Foreboding forests

Scary movies always have sinister backdrops — a dilapidated mansion on a hill, a deserted hospital, a cemetery, or a foreboding forest. What makes a forest scary? Would it be the gray outline of old grizzled oak trees at dusk, with a cool steady breeze that sounds faintly like the screams of the young mushroom pickers that vanished there 10 years ago? How about a dank, swampy forest that surrounds a deep, murky river skirted by moss-covered trees hosting a multitude of large snakes whose yellow eyes flicker in the dark, and the smell of a fetid carcass hanging in the air? Whatever the scenario, here are some forests that are downright scary for one reason or another:

  1. Epping Forest, England: Historical records of this forest date back to 8,000 B.C. There are many accounts of battles fought here, including some with the Roman Empire; plague victims who left London to escape the disease, only to be stricken with it in the forest; and travelers being victimized by ruthless highwaymen. Visitors to these woods speak of apparitions of those who have fallen there.

  2. Ballyboley Forest, Northern Ireland: This forest is believed to be an ancient Druid site. Located in the forest are stone formations and circular trenches. Some of the testimony from visitors to the forest speak of trees covered with blood, a human-like figure dressed in rags, and the screams of women.

  3. Any narrow band of forest associated with rest stops along I-95 that see daily use by hundreds of dogs — Watch your step!

  4. Amazon rain forests: Hundreds of species of poisonous snakes, frogs, insects, and plants live here. Care to swim? Watch out for piranha, anaconda, electric eels, and black caiman. Vampire bats are found here, as well.

  5. Any coconut plantation during very windy days — Heads up!

  6. Old House Woods, Virginia: Pirates, Spanish soldiers, British redcoats, and Colonists clashed in these woods and the waters around them. There have been a number of paranormal sightings of British and Spanish soldiers, ghost ships sailing in the harbor, floating lights, headless dogs, and ghostly horses galloping through the woods.

  7. Hoia Baciu Forest, Transylvania: Locals consider this an evil, cursed place, while others say that the forest is a portal to another dimension. Over the years, those who dare visit the forest complain of insomnia, anxiety, excessive thirst, and headaches. There have been numerous ghost sightings here as well as people claiming to see UFOs hovering in the sky or bright orange orbs floating above the canopy.

  8. Boreal forests in Northern Saskatchewan in May – June: Got DEET and mosquito netting?

  9. Freetown State Forest, Massachusetts: The forest has history of witchcraft, human sacrifice, and other grizzly events. Visitors speak of flying orange orbs, Bigfoot sightings, UFOs, giant snakes, and assorted ghosts.

  10. Forests of Congo River Basin: Many experts believe that forests in this area are the densest forests in the world: Got machete?

Article by FCFCDB member

Nature Notes for 10/11/2015