Beyond the Western
The Skin-Walker
Scott A. Gese

It disappeared into the trees behind the house. Image source: Lucas Neasi/Unsplash

Was it Native American lore or was it real. Adrian Lampard was about to find out.

Beyond the Western

Adrian Lampard’s nightly reading was interrupted by a curious sound coming from his back patio. It was subtle, but it was there. A low, almost wheezing sound. Like a heavy smoker trying to catch his breath after climbing a flight of stairs. He was startled when he heard a sudden light tapping on the patio’s sliding glass door. It put him on high alert and made the hair on his neck stand tall.

Lampard’s house was located in a new development of five acre plots. He had been there less than a month.

This was the third night in a row he had heard the wheezing sound. The first two nights he dismissed it as some nocturnal animal roaming about. He had seen a few raccoon’s in the area. Tonight was different, the tapping made it more personal. He quickly flipped on the patio lights.

Something moved in the distance. It was at the edge of the light and disappeared into the trees behind the house. It moved too fast to get more than a quick glimpse. It looked like some sort of furry animal about the size of a man. Maybe a large dog, but it was running on its hind legs. That made no sense to Adrian so he dismissed it as probably being a large coyote. He really wasn’t sure.

The next morning he searched around the outside of the house looking for some sign of an animal. He came up empty handed. With nothing physical to go on, he decided to talk with his neighbors to see if they had been hearing strange noises after dark.

His neighbors on either side hadn’t heard a thing, but when he talked to the neighbor right across the road from his place, it was a different story.

This place wasn’t part of the development. The house was much older. The woman who answered the door was an elderly Native American woman. Adrian introduced himself with some polite small talk. She seemed friendly enough. When he asked her if she had been hearing anything around her house at night. Her smile quickly disappeared and she grew quite serious. “I told them not to build there, but they wouldn’t listen to me.”

“Why would you not want them to build there?” Asked Adrian.

“This is the land of my ancestors. Some of their souls still roam the land. I see them from time to time.”

Adrian wasn’t much of a believer in that sort of stuff but he played along.

“Do you see them around my house at night?” Asked Adrian.

“No,” she replied. “My house. I have no idea what might be around your house.”

Adrian thanked the woman for the information and went back home still unsure of the sound he was hearing after dark.

He decided to set up his trail cam to see if he could get a picture of what might be out there.

The first two nights showed nothing. On the third night he captured a blurry image of what looked like a fast moving coyote… or not. He wasn’t quite sure.

Several days later there was an early morning knock at his door. It was the old woman from across the road. As soon as he opened it, the woman started talking in a hurried manner. “I have talked with the souls of my ancestors.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “They tell me a skin-walker roams this area. I’ll say no more. I’ve said too much already. You must look this up on your own. Be warned, they are dangerous.”

She left as abruptly as she had come.

Adrian wasn’t sure what to make of the encounter. He took her suggestion and looked up skin-walker.

Wikipedia had this to say… “In Navajo culture, a skin-walker is a type of harmful witch who has the ability to turn into, possess, or disguise themselves as an animal. The legend of the skin-walkers is not well understood outside of Navajo culture. Navajo people are reluctant to reveal skin-walker lore to non-Navajos, or to discuss it at all among those they do not trust. Skin-walkers are seen as evil, performing twisted ceremonies and manipulating magic…

Adrian found it interesting but dismissed it as legend and nothing more.

The following night there was once again tapping on the patio door. Adrian quickly flipped on the patio light. This time he almost jumped out of his skin. On the patio was a creature staring back at him. Not a coyote and not a man. More of a mix of the two. It let out a deep guttural howling sound as it ran into the darkness of the woods.

The following day Adrian put his house up for sale.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.