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Case No. 18 | Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania (2017)

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In this article you will learn how it all came about. How we made it happen, what we had to deal with and of course how the investigation went and what it gave us. There is really a lot to write about the Hoia Baciu forest. So let's not procrastinate and get straight to it...

How it all came about

Our first foreign expedition had a really long way to go. It all started back in 2012, when Ondřej Bezouška learned about this forest through an American program. 


In 2009, the team known as the Destination Truth, published an episode on exploration in the famous Romanian forest. During a nighttime investigation, one team member was ejected and thrown several metres away on camera. Another became ill moments later, causing the entire team to abandon the research and flee the Hoia Baciu forest.

The desire to visit this mysterious place and see the real side of it burned inside us for a long time. But there was no time. In 2013, the research failed, 2014 we explored Velhartice Cemetery instead and in 2015 we made the documentary Ghosts of the Bor Forest. Then the whole forest was forgotten. Until 2017 came and with it the plan to visit Chernobyl and the town of Pripyat. However, our medical officer dismissed this investigation for being too high risk, and it was at that moment that the plan to realize the ancient dream of investigating in the forest of Hoia Baciu was born.

Immediately we started to make a plan, to prepare the finances and to find a sponsor: the Czechoslovak Film Society. As a result, we decided to explore not only the forest of Hoia Baciu, but also other mysterious locations of contemporary Romania. And so the investigation in the Hoia Baciu forest became one of the planned episodes of the Mysterious Romania series. 

My colleague Kamil Valeska made the ultimate sacrifice of all: he gave his car, his health and his driving skills. We had enough space for all the equipment, supplies and electricity. Simply an absolute luxury for such a shoot. A sacrifice that will never be forgotten. Ondřej Bezouška then took care of all the filming and keeping to the pre-set plans with CS Film. Invited guest Hanka Křížková in turn took care of communication with foreigners and Irena Hotová and Richard Hotový were important witnesses for us, able to confirm that everything we recorded in Hoia Baciu was true.

But before we discuss the actual research in Hoia Baciu, it is important to say what this forest is all about. What is its history and legends?


Hoia Baciu: history and legends

The Hoia Baciu forest is located in the west of Romania. It is like a wedge driven into the city of Cluj-Napoca. It is situated on a hill that divides the part of the mentioned town into northern and southern parts. It is a suburban forest, similar to the Bor forest near České Budějovice. Like it, it is dotted with forest paths and signs of human activity. And like the Bor forest, Hoia Baciu is shrouded in legends and ancient history. 

As far as history is concerned, Hoia Baciu is a truly ancient place. Even the forest of Bor could be envious. Not far from the forest is the archaeological site of the Starčevo-Keres-Kris culture, which, according to the pottery here, may date back to 2000-4000 BC. This is an impressive period of time, which is also scientifically documented here. 

As far as the mysteries themselves are concerned, the Hoia Baciu forest is truly a bottomless well of pearls. Ghosts or demons? This is where they are supposed to be. UFOs? It's supposed to be here, too. According to Google photos, there is even supposed to be a place with bent tree trunks (more on that later in the article) and the center of all the anomalies is supposed to be a circular plain that the forest can't take back.


The Way

After eleven o'clock at night on 10.7.2017 we set off from Budějovice towards Romania. We drive with minimal stops all night and the next day. And we recognize that doing research on the first night after arriving in Romania was not entirely happy. In addition, various stops shorten our rest time and the arrival in Hoia Baciu on 11.7.2017 at 17:00 is the final punctuation. We quickly discover that the northern part of the forest is not where the haunted paloche is located. 



So we laboriously set off again on a ride through the whole town, climbing the dusty switchbacks from the south closer and closer to our destination. And although the fatigue is considerable, the vision of exploration pumps energy into our veins. 

We park the car just outside the forest on the hill. We're not the only ones, as there are six other vehicles like this in a wide radius with groups of people enjoying the idyllic view of the wide surroundings.

The sun is setting, a red moon appears in the sky. It is windless, cloudless and hot. Insects are buzzing, birds are singing, both at the edge of the forest and on the palm itself. 

Meanwhile, the group is having dinner and resting. Ondřej Bezouška prepares everything for the research and finds out the initial facts.

The palouk itself, well known from research and photos, always seemed to us to be an ideal place for investigation. It's clear, not too big and not too small. Yet reality shows its downside. And that's the sound. The sounds of nature are so loud here that most of the sound analysis is unanalyzable and the problem will be just recording monologues and dialogues. So we will lose possible EVPs - if there are any - for these reasons.

Another interesting fact concerns the spookiness. Legend has it that people are afraid of it and avoid it. Reality? There are two fireplaces in the palisade. According to the garbage around, this place is popular not only during the day, but also at night. So we can't say that people run away in droves after dark. However, on the night in question, we are thankfully alone at the investigation site. 

Around eleven o'clock we arrive at the palouk, consisting of Ondřej Bezouška, Hanka Křížková, Irena Hotová and Richard Hotový. We set up two tents because, unlike the Americans, we want to stay here until dawn. We set up our equipment and begin the first phase of the investigation, which is to find out the natural values of the electromagnetic field, temperatures and other data that will help us in getting concrete answers.

first phase of research: identification

At the beginning of any research, we need to know the locality we are in. This is not only through the terrain and history, but also through the measuring instruments. This is the aim of the initial phase of the investigation.

Hanka Křížková is measuring the electromagnetic field while monitoring the temperature in the palouk. The wind is not blowing and the night is full, clear. Cicadas are chirping on the deck and the sounds of falling branches or animal footsteps (we think) can be heard from the forest.

In the daytime, during our first explorations here, we got lost on one of the many forest paths. At night we manage to repeat it. Although the paling is clearly visible, its perimeter is so overgrown with bushes that we have to use one of three paths to reach it. After about five minutes we manage to do this.

However, thanks to the hour-long measurements, we have clear conclusions from which we can deduce how the next stages of research in this forest should ideally proceed.


The values of electromagnetic deflections are to the tenths of 0.0 MilliGauss, which is something we have not encountered even in the Czech Republic. We couldn't have gotten a clearer answer on a calmer night. Basically, it should be a perfectly calm forest. More than that, or it couldn't be quieter. According to the results, Hoia Baciu could serve as an example of a peaceful forest where nothing mysterious is supposed to happen. And that's both in the clearing and in the surrounding forest. 

The temperature measurements are the only surprise. We measured 22.3°C on the palouk, while in the surrounding forest the temperature was 23.2°C at the same time (11.7.2017, 23:00 - 0:00 hours). This difference is probably due to the fact that the forest itself acts as a kind of greenhouse, which reacts belatedly to changes in ambient temperatures. 

So, after the first phase is over, we have a clear picture. The research will be peaceful, no paranormal activity will be detected, and we can summarize the night by saying that during the time invested in the research nothing has occurred that would give valid reason to think that some irrational danger awaits humans.

But we were very wrong. We couldn't have known it at the time, but the second phase of the investigation will stand this whole first phase on its head and show us that all of these witnesses (or some of them) must not have been making up their paranormal stories.

second research phase: intervention

The instruments we used in the first phase of the research are now being reused. We are now only interested in the pallet. We will only perform various interventions on it in order to record possible changes in the electromagnetic field, i.e. to see if it is possible to influence it in some non-technological way and, if so, whether the recorded anomalies will show intelligent responses such as possible answers to yes-no questions. 

The simplest way to intervene is by asking questions. However, since none of us speaks Romanian, we choose a form other than Czech, English and German. English because in 2009, it was there that the Raiders of the Lost Truth recorded an intelligent response. And German because most of Romania was under Habsburg rule, where this language was also used.


The research has begun and right from the beginning we hear sounds from the surrounding forest. twigs snapping, leaves rustling, footsteps. They don't sound constantly, but in waves over periods of time once every few minutes. We must not forget that we are in the wild and therefore, with a certainty that borders on the obvious, we conclude these sounds as rational. Cats, dogs, birds, lizards, rodents, all are sure to be around us after dark.

Richard Hotový and Irena Hotová then get the idea to move to the place where these sounds most often come from. With the approval of the main coordinator, they do so and the research moves to the northeastern part of the palouk. It should be noted that even without the torchlight, the full moon makes it easy to see around the area.

The K2 EMF meter's first reaction comes when we collectively discuss the fact that the ambient sounds are animals and not paranormal. At that moment, the diode on the K2 low frequency meter flies out into a yellow field, which indicates an electromagnetic fluctuation between 2.5 and 10 MilliGauss. We're trying to explain the whole thing rationally. We test the equipment we have, we confirm our mobile phones are switched off, but none of this gives us an answer. And so comes the possibility of an intelligent response.


Hana Křížková asks, "If anyone wants to communicate with us, let them flash." This sentence is said in Czech, whereupon Ondřej Bezouška tells Hana to repeat the question in English. "If somebody ones to communicate with us please switch the light." At that moment, just as the word "switch" is spoken, K2 flashes into the highest diode indicating a fluctuation above 20 MilliGauss. This spike lasts for nine seconds. After that, the diodes return to the green, quiescent field. 

We ask the question: is something intelligent really communicating with us now? But we can't immediately judge from one well-timed reaction. So we decide to ask more questions, in English. 

"Are you a human?" comes the question from Hannah, waiting for a possible response from the machine, as we witnessed a moment ago. But nothing happens, so we proceed to one more question. "Are you something else than human, please switch the light." And again, at the exact moment when Hana says the word "switch", another K2 instrument starts to flash, just as strong as the previous reaction, only this time instead of nine seconds, the reaction lasts three seconds. 

We are in awe of this, as perhaps only in the Bor forest have we been able to record a similar response, but even that was not in such precise timing to the question asked. Could it be that something is actually inhabiting this place and we cannot see it? We continue to ask. We want to investigate the communication as deeply as we can, but the K2 device is silent.

Even calls to shout something into the recorder have no effect, but this is primarily due to the chirping of the crickets, which have rendered all audio recordings useless for analysis. 

So we decide to confirm possible intelligent responses in the third phase of the investigation. We're going to split up into individuals who will be alone here in the woodpile for a period of time. We'll test whether the reactions to the electromagnetic field measuring devices were really just a big coincidence or a premeditated reaction.

third phase of research: isolation


Irena Hotová is getting used to the first solitude on the palouk. She is instructed to act naturally, to ask any questions she wants, in any language, and see what happens. And some really interesting things happened. The K2 EMF meter showed a number of electromagnetic anomalies while she was in the palm tree, several of them so strong that the microphone on the camera picked them up with that specific grunt. But on the other hand, these reactions did indeed already seem random. They came randomly, and so we chose a different kind of tactic with Richard Hot and his solitude. 

Richard Hot, standing in the meadow all alone, must remain silent at all costs. If the reactions to the K2 EMF Meter were random, then they will continue to occur now that no questions or sounds will be frustrated by us. And that will confirm that everything we have picked up here was a random electromagnetic reaction.


But Richard Hotovy does not experience a single reaction to the electromagnetism monitoring device during his solitude. It's unbelievable, because we were counting on the second option. So there really could be some intelligence behind the variations. 

The penultimate solitude of the penumbra is faced by Hanka Křížková, who, like Irena, asks any questions she wants in three languages. But unfortunately, she doesn't register any other response on the machine.

However, they all describe the sounds of the forest in their loneliness. The rustling, the footsteps, which of course probably belong to animals, but at this point also creep into the body a stronger dose of fear. Therefore, Ondřej Bezouška in his solitude will take pictures of what is happening around him, and moreover (to make it more interesting), so that he does not look into the place from where the sounds come, that is, into the forest by which he is standing. Will he experience something like the American team did years ago? Or at least some photo to record what reacted on the instrument measuring electromagnetism?


Ondřej Bezouška confirms the sounds from the forest and takes some photos. The K2 EMF meter is silent and nothing physical is attacking Ondrej. The third phase of the investigation is completed with his person and later analysis has not confirmed that the photos or sounds depict a paranormal phenomenon. Thus, the only interesting things that continued to happen were based on the fluctuations in the electromagnetic field that we described above.

We will be retiring to our tents with the goal of getting some sleep and maybe experiencing some more. We fall asleep with a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep. This place holds no more surprises for us. We wake up refreshed for another hot summer day. 

The research in Hoia Baciu ends, but the Mysterious Romania expedition continues.


The analysis of the records from Hoia Baciu takes place after the return to the Czech Republic. It confirms the anomalies in the electromagnetic field observed during the research, very interestingly timed, as if something intelligent was actually trying to communicate with us. 

However, due to the contamination of natural disturbances, the sound recordings could not be analysed in detail to such a level that we could extract clear evidence to confirm or deny possible paranormal activity.

The photographs did not reveal any paranormal phenomena and everything seen in them has a rational basis.

So what can we conclude about the Hoia Baciu forest? It's a forest with a deep history, heavily visited by people with an elaborate mythology and, most importantly, it's suburban. It is simply a forest like our Bor. The resemblance is certainly not coincidental.

From the time we have devoted to research in the Hoia Baciu forest, we can judge that there are energetic anomalies that are so strong that more sensitive individuals can even feel them. These fluctuations can then affect our senses and may be behind paranormal experiences that may not be detectable in reality. However, the most interesting thing: there may be paranormal activity of intelligent origin. 

While we have not recorded physical assaults here, there is enough evidence from this forest to say that it is indeed one of the mysterious places and there may be some truth to its supernatural legend.

Author of article: Ondřej Bezouška


videos of the investigation

  • in Czech, without English subtitles