MANNING PROVINCIAL PARK, B.C. – Chronic dry conditions and a high risk of forest fires have resulted in a province-wide campfire ban in British Columbia, leaving many campers completely unprepared when their camping trips are beset upon by local horrors which would’ve otherwise been jokingly explained to them while they were cheerfully eating s’mores.
“Normally, at least one member of a group has heard about the disappearances that take place in the park every year about this time, or about the horrible murders that occurred at the abandoned lake cabin, or about the strange lights in the sky, and they’d share this information in an attempt to freak out their friends on their first night of camping,” said local park ranger Elizabeth Curtis.
“But without the pleasantly eerie atmosphere of a campfire inspiring supernatural storytelling, these stories are not being shared, and consequently campers are facing these uncanny scenarios without any clue as to what’s happening to them. Which, of course, lessens their ability to survive,” Ranger Curtis explained.
“And there’s never an opportunity for this information to be shared later, because for some reason the person with the local knowledge is almost always the first to go.”
“We’ve been trying to encourage campers to tell each other ghost stories by the light of their portable electric lamps, but their futuristic LED glow mostly just inspires people to talk about Star Wars. Which to be fair does have ghosts, but not the kind ghost that appears to be an injured hiker who leads the unwary to the hidden precipice where she fell to her own death.”
“And I can’t even tell you how many abandoned backpacks we’ve been finding recently in the ruins of the stone church that everyone knows is the one place you aren’t safe when the vengeful spirit of the headless priest is chasing you through the woods. At least, everyone used to know, back when campfires were allowed,” Curtis lamented.
Adrienne Wayne, a Vancouver-based software engineer who recently made her way out of the woods screaming about a shape made of fear and darkness, understands the desire to prevent forest fires but believes her own experience in the woods would have ended much differently if it had begun with the jovial exchange of seemingly unimportant local lore around a campfire before her group ventured deeper into the woods.
“Personally, I think campfires should be encouraged so every forest will burn to the ground, killing the gibbering creatures who dwell within and grow fat on the pain and death of those unlucky enough to stumble upon their fetid dens as they wait for the time of humanity to end so they can reclaim the planet in the name of their foul green god.”
“But in the meantime, more signage and informational brochures would definitely be helpful.”