Year of 2017

‘Ghost Wood,’ Nienhagen, Germany

When it comes to spooky forests, the coastal wood outside Nienhagen, Germany, takes the cake (or this time of year—the candy corn). Locals call it Gespensterwald, or Ghost Wood, a name likely earned because of the trees’ twisted, snake-like branches, shaped by winds from the nearby Baltic Sea. The spooky mood is heightened because the canopies of European beech forests like this are known for being thick and dark, with little to no sunlight reaching the forest floor. During certain times of day, when the mist is rising, it all adds up to a decidedly eerie atmosphere. Which begs the question: If someone screams in the forest and no one’s there to hear, does it still make a sound?

Nienhagen is a municipality in the Rostock district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The municipality lies on the Baltic Sea coast between the oldest German seaside spa of Heiligendamm and Warnemünde.
Area: 2.28 sq miles (5.90 km²)
Population: 1,852 (2014)
Mayor: Uwe Kahl