True Story: Arizona Skinwalker or Shadow Animal?

Skinwalker: (Wikipedia) is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. Similar lore can be found in cultures throughout the world and is often referred to as shapeshifting by anthropologists.

Shadow person/animal:
(Wikipedia) Are supernatural shadow-like figures of both modern folklore and paranormal popular culture that believers claim appear as dark humanoid (or animal) forms or evasive specters seen mostly in peripheral vision.
My ghost hunting partner, Ginny, and her significant other, David, had an experience that so impressed me by their story, that I sat them down to get the details. This time I took notes instead of curling up with my feet tucked under me being spooked by the description. I thought I’d share it with ya’all because, as debunkers, my ghost hunting partner and I both are left puzzled by this encounter. Here is their story:

It was July 2006. The couple was leaving the Grand Canyon Park to head south towards Williams for their hotel room. They were driving in a car, heading out the park entrance around 9:30 p.m. They were less than a mile from the park on this unusually chilly night. In front of them was an SUV perhaps 8 car lengths ahead. They saw the brake lights go off on the SUV and Ginny warned David, who was driving. They both noted the SUV swerve into the oncoming lane as if something were in the roadway. Ginny witnessed something very huge and black, taller than the SUV, its shoulder area seeming to be about even with the top of the SUV. They had only a couple seconds before they came up on the spot themselves. David swerved the car into the oncoming lane as he witnessed this huge black creature threateningly close to the car. As he did this, Ginny in the passenger side looked up to this gigantic black mass. Its head was well above the height of the car and she caught its eyes as they passed by it. Her immediate reaction was one of impending doom and threat. She felt its massive size and power and felt completely inadequate in their car in comparison.

David slowed down, thinking of turning around, when he looked into the rear view mirror and saw the car behind him swerving the same way in the road, just missing this huge black…creature. Oddly, the lights of that car could create no detail on this black mass either.

They both continued down the road, confused and upset by the encounter. Later, they passed by some elk in a field and their car lights hit them and showing exactly what they were including the details and shapes of them and the foggy wisps of their cold breath from their flaring nostrils.

It wasn’t until Ginny was describing the story to me that I realized some strange features. One was the SUV in front of them slammed on their brakes. Had those people seen this thing in their headlights in the distance, they would have braked slower. They didn’t see it, even with headlights, until they were upon it. Ginny described a steep embankment near the roadway that seemed to have entrapped this thing, forcing it to follow the road to get out. At least, that was the sense of the situation. Also, their own headlights showed nothing more than a black mass. No color, no detail, no definition. Given that it was threatening their place in their lane, this creature should have been seen, as the elk had been seen by the headlights. As well, the size was exceptional. If a typical SUV is perhaps 6’ tall and the slope of what seemed to be shoulders was even with it, then that would make this creature perhaps over 7’ high! Ginny commented several times about how massive and threatening it seemed.

What it was they saw that evening on the roadway, they’ll never know. The memory still haunts them as a singularly strange and eerie encounter. Whether it was a skinwalker or possibly some kind of shadow animal (like a shadow person) is unknown. The intriguing thing is how shadow people are caught out of the corner of your eye, you turn to see them and they’re described as completely black and solid-appearing without detail, and bring with them a sense of impending doom and threat. Similar, huh?

While investigating this encounter, I’ve come across some other very creepy and amazing stories from the Grand Canyon that will be coming in subsequent posts. Apparently, the supernatural and unexplained is very common there. In fact, perhaps one of these upcoming posts will tie into this story!


  1. Sounds kind of like a shadow bigfoot. I wonder if the feeling of doom is just a result of seeing something so creepy, or if the creature actually has a doomlike personality. I don't think I can recall a shadow person story where seeing a shadow person was coupled with something bad happening, so it doesn't appear that they are necessarily an omen of something bad about to happen.

  2. Hey Jeff;
    The driver thought it was on two legs, the passenger wasn't sure. She was so close to it as they passed by that it was a giant black mass to her. The eyes seemed to be wide opened, which sounds like a typical car-versus-bigfoot encounter. I do know that shadow people generally come with a sense of dread and doom and a wash of emotion that's rather bleak and depressed. My son and his friend when they had their interactive encounter with one said that they both felt a strange sense of impending doom, like this thing was a harbinger or perhaps it simple exuded a very dark emotion that they picked up on. A great deal of encounters involve that emotion. Of course, it's hard to tell if the emotion she felt was due to the size of the thing and its immediacy to their swerving car or if it was ominous in some way. She did say that when they passed it, she was curious to know what it was, but also did not want to stop and find out. I'm actually more of the Bigfoot notion. I've been looking up online to see if anyone reported Bigfoot around the GC area, but haven't seen much. He's generally seen in the eastern part of our state and not the far north.

  3. that's spooky! did they ever try to catch up to the other suv to exchange info?

  4. They didn't. I think when they slowed down to look back at the other car swerving, the SUV had some time on them. They discussed back and forth in the car what they saw, but both were baffled. I think at the time, they were trying to find an explanation. As they passed by the elk and saw them in good detail in the headlights including their size, color and shapes and all, they realized that what they saw wasn't illuminated by their lights and then they realized it was something very very strange. By then, the other car was gone. I've been doing some research, hoping to find out if anyone has reported similar things up there. I bet the SUV people and the folks in the other car are still going "What the heck was that???"

  5. There is a hidden lake about 2 hours from the grand canyon on best friends property in kanab ut ( its not far in or hard to find). My uncle when he was in high school 30ish years ago and a large group of his friends were out partying there one night when they we chased into their SUV and down the road back to kanab by a giant shadow creature that stood taller than their suv. Said it bounded through the sage brush after them for a few miles before it disappeared and had left scratches on the top of the vehicle when it first attacked. I found this out after I'd had an odd experience at the same place as a child, could hear faint voices, the world seemed to slow and suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling of being lost and detached though everyone was not to far away down the path. You could chalk this up to the overly active imagination of a 10 year old but There are Also other accounts of skinwalkers out at best friends animal sanctuary as well and strange instances in canyons in and around this area.


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