Scientists Can’t Explain the Phenomenon of This Eerie Forest
50 ships and 20 airplanes have gone missing, many people have disappeared, and mysterious forces might have... Oh no, wait. The wrong script. This Bermuda triangle is located in Transylvania. My bad. So, once upon a time, in the heart of Transylvania, there was a mysterious place that people named “the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania” [Hoia Baciu Forest]. Look at these twisted trees and their tangled undergrowth! It seems like some evil creature may appear from behind a tree at any moment — there might even be ghosts and mysterious creatures that came from space, as stories said.
The forest became so popular in the 1960s when a man [Emil Barnea] was chilling there on a warm August afternoon with his girlfriend and a couple of friends. Suddenly his girlfriend pointed at something unusual in the sky! A man came closer to the spot where she was standing and, to his surprise, saw it too. It was a weird silver disk shining in the sky. He quickly pulled out his camera and took 4 photos before the creepy object bolted away. The object was there for a mere 2 minutes. But the man developed his film, and his pictures ended up being published in local papers. Many people were skeptical about this. They claimed those were most likely some weather balloons that looked like a spaceship because they were photographed in odd lighting. But no weather balloons, blimps, or any other objects were in the sky above the forest on that day.
Spooky, huh? That’s not the only campfire legend from that area. Stories say that those who ventured too deep into the murky depths of this creepy place often did not return — which is how it got its nickname in the first place. There was a shepherd who entered the forest together with his 200 sheep. They were never found again. People have also been whispering stories about a five-year-old girl who disappeared one day. She reemerged one day, 5 years later, wearing the same clothes as the day when she went missing — plus she hadn’t aged a day.
There are people who entered the forest and DID manage to return, but with severe burns, high fever, and some other health issues they didn’t have before. Some were sure that happened because the subsoil had lots of natural uranium with a high level of radioactivity. And according to others, it’s not unusual that you come to this forest and feel like someone’s watching you or your electronic devices just switch off. And now, here’s something that’s not a legend — the forest has a rich history. Some sources say it was home to the oldest settlement in Romania, dating all the way back to 6,500 BCE.
Trees themselves are pretty mysterious. They grow in creepy spirals or some unexpected zig-zag patterns. Even though some scientists have come there to explore this phenomenon, they couldn’t find the answer to why they are like this. It seems as if trees are twisting their limbs so they can reach out and grab you when you’re not looking. And what’s interesting, each of these twisted trees spirals in a clockwise direction. But legends say lots of inexplicable things have happened in a specific part of the forest where you can’t find trees or any other types of vegetation. It’s a perfect circle called The Clearing.
The perfect name for a horror movie inspired by all these stories! The soil in this area with no vegetation has been tested, and no one has found any weird stuff or anomalies that could potentially stop plants from growing there. Some locals believe the forest has positive energy, which is why it’s good to make a wish there. But many more people let their imagination run wild, telling stories about paranormal activities happening there, like mysterious spheres popping out in the middle of the forest or extraterrestrial lights.
Either way, you and your castle can step aside, Dracula, cause you’re not the only scary story from Transylvania! Here’s another reason you won’t be able to sleep well tonight — the Isla de las Munecas or the Island of the Dolls. In the middle of the eerie and murky waters of canals near Mexico City, there is a small island. It may look charming at first — until you realize it’s home to hundreds of dolls hanging from the trees and scattered throughout the overgrown vegetation. These dolls are old and decaying. They have lost their color over time, and their once-cheerful faces are now twisted into expressions of despair and horror. There is a sad story behind this disturbing place. It says the island used to be home to a reclusive man [Don Julian Santana] who left his family more than 50 years ago to live alone on the island. He started obsessively collecting dolls that were lost in the canal. The story says he even traded products he grew to locals to get more dolls.
The man didn’t clean these dolls nor show any interest in fixing them. He would just “decorate” his island with them regardless of the state in which he found them. Even those that looked good ended up ruined due to winds and rain. They weren’t just outside — his cabin was full of these scary dolls, too. Many people were terrified of this place, claiming it was cursed. But others believed dolls safeguard the island. Moving to the suburbs of north London, where you can find the mysterious Highgate Cemetery. It’s definitely not a typical resting place for the dearly departed.
This cemetery has so many peculiar graves, including those of Karl Marx and Douglas Adams — but that’s not what draws visitors to its gates. People come there because of the legends claiming that this place is haunted by all sorts of spooky creatures, including vampires. Yup, stories about shadowy figures hovering over graves with glowing red eyes and sharp fangs never get boring!
But this place wasn’t always this creepy. It was established in the middle of the 19th century — once neglected and overgrown, with crumbling monuments and vegetation that seemed to swallow up graves. But these legends became popular along with the place itself in the 1970s, after the cemetery had appeared in several horror movies. Some visitors there are even self-proclaimed vampire hunters! There’s this peaceful and charming village called Pluckley just a short drive away from London. At least, that’s what it seems at first sight. People whisper Pluckley could be the most haunted village in England! As you go through its winding streets, you’ll come across many spots legends say are haunted. Many of them are connected to the Dering family, which held the title of Lords of the Manor for over four centuries. What gives the sense of old times is the round-topped windows on many buildings.
Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, Lord Dering escaped when his enemies captured him. He jumped through one of these windows head first. In commemoration of this pretty daring act, every window in the manor house and the village was made in the same style. Even though the manor house burned down in 1951, the legacy of Lord Dering’s escape lives on in the charming village of Pluckley.
Some say Pluckley is surrounded by the so-called “Screaming” wood — there are many legends about paranormal events that have occurred there. There are nice walking trails in this wood, but to be honest, I’d only be brave enough to hit them during the day. And how about the ‘Crooked Forest’? It’s in Poland [Gryfino, Poland], and it consists of 400 pine trees whose trunks take a sharp, 90-degree turn and then become weirdly curved, like the letter J.
Someone planted them in the early 1930s, but it’s still not completely clear how all of these trees got the same curve. One scientist said this looked like a typical response to gravity. Plants have a special mechanism that allows them to reorient themselves when the stem is horizontal to gravity. So these trees may have been grown this way for making boats or furniture.
Of course, human imagination goes way beyond science. So many tried to explain the existence of these trees with stories of spirits that possessed these trees or mysterious creatures from space that made them this way. Okay, I’m on! Let me just grab my popcorn!