Haunted Highway – Utah Skinwalker and Ozark Howler – S01E03

Utah Skinwalker

The Skinwalker is a shapeshifter than can take on the appearance of both man and animal. Based on that description, anything and everything could be a Skinwalker, so how do you know what you’re dealing with? Well, Jack and Dana are headed to the Devil’s Soup Bowl to find out. The thinking is that you make a circle around your camp and point arrow symbols inward to invite the spirit into you.

Jack and Dana set up camp and begin walking around the area. They do come across some footprints that lead into a creek. On the other side are dog tracks. Evidence of the Skinwalker you ask? Or just evidence of a drunk teen wandering around in the desert being foolish?

After the first investigation they meet with a Native American who claims to have seen Skinwalkers when she was a girl. She tells Dana and Jack to go to Skinwalker Ridge. If the Skinwalker wants to be found, it will.

While out at Skinwalker Ridge, they come across what looks to be a mass graveyard for animals. There are complete animals carcasses and bones littering the ground. Unto itself that really isn’t evidence of anything. If there were a drought or disease, the animals would drop and decay where they stood.

To keep things moving, Jack sends up a drone with a camera attach to track something. Dana heads out on foot to see if she can track it. While she’s out, the night is alive with the sounds of cries. It sounds like Coyotes howling in the night. They get multiple thermal hits, but they get them from so far away there is no way to tell what they are.

In the end, the evidence doesn’t point one way or the other. They have animals on the thermal imager and tons of noises. But with so many legends floating around, they have to based on something right? Are these stories told to children to keep them in line and out of trouble or are they based on some fact that is waiting to be discovered. Animals can certainly change color and appearance, but can something actually change it’s physical shape and being?

Ozark Howler

Jael and Devin head to Jasper AR to find the Ozark Howler, a creature like a massive cat with horns. Yeah, that sounds like a little strange. Perhaps this is some sort of mutant mountain lion.

Here is something interesting, they go to speak with the Mayor of Jasper, who readily admits lots of myths and legends get started in his area. When you’re out in the woods, you’ll hear noises, get turned around, get disoriented and get yourself scared half to death. To me, that sounds like people are working themselves into a frenzy.

As they start the investigation, the goal of the night is to place a tracker in some meat, hang the meat from a tree and see if anything comes along and takes the bait. That sounds reasonable, expect, any and everyone animal out there is going to be attracted to their porkchops. But they do have cameras set up to see what comes to dinner.

While filming there are lots of wild screams in the night. It does sound like a woman screaming, but if you take a moment, it’s sounds like a bird. A large bird. Perhaps even a bird of prey, but a bird none the less. Hell, that could be the screech of a hawk, an owl or something similar. Apart from the sounds of the birds, Devin grabs some footage of a figure moving on the Flir. At first glance, it looks like a pig or maybe a badger. It’s slow moving and relatively small. However, it’s something in the woods moving under the cover of darkness. Without actually seeing it, I bet it would scare the hell out of people.

Something does take the porkchop bait during the investigation. Devin tracks it down and finds his GPS tracker is broken with teeth marks in it. Unfortunately, they don’t get any footage of the food being stolen. The animal knocks over the camera on the approach. They do find quite a few animals tracks while out there.

When all is said and done, it appears they captured evidence of a mountain lion or something similar. I don’t believe they captured anything that resembles some massive cat weighing 400 pounds with horns on it’s head and death in it’s heart. I agree with the Mayor on this one, there are perfectly normal things in the woods that give off strange noises and seem larger than life. Is there an Ozark Howler? I’m going to have to say no, too much points to the screech being a bird of prey and people mistaking a mountain lion, puma or feral cat as something much more sinister.

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