on it any longer than they had too. Their crops failed, they heard and saw things that disturbed them, one family had their new barn burn down, accidents abounded. The thing that the community liked to talk most about was the cattle- they would randomly disappear, only to appear the next morning with holes in them, or drained of blood, or mutilated, that sort of thing. Eventually the government bought the land. They set up all sorts of sensors and lights and such, and whenever anything of interest would happen, it was obvious because the entire property would light up like Christmas and some sirens would go off for a few seconds to alert the personnel. My guess is that they thought they could get evidence of the Skinwalker, or of aliens, or some shit like that. Who knows?
So John tells us about all of this. We get curious, and so we ask if we could go see the farm. He tells us that to go on the “res” you have to be a Ute or have a Ute in your company. So we begin begging him to take us. He wasn’t keen on the idea, because he had been told by his tribe mentor or someone that he should stay away from the farm because there truly were evil spirits there, but eventually we convince him to take us. By the time we hit the road the sun was setting, so I grabbed a flashlight on the way out of the door and stuffed it in my pocket. Sure glad I did.
The drive was kind of long, but not too terrible, considering that I’m used to driving 30 minutes to get anywhere. Amber and David were not, however. They got really antsy, which kind of freaked out John, so when we finally got to the res and then out to the country road where we would park his Wrangler, he gave us this speech about how we needed to do exactly as he told us and to keep quiet and to stay close together. He seemed a little on edge.
We hopped a short cattle fence and started walking across a field and through a small wood. Even before we had cleared the trees and had come into another, bigger field, things started to feel a little odd to me. If you’ve ever spent time out in a field in BFE in the middle of the night, you may know what I’m talking about when I say that things are dead silent and as loud as a jet engine at the same time. Every sound is amplified. I felt like someone was whispering to me from a mile away and it was just barely carrying to me on the wind. Certainly a mildly unsettling experience, but I’d felt it before, so I wasn’t particularly bothered. Like I said before, I’m not easy to scare. Amber and David were likewise unaffected, although I think it was because they were absorbed into their phones. John, however, was becoming increasingly on edge, and several times stopped us only to continue onward.
We had slowed when we’d cleared the trees, and when we reached about halfway through the second field, John suddenly stopped and turned around. He refused to continue, citing the peculiar sensation we were now all feeling. The best I can describe it is that we felt unwanted. A sad sort of unwanted, as if our moms had all told us to go and never come back. It was truly eerie. We insisted on continuing, and when we did so he kept with us. I don’t think he wanted to be alone, and I don’t blame him. As we approached the next set of trees, the feeling began to intensify into a feeling of anger and rejection. I can compare this to a time when I was younger, when I had been punished for what I felt to be an unjust reason. I had wanted nothing to do with anyone. This was what it was like. We reached the treeline and the emotions instantly disappeared for a few seconds, only to be replaced with a feeling of fear and hatred. John began saying over and over that something was very, very wrong, that we shouldn’t be here, that we needed to leave. I agreed with him, but I was truly curious as to the appearance of the farm, as was my cousin and her beau, so we decided to get a glimpse and then roll out of there quick-like. We went through the trees and got to a tall chainlink fence. What I saw wasn’t very impressive, just some buildings and lots of stadium lights and electronics and such. We turned around and started walking back. It was at this time that the feeling of fear and hatred began to intensify.
If I were the kind of man to believe in God, then I would swear to him now that this is true, but I’m agnostic, so I suppose you’ll just have to take my word. We reached the treeline once again and in involuntary unison we stopped. No one said anything or made any motion. To my right, in the general direction of the Wrangler, something began to move, and then all of the sudden a ball of what I can only describe as a dimly bright light flew towards us only to stop in the middle of the field. It was maybe the size of a soccer ball, and hovered at waist level. It wasn’t very bright at all, but the longer you’d look at it, the brighter it seemed, until I had to squint my eyes. If I had a gun to my head in telling more about it then I would say that it was made of emotions- that thought actually popped into my head as I looked at it. It pulsed once at each of us- I cannot say how I knew it was pulsing at us as individuals- and then continued it’s way to the left. We stood for what felt like an eternity (probably a few seconds) and then the sirens and lights began blazing behind us, and boy I tell you what that scared the shit out of us. I don;t know if all of us looked over our shoulder at the farm, but I sure did, and it was blinding how bright it was. I lost my night vision in a instant because of it. We all start running toward the Wrangler, helter skelter. I pull out the flashlight because I couldn’t see barely anything, which was awesome because I probably would have broken a leg or something out there if I hadn’t had it. As it was I nearly twisted my ankle in a hole. When I passed through the middle of the field, where the orb had flown, I swear the grass had an electrostatic charge to it. It had sure felt like it had zapped me a few times. Perhaps it was just pointy grass, but I doubt it- even running, I can tell the difference between a zap and a poke. When we finally made it to the Wrangler we hauled ass out of there like the proverbial bat out of hell. We were dead silent and completely still the entire drive home. It took hours for my hackles to lower.
John stayed the night, and we all slept together, in the front room. It just felt like if we parted company then we’d regret it. When the sun finally rose we all felt silly and laughed it off. We even recounted the story to each other until it felt like a dream. It wasn’t though, not by a long shot.
The only other thing to report from that night is the batteries. The batteries in the flashlight had been fresh- put them in myself- but they were dead that next morning. The Wrangler’s battery had died, and refused to hold a charge. The same with our phones and my watch. Nothing was wrong with the implements themselves; new batteries fixed them right up. It was just like the juice got sucked out of them during the night.