Halloween is upon us and a host of supernatural creatures is ready to appear on our doorsteps. Fortunately, most of these monsters are easily turned away with the help of chocolate and jelly beans.
But if you’d like to return the favor and pay the phantoms a visit on their own turf, dig out your trekking boots and head for the nearest big forest: supernatural beings are known to make their home in great woods, and it’s (probably) safe to drop by and say hello.
Do I sound spooky, read on!!
Erik Boman of Holidaylettings (a service from TripAdvisor) discovers five of the scariest woodlands on the planet…….
Essex, England, UK
Photo by martin_vmorris (edited) (license) via Flickr
Epping Forest has earned its ghastly reputation from being a notorious crime scene. Several of the victims rumored to be buried here are believed to be restless in their graves.
Strange reported happenings include the sound of drums, eerie lights, strange mists and phantoms, including the ghost of highwayman Dick Turpin, whose soul is said to linger near the cave where he lived.
The forest’s most peculiar feature is the so-called Hangman’s Hill, located near High Beach. This spot is known to have a strange pull strong enough to tug a car uphill. Legends say this pull is an unseen hangman’s noose that draws its victims closer.
Freetown State Forest
Photo by FromSandToGlass (edited) (license) via Flickr
Local Native Americans used this forest as a burial ground, which should ring alarm bells with anyone who’s seen or read Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. To make matters worse, these seemingly placid woods have been the scene of multiple murders and satanic rituals. Aliens and conspirators appear to dwell here too: several people have filed sightings of UFOs, and attempts to catch these on film continue today.
Apart from sightings of ghosts and creepy lights, there are also tales of other unworldly creatures: large white wolves, birds that shoot lightning, troll-like beasts, enormous snakes and Bigfoot.
Photo by Cristian Bortes (edited) (license) via Flickr
The mere mention of Transylvania is enough to conjure visions of Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman – but there are other frightening places besides old Vlad’s mountaintop abode. Try the forest of Hoia-Baciu, a place so wicked its trees are bent sideways.
Dubbed the ‘Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania’, Hoia-Baciu has spooked nearby residents for centuries. Many recent reports concern aliens: glowing orbs hovering in mid-air, strange streaks of light zipping through the underbrush and UFOs hovering above the foliage. But long before elusive extraterrestrials stole all the thunder, legends describe Hoia-Baciu as a cursed place controlled by a malevolent spirit.
Oxfordshire, England, UK
Photo by Kurt C (edited) (license) via Wikimedia Commons
Oxford is typically associated with stories such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass. But the tales about Wychwood Forest, located just outside Oxford, are of a more sinister kind.
These lush woodlands used to be part of the royal hunting grounds, so many stories of supernatural experiences describe teams of riders, the sound of horses thundering down roads and calls from invisible hunters.
One of the forest’s most famous incorporeal inhabitants is allegedly Amy Robsart, wife of one of the Earls of Leicester. Following her unexplained death, her spirit sought out her husband while he was riding in the forest. She warned him that his days were numbered, and ten days later the Earl passed away. It is said that anyone else who comes across Amy’s ghost will suffer the same fate.
Mexico, South America
Photo by Eneas De Troya (license) via Wikimedia Commons
This idyllic, sunlit island is home to a small forest in which thousands of wind-torn, battered dolls hang from the trees. The chilling installation is the work of Don Julian Santana, who was the island’s caretaker.
More than fifty years ago he discovered the body of a girl in the nearby river, and soon afterwards he found a doll which he assumed had belonged to her. As a tribute to the deceased girl, and to safeguard her spirit, he strung the doll to a tree.
According to local stories, Don Julian continued to add dolls to the trees until they could be seen around the entire island. He kept doing so until 2001, when he was found drowned in the very same spot where he’d found the girl’s body. Some say the dolls are evil, while others suggest they protect the forest.