The Hoia Baciu Forest is located on the outskirts of Cluj Napoca and at the northern border to Romania. It covers 250 hectares in Transylvania. This forest is known for strange paranormal phenomena, which are consistently reported.
Hoia-Baciu gained paranormal fame worldwide after a military tech took a picture of a UFO hovering above the forest in 1968.
People who have passed through the forest and not being snatched into another dimension have reported feeling irritable, nauseous, and anxious.
The forest is also known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania.” Its spooky curved tree inhabitants only add to the creepy atmosphere.
We are at The Clearing. The clearing is a place where no trees grow, and no official records have been kept. Alex, our guide, says that 60 people from Bucharest tried to open a door into another dimension once they arrived here.
This is Hoia Baciu, just outside Cluj-Napoca. Romania’s second-largest city is Transylvania, often referred to as a terrifying forest in the world. The clearing is allegedly the most dangerous place in the woods, a mystery to soil scientists, attracting sword-wielding Americans, Romanian witches, and others who want to rid the forest of evil.
English-speaking people associate the words “Transylvania” and “Halloween” with a pre-Twilight Edward Cullen climbing the walls of his castle. Carnivalofhorrors gives off the same vibes, the real question is which to pick am I right?
Tourists who visit Romania to experience Dracula will likely be disappointed. Romania is not a country that believes in the Dracula myth. Vlad Dracul, or more commonly Vlad the Impaler, is his namesake and a national hero. Bran Castle, which is the most Dracula-themed attraction, has a tenuous connection to Stoker’s creation and the priggish feel of being a National Trust property.
Hoia Baci is named after a shepherd who lost his flock of 200 sheep in the forest. Emil Barnea (a military technician) photographed what he believed to be a UFO over The Clearing.
The difference between other UFO sightings is that Barnea had nothing and everything to lose from reporting the sighting.
Barnea was dismissed from his job by a Communist government that equated paranormal belief with madness, state sabotage, or madness.
Visitors to the forest now report strange symptoms, including anxiety, nausea, feeling watched, and the failure of their electronic devices. Joggers who dare to enter the forest are often able to see “Ectoplasms.”
These strange phenomena, along with numerous photographic evidence of extraterrestrial light and mysterious spheres in the forest, have made the Hoia Baciu Tree one of the most well-documented paranormal locations in the entire world. Although science has yet to discover the cause of these strange phenomena, scientists are still searching for answers.
But speculations continue about whether the forest may be a gateway to another world or an unknown parallel universe.
Inside the forest
It covers an area of approximately 3 km2. The forest’s southern boundary runs east-west along a ridge. It doesn’t contain the steep southern slope, which rises from the Somesul Mic River. Ending to the north on a gentler slope that meets the Nada’s River.
The Taietura Turcului is the boundary of the eastern end. Artificial valley divides the hill from the north to the south and includes a traffic road. The western end of the forest extends to the northeastern slopes of the Dealul Melcilor.
The Bongar Valley runs along the southern end of this side. It is home to a unique downy oak grove that is only found in the southern steppe. Valea Lunga, which runs through Eocene limestone and forms Cheile Baciului (a valley with asymmetrical slopes), borders a portion of the northeastern forest end. The forest’s border is bordered by a small, natural lake located upstream of Cheile Baciului.
At the northern edge of the forest is Valea Lunga, where many springs provide potable water. There is no one around. The only sound is the whisper of leaves falling. Surrounding us are maple groves and thickets of beech, ash, and elm, blocking out the midday sun. Southwards is Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania’s unofficial capital.
Despite all the vampire tourism talk in Romania, Cluj-Napoca is home to more natural, concrete experiences. You can find plenty of Dracula-themed entertainment in the surrounding areas, including the touristy towns of Sighisoara Brasov Castle to Bran Castle. However, Cluj-Napoca is a city that far fewer people know about.
Deer make twig cracks underfoot in shadows, and I spot a steppe falcon arcing overhead from a gap in the canopy. Alex informs me that, if we are lucky, a shy brown Bear might cross our path. It’s the perfect moment of quiet, yet it feels strange. There is a stark, primordial beauty within every corner of this 700-acre wilderness. Why aren’t you there?