October is a time when we explore all things spooky from spooky stories to spooky places to spooky people. We visit places we do not want to be caught after dark and seek people we do not want to meet in back allies or abandoned houses where evil lies in wait.
Have you ever visited a Ghost Forest? I have discovered two such forests that have that distinction. The German Gespensterwald (Ghost Forest) is located in Nienhagen, next to the Baltic Sea. At night the trees sometimes look like they could be the backdrop for a horror movie. Some of the tall trees are nearly 200 years old. It is easy to walk through the forest and even go to the beach for a swim because the woods line the shore of the Baltic Sea.
The wind whips the tree from the coastal exposure. This twists the trees, sometimes snake-like where branches may grow only on one side of the tree. When the mist fills the forest, it is a place to fill the imagination with ghost stories. If you visit, you may want to keep your imagination in check. Gespensterwald (Ghost Forest) – Nienhagen, Germany – Atlas Obscura
The second Ghost Forest is found on the Oregon Coast near Tillamook, most often known for its cheese. However, the Neskowin Ghost Forest reveals an eerie remnant of what is left of towering Sitka spruce trees that grew there two millennia ago. Peeking above the surf, the ghost forest was little more than a local legend until the winter of 1997/1998. The coast was hit with powerful storms that eroded the beach and exposed the natural wonder buried beneath.
The trees carbon dated to around 2,000 years old. A major earthquake hit the Cascadia subduction zone in 1700 and dropped the forested land into the tidal zone. The mud submerged trunks prevented decay and preserved them for future generations. Neskowin Ghost Forest – Neskowin, Oregon – Atlas Obscura
The mighty trees once stood 150 to 200 feet tall. The phantom-like forest is easily seen at low tide. More ancient stumps are exposed when the tide is at its lowest point during the summertime. Whereas, the German forest sport menacing live trees, the Oregon trees seem to have been brought back from the dead to haunt their shores. Let your scary stories choose the setting for their plot line.
I must admit I enjoy the lighthearted TV comedy series, Ghosts. The trapped characters are kept by certain parameters like the boundaries of the mansion or being able to manipulate physical things. I have never feared the existence of ghosts but if they did exist, I’d prefer that of a Casper rather than a threatening Ghostbuster monster or a haunted forest.