Locals would later swear that they identified the stranger's wrongness by her odd smell. They would insist that they went to the local police and reported it a dozen times, but that nothing was ever done about her. Call it what you will; paranoia, fear, any other of those silly words, but whatever it was, they promised that she didn't belong. They swore up and down that she needed to be run out of town, and that the sheriff had told them all that she could stay. They openly agreed amongst themselves that the sheriff refused to deal with the obvious threat. Oh, if we're speaking truthful, she weren't wrong; she just scared em. Her weird clothes, smelly foods, and funny way of talking (they call it an accent now) just wasn't what they were used to, and they didn't have one clue how to deal with it.
In the autumn season especially, folks around town had certain... traditions they liked to keep up with. The Breaking of Branches, The Forever Dance... y'know, things like that. When the women in town started talking about the stranger, it looked pretty obvious how it would all end. They'd ride her hard until they broke her, just like any wild mare. And once she's broke in, they can all relax and go back to their day-by-days. Yeah, its all pretty silly stuff, but you know how women folk can be. Nearest I can tell, it wasn't the girls talking that was the problem. No, the problem was, someone (something?) heard em.
Now, I'm no wise man; just an old storyteller tryin' to tell a tale, tryin' to make sense of what happened in the meantime. The women folk went and told their husbands every imagined sin and evil that the stranger could've committed, and that’s where things really started to get bad. Y'see, if you got whole families of people hating on you, that's bound to drum up some kind of bad stuff, right? Bad energy or something? Hell, that bad energy gets put to bad use; ain't no getting around it. The librarian found the old town book first, but I got different sources what say the preacher's wife was onto the same thing. I reckon that old power that kept the town alive in the depression, that had to have somethin' to do with it.
The women met inside of a day and they all came to agreement on the one thing that nobody should've considered. If the stranger was corrupting the town, the only good way to fix things would be the tradition of The Burnt Harvest. And that... well, i can't even say how, but things only got worse from there. Way I figure, some people ain't meant for sacrifice; ain't right to try.