The forest was haunted. It was known. Health-conscious hikers and bikers might skirt the forest’s edge, but few ventured inside.
Because of the hauntings.
Like many such sites around the world, just what was in the woods changed from generation to generation. Great-grandparents had feared an alleged farm filled with crazed albinos. Grandparents, however, were terrified of an escaped lunatic who roamed those same woods in a gorilla mask, killing indiscriminately any who crossed his path. Parents, meanwhile, had screamed at the trees to avoid the Goatman, who had honest-to-God been seen by the friend of a friend’s cousin once.
But this generation was savvier than their ancestors had been. Feeling nearly invincible, with their smartphones and Internet. Nothing was in those woods that Google couldn’t disprove.
So they often went into the woods – drinking what they could steal, smoking whatever they got their hands on – laughingly daring whatever was there to show itself.
Until it did.