Hoia-Baciu, Among The “Most Haunted Forests In The World”
In the October 2012 edition, U.S. travel magazine, “Travel & Leisure” included the Hoia-Baciu fores in a list of the most “haunted” forests in the world.
“Hoia-Baciu in Transylvania is unwanted fame for more than half a century. Residents claim that the forest around her – which has at its center a circular clearing – is a portal, and those who enter do not come back again. The people who visit the forest told that during the time they spent in the woods they had feelings of anxiety and other strange, unexplainable feelings. Although the forest here was once filled with normal trees that were straight and tall trees – Now they are turning in ” knots “writes, Lapidary, American magazine.
With a monthly audience of nearly five million readers, “Travel & Leisure” is one of the two major U.S. market travel magazines, Condé Nast Traveler is the other. The selection by the editors of forests was based on the fact that these locations are believed to be haunted by spirits or where paranormal phenomena would occur. Other locations like this are located in Japan, USA, England, Mexico and Germany. These include Wychwood Forest, Black Forest, Aokigahara etc.
Could the dreadful reputation of Baciu Forest Hoia mean a boon to local tourism?
Traian Almăşan, manager of travel agency “City Tours” thinks so. “Certainly there is a niche for tourism of adventure / horror. Just think of the Loch Ness Monster. It seems that the famous monster was first an invention to attract tourists … Regarding Hoia Baciu Forest in Cluj and for those who believe in such phenomena it is certainly something very interesting. I am convinced that if it were arranged in a park – possibly with open-air cinema where horror films could run or simply with some benches and billboards – it would become an attraction in an area less frequented part of Cluj. Also, I’m sure if anyone would get the idea to hold a “party haunted” Halloween Hoia Baciu Forest and promote it properly, it would be successful, “ says Almăşan.
However, by planning for tourism to Hoia-Baciu Forest, the reality is that on the ground it is rather bleak than frightening. To get into one of the areas is said to have paranormal activity occurs, you must follow a tortuous route that starts immediately on the left after entering the village Baciu, from Cluj. Now that you are on this path, follow the signs to the archaeological site of Baciu. After crossing a railroad, the asphalt road runs up next to a cluster of houses located beyond a gloomy industrial area.
Those who live in this area are not surprised if a stranger asks about where the “aliens” are or how to find the haunted forest. “Walk a hundred meters away, and take a right on where asphalt again,” said Puscas, a resident of 60 years, who has three cows that graze on the portion of land located right after the last industrial site. He says that, especially in summer, many foreigners go there bound for the “haunted” forest . When asked if the phenomena is taking place, the answer is yes, they do exist, trust the man. “I’ve seen with my own eyes, all sorts of lights, white, strange. There were like lightning, “says, in all seriousness, the former veterinary technician, now retired.
Following the ribbon of asphalt that winds through the grove of houses, you go out in the woods in front of an indicator that says you havereached “Archaeological Site Baciu” – which is, in fact, an abandoned arcaeological excavation site.
Follow paths to the forested area made popular by enthusiasts where the grass can be crossed easily by car. After it, there is a fork of the road. Going forward, you find yourself heading straight into the depths of the forest and into the realm of fairy tales.
From here on, the trees may appear to have strange shapes, the sounds of the forest may seem unnatural, and in the meadow that opens after half an hour of walking, even the familiar glow of midday light may seem unnatural. After all, you are in one of the most frightening forests in the world, at least according to the American travel magazine, “Travel & Leisure”.