Deep in Romania lies the city of Cluj-Napoca, the second most populous city in the country. An old population center, and considered the capital of the historical province of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca is surrounded by forests and grasslands.
From the beginning of recorded time in the region, the locals have held a fear of the forest, believing it to be a gateway between worlds. Mysterious lights can be seen shining within the trees, witnessed by those viewing Hoia from outside. It is commonly believed that paranormal phenomena take place in the forest, and this reputation attracts yoga practitioners, Wiccans and paranormal enthusiasts.
It is when people step foot within the boundaries of the forest that things really start to get weird. It is not too uncommon to feel a claustrophobic nausea, or the sensation of being watched while venturing between the trees and, at times, those who have visited discover unexplained rashes or burns to their bodies. The burning is generally not felt, but the redness and, at rare times, blistering, ensures the affected places stand out. At first someone thinks they have maybe had a reaction to some plant life, but doctors soon tell them otherwise. The trees and other plant life are not immune to this either, as in some areas, they too show the effects of a long, slow scorching over time.
Other strange phenomena has occurred. A farmer/shepherd and a flock of some 200 sheep entered the forest and were never seen again. Soon after, the forest was known as The Bermuda Triangle of Romania, and even stranger as The Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania.
Another phenomena seems to be missing time. People have apparently ventured into the forest for a short time, only to exit and find search parties out looking for them. To them, only a few hours have passed, but for the outside world, it may have been several days. One story claims the reverse and that a young girl entered the forest and shortly reappeared, having aged several years.
In August 1968, the forest saw one of its more famous events take place. A 45 year old military technician ignored the warnings of the locals and entered the forest for a weekend away, with his girlfriend and a few other friends.
In the early afternoon he was collecting firewood for that nights warmth, when he was alerted by some shouting by his friends. He went back to join them, and what he saw was a low flying, bright object silently moving a little above the trees.
The object then began a series of rapid maneuvers, before shooting straight up into the sky.
This was not the first or last UFO sighting in the forest, and throughout the 1970's, Hoia-Baciu became the stomping grounds for a number of UFO researchers, and within time, a fairly famous photograph of an unidentified object was taken showing an object above the trees.
In more recent times, and due to all of these strange legends, the forest has become a bit of a hotspot for any paranormal investigator, or person with a passion for the strange. Although the locals warn against it, these individuals or groups enter the forest in the hopes of experiencing the strangeness for themselves.
Although many are said to have felt the sickness, and a few finding the burns, their experiences are generally a little different from the general UFO/lost time phenomena.
Be careful where you tread, do not leave the paths.
Humanoid shadow forms, orbs, disembodied voices, scratches and most disconcerting is the giggling of young girls. For some reason their experiences tend to be different to the locals who have dared enter its leafy veil. It is thought this is because the intentions of the investigators are different and the forest, or its inhabitants, know this. It may also possibly be due to the outsiders wanting to make contact, actually seeking it out, and are able to collect responses and capture anomalies on electronic equipment.
All of the activity seems to amplify as people venture to the forests hotspot, known as The Circle. Here, deep within Hoia-Baciu, is a circular clearing in the trees, where many say the spirits live. It is thought that in this clearing a peasant settlement existed a long time ago, but met its end in slaughter by a raiding party from the regions enemies.
It is thought that it may be the peasant villagers who haunt Hoia-Baciu, and it is within this circle that groups have reported the most unusual anomalies, most in the form of physical attacks.
A portal for ghosts and spirits as well as UFOs, Hoia-Baciu seems to be a paranormal dream. Perhaps something resides or is located within the forest that is desired by both phenomena, or even more interesting, the experiences are symptoms of one and the same thing?