From Germany’s dense Black Forest to a vast woodland outside of London, Musement shares six of the world’s most haunted forests in honor of Halloween.
Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, one thing is for sure: you can’t help but let tales tied to the other side of the veil intrigue you.
From castles to cities like New York and Glasgow, ghosts have been rumored to make their presence known to visitors. Yet forests can be downright eerie on their own without the thought of encountering a soul that hasn’t fully departed. But once you factor in the paranormal component, forests can evoke profound terror—remember the Blair Witch Project? So, in honor of Halloween, we thought we’d share six of the world’s most haunted forests.
1. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Having earned the grim moniker Suicide Forest, Japan’s Aokigahara Forest sits at the base of Mount Fuji. In fact, Japanese mythology has long associated this excessively dense leafy woodland—the world’s second most popular suicide site—with demons, which only amplifies its morbid allure. The thick leaves prompt explorers to drop items along the way Hansel-and-Gretel style to ensure they find their way back. Many claim that the ghosts of those who took their own lives onsite haunt the forest.
2. The Black Forest, Germany
The firs and pine trees that characterize the Black Forest are so tightly packed they hardly let any light in, hence its name—it’s no wonder that the Brothers Grimm chose the Black Forest as a fairy tale backdrop. Though most of the Black Forest tales tie more to lore (werewolves, headless horsemen, witches, the devil) than to paranormal activity, the Black Forest still ranks high on the creepiness scale.
3. Dow Hill, Kurseong, India
A Victorian-era boys school in West Bengel is believed to be one of India’s most haunted locales. While footsteps clamor through the halls during the months the school’s closed, it’s the surrounding woods that conceal even more disturbing paranormal activity Many murders were said to have occurred here, and woodsmen have even claimed to see headless children wondering.
4. Hoia Baciu Forest, Transylvania, Romania
Romania is home to a haunted forest of its own, and it lies in Translyvania of course. The Hoia Baciu Forest, known as the Bermuda Triangle of Romania, is especially creepy. Not only are the crooked trees said to have once stood straight, but the center of the forest contains a mysterious circular clearing. Nothing grows here, and many believe it to be a portal to another world as people who have passed through have disappeared. Intrepid travelers can take night tours, though most of these visitors report feelings of nausea and anxiety, and many even break out in a rash.
5. Epping Forest, Essex, England
A one-time hideout for criminals and a popular corpse dumping spot, Epping Forest, a vast woodland near London, is a spookfest. Visitors have claimed to see the ghost of 18th-century outlaw Dick Turpin and other spirits still wondering our realm while others hear a variety of spooky snappy sounds. It will definitely give you the heebie-jeebies.
6. Pine Barrens, New Jersey
Spanning a large portion of southern New Jersey, this wide expanse comprising four state forests is peppered with ghost towns. While folklore tells of the New Jersey Devil and an ominous white stag roaming the woods, a supernatural component holds much weight, with unexplained sounds and movements both in the woods and some of the abandoned villages.