Exploring Transylvania: The haunted forest of Hoia Baciu
While we were browsing for “things to do in Cluj-Napoca” we came across Hoia Baciu forest- the haunted forest of Transylvania! It has been declared as one of the scariest forests of the world on many websites and many people who have visited have witnessed some bizarre paranormal activity and some unexplained events. They say many people disappeared, UFO’s land there and you can hear strange voices of people laughing or screaming. But is it really a haunted forest or is it just a story people made up?
Hoia Baciu took its name from a shepherd who went missing along with his 200 flock of sheep. Some locals have never been brave enough to enter this forest as there are many legends about it for people who never made it back. (now that’s freaky!) The forest gained its popularity in the 60’s when some people snapped some photos of a flying disc-shaped object in the sky above the forest. People living close to Hoia Baciu have also noticed some unexplained lights during the night time and foreign objects in the sky.
The stories we read intrigued our interest and so we decided to visit the forest and explore the area on our own. Even if many people choose to visit the place at night when more frequently a paranormal activity is spotted, we visited the forest during day time.
We took an uber to Hoia Baciu since it is relatively very cheap in Romania and it was a 40 minute drive or so but took a bit longer because both of the drivers were not aware of what is Hoia Baciu. No kidding! They said that it was their first time visiting that forest and didn’t know why would anyone visit such a forest that only had a bunch of trees. They also recommended to visit a “real” forest instead! We didn’t want appear as even more crazy so we never told them about the “Haunted Forest” concept. The uber trip costed about 10 euros from the city center of Cluj.
If you book an uber,try to put the pin on the Floresti Street, or Iulius which is on the Eastern part of the map. Uber automatically takes you to the north part of the forest which is very far from the circle.
That’s exactly where the drivers left us- the middle of nowhere! We literally had to hike our way up to make it to the actual forest. But we realized that there is an actual spot in the eastern part of the forest where cars can actually park and the ground is not as rough as where we were left!
Exploring the forest of Hoia Baciu
While exploring the forest we actually were surprised to bump into other people who were also doing the same as us. We even spotted some local tour guides that formed groups and were walking around the forest.
At some parts, we would spot some foreign objects tied on trees like small skeletons or children toys. We have even seen people doing horse riding around the forest. Even If we also wanted to do the horse riding in the forest, we couldn’t because we didn’t book in advance and it was very late.
To your greatest surprise, we haven’t experienced any supernatural activity or seen anything strange at all. Alex, the administrator of the office has told us that the strangest thing that happened in this forest was when Josh Gates from Destination Truth visited the forest of Hoia Baciu he felt dizzy in the circle and felt like someone touched him on the shoulder. So apparently, there has been a popular documentary about this forest that attracted a good amount of curious travelers who enjoy the mystery of haunted forests!
This is the notorious circle of Hoia Baciu that everyone is talking about where no trees grow. It is known for the UFO and ghost sighting. There are no explanations why there is no vegetation there and no scientific explanation has been given so far. It has been a bit strange that there is no phone service at the certain part of the forest – not sure why this was happening, some mystery energy?
The freakiest part..
Even If we haven’t witnessed any paranormal activity, there has been something that took our attention – boars! Apparently there are some boars in the haunted forest of Hoia Baciu or not so very far from it as we could have listen to their grunt. And boars are actually pretty dangerous so we avoided getting any closer to that sound!
The misshapen trees
Another extraordinary thing happening in the forest of Hoia Baciu are the misshapen trees that grow in zig-zag or spirals. No explanation has been made about this fact, but what to expect in a “haunted” forest,right ?
All in all, as we went as a group, visiting Hoia Baciu has been pretty a fun experience. We enjoyed walking around the forest and exploring the surrounding area! Didn’t catch any ghosts or Ufos this time to our greatest surprise and didn’t experience anything weirder than than the bent trees and the scary dolls on the trees. But If you’d ask me If I recommend visiting this place, I’d say go for it and try booking a horse riding tour in advance to make it even more of an interesting experience! Also, If you are visiting Romania, don’t forget to visit the popular Castle of Dracula in Bran!
- Get an uber to the Hoia Baciu. It’s crazy cheap in Romania!
- Wear hiking boots as the place could be a bit tricky and muddy. Why would I ever wear my white sneakers?
- Book a horse riding tour in advance. – We were super late!
- Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you, there are no shops around.
- Get the Hoia Baciu map from the Tourism Board in Cluj-Napoca.