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Supernatural Or Natural: Hoia Baciu Forest

West of the city Cluj-Napoca, Romania lays the 729-acre forest of Hoia Baciu. The forest over the years has been used by many as a way to escape the city and wander through nature. Many come to hike, camp, picnic, and most notable taking photographs of the unique trees that have grown in the woods. In recent years a bike path was installed for those wishing to bike among the vast vegetation. For those seeking excitement, there’s even a place where you can play Paintball or Airsoft and there’s even an archery range for those who wish to test their marksmanship skills.

 

A trail in Hoia Baciu Forest /Expedia

 

 

Hoia Baciu Forest’s soil even holds archeological evidence of a settlement dating back to the Neolithic period believed to have been established around 6500 BC making it the oldest settlement from that time period to be found in Romania. Hoia Baciu Forest has a little something for everyone, which would explain why it has so many visitors yearly, so it seems, Hoia Baciu over recent years is starting to become more infamous than Romania’s own Vlad the Impaler. Hoia Baciu Frost is known as the “World’s Most Haunted Forest” or the “Romanian Bermuda Triangle”.

The woods are said to be haunted possibly by the spirits of peasants who were murdered there in the past. People have reported being scratched when there was no way they could have, explorers of the forest have reported seeing strange figures walking among the trees, faces or orbs appearing in photographs. Some people have said they have seen these faces with the naked eye! There’s been mention of the sounds of women talking in the woods when it’s really quiet and even reports of “giggling”. People visiting the forest say they’ve felt as though they were being watched or followed while they were in the forest and some offered proof by saying they’ve seen what appears to be a pair of glowing green eyes deep from within the forest watching them.

 

Picture of what appears to be orbs and possibly ectoplasm.

 

 

The paranormal activity does not stop with just “ghost stories”, locals have felt that there’s an otherworldly explanation for the strange activity in Hoia Baciu Forest. Some believe that somewhere in the forest is a portal that connects our world to another, a real life (Stranger Things) “Upside Down” so to speak which would explain the disappearances over the years and odd behavioral changes in people who go into the woods such as confusion, paranoia, suddenly falling ill, and getting rashes.

 

Oddly shaped trees that are in Hoia Baciu Forest

 

 

Electronic devices have also been said to malfunction or not work at all while in parts of the woods. Locals have also seen strange balls of light in the forest at night, this leads to the next part, UFO’s, the first known UFO sighting was August 18th, 1968 when military technician Emil Barnea took a photograph of what some believe is a UFO while they were standing in the one part of Hoia Baciu Forest where there are no trees, a clearing called the “round meadow” that many find odd and believe to somehow be tied with UFO’s. After Barnea’s photograph of the UFO over the round meadow was released people kept their eyes to the night skies, sightings of UFO’s peaked in the 1970’s.

 

Emil Barnea’s UFO photo taken in 1968.

 

 

Before Barnea’s photograph, Alexandru Sift a Biologist took great interest in the stories of the strange happenings inside the forest and in the early 1960’s he began to venture out into the woods to research light and magnetism phenomena in the forest in which according to him he gathered substantial photographic evidence. Sadly Sift died in 1993 and he too became part of the mystery of the forest because after his death all the photographs he took went missing and most of them were never recovered.

 

Hoia Baciu Forest as seen from Google Earth, the arrow points to the “Round Meadow”

 

 

With what photographs that were recovered were eventually published in the book, Fenomenele de la Pădure Hoia-Baciu that was published by a professor of chemistry and Sift’s friend Adrian Pătruț who continued his friend’s research. Pătruț believes that what’s happening inside Hoia Baciu Forest is not something out of this world or paranormal but natural and unknown to science.

 

Alexandru Sift (left) and Adrian Pătruț (right) date unknown / Formula AS

 

 

There’s truth in what Pătruț said, what I’ve said above about how some people’s behavior change while in the woods along with sudden onsets of illnesses. There’s a strong possibility that these people have been exposed to concentrated Electromagnetic fields coming right out of the environment. People who are affected by EMF’s may have what some call EHS, Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity. EHS is a controversial topic and not really recognized by both the medical and scientific community even though the fear of unknown results of long-term exposure to EMF’s has been brought up.

Though it’s not officially recognized, there are lists of symptoms that are common in people who have been exposed to high EMF’s (people with bad wiring in homes/apartments, live next to a large transformer, old junction boxes etc.) are redness of the skin, tingling and/or burning sensations of the skin, fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances.

 

Adrian Pătruț on SyFy’s Destination Truth

 

 

Though this is a possible explanation for some of the strange things happening in Hoia Baciu Forest, it does not 100% explain some of the ghostly phenomena reported with the forest but it’s believed that the hype being made about the woods is being done to attract tourists, if that’s true I think it’s working, personally I think Pătruț’s statement that some of the events are natural is plausible and I think the round meadow or as others call it, the dead zone (since trees don’t grow there leaving a nearly perfect circle in the woods) can be explained by Archeology.

 

Hoia Baciu Forest in the morning / Pinterest

 

 

Then again, it still does not answer the question of what happened to Sift’s photographs that went missing after his death and who would want them. Finally, I’ll leave you with this bit of ominous trivia. The forest was named after Hoia Baciu, a Sheppard who according to legend entered the forest with a flock of two hundred sheep, Hoia, and the sheep were never seen again. To honor the missing Sheppard, the locals named the forest after him.

 

You can visit the Hoia Baciu Forest website HERE

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