According to Listverse, the Hoia-Baciu Forest is second on the list of the world’s most strange and unique (read haunted) forests. When I heard this, I was staying at a friend’s house in Romania after hitchhiking around eastern Europe (mostly the beautiful Ukraine). The Hoia-Baciu forest in Cluj-Napoca (Transylvania) was less than 500 km away from us, so we decided to hitchhike there and look for some terrors of the night.
As a kid, I was terrified of the thought of ghosts and monsters and if someone had offered me the chance to camp in a haunted forest, I would sooner have died that be put through such an ordeal. As an adult however, I no longer believe in such things, but retain that small wish of finding fairies or dragons at the bottom of the garden. Thus far, my search has been fruitless. Cue the haunted forest… maybe this was my chance.
Myself, Laurentiu, and Francisco, an Englishman, a Romanian, and a Spaniard, hit the road. Would it be possible to hitchhike as a group of three guys? We soon found out that when hitchhiking in Romania, we faced stiff competition. At one place we were dropped, we had more than ten other hitchhikers to compete with and most of them would be paying something (making it a little different from hitchhiking).
Fortunately, with it being Romania, we walked for a little bit and then found ourselves a ride. Within a couple of hours, we were crossing the mountains.
As night fell, we were still short of the forest and in pouring rain, a kind man drove us to a seemingly abandoned train station where he said we could sleep for the night. We cooked dinner in the train station and put down our sleeping bags to form a nest.
It was rather cosy.
Then we had an awful thought. What if that man had driven us to the isolated train station with dark intentions? We leaned the tripod against the station door to serve as an alarm so that if anyone entered the room, it would wake us. Pleasantly, we woke in the morning to find ourselves unharmed.
As we sat eating our lunch that day, three guys were hitching ahead of us. A three seater van pulled up and the men battled for the two seats. The driver picked up all three of them, then told us to get in the back. We hadn’t even been thumbing! Romania it turns out, is a hitchhikers paradise.
A few hours later, we arrived at the forest. This was it. This was what we had been waiting for.
I even wore my lucky t-shirt: fingers crossed I would soon be seeing ghosts. We walked through the forest until we found the perfect camping spot and set up our hammocks.
And a tarp to keep us dry in the rain.
Then a tent for the third member of our team.
We lit a fire to keep us warm as darkness fell.
Mysteriously, both hammocks broke. Was this the beginning of the ghoulish games?
By morning, the scariest thing that had happened was Francisco began speaking in tongues. He does have a penchant for sleep talking however.
We looked around the forest for monsters, but all we found were leaves and trees.
And leaves. Admittedly it was a pretty forest, but where had all the ghosts gone?
And that’s when we saw what we had been waiting for.
The most curious sight we could have hoped to see.
In the haunted forest where animals were forbidden…
Hundreds of sheep!
We spent another night in the forest, sleeping in the rain, but saw no ghosts.
If anyone knows where to find them, please let me know.