You wake in a pub and see that it's full of were creatures, and they're all staring at you with a scared look on their faces. As you continue on into the pub you look at your arm. You notice that your arm is covered in thick brown hair. As you continue on into the pub you look in a mirror, and staring back at you is a 7 foot werebear. As you continue into the pub people start to shy away form you. Once you go the bar you ask the weretigress that's the bartender and begin to ask her why everyone is shying away from you, and she begins ro tell you why.
A little way up the narrow valley, before they reach the woods, the PCs notice the squat, tumbledown buildings by the riverside. They are hardly big enough for a human to stand in, and the complex cogs and shafts that occupy the central cavity of one of the buildings are perplexing. What were these buildings? And how safe are they to explore?
Alternatively a desolate place is the perfect setting for a derelict chapel or croft. There needn't be any actual physical encounter involved, but it adds atmosphere to a place to see its dead history. For instance, in the Outer Hebrides there are whole deserted villages which were razed to the ground by the English during the Clearances. Such stories give a setting authenticity and character.