What was I even thinking coming here by myself?
As I walked up the hill, I kept having that odd feeling of someone not being far from me. I kept turning around, and every time I saw nothing, just the forest….. All I could think of were the articles I had read the night before coming.
So what the hell could possibly make me come here? Why on earth would I ever think of hiking Hoia Baciu, the world’s most haunted forest?!?!?!
It is not just any haunted forest, but the “World’s Most Haunted Forest” (whatever that means).
A quick look at the images of Hoia Baciu on Google was enough to both give me the creeps and pick my curiosity about this place. So I read more.
It is said that the forest of Hoia Baciu is haunted, and many have experienced some paranormal activity. Throughout the years, there have been many stories depicting ghosts apparitions, shining lights during the night, and more.
Some of the stories tell that an UFO once landed in an area of the forest called Poiana Rotunda, where no vegetation is said to have grown there since then.
Another story tells of a 5 year old girl who got lost in the forest and who was never found…..until five years later. Strangely, the girl was found wearing the same clothes and looking exactly the same as the day she disappeared (i.e. she hadn’t aged).
A lot of the visitors who venture into Hoia Baciu report hearing strange noises and feeling paranoid when coming into the forest. Moreover, some report developing rashes and feeling lightheaded once they leave the forest.
As I read on, the articles kept giving this colorful image of the forest being an impossible place to go to without going crazy. So I decided to go.
The Road To Hoia Baciu
Being an avid fan of horror movies, there was no way I was going to pass on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit such a place.
The day was sunny and semi-clear when I left the hostel, and did not think twice of checking the weather for the day.
I took a bus to the industrial area of town and walked through a one-lane street surrounded by what could best be described as old fabrics.
That’s odd, I thought. There is no one around.
Finding this weird at first, I quickly remembered that it was a holiday in Romania, so I didn’t make much of it.
As I started to get closer to the forest, I noticed that the blue skies from almost an hour ago had now turned dark. In the distance, I heard thunder crackling through the skies…..was this an omen to stop on my tracks and walk no further?
As I kept walking, I saw an old abandoned train. I stared at it for about a minute, making sure I heard no unusual noises coming out of it before approaching.
Nothing…..and suddenly, a loud BOOM!!!
What the fuck was that?!?!
It was just the thunder….which sounded even louder from inside of the train.
I got out of there just as quickly as I went in, and started to second-guess my decision to continue…..
Going Into The Forest
I was doing my best to distract myself from thoughts of what I had read the night before.
What if I do see a ghost? What then??? What’s my move other than freak out?????
What if I do disappear for 5 years?
What if…? What if…? What if…?
I just couldn’t stop thinking of all the impossible things that could happen once I got there.
My thoughts and fear were getting the best of me, until I walked past some houses trying to convince myself that this place cannot be haunted if people actually live here.
I followed a trail almost all the way into the forest, until the trail stopped. Looking at Google Maps, it was time to walk through bushes and inside of the forest.
Rain had started to literally pour. My clothes and bag were damping wet. Wind had picked up and suddenly it was extremely cold.
Maybe I should just go back? I thought. It’d be best if I come on a sunny day.
And that is when I saw what could be called the “entrance” into the forest. At first glance, it looked like one of those things in movies where, the minute you stepped in, the trees would close the path behind you.
I hesitated for a minute before going in. I looked inside the forest, as if trying to make sure there was nobody, or nothing, waiting for me.
So I stepped in, and suddenly I started feeling as if something was hiding behind the trees.
Cowardly, I threw a rock at one of them and yelled.
I felt my heart racing inside of my chest.
I waited for another minute, waiting for something to happen…
…but nothing did. So I kept walking.
I kept walking and walking deep inside the damn forest. The shadow under the trees turned darker as the rain got heavier. I could hear the rain hitting the leafs and on the clear area outside of the forest, which I had kept not too far from in case I needed a quick way out.
I kept walking, always deeper inside the forest, until…
I made it out…
And there I was, under the rain, looking back at the trees of the forest behind me, with nothing but green around me and rain pouring from the sky.
There were no odd-shaped trees like in the pictures. There were no strange noises other than the sound of rain. And there definitely was not anyone coming out of the forest.
I sort of felt disappointed. I’m talking Season-7-of-the-walking-dead disappointed. I’m talking Batman-v-Superman disappointed.
But then I remembered how I had successfully gotten myself scared from the moment I stepped out of the bus. How it felt to step into the darkness of the forest. How much I thought about the empty wrecked train I saw earlier and how I hesitated to step inside of it for a moment.
And it was then I realized that the forest had indeed lived up to its expectations.
It was the folklore surrounding Hoia Baciu that made me go visit in the first place, and it was those same stories that got me thinking twice about going in, and that made me live an experience I could not have expected when I first came in.
Hoia Baciu wasn’t haunted. It was only the thought of hiking Hoia Baciu that was scary. There were no ghosts or apparitions that would haunt me for days.
Instead, I got something more. I got an experience I am not soon to forget.
To read the stories surrounding Hoia Baciu, Romania’s haunted forest, check out https://hoiabaciuforest.com/