Have you ever seen "The Blair Witch Project"?
You know what’s scary? The woods. And I think you know why. OK, well, if you don’t just look at these places.
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The Island of the Dolls
WHERE: Mexico City, Mexico
This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed Isla de la Munecas, or “Island of the Dolls,” and it likely won’t be the last. Why? Because it’s impossible not to talk about it. The forest-island is said to be dedicated to the soul of a girl who drowned years ago under mysterious circumstances and the weathered dolls strewn about (tied to trees, etc.) are said to be possessed by her spirit.
Fun fact: Some reports have even detailed the dolls opening and closing their eyes of their own volition…
WHERE: Transylvania, Romania
The stories surrounding this (cursed) forest have made it, for better or worse, a tourist attraction. As if images of the fog seeping through Hoia-Baciu’s mangled trees wasn’t enough of a reason to creep you out, locals claim that the area is a portal—there’s a circular clearing in the center of these woods—that, once you enter, there is no return. Additionally, in 1968, a military technician claimed he took a photograph of a UFO that was floating over said clearing.
Fun (?) fact: Once upon a time, a shepherd reportedly went missing here with his flock of 200 sheep.
WHERE: Bennington, Vermont
Plenty of people have gone missing in the woods, so it’s no surprise that the Long Trail, made the list—it’s the oldest, long-distance trail in the country. That’s A LOT of woods! Between 1945 and 1950, at least four people, including Bennington College student Paula Jean Welden, reportedly vanished in the area, earning it the name Bennington Triangle (courtesy of New England author Joseph A. Citro). Over the years, hikers of the Trail have noted it’s “eerily” quiet and a trip through it even incites “a weird sort of dizzying confusion.”
The Pine Barrens
WHERE: New Jersey
The Pine Barrens is on this list for one reason: It’s home to the Jersey Devil, a reported (literally, more than 1,000 reports have come in over the last century) kangaroo-shaped creature with the wings of a bat. And hooves. The Devil has indeed been spotted mid-flight and is said to produce a scream that will send chills up your spine. The most popular origin story of the Devil says that in 1735, a woman who resided in the Pine Barrens cursed her 13th child out of frustration (presumably because she already had 12 children) and, after being born, it grew to have the aforementioned characteristics.
Devil’s Tramping Ground
WHERE: Bear Camp, North Carolina
Another “Devil-related” destination comes by way of a 40-foot-wide circular site where nothing grows, located near Harper’s Crossroads, about 50 miles from Greensboro, North Carolina. Legend has it that this is where the titular devil comes to get his groove on (dance); those who have spotted him also claim he has piercing red eyes. Even after an investigation by the North Carolina State Department of Agriculture, there’s still no explanation as to why nothing grows inside the circle…or why obstacles placed within the circle seemingly vanish overnight.
The Forests of Randolph
It’s unclear why, but this small town, according to locals, has a habit of attracting paranormal happenings. We’re talking balls of light and ghostly figures just making their way through the town’s forests. And what about the bicyclist who went missing while on the town’s Old Narrow Gauge Trail? Unclear!
Black Hills Forest
WHERE: Frederick County, Maryland
Remember the lede of this article? Have you ever seen The Blair Witch Project? Yeah, so this is where that movie is set. I think that’s all I need to say here.
Crater Lake National Park
It’s true! One of America’s most stunning, popular parks has been rumored to be haunted by a myriad of things, actually. Of the most notable paranormal sightings, a massive, dragon-like creature has been spotted dwelling in the lake itself. Additionally, park rangers have cited vanishing campfires and “campers” who have disappeared in front of their eyes. One ranger, Dave Grimes, also claims there is a 35-foot tall figure simply known as “Old Man” who has been seen floating in the lake on multiple occasions.
Constitution Lakes Park (Dolls Head Trail)
WHERE: Atlanta, Georgia
Constitution Lakes Park is home to the “Doll’s Head Trail,” a cursed area that mirrors the first site on this list—Isla de la Munecas—in that creepy dolls love to live there. What began as an art project by a local carpenter near an abandoned brick factory in 2011 has garnered a reputation over the years as an area hikers need to sprint past. Along the trail are weathered and decayed dolls’ heads hanging from trees, sitting upright on rocks, and peeking out from behind flora.
WHERE: Smarden, England
Dering Woods is also referred to as “Screaming Woods,” and I think that’s all that needs to be said. But I’ll elaborate a bit: Located next to what Guinness Book of Records calls the most haunted village in the UK—Pluckley—Dering Woods, be it day or night, has been a place where visitors have heard inexplicable screams, seen shadows, and heard footsteps. Some say the hauntings are attributed to those who became lost in the forest and couldn’t find their way out; or an 18-century colonel who took his own life in the woods; or a highwayman who was captured and murdered in the forest by locals.