The most haunted forest in the world

The Hoia-Baciu Forest of Romania is globally recognised as the most haunted forest in the world.

The origins of its infamy are obscure and a catalyst for contention. From the legendary disappearance of a shepherd and his flock of 200 sheep, to UFO sightings in the forest’s bizarre Poiana Rotundă (Round Meadow), to the manifestation of ghostly apparitions and disembodied voices, the phenomena attributed to Hoia-Baciu Forest covers the full breadth of the paranormal.

Naturally, such a place was bound to draw our attention.

When organising our schedule for In Search of the Dead, a trip to Romania was almost immediately suggested. We were fortunate to have had the advice and guidance of Radiana Piț, a Romania witch, during the planning stages. However, once we arrived at the forest, Erik and I were very much alone. The air itself seemed to exacerbate that fact, so still and silent was “the world’s most haunted forest”.

The forest exudes two very different atmospheres during the day and nighttime. The primal fear associated with darkness no doubt plays a part in this. However, far from being someone who is susceptible to nighttime spookiness, I was surprised at myself when I described the uneasiness which I felt as we approached the treeline at night.

It was so very dark.

Once inside, the two of us trekked in complete darkness, with only torchlight and GPS to guide us.

It was our intention to reach the Round Meadow – the area of the forest so often reported as the epicentre of its paranormal phenomena. It was only a short walk from the entrance, but the darkness made it feel much longer. Eventually, starlight reappeared as we made it to the clearing.

Within just a few moments of entering the Round Meadow, my attention was captured by a break in the trees on my left side. Whilst there was no visual catalyst for this feeling, I could not escape the sensation that I should be cautious around that area of the clearing. After having a few days of reflection, the feeling is still difficult to describe. I was conflicted: I desired above all else to look away from that area, yet, felt like I had to keep my eyes on the opening for my own protection. I have never felt anything like this before.

It was an instinctive, gut feeling of dread.

Erik and I stood in silence for a short while, keeping the camera fixed on the opening. Nothing happened. Thinking that my imagination was getting the better of me, we decided to leave. Before we did, I took one last photograph (with camera flash) of the break in the trees which so disturbed me. The photo revealed a white-gold orb of light in the opening. Immediately after this, two white dogs – eyes shinning bright in our torchlight – entered the clearing from behind us. We took this as a signal to leave.

Under the light of the blood moon, the walk back to the car was marred by unshakeable anxiety. I could not forget the feeling that the opening had given me, and Erik was certain he could hear footsteps behind us. Every sound in the forest was now sinister.

Both of us felt like those dogs had appeared at that moment to encourage us to leave before something else happened.

Orbs have a strange reputation in the paranormal community. Relatively frequently encountered, they are easy to dismiss and even easier to ridicule. To a large degree, they are boring and overdone. Yet, this is the second time that the photographing of an orb of light has proceeded dramatic events for us on this journey. The first time the consequences were much worse than merely the feeling of dread, which is why we took the second orb as a signal for us to leave – should something else have happened.

We are not experts. We are on this journey to learn. We can only report our experiences and interactions with others as they happen. For now, we cannot draw a conclusion as to what happened in Hoia-Baciu Forest that night. After all, the power of imagination is strong, and can affect even the most sceptical. Neither of us would describe ourselves as believers. Instead, we are open-minded sceptics. However, this journey has, and continues to, test our beliefs to their limits. 

Orb in Hoia-Baciu
After a strong and instinctual feeling of dread in relation to one of the openings in the clearing, I captured this white-gold orb of light on camera. (It was not raining, and there were no reflective objects or anyone else nearby.)

4 thoughts on “The most haunted forest in the world”

  1. This forest holds a lot of secrets. I’m glad you guys had a chance to get to the Hoia-Baciu. It was a good idea to leave before anything escalated in that encounter. I’m like you guys I always keep an open mind. These paranormal encounters and others similar have always made me curious.

  2. Remember always my dear that after visiting such places, a spiritual cleansing should follow from an experienced witch or doing it yourself. Simple implements such as sea salt, Florida Water and some herbs (do your research) can make wonders. Also meditation will help center you. Inflaming yourself in prayer (whatever you may believe does not matter), will bring your energies more centered; also casting away anything that might “follow” or attach to you or your loved one’s aura or “personal circle of influence”. The spirits, disembodied entities or any spell or scourge of whatever God there is, perceive the flesh and blood living man and/or woman as a curious happening, as a beacon of light in order to consume. It may present itself as spontaneous happenings in which circumstances were arguments may present, nightmares and apparitions may form, bad luck and other ways in which your personal circle of influence might be affected. Guard yourselves, protect each other in such journeys and remember to pay tokens as gratitude to the spirits for letting you to enter into their domain (water, rum or whiskey and some copper coins might help). It is as if you were visiting the house of an unknown yet influential person; in order to make him see you as trustworthy, barter or the sharing of gifts with the unbound might be on demand (of course consulting a local witch from the area beforehand and ask if such gratitude tokens as offerings are wise to present, because every culture and place has their own traditions, especially entering such particular forest may vary). May the light of Prime Creator shine upon you all, your ancestors protect you and remember to listen to your gut feeling but never let fear take the best of you.

  3. Wow. That sounds exciting and frightening at the same time. Just reading your posts are awesome so I can’t wait for your documentary. I’d never heard about this forest before! Make sure your protected spiritually and keep safe guys.

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