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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Mystery: Fleshgaits



I’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time. It’s finally time to cover Fleshgaits.



The Story


I’m unsure as to where the name “Fleshgait” (pronounced: flesh-gate) originates from, but these creatures are often egregiously referred to as Skinwalkers. This isn’t true; the Skinwalker is an extremely powerful Navajo shaman that can wear the pelt or skin of an animal and gain its powers/abilities or even transform into them. Fleshgaits, on the other hand, are humanoid creatures that are said to lurk in the woods and forests around the world. These creatures are said to be capable of taking the form of people they see or kill, then can mimic their voice to perfection.


However, they’re not perfect in every aspect. Fleshgaits aren’t capable of copying the mannerisms of those that they take the appearance of. As such, they’ll often be very distant and lack any sort of personality whatsoever. While they do change, this quirk doesn’t always go away.


Now as for how Fleshgaits obtain the form of someone, this varies. Some say that they kill the person whose appearance they take on. Others say that they can do it simply by looking at someone and that it’s a sort of camouflage. None of this is officially known though and as such, it varies very heavily from report to report. Of course, it’s possible that there are different types of Fleshgaits out there.


As for where these creatures lurk: they’re (as I said earlier) located in the woods and forests of the world. Though some claim that they sometimes appear in rural areas, this appears to be exceedingly rare in my experiences of looking into the stories of these creatures. In spite of how viscous these creatures seem—what with them supposedly gaining their appearances by killing people—they seem fairly timid. Should one escape them and flee the forest, they’ll rarely follow. In a few cases though, they’ll follow the person to their home and watch them as they sleep.


The powers of Fleshgaits is something that varies a lot. All of them have the ability to shapeshift, though some are said to be capable of altering the perception and reality of those that are camping. To give an example, let’s say that you and I, dear reader, are out camping with two other friends. We’re all around a campfire roasting marshmallows and telling spooky stories to each other. All of sudden, you start to see myself and our two other friends start laughing uncontrollably. We fall out of our seats and roll around, laughing like maniacs. Soon, all you can hear is our laughter. It’s ringing in your ears. You cover them, but the laughter grows louder and louder. You feel like your eardrums are going to burst. You fall to the ground and cry. Then, all of sudden, the world goes black.


The next morning, you wake up in your sleeping bag. Your head aches. You crawl out and see our friends and myself gathering firewood. Immediately, you ask what the heck was up with us laughing last night.


We all look at each other, baffled. Finally, one of us speaks up and says, “What the heck are you talking about? You were bawling your eyes out, looking at the fire.”


These powers aren’t limited to manipulating reality for one person. In some cases, they can alter what everyone sees. So instead of the three of us seeing you crying, I may have seen us crying, one of our friends may have seen us screaming at the fire, and the other friend may have us groaning in agony.


Others say that Fleshgaits can cause a deafening silence to overtake the world, causing the sounds of nature itself to cease. They can also completely alter what one sees. They have the ability to blend in with a group of friends or people without being noticed, yet they can slip away undetected. They’re extremely fast too, being able to dart around at blindingly fast speeds. These powers, however, vary—though their agility is rather consistent.


Appearance wise, Fleshgaits are said to stand at around 8–9 feet 2.4–2.7 meters) tall. They’re pale and extremely thin, sporting ridiculously long limbs. Some have said that their arms reach down to their knees. They’re also devoid of hair. They also seldom make noise, though it’s been said that they can emit a ridiculously high-pitched shriek. It’s also been claimed that they emit an odor so vile, it can make you vomit on the spot.


Sightings of Fleshgaits are something that you can find rather easily. Whether it’s YouTube compilations of user-submitted stories, on Reddit, or on 4chan’s /k/ and /x/ boards, there’s a plethora of readily available encounters you can go over. Though most of them follow similar patterns. A person—or a group of people—go out to camp. While innawoods, something weird begins to mess with them. Odd stuff happens and eventually, the creature (or creatures—there are cases where there are multiple Fleshgaits) attacks and then the people escape.


One of the odder aspects about Fleshgaits is the lack of any real evidence for them. There are no photos or videos of them as far as I’m aware. Instead, there are simply the aforementioned stories, of which there are so many, I could probably make a 5-hour-long video on them. Alas, I’m a dreadful narrator and I cannot provide anything of merit. Sorry, lads.


This leads to one of the most important questions surrounding these creatures: what is their motive? This is an extremely difficult question to answer due to the number of theories that surround exactly what they are. In some cases, it’s said that they’re simply predators that like to toy with their victims. Others say that they’re simply curious. Whether malevolent or benevolent, Fleshgaits are creatures with motives that never really act like any sort of known entity on Earth. As such, it’s entirely possible that they just love to hear stories and are as timid as can be.


Overall: Fleshgaits are cryptids that are equal parts terrifying and fascinating. They’re an enigma that has always left me wondering about what exactly they are. This, to me, is the perfect time to say that while the story of these creatures are over, we can now move onto the theories section. So let’s dig into them.


Theories


1. They’re real


For our first theory, we have the idea that these creatures are real. While there may be no evidence that can cement such a theory, the belief in Fleshgaits is remarkably large. In some circles, they’ve also been used to explain the various disappearances associated with David Paulides’ Missing 411 series—which I hope to go over this year in some capacity. Anyways, if they are real, then what they are becomes the question. Well, there are numerous ideas and as such, I’d like to go over them.


1a. They’re demons


The first idea is that they’re demons. Whether you’re religious or not, the concept of demons is one that can transcend those beliefs—in my eyes at least. The actions and appearance of Fleshgaits is something that one would associate with something that is pure evil. As such, this theory is not only very popular, but fairly widespread. However, it’s not the only theory, so let’s move on.


1b. They’re a part of the Natural Order


This theory posits that Fleshgaits are simply a part of this world and that they’ve yet to be discovered by science—or that they’re being covered up to prevent mass panic (mainly due to how it would affect tourism in some areas and force national parks to close).


1c. They’re aliens


A very popular theory, this one posits that Fleshgaits are aliens. Given their inhumane powers and ability to manipulate one’s perception of reality, it stands to reason that they’re quite literally not of this world. However, given they’re extremely benign actions (should we believe they don’t actively kill anyone), it begs the question: what exactly are they doing here? Some may say they’re studying us. Others may say they’re planning on invading in the future. Whatever the case may be: the theory of them being aliens potentially answers some questions and raises a ton of others.


1d. They’re interdimensional entities


Our next theory is that these creatures are from another dimension. Either they’ve found a way to cross over due to advanced technology or they have the ability to enter and exit dimensions at will. This theory is extremely popular among some due to the enigmatic abilities of these creatures and how they seem to defy all that we know about this world.


1e. They’re mutants


Our next theory is that these creatures are in fact mutants. Whether made by the government or mutated due to some sort of horrific accident that occurred in the past is up for debate, but given the generic appearance in contemporary media, Fleshgaits bear an uncanny resemblance to mutants. Well, unless you go by the X-Men films.


1f. They’re escaped government creations


Speaking of mutants, the final theory for if they’re real is that they escaped from a government facility. Given the number of cryptids that are said to have been made by the government, such as the Chupacabra and Dover Demon, it’s no surprise that Fleshgaits would be a part of this theory. Though is there any truth to it? Well, that depends on your view of the government—especially the US Government. So this is a very subjective theory in my eyes.


2. They’re legends


The second theory is that the creatures are legends; a product of the stories of the Skinwalker and Goatman fused into one terrifying monster. Due to the prevalence of the Internet in our lives, they’ve become so well-known that they’ve seeped into the minds of younger folks who mistake common things (such as bears, deer, or something else) for something extraordinary. There’s little more to it than that. Now, in the way of evidence, there’s a lot to work against the existence of Fleshgaits. Whether that be the lack of photos and videos or the homogeneity of the stories—though the latter can be argued as simply being the creatures attraction to small groups as opposed to large crowds. Or this could be a simple cliche. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.


My Take


As odd as it may seem, I genuinely believe that Fleshgaits are real. There’s something about the number of stories that makes me stop and question if there’s this enormous subculture in the realm of the paranormal and cryptozoology that loves to make up stories about these creatures, or if there’s truly something out there that is truly out there, roaming the forests of the world. I find the former of these two to be oddly difficult to buy into.


Now, don’t get wrong: I don’t believe every story is legitimate. Let’s face it, that’d be wildly foolish. If we’re to say that everyone who says they saw something in the woods was a Fleshgait, then we may as well also say that Tom Hanks is an alien from Haumea. As such, I want to just stress that no, not every Fleshgait story is something that I believe is legitimate. However, in spite of that, I do think that they’re real. Something inside me truly believes this. As I’ve always said: I think this world is far bigger than anyone could ever imagine. Perhaps I’m delusional, perhaps I’m foolish, or perhaps I’m naïve. Though I genuinely believe this. Mock me all you will, but it’s how I see our world and likewise, it’s how I see Fleshgaits.


Now as for what they are: I believe they’re a part of the Natural Order in some capacity. Our world is massive and while most of us never see outside our hometown or home city—let alone home country. However, you could lift every single human on Earth into the state of Texas or Indiana and it still wouldn’t be overcrowded. So when I say that I believe that our world is bigger than we think, I mean that metaphorically and literally. Earth is enormous and I can’t help but think that there may be something out there capable of doing this. Though hey, maybe I’m just a fool. I’ll leave that up to you to decide.


Conclusion


Whether or no Fleshgaits exist, I’m personally confident that they’ll remain something of a horror icon on the Internet. They’re among the most popular figures in the realm of creepypastas; the possibilities for terrifying imagery and scenarios is limitless. Though that’s just me. What about you, dear reader? Do you believe they’re real? Or are they but the creation of clever writers? Let me know in the comments below.

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