Urban Legends v.4: New Mexico

Skinwalkers & La Mala Hora


Kristen Farley, Journalist


The Terror of The Skinwalker - The Native American Boogeyman - River City Ghosts

The legend of Skinwalkers originates in Navajo Folklore. In Navajo culture, a skinwalker is a very harmful human witch with the ability to turn into animals at night. They are considered evil because their power  is gained by murdering a close relative. They can haunt dreams and they’re believed to be able to adopt the shapes of owls, coyotes, foxes, wolves, or crows. In Navajo culture, you do NOT talk about skinwalkers. Their belief is that talking about wicked beings not only brings bad luck, but calls out to them and makes their appearance much more likely. Although skinwalkers are witches, the term is never associated with healers. Those are two completely different things. As it should be obvious, healers use their powers to help others.

La Mala Hora:

The Creepiest Urban Legend from Each of the 50 States Part 7

The tale of La Mala Hora is told in Mexico and parts of New Mexico. In Spanish, “La Mala Hora” means “the evil hour”. Legend says La Mala Hora appears to people traveling alone after midnight in New Mexico. Some versions say it’s a shape-shifting demon that appears as a black lump, but if it appears as a woman, it is perceived as an omen of death. The legend tells of a beautiful, long-haired woman dressed in white who walks along the roads at night. Men who see her are so entranced by her beauty that they follow her mindlessly, with no idea where she’s leading them. The lucky few who have encountered La Mala Hora and survived say that while following her, they lost their sense of direction. If they were carrying a light, it would suddenly stop working. Supposedly, these men survived because they noticed that the “woman” was floating rather than walking, and/or that her toes were backwards. The men who didn’t notice these things will follow La Mala Hora to their deaths, as she leads them over a ravine.