Warped trees fill this forest, their skeletal figures twisting and spiraling, making it seem as though they’re contorting themselves to reach out and touch you. An eerie silence fills the air, interrupted only by the footsteps of unseen figures.
Given its eerie atmosphere, it’s no wonder the Hoia-Baciu Forest is said to be one of the most haunted forests in the world. As such, it’s a place that lends well to stories steeped with darkness. Some even call it the “Bermuda Triangle of Romania.”
According to local legends, ghosts and spirits lurk among the crooked trees. One tale tells of a young girl who disappeared into the forest, only to reappear five years later unable to remember where she had been. Another legend speaks of a shepherd who, along with his sheep, vanished within the woods. And, with most places associated with the supernatural, there are also rumors of alien encounters.
Of course, the forest has so much more to offer than just a dark thrill. It’s a perfectly pleasant recreation area, letting locals and visitors take a break from urban Cluj-Napoca. There are hiking and biking paths that wind through the unusual trees, and the woods teem with a rich variety of animal life.
Know Before You Go
Please be respectful of the environment and stick to the set trails. Local guides frequently offer both daytime and nighttime tours.