For the 50+ Traveler

Everybody has heard the legends behind the Bermuda Triangle. Ships suddenly disappearing into the vast ocean as if they never existed and planes plunging into the abyss with no apparent cause. If the world’s potentially supernatural places capture your interest, you may want to pay a visit to (or at least learn about) Hoia Baciu Forest, also known as the Bermuda Triangle of Romania.

Where Is Hoia Baciu Forest?

Hoia Baciu Forest is just west of Cluj-Napoca, a northwestern Romanian city. It spans 295 hectares -- or 729 acres -- of land. Don’t worry about getting too lost if you decide to explore the mysterious woodlands as there are several marked trails for your convenience. Bike trails have also been added for recreational purposes.

A dilapidated house in Hoia Baciu Forest in Romania

What Is The History Of The Forest?

Known as one of the most haunted forests in the world, it’s not a stretch to say the history of the forest is shrouded in mystery, and separating fact from legend is as easy as untangling the forest’s twisted and warped foliage.

It is believed that peasants were killed in the forest hundreds of years ago and now the area is haunted because of it. In addition to the medieval history, a UFO sighting in the late 1960s further bolstered the site's paranormal legacy.

More recently, the forest has garnered extra attention thanks to the Travel Channel television show Ghost Adventures filming an investigation there.

Local Legends Surrounding Hoia Baciu Forest

Local folklore that has grown throughout the centuries has helped create an aura of mystery around the forest. Some of the most popular legends include one about a young girl vanishing into the forest and returning five years later with no recollection of what had happened. Another tale involves a shepherd and a herd of sheep disappearing in the forest without a trace.

Today, some people report leaving the forest with an uneasy feeling or unexplained rashes. On the other hand, some enter and return from Hoia Baciu Forest entirely unscathed, saying that it’s just a nice place to go for a walk.

An aerial shot of the unexplained clearing in Hoia Baciu Forest in Romania

Visiting Hoia Baciu Forest

Experiencing the mystery of the Hoia Baciu forest has never been easier. Several local companies offer guided tours of the forest where you’ll get a one-of-a-kind experience filled with history, folklore, and mystery. If you’re more of a solo traveler who doesn’t like guided events, the trails are open -- you can simply go for a walk when you please.

The tour offered by Romanian Friend is one of the most in-depth. It features transportation to and from the forest and a visit to Poiana Rotunda, a near-perfectly circular clearing where nothing but grass grows. The tour also has you take part in your own paranormal investigation so you can contribute to the body of research on one of the most haunted forests on the planet.

If you’re visiting Romania in the summer, consider taking part in the July 4 Hoia Baciu night run, a trail race through the heart of the haunted forest. The course is either 10 or 20 kilometers -- so roughly 6 or 12 miles -- long, so be ready for a tough race if you sign up.

No matter what your beliefs are regarding UFOs and the paranormal, the forest does provide an incredible sightseeing experience in a land shrouded in mystery and beauty. Working a Hoia Baciu tour into your itinerary is easy thanks to the availability of daytime and nighttime tours. If you’re a fan of nature, or history’s most mysterious places, don’t leave Romania without wandering through Hoia Baciu forest.

Interested in stateside paranormal experiences? Book a night in one of these eight haunted houses in the U.S. that you can actually stay in.