It's easier to determine which paranormal phenomena didn't happen on Skinwalker Ranch rather than determining which actually has. This ranch, located in northern Utah, has been a hotbed of activity for decades. Accounts from multiple ranch owners and staff have only furthered claims that there's something incredibly unusual happening there, and with recent documentaries such as The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch making their way to Hulu for the world to see, all eyes are on it.


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Despite what's been captured on video and included in these documentaries, however, these strange phenomenons have been occurring for far longer, documented or not. From cow mutilations to abductions, it's been said that this region of Utah has seen it all, despite the recent attention it's been given. Many of these paranormal occurrences go all the way back to before the ranch was given the name Skinwalker Ranch, as the Native American tribes that once lived in the area had their own explanations for what went on.

Here's everything you should know about Skinwalker Ranch before diving into a documentary.

The First 18th Century Account

In 1776, the first true account of anything strange occurring on Skinwalker Ranch was recorded. Obviously, there was no photo or video footage to back up this claim, but it was made by Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, a French missionary. His written account detailed strange 'fireballs' that were seen overhead, which is eerily similar to the accounts that people speak of today. Prior to that, however, the land that the ranch sits on today once belonged to the Ute tribe, with the Navajo tribe living roughly 400 miles away. This caused conflict when the Navajo attempted to move further into Ute territory, giving the land a harsh and violent history from the get-go. Today, the ranch sits between two Ute reservations: Uintah and Ouray.

From these earliest accounts to the account made by de Escalante in 1776, things were not normal on the land. By the time the 1900s came around, more and more people were making their accounts known, as UFOs became a worldwide term. While many have always believed that the land was cursed, there are others who believe it's some kind of portal through which extraterrestrial life visits the earth. Sightings have occurred around the ranch - not just on the ranch itself - in places such as Bottle Hollow. By the time the Shermans owned what's now known as Skinwalker Ranch, it had a reputation for being sinister - but their accounts took it to a whole new level.

The First Owners To Leave The Ranch

Terry and Gwen Sherman began sharing their experiences on the ranch with local news reporters in 1996. The first mention included crop circles which corresponding with their accounts of witnessing unexplained flying objects - much of which is now backed up and even recorded in modern documentaries. The UFO sightings became quite frequent to the point where they could be considered regular sightings, but that wasn't the only thing the couple witnessed on their ranch. Along with these sightings, the Shermans found - on multiple occasions - that their cattle had been completely carved up with precise, surgical-like methods, and many were drained entirely of their body fluids.

As if that alone wasn't enough, the Shermans also reported seeing strange animals that were unlike any they'd ever seen in the area. Granted, Utah is home to plenty of wildlife that could give a person a good scare in the middle of the night - but the Shermans' account didn't match any of their descriptions. In fact, the animals that were described resembled nothing of a known or unknown animal, and one, in particular, paved the way to their eventual selling off of the estate. The animal in question could only be described as a wolf that was at least three times the size of the average, and it did not react to being shot at - multiple times, according to Terry Sherman.

Is The Land Cursed?

According to ancient Ute belief, waterways can be reservoirs of evil, with negative energy emitting from them. This does align with accounts by people who have witnessed strange lights that have dipped into various lakes and rivers, with seemingly no origin. These strange lights have been seen exiting the water on or near the ranch, as well, again, with no immediate explanation.

Even the name of the ranch - Skinwalker - refers to a Navajo legend that speaks of an evil witch that has the ability to transform into a range of creatures. This shapeshifter is what the ranch has been named after and to this day, it has many people wondering if there could be any truth to the legend.

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