The Hoia Forest is a forest situated to the west of the city of , near the open-air section of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania. The forest is used as a common recreation destination. In recent years a biking park has been added to the forest, along with areas for other sports such as paintball, airsoft and archery. It is commonly believed that paranormal phenomena take place in the forest, and this reputation attracts yoga practitioners, Wiccans and paranormal enthusiasts.
The oldest Neolithic settlement in Romania (believed to have been established around 6500 BCE) belonging to the Starčevo–Kőrös–Criş culture was discovered at the north of Valea Lungă. Tombs and houses from this settlement were uncovered between 1960 and 1994.
The Hoia Forest is famous worldwide for its alleged frequent and varied paranormal phenomena. In 1968, a citizen of Cluj photographed a UFO in Poiana Rotundă (The Round Meadow). These photos were judged to be among the few of their kind which were supposedly "authentic", according to assessments.
Beginning in 1960, Alexandru Sift, a professor of biology, has studied the phenomena of light and magnetism which occur in the forest. This study yielded a rich archive of photographs of the phenomena, which was lost several days after Sift's death in 1993. The few remaining photographs were published in 1995 in the book Fenomenele de la Pădure Hoia-Baciu by Adrian Pătruț, professor of chemistry at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and a friend of Sift. Pătruț continued Sift's research, and claims that the strange phenomena have a scientific basis which has yet to be sufficiently understood. However, news of the phenomena has brought about many urban legends in Cluj, which attract many visitors to the forest who hope to capture such a phenomenon themselves.Visitors to the forest often report intense feelings of anxiety and the feeling of being constantly watched. Moreover, the local vegetation is somehow bizarre in appearance, like something out of a make-believe story with strangely shaped trees, and unexplained charring on tree stumps and branches.The forest was named after a shepherd that disappeared in the area with a flock of two hundred sheep. Most people who live near the forest are afraid to enter it due to the stories and legends that have been handed down. They believe that those who visit the site will never return back home. Many of the locals who have been brave enough to venture into the forest complained of physical harm, including rashes, nausea, vomiting, migraines, burns, scratches, anxiety, and other unusual sensations.
People who have entered the forest to this day get inexplicable rashes or they begin to feel very light-headed and ill. Moreover, the electronic devices are known to malfunction when introduced into the area. Some paranormal investigators have associated these strange malfunctions with supernatural activity.
The Hoia-Baciu Forest ( World’s Most Haunted Forest ) has a reputation for paranormal and unexplained activity and people have witnessed numerous strange events on the land. The most common phenomenon includes the sudden appearance of mysterious orbs of light. People also report hearing disembodied female voices breaking the heavy silence, giggling and even apparitions, There are many cases of people reportedly being scratched. All these things happen with no reasonable explanation.
Some people believe that the forest is a gateway to another dimension. Within the dark interior of Hoia-Baciu Forest ( World’s Most Haunted Forest ) , people have been known to disappear, strange lights have been seen, the wind seems to speak,. Several stories tell of people entering the forest and experiencing missing time. Some have known to be missing for quite some time with no recollection of how they had spent that time.One such story focuses on a 5-year-old girl who wandered into the woods and got lost. The story goes that she emerged from the forest 5 years later, wearing the same untarnished clothes that she wore on the day she disappeared with no memory of where had happened in that interval of time.
Another story of the The Hoia-Baciu Forest ( World’s Most Haunted Forest ) has been telling about the strange paranormal phenomena which have been recorded and researched for nearly 50 years. The woods are thought to be notoriously haunted by the Romanian peasants who were murdered here. It is believed that the souls of these tormented ghosts are trapped within the wooded confines of Hoia-Baciu Forest ( World’s Most Haunted Forest ) and that these entities are enraged by their predicament. Visions of these tormented spirits are sometimes observed by terrified travelers. Pairs of haunting, observing green eyes and a heavy black fog have been observed here. Many people report a feeling of being watched as they travel near the forest’s edge.