Hoia Baciu Forest
Written By: YN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Along the outskirts of Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania, there lies a tightly packed forest called Hoia Baciu. Looking at it from the outside, you might think it’s your normal forest. But behind its trees and mist, it hides a terrible secret.
There are many legends and stories surrounding Hoia Baciu. Most of which are connected to the paranormal. Some rumors say that it is a gateway to a different dimension. Others say that it’s where aliens are sighted. Meanwhile, there are also stories that say it’s a playground for witches and other otherworldly beings.
One thing is for sure though. Hoia Baciu is Romania’s version of the Bermuda Triangle. Covering about 250 hectares, it is considered one of the most haunted forest in the world.
Take a peek inside
Experts and scientists often find themselves scratching their heads over the mystery of Hoia Baciu’s ecosystem. Various groups have conducted studies regarding its plant life and soil samples, but none of them have ever found out the reason behind its eerie and unique appearance.
If you are to enter the forest, the first thing you will notice is the warped trees with their skeletal-like branches reaching upwards to the sun. Naked and deformed, these trees often create zigzagging and twisting patterns from where they stand on the ground—all in clockwise direction. They are also covered with unexplainable charring at their trunks as if they were burned.
Surrounding the trees is a perpetual mist that thickens at certain times of the day. It gives the forest a gloomy and bleak atmosphere, adding to the general creepiness in the area. What makes it even more unsettling is the absence of any sounds.
At the center of the forest is a clearing. In this case, it’s called The Clearing. It’s the only area where no trees grow. The trees around it are arranged in a uniform oval where the center remains empty. Its soil sample shows that there’s nothing wrong with it, and so experts wonder why nothing has grown in it for years. However, for locals, their only explanation is that this is a gateway to other worlds.
Legend or Fact?
People living near the forest whisper stories about Hoia Baciu. For them, these are stories they tell their children at night to make sure that they behave and stay away from the forest. These have made them wary of the forest itself. Up until this very day, nobody likes messing around near it at night.
One of the earliest stories around the forest is how it gets its name. Long ago, there was a shepherd named Hoia Baciu who went after his sheep deep into the forest. Once he was swallowed up by the trees and the mist, he never came back. Neither did the sheep. Their bodies were never found.
Another story involves a five-year-old girl who unwittingly entered the forest. It took her five years to stumble out of the forest. But to everyone’s surprise, she remains unaged and unchanged. Unfortunately, she has no recollection of the past five years, so she couldn’t say what happened to her inside the forest.
Ever since then, various stories about strange orbs of lights appearing around the forest resurface. Other locals report that they hear female voices, giggling and chattering at night in the forest. They also claim that they often see pairs of eyes peering at them from deep inside the forest. Anyone who walks along its edge feels like they are being watched.
Many believe that the forest used to be a burial site for murdered Romanian peasants back in the early days. And now, their ghosts roam the area, tormenting and trapping anyone who steps foot in the forest.
Hoia Baciu received its international fame when a military technician named Emil Barnea photographed what he claimed to be a UFO hovering over The Clearing. This happened on August 18, 1968. His story gained attention because nobody knows much about the place or have even heard of it before. However, this discovery died down eventually and Barnea was kicked out of the military because of it.
All these stories may be different, but one thing is for certain. There is a mystery behind its trees.
The Forest Today
Nowadays, the mystery of Hoia Baciu has drawn in many people from all over the world. It has become a famous tourist spot in Transylvania especially for those looking for a thrilling trip. There are tours and camping packages available for those wanting to explore and experience firsthand the creepiness of the forest. Markers have been placed all over the forest to make sure that visitors won’t get lost on the way out.
Nonetheless, there have been reports from tourists of strange experiences once they are inside the forest. They say that they would suddenly feel unexplained nausea, anxiety, vomiting and severe headaches. Others say that all their devices fail at certain parts of the forest. Photos taken in the forest would often capture strange figures hiding in the shadows, cloaked with the mist. Mostly, there is a general feeling of being watched.
The notoriety of Hoia Baciu in Europe has grown over the past years. It has been featured in several travel magazines and major news programs such as BBC, The Guardian, and The Independent. Just recently, it was featured in a TV show called Ghost Adventures, which bolstered it eerie reputation even more.
So for those hoping to catch the paranormal, you may want to check out Hoia Baciu. Who knows maybe you might unravel a mystery or two?
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