Destinations Magazine

The World’s Most Haunted Forest – Hoia Baciu Forest

By Ingridd @cosytraveler

We visited a lot of other places in Romania last year, that had nothing to do with Dracula/Vlad Tepes at all. High on our bucket list was the Hoia Baciu Forest, located near Cluj. This forest is a very popular recreation area, but attracts lots of paranormal enthusiasts from all over the world as well. Lots of paranormal phenomena are reported to take place here: strange lights, UFO’s, deformed plants and trees, ghosts, unexplained apparitions, shadow figures and so on. So, if you believe in the paranormal, a visit to this forest is a must. Is it?

First of all, when it comes to the paranormal, Lars and I have opposite opinions. It is actually one of the very few things we don’t agree on, but we do respect each other’s beliefs. I am – and have always been – a believer. So yes, I believe in ghosts, I have seen them and I have even photographed some. Do I believe in UFO’s? Yes again. There is a whole universe out there and I simply cannot imagine that this is the only planet with intelligent life on it. Lars, on the other hand, is a non-believer; no ghosts, no UFO’s, no apparitions, nothing…

Furthermore, I am actually intrigued AND terrified by the paranormal. I can spend hours on YouTube, watching ghost videos and programs like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Asylum, Ghost Stalkers, Ghost Brothers, and so on. But… I scare easily, very easily. When I watch a horror movie – yes, that fascinates me as well, I will turn the sound off, when things become too scary and when something terrible is about to happen, I stay as far away from the screen as I possibly can. Lars, at the contrary, does not flinch a muscle when he watches a scary movie.

Anyway, now you understand why a visit to the Hoia Baciu Forest was so high on our wish-list. The guys from Ghost Adventures had been there as well and their experiences were quite thrilling, to say the least; if you want to see it, check out the official website of the forest. As you can imagine, I was almost dying of excitement the morning when we left our cozy hotel in Cluj to go to the forest. But to be honest, from a distance everything looked very normal.

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Driving into the forest is not a piece of cake. Most of the roads are dirt roads, and because it was raining on the day of our visit, the forest had become on muddy mess. To our huge disappointment, we did not get very far. We were afraid our car would get stuck in the mud, so we could only explore a short part of the edge of the Hoia Baciu Forest.

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Something annoying happened during our exploration by the way. I slipped on some mud, twisted my knee and fell on my behind.  Ouch! After 3 – 4 days, the pain was gone and luckily, my camera wasn’t damaged either.

Did we witness anything paranormal? According to Lars, no. According to me… I am not sure. Don’t you see a strange mist in this picture? And there was really a very eerie silence…

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You can explore the Hoia Baciu Forest on your own, but there are travel agencies in Cluj that organize tours (even during the night) as well. If you choose the second option, better go to the local tourist information office.


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