Quick Links

The Bermuda Triangle is legendary as the black hole of the ocean—a spot rife with mystery and eerie disappearances and an untold number of stories of both ships and planes sinking into its unfathomable abyss, never to be seen again. But the infamy of the world’s most famous triangle does not stop at the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean: there’s a spot in Romania that’s just as famous for its disappearances.Itself widely known as a bastion for paranormal activity and strange occurrences, the Hoia Baciu Forest in Romania may have an even eerier reputation than its sea-situated cousin; often referred to as the Bermuda Triangle of Romania, this vast Transylvanian forest is steeped in mystery and notoriety—and with good reason.RELATED: The Bennington Triangle: Is This Vermont's Bermuda?

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

About Hoia Baciu Forest

Its twisted, skeletal trees and undeniably hushed atmosphere only heighten Hoia Baciu Forest’s reputation for the paranormal—a reputation hard-earned throughout the centuries due to stories of hauntings, disappearances, and even alien encounters. And its Transylvanian location certainly doesn’t help—sprawled in the wilds of northwest Romania, the over 700-acre forest is home to a number of unsettling tales that give even Vlad the Impaler a run for his money.

Local legend and lore have contributed to the forest’s air of mystery, and for hundreds of years it has been virtually impossible to separate fact from fiction: is Hoia Baciu simply haunted by its own reputation, or is there a shred of truth to the legends found within the legions of warped and bent trees; sinuous sentinels that seem to exude a malignant aura all their own?

A Haunted History

While it’s unclear as to the precise origin of Hoia Baciu Forest’s haunted beginnings, it’s often said that that its horrific history began hundreds of years ago with the disappearance of peasants from the forest—similar to the “Lost Colony of Roanoke,” they vanished without a trace, never to be seen again. However, these early disappearances were just the beginning—and it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the forest’s reputation as a paranormal place began to grow in leaps and bounds: all thanks to the alleged UFO sightings. Famously photographed in the 1960s by biologist Alexandru Sift, the flying objects gave the area a new dimension of weirdness and cemented its reputation as a magnet for strange and inexplicable events.

RELATED: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Bermuda (Besides Its Triangle)

Other Wild And Weird Tales

There are a number of other stories that contribute to Hoia Baciu’s aura of mystique; and, like many haunted places, it’s hard to tell where the truth ends and the folklore begins. However, these tales have indeed entered into the collective consciousness and do contribute to the haunted halo that surrounds this sprawling Romanian forest—and unexplained disappearances are just the beginning. And while the stories of the disappearing shepherd and his 200 sheep and the disappearance (and subsequent reappearance), of a five-year-old girl, are well documented, perhaps the strangest vanishing in the lore if Hoia Baciu is the tale of a woman who disappeared with a 15th-century coin in her pocket; only to later return a significant time later with the same coin, as if no time had passed.

RELATED: These Scenic Romanian Towns Will Take Your Breath Away

In addition to this, there are also many first-hand reports of visitors to the forest coming out with symptoms that range from a mild case of unease, disquiet, and overall creepiness to physical manifestations like severe rashes, headaches, and even burns. And while these ‘symptoms’ are yet further entries into the forest’s history book of strange and unexplainable phenomena, some say that the cause may actually be the forest’s soil itself—studies have shown a higher than normal level of radioactivity in certain parts of the subsoil, due to the presence of natural uranium.

Take A Walk On The Haunted Side

While the stories swirling around Hoia Baciu lend it a distinct aura of mystery that’s hard to distinguish between fact and fiction, one thing is for certain: the forest is a lovely place to take a walk (or a bike ride). With several marked trails, the park is a popular spot near Cluj-Napoca to experience some of the area’s best outdoor recreation—and of course, many people do end up visiting the park without experiencing any of its strange phenomena, physical or otherwise. However, those looking to meet the park’s eerie reputation head-on can embark on a tour of this creepy copse—all the better to experience the weird and wonderful forest firsthand. Ghost hunters looking for a scare can learn more about the Hoia-Baciu Project’s haunted tours here.

The Hoia-Baciu Forest has the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the world: and with folklore rife with disappearances; strange occurrences; scary side effects; and even UFO sightings, it’s easy to see why. And while it may be impossible to separate fact from folklore when it comes to this eerie and mysterious place; it should definitely be on any traveler’s must-see list when visiting Romania—if only to experience its stunning natural beauty. The perfect trip for both those who love a scare and nature lovers, Hoia Baciu Forest will undoubtedly continue to spook—and enchant—visitors for years to come.