The Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania
Located in northwestern Romania, the Hoia-Baciu is known as the “Bermuda Triangle” of Romania in that strange disappearances are said to have occurred here, like a shepherd believed to have disappeared with a flock of 200 sheep and a five-year-old girl who disappeared here only to emerge five years later without having aged. Visitors often “report intense feelings of anxiety and the feeling of being constantly watched,” the forest’s website warns, and the locals tend to stay away because they fear that if they enter, they will never find their way out.
The Forest of Broceliande, France
The Fôret de Brocéliande, located in Brittany, France, is said to be the forest of the King Arthur legend and is rumoured to be home to the Tomb of Merlin (pictured). That wouldn’t make it spooky, in and of itself… except the Vals Sans Retour (Valley of No Return) is said to be where the sorceress Morgan le Fay (King Arthur’s half-sister) imprisoned young unfaithful men. In more recent times, the valley was the site of a terrible fire in 1990 that ravaged the forest, memorialised by a golden tree at the entrance to the valley (planted a year later). Want to live like royalty?
The Smolensk Forest, Russia
In 1943, at the height of World War II, German troops invaded the Smolensk Forest and discovered a mass grave containing thousands upon thousands of dead Polish soldiers (20,000, by some estimates). Ultimately, it was determined they’d been massacred on Joseph Stalin’s orders. If the presence of 20,000 lost souls wasn’t enough to frighten people away, then the tragic plane crash that took place there in 2010, which killed 96 Polish political, military and business leaders, hammered the nail into the coffin, so to speak.