A WITCH IN ANIMAL FORM: In the lore of some Native American tribes, particularly the Navajo, the "skinwalker" is an evil witch that can shift into animal shape. Although generally believed to take the form of a wolf, coyote, crow, fox or owl, it is said skinwalkers can take any animal shape they desire. Those who report having seen skinwalkers say they are slightly deformed in their animal state with dull and unreflective eyes -- the opposite of a real animal. In human form, their eyes are said to shine with an inhuman animal glow.
THE SKINWALKER'S EVIL WAYS: Once in animal form, the skinwalker possesses the attributes of the animal whose shape it takes. Skinwalkers are most feared for the power they are said to have to place curses on their victims. Some Native Americans believe that a skinwalker can use a person's spit, hair, clothing or shoes to put a curse on that person or to inhabit the person's mind and control his or her behavior. It is also believed that by locking eyes with its victim, the evil skinwalker can infiltrate the person's body, causing them to sicken and even die. According to legend, skinwalkers are very fast and almost impossible to catch. However, when an injured skinwalker resumes human form, his telltale wound will give him away.