Something eerie has befallen the northern Kettle
Moraine forest. When night falls one can hear the woosh of wings stalking the
night. These are not the ordinary flappings of an owl. No, in fact, the
forest has been quite still otherwise. Except, maybe, for the distant
screams. But, donít worry about those. The person they belonged to has
been found. Of course, this person had two puncture wounds in their
neck and now has a tendency to sleep during the day....
But, we digress. We will say, if you hunt by day, be careful of those
places that the shadows cling to. They donít need nightfall to lure
their prey, just the small pools of darkness that the woods afford. If,
brave soul, you search by night, our luck to you. Letís hope youíve
brought more talismans and weapons than those hunters that preceded you.
Finding the weapons of your fallen comrades may very well assist you on
your journey. May we not hear
your cries in the distance....or have the need to hunt YOU down...
Boxes 1 & 2
Start at the remains of the trail map
at the end of the parking lot. It is a shame that such a nice
trail through the woods would succumb to such a dreary end. Do not
hope to seek true shelter at the shelter on the map. Look around
you at the last sights you'll have of safety. Do not rely on
getting Holy Water out of the fountain in the picnic area.
Besides, you should know to be adequately prepared for this journey
before you even came here.
If you are ready, ascend the stairs into the vampire's domain.
Count the steps as you go...10, 20, 30, what was that?...40, 50,
60...something is near...65, 66. STOP! Was that a hand on
your shoulder? No, just a dead leaf falling to the ground.
But there is a feeling of evil in the woods to the right...old
evil...ancient evil...powerful evil. What is that that glistens
only 26 steps away at 95 degrees under a fallen stump? As you
scrape away the dead leaves and remove a stone, you find that there is
Holy Water to be found here.
But why would one have had to drop a
perfectly good unused vial of Holy Water here...? Why was the
stump knocked over...? Is that dried blood...?
Boxes 3 & 4
If you survived your
first encounter, and are bold enough to continue on, continue up the
stairs, then down a series of stairs, and then up some more.
Notice how the stairs are in good shape considering the decay around
you. At the top you arrive at a tower. The tower is also in
good shape. Why? Then it occurs to you - vampires would not touch
wood lest it stick them. Also, good wood is harder to make into a
make-shift stake on short notice. There is no weapon for you here.
Climbing the tower is also ill-advised - you do not want to be trapped
at the top with vampires blocking your only escape...
Continue on the path marked with a purple topped stake. Ah, royal
purple...the preferred color of vampires other than black. This
must truly be their trail. Do not take this stake with you for it
was used by another hunter to impale a vampire. Removing it would
allow the vampire to rise again. Better to leave it be...
As you count your steps down the path from the purple topped stake,
notice the many "V" trees around you. The vampires know how to
mark their territory. To the uninformed eye, they look like
regular trees, but as a hunter, you know each one marks the domain of a
vampire. You are surrounded. Hopefully, the one who came
before you has staked them for you. But what became of this
At 100 steps you find your answer. Their stake and mallet lie just
20 steps at 168 degrees from the three-trunked tree on the left of the
path. The hunter was cut down at the knees, with their legs still
standing and the rest of their body lying before them - their weapon of
choice lying on their feet - untouched by human or vampire (for obvious
But what vampire would do this to a hunter? What vampire would be
strong enough to overcome such a powerful hunter?
You may want to say your
prayers, that is, if youíre able to breathe. What is that breathing down
the back of your neck...?
Boxes 5 & 6
Continue deeper into the forest on the
path if you dare. Note the hastily built shelter at the end of a
short path to the left. There is no sign of life here. Why
would anyone think that would protect them against a vampire?
There are even more "V" trees here as you go deeper into their domain.
The path turns left and heads downhill. Then it takes a right.
Watch your footing. There are many rocks on the trail. There
are also trees growing in the middle of the path. At the first one
you meet, you cannot help notice the large "V" that has a large stake
through its heart on the right. One less vampire to worry about...
All these stakes leads you to think that it might not be such a bad idea
for vampire hunters to carry a cane around with them. Then again,
there is a vampire who walks with a cane...what's that sound?
It sounds like someone walking through the forest with a cane. You
head 15 more steps down the path from the tree in the middle of the
path. To your left there is a mossy rock just off the path.
No, rocks do not work as weapons against vampires. There is the
sound again behind you...
Instinctively, you run away from the sound to gain more time. You
run into the woods behind the rock, following a long fallen tree back to
its base where you stumble over a branch between the fallen tree's end
and a tall broken stump with a split down its side. Looking up
from the ground you see a shadowy creature towering above you in the
dark preparing to attack! Then off the corner of your eye you see
an object sparkle in your torchlight. Out of desperation you grab
it and as you pull it out into the open you hear a bone-curdling screech
from your assailant. Dumbfounded you watch the shadowy figure race
away to the other side of the path. Having collected your sanity,
you look to find yourself holding an ornate silver crucifix left here by
a fellow hunter. They had left it in the tall stump propped up by
sticks so it would not fall all the way down to the bottom - perfectly
reachable by those in need, yet hidden to the vampires all around.
With renewed confidence you determine to seek out and dispatch the
vampire that recently sought your blood. But where did it hide off
Boxes 7 & 8
Further down the path, things get more harrowing. Someone or
something has placed a large stone in the middle of the path to trip
anyone running through here. Then another large tree bisects the
path around it. Yet just another 66 steps past this tree, on your
left looms the largest "V" you have seen in these accursed woods so far.
What evil flies in this part of the woods that its symbol rises so high
in the sky?
Cautiously you take another 17 steps down the trail. Just then
something whips by you passing just to the back of your neck from the
left towards the woods to your right.
Ah, to the right. To the east. Ok, to the northeast, or more
precisely at 43 degrees. Either way, in the direction the sun does
rise. Are you longing for whatever sunlight may trickle down into
this dense forest? There! There - looking through the
smaller "V" on that bearing - wasn't there a shimmer of light just
behind the second tall tree in view? Desperate, you run the 20
steps past the smaller "V" tree to the tree you spotted. Sure
enough, there is a ray of hope hidden in the hole in its back about
chest high. As you pull it out, you feel the evil around you fade
into the shadows - some near, some far. Some, too close for
Boxes 9 & 10
Deeper and deeper into the woods you must go to find more of your
quarry. Along your journey you pass by --and through at one
point-a long rock wall. Is this the remains of Dracula's castle?
Or is it the remains of the village that used to be in these woods -
before the peasants were turned into vampires? Don't linger here -
You come upon a path to the left. You take a brief moment to
travel a few feet down the path only to find it leads to a deep valley.
Are those bones on the valley floor or just branches. The limited
light and the wavering shadows do not allow you to tell the difference
from here. You don't want to be another victim tossed into the
pit, so head back to the royal purple path and continue on your hunt.
The trail continues alongside the deep valley below. Slowly you
feel yourself descending into it - or is it catching up to you?
After a few minutes of walking you come to a subtle left turn in the
path where someone with a vary sharp axe has cleanly cut away a portion
of a thick birch tree that had fallen across the path so the path is
clear for you to move through. Such a sharp axe would be helpful
in beheading vampires...
As you pass between the birch halves, the path turns slightly left as it
heads down and then turns to the right as the path levels and turns a
bit sandy. A few steps more, and you spot a square of royal purple
marking a tree to the left of the trail - only 40 steps from the fallen
birch. As you inspect the mark, wondering what it could possibly
mean, you note that there are actually two such marks - one on either
side of the tree. Who is the master of this area that he marks his
Then you hear the muted low tones of chanting around you, occasionally
broken by a hiss or a cackle. Bewildered by the sudden sound you
fall off the path down the hill about 20 steps at 289 degrees and land
hitting your head at the base of a tree with a gapping hole in its
bottom. Lucky for you, your head hit the softer wood, rather than
the rock inside the hole, or, even better, the sharp axe under the stone
As you grab up the axe, you wonder what vampire was
able to survive a blow from this axe - or did its previous owner never
even get the chance to wield it against his foe...?
Boxes 11 & 12
Walking even deeper into the forest on the trail, you continue to
parallel the valley to your left. Eventually you come to a point
where the path turns sharply to the left and you quickly descend into
the valley. At the bottom you wonder whether there may be any
water running through here. Knowing where there is running water
is important as you know that vampires cannot cross over it.
Unfortunately, it seems that whatever water may have run through here in
the past is no more. Did the vampires dam up or alter the course
of the river through here so they could have free access to both sides
of the forest? A quick scan of the area reveals no dammed river -
just damned souls...
At the low point of the valley you notice a 6
foot tall broken stump just off the path to the right. Walking
over to it you notice another area where a river may have run once.
The remains of the tree that broke off of this stump lie westward into
this second possible river bed. Walking alongside the fallen
remains you come to a part where it has broken in two. What do you
know? Within the end of the second half of this fallen tree at
this point the river still runs...
Dare you cross this river yourself to hunt the vampire it holds back?
Boxes 13 & 14
Do you have the stamina to continue? Although it may seem like you
have turned the corner on the half-way point through the woods, you are
not even close to getting out. If you travel on, you will find
that as you climb out of the valley you still head north to the deeper
reaches of the forest. As you journey through, the path becomes
narrower as the trees reach out to pull you in.
On and on you travel with no sign of it letting up. Then suddenly there
is a sign - an arrow pointing you left. What is this way?
That remains to be seen...
More rocks are thrown in your path and
yet another fallen tree blocks your way, but you fight through.
There is a light up ahead...and a signpost...a map telling you where you
are. You have survived this far - can you handle completing the
circuit and your quest?
You now seem to be in the lighter side of the forest. There are
fewer places for vampires to hide - at least during the daytime - so
vampires will be few and far between, unless there are vampires on the
lighter side of life out there to be found...
Approximately, two minutes past the map you will find a tall tree on the
right side of the path leaning over the trail. This distinctive
sight is shortly followed only 45 steps later by another eye-catching
sight: a fifty foot tall barkless stump on the right side of the path.
Another unique feature of this tree is the many rocks entwined in its
roots - hmm, maybe rocks DO grow in trees after all...
From the large grey rock in its roots on the path side of the tree
however, comes a very distinct odor - a smell that vampires dread, but
can be a delicacy for humans. Dig thorough the debris and look
under the rock in the cavity formed between the tree and the large grey
stone to root out this natural herb used so much in cooking.
You would never catch a vampire that would cook with this ingredient -
then again, maybe you will...
Boxes 15 & 16
As you continue on, notice there are fewer "V" trees here. Not
many vampires are to be counted here. Yet, just three and a half
minutes further down the trail another vampire has marked their
territory in a unique way: on the left side of the path they have
chopped the top part of a tree so that it has fallen to create a type of
canopy over the path. If you look around you can see similar
attempts with other trees in the area. What a strange way to mark
Counting 40 more steps down the trail you stop atop a mossy rock in the
path with a root parallel to it and a tree on the right side of the path
that forms a "W" (not a "V") about ten feet up from its base. If
you were counting on finding a vampire here, you may be right. But
by the signs around you, you can tell this is no ordinary vampire. You
will therefore need a weapon that is not ordinary, yet one you can count
on. Lucky for you, a previous hunter left you one in the tree 13
steps off the left of the path. Find the fallen branch and the
hole in the tree about waist high that its end is sticking into.
Count your lucky stars this weapon was left here for you...
Boxes 17 & 18
On and on you travel...so many twists and turns...ups and downs...then
things get very chilly - it seems a new ice age has occurred - or is it
all the vampires around?
Again, do not seek shelter in the shelter - it is a trap. It will
sooner be your coffin than a place of rest, so hurry along the trail.
After more ups and downs, the icy chill seems to go away and the end of
the trail is left before you. Although you have not seen many
vampires lately, there are still some around to subdue.
When you know you are only .6 miles from completing your mission, do not
breath a sigh of relief. You still have some of these undead
serial killers to take care of. Although you may be hungry after your
long journey so far, you are even hungrier for the kill. Count
your steps carefully - after 37 steps you come to a broken tree on your
right forming a right triangle (those triangles are everywhere you
know...). After 73 steps there is a "V" tree on your left!
Ah! There is a vampire around nearby! At 94 steps, half-way
along a fallen trunk lying parallel to the path, you are stopped dead in
your tracks by something gleaming off to your left. Did you catch sight
of it? There - where two fallen trees lie bottom to bottom 10
steps off the trail. In the bottom of the one on the right just
under bark and a rock...what a strange weapon for a hunter to
leave...what vampire can be subdued by this weapon?
We can only hope youíre hungrier than he
Boxes 19 & 20
Think you are out of the woods yet? Think again. There is
yet one more vampire to vanquish - the one most feared of all!
Continue on the path
towards your journey's end. As you continue on you will find that
this last vampire has placed trees in the middle of your path once again
to thwart your progress through their domain. These trees slow
your progress so that his minions can slowly suck all the blood out of
you if you are not properly protected. After climbing your way
through his traps you will eventually come to a bench. The bench
is also a trap - his minions will attack you while you rest, so don't
listen to the relaxing call of the bench. Instead continue on the
path to the right heading down 166 steps.
Had enough of his minions sapping your strength? Want to claim
final victory over all vampires and place yourself in the vampire hunter
hall of fame? Then seek out your final weapon in the merger of the
three trunks to your right under a rock, loose bark, and leaves.
You probably brought this weapon of choice with you, but probably used
it up fighting off all his minions. So here is some more to help
you claim the final victory!
Now go and squash your last vampire...then go home and get a blood
transfusion to replace all the blood you lost!