There are plenty of reasons why people find the woods to be a fun and safe getaway. It’s a place where one can go and connect with nature. Hiking, camping, bird watching, naughty romps; There’s really no shortage of activities, both challenging and adventurous. In the world of horror, there are a few instances where going into the woods turned out to be a really, really bad idea. Its not unheard of for someone to enter the woods, and never come out again. And, if do make it out, they may be leaving in a body bag. That is if they’re ever found.
Let’s travel around the world to a few of those wooded areas, shall we? Let’s discover a few trails that led to dead ends. Let’s walk along a few rivers where the water ran red with blood. Let’s discover some woodlands where snakes (*shudders*) are the least of your worries.
#10. Don’t Go Into the Woods … Alone! (1981)
Let’s start our tour in America, among the great beauty that is the Rocky Mountains. Miles and miles of terrain to explore, but be careful! In the miles that we’ll encounter, there are rumors that a multitude – and I mean a multitude – of unlucky souls who have ventured into these woods, never walk back out of them. Some say they’ve seen a wildman covered in animal skins roaming the woods. Those who have never returned include an artist, a mother and middle aged son, some dude named Dick and his fiancé, a teenage girl, a bird watcher, a handicapped man, a hiker, a fisherman, and a group of campers… Remember to stay safe, always travel in pairs and above all else, Don’t Go Into The Woods…Alone.
#9. Shrooms (2007)
There is a forest in the Irish wilderness where there is a top notch species of shrooms that is guaranteed to f*ck you up— erm …There’s a nice species of mushrooms that will make the perfect tea if properly prepared. But beware of the death bell mushroom with what seems to be a dark nipple on it. That one is absolutely guaranteed to make you go a little insane. If the shroom tea makes you see a talking cow, you’re good (I guess). If it makes you see your friends being murdered one by one, then that’s definitely not the good shroom tea. You’ve accidentally ingested the death bell shroom. Good Luck!
#8. Lake Bodom (2016)
Our next stop brings us all the way to Espoo, Finland where we find a quaint little watering hole known as Lake Bodom. Really, though, it’s not so quaint. It’s the site of a grisly massacre that occurred on June 15, 1960. This is a true story. Four teenagers were murdered, and their murderer was never found. Before you plan your trip, just know that it’s probably not a good idea to attempt to recreate the murder scene with some acquaintances. You may just found out the truth behind the Lake Bodom massacre, and become the prey of some jealous psycho who– I’ve said too much.
#7. Annihilation (2018)
Are you a true science person? Then Area X is just for you. Located somewhere on the coast of Florida, Area X actually shouldn’t be visited as it’s a top secret piece of land that is under scrutinizing security. Top scientists, military personnel, psychologists … they’ve all tried to piece the puzzle that is Area X together. The problem is that anyone who walks beyond “the shimmer” almost never returns. If they do, they don’t return as themselves. They speak of strange things. Hybrid creatures, mind altering bears, holographic creatures. None of it makes sense. So stay on the outside of “the shimmer”. Promise Me.
#6. The Final Terror (1983)
We’re sticking to the US for a moment as we travel from one coast to the next. Here, we enter the northern Californian wilderness where rivers run wild and redwoods stretch up to the heavens. But hold on, there’s an urban legend around these parts. It tells the story of a lady who was raped, became pregnant, and went crazy from keeping the rape a secret. She was sent to a mental hospital where she delivered the child, but the kid was taken away from her, yanno? Nineteen years or so later, the kid returns for his mama, but he goes mad after seeing her living conditions. So he takes her out into the woods where she can live in peace. And if she ever sees you camping around her land, threatening the sanctity of her home, she kills you. But that’s just a story the rangers tell to scare of their younger counterparts. Now, let’s roast some marshmallows.
#5. Wrong Turn (2003)
Let’s ping pong back across the US of A, and head into the woods of West Virginia. One could get lost in these woods, if they aren’t careful. Just be wary of the strangers in the forest. You know, the ones who look a little… ah who am I kidding, look out for the freaking inbred cannibals! They have bows and arrows, axes, and they are hungry all the darn time. How do you tell if they’re closing in on you? One has a laugh, and although it cannot be described, it is very distinct. You’ll hear it coming from a mile away. I’m beginning to think this tour de lands of the world’s forestry is beginning to get a little disheartening. Should be fine though. Just stick to the path and don’t make any wrong turns.
#4. The Ritual (2017)
Ah, here we go. We’re distancing ourselves away from America, and heading towards northern Sweden. Here, we will hit Kungsleden, or the King’s Trail, in Sarek National Park. We will STAY on the paths, and we will not run into the woods all willy nilly. No one get hurt or twist their ankle or anything. This is a long path, and no shortcuts will be made. For in these woods, it is rumored – never proven – that a cult who worships the Scandinavian god, Jötunn, resides. If they catch you, they either sacrifice you to Jötunn, or you must become one with the cult. What’s Jötunn like? Definitely a scrawny, not so tall, not intimidating being who does not look like the lovechild between a moose and Cenobite with the DNA mixture of Cthulhu and the Cloverfield monster. Definitely not like that at all.
#3. Killing Ground (2016)
Australia! Australia definitely does not have anything scary in it. Don’t think about that picture of the dingo eating a shark while 2 snakes have sex in the foreground. We’re not in that Australia. We’re at a quaint national park where we’re going to camp by a lake, and later on, we’ll hike to Gungilee Falls. The only thing that we’ll have to watch out for here are boar hunters. I’m sure they’ll let us know their whereabouts, and practice proper firearm safety. That tent that seems abandoned? Oh, they’ll be back. Wait … holy crap, there’s a toddler walking right behind you! Where are his parents? Let’s find those boar hunters. Surely they’ll make matters…better?
#2. Eden Lake (2008)
No boar hunters here! Let’s retry this camping by a lake thing at what I promise is a more tranquil area in the English countryside. The sun is shining. The water is glistening. Ignore the loud dog barking, it’s not much of a bother. Okay, now ignore the teens with their loud music, and their cigarette smoke. Really, ignore them. I don’t think we’d want to mess with them. They look pretty intimidating, even for teenagers. Oh, you told them to keep it down? Great. Well, there’s no way they’ll steal our car, we’ll accidentally kill their dog, and they’ll come after us with a rage so hellish that we won’t survive the night. No way. Everything’s gonna be just fine.
#1. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Burkittsville, MD. Home of the baddest urban legend of them all. You have to know the story. In a nutshell, it’s home to a woman who would lure children into her home to draw blood from them. The townspeople labeler her a witch, and banished her to the woods. Then children began to disappear. Years later, a group of people come to document the legend, get lost, we find the tapes, witness their demise, blah blah. After all that we’ve been through, do you really think a silly witch legend will be the end of us?
I’m currently standing in a corner of a house in the Burkittsville woods. She got us. The Blair Witch got us. Since I’m dedicated, I will finish this list whilst trying not to look at her. I hope you don’t blame me for taking you on this trek across the world to some of horror’s most doomed woodlands. I didn’t think that anything would happen. I was wrong. I was so wrong. I’m so, so sorry.
Dammit, she’s still here!