Though the term is very popular and widespread now as a sort of generalized, shapeshifting cryptid, similar to a werewolf, the concept of a “skinwalker” is a specifically Native American (Navajo) term. The creature is a specialized, traditional being that is still very much a part of their tradition and culture. It is not a naturally occurring animal at all, but rather a type of witch or sorcerer, who, though various dark arts, has gained hat ability to transform into a shapeshifter for the purposes of evil. The real stories about these beings are poorly understood by outsiders, and many Natives think it’s a mistake to call any strange animal you might see in the wilderness a “skinwalker.” In fact, they strongly advise against speaking the word aloud, lest you draw the attention of one of these creatures.
This hunter, however, thinks he caught sight of one of these cryptids up in a tree. Take a look at this video and see what you think.
The video shows a close up of a tree, in which some kind of animal appears to be trapped. When he zooms in, you can see a remarkably human looking arm and hand, except for it’s smoky black coloring and long claws.
So what is it? The easy answer is that it’s a raccoon or black bear, each of which does possess that coloring, shape, and claws, and might be scared enough of a hunter to vanish up a tree.