Viral “skinwalker” picture is a hoax

Monsters obtain new life on the internet. These days, it does not take too long before we can pinpoint the hoax and its origin. For some reason, this photo was reported to freak people out a bit in New Mexico.

Recent NM ‘skinwalker’ photo ignites fear | KRQE News 13.

A Facebook picture circulating Thursday has a lot of people up there worried. The post was shared thousands of times within a few hours and had a lot of people uttering the word skinwalker, a well-known legend in Indian country.

The picture shows an unexplained being lurking on the side of a road.

According to the legend, a skinwalker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal and walks on all fours.

But everyone can rest easy. It didn’t take long for the picture and story to be debunked.

It apparently comes from a 1980s science fiction move “Xtro,” where a creepy being is born, then goes on the prowl and is spotted by a couple driving along the road.

Not pictured: reality

Not pictured: reality

Here is the scene in question. Watch out at the 12 second mark. Look familiar?

Wanna read more about X-tro? Here’s the IMDB page.

xtro monster

Wonder if the film makers were inspired by Ella Harper, a.k.a. The Camel Girl, who suffered from congenital genu recurvatum, a genetic disorder that leaves the ligaments severely weakened and causes the knees to bend backwards.

Possible inspiration for the skinwalker? Photo credit: Charles Eisenmann

Possible inspiration for the skinwalker? Photo credit: Charles Eisenmann. Also pictured: reality

Also, the creature is a person in a bridge position with its head on backwards. A skinwalker is supposedly a person who can assume any animal shape. This doesn’t look like any animal, so, it’s a bad example anyway.

  11 comments for “Viral “skinwalker” picture is a hoax

  1. February 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    My daughter’s boyfriend is quite agile, and he walks like this to mess with people’s minds (although his head is not on backward … I assume the actor had a mask on). It does look very weird! Now, combined with a ghillie suit …. !

  2. spookyparadigm
    February 9, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    The entire scene (not the imagery of the monster) reminds me of the Dover Demon. I suspect it is just the general idea of a thing on a road, so popular with Bigfoot reports (though only George Henderson ever hit one …)

  3. YetAnoutherBrian
    February 9, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Why do people always stop in the movies. Had I seen that thing on the road, stopping would be the last thing on my mind.

  4. spookyparadigm
    February 9, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    1.) The realistic explanation I suppose is that they only caught a glimpse and were concerned it was somebody in trouble. Which displays some optimism about humanity I suppose.

    2.) That said, I’d probably stop and go back. Getting out of the car? Not as certain. But yeah, I’d probably be the idiot who did that. I already know I’m the idiot that seeks out places like “Death Cliffs.” And I’m certainly the sort of idiot that would read aloud a cursed inscription on the wall or the ancient forbidden tome. I’ve pretty much trained most of my life to be the weird esoteric scholarly uncle who goes missing at the beginning of the story.

  5. February 9, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    My first thought was of Ella Harper too.

  6. Chris Howard
    February 10, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Because if they’d played it safe, and run on home there wouldn’t be any tension, mush less any actual horror in said horror story.

    It also serves as a plot point in most stories. The audience learns something about the protagonist, and the antagonist.

    Further, it reinforce the attitudes, values and beliefs of the audience via familiar cues. “Don’t go in there! God. Why are people so stupid?” is more about reinforcing the biases of the audience members through entertainment and reassuring formulas then it is about common sense.

    People go to horror movies to escape reality. It’s escapism, and as such has only enough objective, mundane reality in it to keep the audience member grounded in a familiar place.

    The common-sense mundane world also serves as a backdrop against the act II world of mystery i.e., monomyth formula, via Luke and Ben leaving the mundane world and entering Mos Eisly Cantina.

  7. February 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Have you watched The After by Chris Carter, director of X Files? There is a nice scene with a more face to face encounter of this thing.

  8. ZombyWoof
    February 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    I thought about the movie Xtro too. I saw that movie once.

  9. Kiljoy616
    February 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    The funny part about the video part is the guy saying to the women in the car, “stay in the car” maybe he should take his own advice. I find movies where the guy runs out like some Rambo for no reason than for drama. boring. Like to see movies where the characters are not so dumb as to be unbelievable.

  10. Kiljoy616
    February 11, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    #2 was great, love the part of the “weird esoteric scholarly uncle who goes missing at the beginning of the story” so funny.

    I guess I am the guy who makes it out in full regalia armed to the teeth. Taking calculated risk is something I’ve been doing for most of my adult life, but running wild into the night without a flashlight or armed is not something I can imagine my self doing.

  11. authenticpoppy1
    February 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    @Σκιεράτσα (@skieratsa) – I thought of this hoax when I saw the scene in The After as well. Scary monster!

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