Skinwalker memes referencing the Navajo Myth about a monster that can change into any human form.


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Updated Jan 03, 2022 at 07:08PM EST by Philipp.

Added Aug 03, 2018 at 04:51PM EDT by Matt.

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Skinwalker is a shape-shifting mythological creature in Navajo culture. Sometimes referred to as a witch, a skin-walker has the ability to transform into and/or possess an animal. In internet culture, skinwalkers have been a widespread subject of greentexts on 4chan's /x/ and /k/ boards, gaining additional presence in memes in early 2020. In October 2021, memes about skinwalkers achieved major popularization online, primarily on TikTok and iFunny.


While the origins of skinwalkers are unknown, the myths and stories surrounding them have existed within the Navajo culture for hundreds of years. In 2011, the blog Rocky Mountain Legends[1] described the most cited story of skinwalkers. They wrote:

The most prominent history of the Skinwalker tells of a particular form of Navajo witch, or an ’ánt’įįhnii, called ayee naaldlooshii, translated to mean “with it, he goes on all fours.” The yee naaldlooshii is usually a medicine man or high-ranking priest who has obtained supernatural powers through breaking a cultural taboo, including murder, seduction, or the corrupting of a family member.


On April 1st, 1994, the American science fiction television series The X-Files aired the episode "Shapes." In the episode, the characters Mulder and Scully investigate a murder on a Native American reservation and uncover a skinwalker (clip below, left). On December 10th, 2010, YouTuber JC Johnson uploaded a video entitled "Chief Dan Talks About Skin Walkers & The Furry Ones." Within eight years, the video (shown below, left) received more than 399,000 views.

Three years later, on May 5th, 2013, Redditor launched the /r/skinwalkers[2] subreddit. The community board serves as a place to share stories and encounters with skin-walkers. As of August 2018, the subreddit had more than 20,000 subscribers, reaching over 100,000 subscribers as of November 2021.

Later that year, on September 14th, Markiplier posted a Let's Play of the Skinwalker video game. The post (shown below, center) received more than 2.2 million views in four years. On February 23rd, 2014, YouTuber GabeHashTV uploaded the video "STRANGE CREATURE (SKINWALKER) IN NEW MEXICO FEBRUARY 23, 2014 (EXPLAINED)." The post (shown below, right) has received more than 5 million views in four years.

4chan Greentexts

During the 2010s, encounters with skinwalkers were a popular subject of greentext stories on 4chan,[3] particularly on its /x/ and /k/ boards. Starting as early as 2016, humorous greentexts about skinwalkers started to appear, being spread through reposts on Reddit[4][5] and other sites (examples shown below). For example, on August 20th, 2016, Redditor ghostberg reposted one such greentext to the /r/4chan subreddit, where it gained over 460 upvotes in six months (shown below, left).

O Anonymous 08/20/16(Sat)11:56:52 No. 31042579 • 31042603 >>31042636 >31045508 >31045992 >31045040 >31050216 File: 1471555437918 png (204 KB, 343x432) >be me 2014 >walking innawoods on multi-day camping trịp near the Seneca Nation >nothing but my raifu to keep me company >first night is uneventful >the next day I'm walking through the unclaimed wilderness >appreciating the music of birds and the feeling of the open woods HIS DONG GREW >notice that all sound has suddenly stopped Three SRES THAT DAY >no birds, no coyotes, nothing >get the feeling that I'm being watched >keep walking, notice movement 100 yards to my right >pause, look through scope >humanoid figure on all fours looking at me from behind some bushes >have read enough /k/ and /x/ spoopy pastas to know the drill >yell, "I CAN SEE YOU MOTHERFUCKER" >"1 CAN SEE YOU, SEE YOU; MOTHERFUCKER" >tum around and start jogging, pretending to retreat >it follows swiftly behind me >about-face and say "I'm a huge faggot, I love cocks" >skinwalker responds "I'm a faggot, love cocks MOTHERFUCKER" >Shoulder rifle >BANG: 223 rips through the air and strikes it in the chest >it screams in agony >start walking towards it >BANG BANG BANG, three more center mass >skinwalker collapses on the ground, screaming "I LOVE COCKS, SEE YOU, SEE YOU" >slowly approach the downed being as it writhes on the ground, blood seeping from multiple bullet holes >bend over it, and look it in the eyes >"Look at me: I'm the skinwalker now." >it gasps the word "cocks" as I aim my rifle and put one between it's eyes Anonymous 08/20/16(Sat)11:58:21 No.31042603 - >31042675 >>31042579 Did you actually become a skinwalker?

Additionally, a number of popular greentext stories about skinwalkers were narrated and posted to YouTube. For example, a story titled "The Ranch," narrated by YouTuber[6] Punished Creepswork and uploaded on September 19th, 2017, received over 363,100 views in four years (shown below, left). Another greentext, narrated by YouTuber[7] Chass and uploaded on April 3rd, 2020, gained over 107,000 views in one year.

2020 iFunny Popularity

Starting in early 2020, memes about skinwalkers achieved popularity on iFunny. On February 3rd, 2020, user Tezeta posted[8] one of the earliest notable memes about skinwalkers, a take on There Are Federal Agents Outside My House format that gained over 2,100 smiles in two years (shown below, left). On August 7th, 2020, iFunny[9] user TheMooseBoss posted a Me and the Boys video caption meme that gained over 4,600 smiles in one year (shown below, right).

there are Skinwalkers outside my house

2021 Resurgence

Following viral popularity on iFunny, in the second half of 2020, skinwalkers became a subject of moderate interest on TikTok, with several videos about the creatures going viral. For example, videos posted by TikTokers[10][11] @dannytumia and @that1cowboy on September 24th and October 3rd, 2020, received over 722,000 and 1.6 million likes in one year, respectively (shown below, left and center; warning: jumpscare).

On January 12th, 2021, TikTok[12] user @vindickleson posted the earliest humorous TikTok about skinwalkers to go viral, with the video gaining over 2.1 million views and 498,600 likes (shown below, right). A January 15th, 2021, reupload of the video by iFunny user Sickzophrenic received over 46,300 smiles.

More TikToks about skinwalkers were posted to the app in 2021, with videos, usually made with special effect and audio editing, showing alleged encounters with skinwalkers in the wild (examples shown below). As of November 5th, 2021, hashtags #skinwalker[13] and #skinwalkerstories[14] had over 689.2 million and 64.2 million views on the app, respectively.

On October 11th, 2021, iFunny[15] user Heretias posted a Staring Animals meme using an image of Patrick Bateman and captioned "Me with a rifle on my lap watching the skinwalker disguised as a sonic employee walk over to my car." The post received over 65,700 smiles in one month (shown below, left).

The post inspired a major influx of skinwalker memes based on the format on the app. For example, on October 14th, iFunny[16] user EatBees made a Schizopost that received over 43,900 smiles in in three weeks (shown below, center). A meme referencing Immortal Snail posted[17] by user Beef_Strkokin_Off on October 20th received over 65,100 smiles in two weeks (shown below, right).

Me with a rifle on my lap watching the skinwalker disguised as a sonic employee walk over to my car Me in the hospital watching the skinwalker disguised as a doctor telling me I have schizophrenia

Starting in mid-October 2021, memes about Skinwalkers, many copying the Staring Animals format, gained popularity on TikTok. For example, on October 19th, 2021, TikTok[18] user attackedbysnakes posted a version that gained over 2.4 million views and nearly 500,000 likes in three weeks (shown below, left). On October 20th, TikTok[19] user thehoodsaver posted a meme that gained over 997,000 views and 183,000 likes in the same period (shown below, right).

Memes about skinwalkers maintained prominence in late October and early November 2021, spreading to Twitter and other platforms.

Various Examples


Search Interest

External References

[1] Rocky Mountain Legends – Skinwalkers

[2] Reddit – /r/skinwalkers

[3] Reddit – Anon's Friend Is a Skinwalker

[4] Reddit – /k/ommando gets hunted by a skinwalker

[5] Reddit – Anon is a skinwalker.

[6] YouTube – 4chan Stories: The Ranch

[7] YouTube – 4chan greentext – /x/ – The 'Skinwalker'

[8] iFunny – Tezeta

[9] iFunny – TheMooseBoss

[10] TikTok – @dannytumia

[11] TikTok – @that1cowboy

[12] TikTok – @vindickleson

[13] TikTok – #skinwalker

[14] TikTok – #skinwalkerstories

[15] iFunny – Heretias

[16] iFunny – EatBees

[17] iFunny – Beef_Strokin_Off

[18] TikTok – @attackedbysnakes

[19] TikTok – @thehoodsaver

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