I had never heard of the term ‘skinwalker’ before I arrived in New Mexico. I was sent to NM for work and I spent around two months there before heading back to Nebraska for a new assignment. I kept to myself, never really spent time around the area. Occasionally I would hear the men working with me complain about noises at night keeping them awake. I didn’t care for scary stories and didn’t care about what was outside as long as it didn’t mess with my sleep. The men seemed to enjoy the creepy stories from the locals and would kill time talking about what they heard that day.
At first it all was all fun, the men would talk about paranormal sightings, not having lived through anything like that made it intriguing. However it wasn’t until one of them didn’t show up for work that made the rest of the team start taking the stories a little more seriously. The man was found hiding in his trailer, I didn’t see him personally but the team was told that he would be sent to a nearby hospital. One of the guys that found him told us that he was huddled up in a small corner mumbling to himself over and over, “Hooves, eyes, it laughed.”
I felt bad for the guy, the stress from work was probably getting to him in my opinion, however the other men started to get worked up. One night I went over to a local bar I found 3 other guys talking to the bartender about the possibility of something paranormal happening back at camp. The bartender wasn’t too happy about the guys bringing up folklore they knew nothing about and occasionally left to serve others trying his best to ignore the three of them.
One of the men started talking about skinwalkers while the rest listened closely. They had all had a few drinks in them and were getting pretty loud, everyone at the bar started to look at them annoyed at how obnoxious they were acting. I was looking around thinking how stupid the men were looking when I noticed an older man dressed in farmer’s attire with some Native American print on who was also listening closely. The man looked angry and approached the group very slowly before standing behind them not saying a word. One of the men from my team looked at him and asked him what he wanted, the old man didn’t respond and just stared at him. I stood up from my table hoping that none of the drunks would be dumb enough to start a fight with an old man. The old man stood there looking at them while the men started taunting him. Eventually the three got bored and turned their back on him. The subject of skinwalkers came up again which is when the old man finally spoke.
“Stop talking about something you know nothing about.”
The men turned around and stood up, I moved closer in hopes that they would see me and back off from the old man. The old man stood his ground and told them to not be disrespectful and to not meddle in things that were past their understanding. The men got irritated and right as one was about to step closer to the old man I finally butted in. Being somewhat their superior the three of them finally left leaving me and the old man behind shaking our head. I apologized and told him that they were just a bunch of immature kids that didn’t know how to handle their alcohol when the old man told me to be careful. He said that the locals didn’t talk about that subject and that talking about them would only bring unwanted attention. Not wanting to be rude I only nodded and told the old man I’d keep an eye out on my team.
I returned to camp and saw one of the men from the bar asleep on a chair in front of his trailer holding a beer. I didn’t care to leave him out there, I went straight to bed.
It must have been around three in the morning when I woke up to the sound of men outside yelling. I got up and walked out still somewhat half asleep to find everyone standing around something. I walked up only to become overwhelmed by a rotting stench and the horrific sight of the man who was asleep dead with his throat slashed. He had taken his life with a shard of the broken beer bottle, I walked away sick to my stomach while everyone stayed behind. I walked up a small path feeling sick and puked, when I was finished and was about to walk back I heard something behind me. When I turned around the darkness didn’t allow me to get a good look up ahead but I was able to make out someone standing not too far from me. I thought it was perhaps one of the men who also had to excuse themselves from the crowd however the person up ahead was moving funny.
I called out for the person to identify himself however heard no immediate response. The person was walking closer very slowly and his body was jerking funny, he looked like a child learning how to walk. I called out once again for the person to identify himself only this time there was a response. The voice of the person sent chills up my spine, the voice sounded inhuman yet tried to sound as normal as possible. The body was twitching which is what really frightened me, I started to step back still deciding what to do when it spoke again.
The words didn’t make sense and I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say. It wasn’t until he walked up and the moonlight hit his face when I realized it wasn’t a him but an it. The body was a mesh of what had been Carl the man who I had just seen dead moments ago and something goat like. The skin looked stretched out and the face looked like a mask, its legs looked broken and the feet…. they weren’t feet they were hooves.
I ran out of there quick looking back in hopes that it wasn’t following me; everyone was so focused on the body that they didn’t notice me running into my trailer. I made a call to the local sheriff who was already on his way after the call for Carl’s death was made. I sat in my trailer not knowing what to think or say or do; I waited until the sheriff arrived before going out.
After Carl’s death a huge lawsuit was filed against our company for not finishing the job however no one would go back to work after a few more sightings of something inhuman emerged. I was one of the first men who was packed up and ready to go. I visited the local bar one last time in hopes of finding the old man I had spoken to before. I found him in his same spot sitting and drinking, before I even said another word he started to speak.
“I warned them, can’t go around talking about stuff like that and not expect anything to happen.”
I didn’t say anything and asked him what I wanted to ask,
“Did he really take his own life or was it..a skinwalker?”
The old man looked up and said in a very serious tone,
“Don’t talk about them…the talk will attract their attention…”
He got up and left without saying another word. That was the last time I ever said the word out loud…