When the Woods Are Scary: Enchanted Forests Like Brothers Grimm Broken Fairytales

October 18th, 2012 Permalink

Ah, the approach of Halloween seems to call upon a special spooky theme, but we’ve covered tombs for Tales from the Crypts, fields of Halloween horror via the corn maze craze, even a Lego Monster Mash before. So then we considered man-made haunted trails that people purposefully visit to be spooked for Halloween . . . but there are other times when a person is totally alone in some eerie forest that seems a bit enchanted. When the woods seem scary, it could be because you let your imagination run wild. It might be local folklore about a foggy forest, or a moody mist attached to legends and claims that the woods are haunted. How we interpret a setting may be our state of mind at the time, but artists of all kinds have taken to the forest for inspiration. J.R.R. Tolkien used Puzzlewood as his mystical, magical muse that inspired him to create the fabled forests of Middle-earth within The Lord of the Rings. In our Fall Fantasy post, we quoted Vincent Van Gogh as saying, ‘Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.’ Perhaps to truly enjoy these pictures, you may need to think of it like an art game….for each picture, imagine if you were all alone in these woods. We were curious what made the streak of fear strike the hearts of photographers who are out alone in the forest. All of these photos were tagged with words like spooky, dark, scary, foggy, or haunted; on any other day, and different state of mind, these might be interpreted as sweet alone time in nature. But tap into your inner artist and let your imagination run wild to “see” what the photographers saw when these “enchanted” woods seemed “haunted” or “spooky” or just flat-out Brothers Grimm scary. [66 'Scary' Pics] {At least it’s not 666?}

The misty forest Sequoia Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA

The misty forest Sequoia Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA. Instead of man-made Halloween haunted trail attractions, this is when a “horror” setting has been created by nature. Think of twisted fairytales and enter where the woods are scary. Imagine if you were all alone in these woods . . .. After you? Please take the Sandman’s hand and enter now. Photo #1 by Tom Holub

Haunted Forest....Brothers Grimm eat your heart out

“Haunted Forest…? Brothers Grimm eat your heart out.” The forest around Louisbourg (Novia Scotia) is dense and dark. Photo #2 by Dan Nelson


Deep in the forest, Christmas eve

Deep in the forest, Christmas eve. Beautiful but spooky. Photo #3 by Fredrik Matheson

Spooky I love my forests dark, can't you tell

“I love my forests dark, can’t you tell?” Photo #4 by Emanuele Monaco

The Beaten Path taken in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

The Beaten Path taken in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. Photo #5 by Stuart Richards

Enchanted Forest Doesn't it look Spooky

Enchanted Forest. “Doesn’t it look spooky?” Photo #6 by Mike Chellini

Deep in the woods of Coylumbridge, Scotland

Sometimes photographers who are out hiking alone happen to stumble upon something that starts their imagination and sparks spooky thoughts racing through their creative heads. Deep in the woods of Coylumbridge, Scotland. Photo #7 by Christian Scheja

Horror movie summer camp in the woods

The photographer wrote, “Remember those great 80s horror movies? They almost always involved some teens that end up stuck in the woods or at a summer camp only to be haunted by an ax murder that has risen from the dead 20 times. Walking through this camp in La Grange Texas, I think I came across the inspiration for these movies. This little cabin in the woods has all the makings of a great place for some unsuspecting young girl who hears something scream out her window to get out of bed in her nightgown, then quietly tiptoe to the door. Her Oscar-worthy acting makes us completely rationalize this action and justify that seeing what is on the other side of the door, is indeed the best thing to do. Well we all know what happens next. Yep I am pretty sure this is that place.” Maybe it’s the spooky Spanish moss? Photo #8 by Jason St Peter

Deep in the woods when you run into someone else alone

“Who’s there?” Creepy sense of unease, such as when you are alone, deep in the woods, and you run into someone else alone. Are they a deranged ax murderer? “Just keep quiet, step quickly, and then run before he turns around and sees you,” the photographer advised. Run before he follows you home. Photo #9 by By Seattleye

Horror when coming upon an abandoned locked shack in a creepy forest

Horror when leaving the path and coming upon an abandoned locked shack in a creepy overgrown forest. Photo #10 by Matthew (matthewthecoolguy)

In the misty way, trail that weaves through a seemingly haunted redwood forest

In the misty way, trail that weaves through a seemingly haunted redwood forest. Photo #11 by Sathish J

A haunting view of the woods on a cold autumn day, forest of the the lost boys, the lost scary woods

Top: A haunting view of the woods on a cold autumn day. Bottom left: Spooky forest of the Lost Boys. The photographer added that is was from a “really old land camera film I found at an estate sale for my 250. Unfortunately this is the only photo that came out.” Bottom right: “The lost woods.” Photo #12 by Sérgio Bernardino & #13 by Lauren Treece & #14 by Bernat Casero

On a misty morning in Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu, IN

On a misty morning in Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu, IN. Photo #15 by Vinoth Chandar

Ghost rider in the mist & Grandma's Old Forest in Holland

Left: Ghost rider in the mist; Early morning Shotover Estate, Oxford. Right: Grandma’s Old Forest in Holland. Photo #16 by net_efekt & # 17 by Jan-Joost Verhoef

more a haunted wood then a graveyard

“If you go down to the woods today…Highgate Cemetery in North London – more a haunted wood then a graveyard, but a very cool place.” Photo #18 by James Hill

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Photo #19 by Paul Stocker

Spooky, Lovecraftian Greyfriars woods in Dunwich, Suffolk

Lovecraftian Greyfriars Woods in Dunwich, Suffolk. In case you don’t know, H. P. Lovecraft lived from August 1890 – March 1937. He “is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted ‘an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction.’ Stephen King called Lovecraft ‘the 20th century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.’ King has even made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King’s own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing.” Photo #20 by Olly Clarke

Spooky Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire & Old forest path (spooky edition)

Left: Spooky Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. Right: Old Forest Path (Spooky edition). Photo #21 by Nic Trott & #22 by DigitAl3x

Deep in the spookily named Devilla Forest is located near Kincardine in Scotland

Both the name and folklore comes into play in this forest. The photographer wrote, “The spookily named Devilla Forest is located near Kincardine in Scotland. The name Devilla is said to come from the Gaelic ‘dubh’ and ‘eilean’ meaning ‘black island.’ In and around this forest there are ruined farm houses, a mausoleum and a stone circle.” Photo #23 by Cecil Gumwich

First Ghost films, woods in Lockerbie, Scotland

First Ghost films thought this creepy woods in Lockerbie, Scotland, was a place to shoot a movie. Photo #24 by Siobhan Harvey

Foggy woods -- Can you feel the silence between the trees

Foggy woods. “Can you feel the silence between the trees?” Photo #25 by (a)artwork

Surreal, creepy boardwalk at Blue Hills Reservation & Somewhere in the Sintra forest

Left: Surreal, creepy Ponkapoag Pond Boardwalk at Blue Hills Reservation, Milton, MA. Right: Haunted, somewhere in the Sintra woods, Portugal. Photo #26 by Troy B. Thompson & #27 by João Almeida

Dark Woods in Switzerland, the wolves were here

Dark woods in Switzerland. Be it for creepy effect or truth, this photo was tagged with “the wolves were here.” Photo #28 by Bill Liao

Enchanted forest or UFO in the woods of Scotland

Enchanted forest or UFO in the woods of Scotland? Photo #29 by Tom Parnell

Distance, this foggy wooded scene was tagged as dark, scary

Until it sleeps … this foggy wooded scene was tagged as dark, scary, distance. Photo #30 by Chantel Beam

Unexplained spooky fog & Eerie shortcut through the woods

Left: “I wonder why this sort of spooky fog appears in two of my recent photos. On both occasions I took a few photos right after the foggy one and experimented with breathing just in case it’s my steamy breath caught by the flash but the other photos were just normal.” Right: Shortcut, long memory, an eerie path through the woods. Photo #31 by sparkleice & #32 by Kit (practicalowl)

Creepy caboose in the middle of the woods

Creepy caboose in the middle of wooded nowhere. All aboard the crazy train? Photo #33 by Carey Jones

Cape Breton National Park, Canada

You go first. Cape Breton National Park, Canada. Photo #34 by jgbernard

Fright night, Dark heart of the forest, a pitchfork in the path, like a scary movie

Fright night, fight or flight kicks in. Top left: “The Dark Heart (of the Forest).” Top right: “A Fork In A Path. So, I went out into the nearby woods, of which they say they’d be haunted by huge forks… Dangerous it would be, no doubt. ‘Never leave the paths!’, they advise, and that’s fine with me. After all, the quest is to shoot one in the path, anyway, not in the thickets or swamps.” The bottom photos were likened to a “scary movie.” Photo #35 by Alexander Boden & #36 by Andreas L & #37 by BdwayDiva1 & #38 by BdwayDiva1

Groombridge - Enchanted Forest, UK

It would be a surreal if not a scary experience to come upon this Indian head in the forest. “Groombridge – Enchanted Forest, UK.” Photo #39 by Shaun Dunmall

Haunted forest in Barcelona Spain

“Haunted forest” in Barcelona, Spain. Photo #40 by Ramon Llorensi

Sinister abandoned chapel in the woods, deep in the Adirondack Mountains, ghost trailer, kid running scared from the woods

Left: The photographer said, “Sinister abandoned chapel in the woods, deep in the Adirondack Mountains, Upstate NY. The wind whispered softly…join us…join ussss…..” Right top: “Ghost trailer.” The running kid is saying, “I didn’t like what I found in there.” Photo #41 by George Foster & #42 by City of Bellevue, WA & #43 by Graham Reznick

lost in mist and foggy forest in England

What if you were “lost” in the mist in England? Photo #44 by Paul Friel

Lost In The Forest

“Lost In The Forest.” Photo #45 by David Reece

Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

Could you imagine being alone and navigating Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon? Isn’t that where Big Foot allegedly roams? Photo #47 by McD22

eerie mist in the Sintra forest of Portugal, foggy dark path thru the woods

Left: Eerie mist in the Sintra forest of Portugal. Right: “On A Dark Trail.” The photographer added, “Incredible: just two month after I took this picture the forest was blown away by gale ‘Kyrill’.” Photo #48 by João Almeida & #49 by Alexander Boden

Orb in Fowler Hollow State Park Pennsylvania

“Orb,” says the photographer. “This orb was taken along Fowler Hollow Run in Fowler Hollow State Park Pennsylvania and is the first orb picture I ever took. You can see by the angle of the shadows and the light on the trees that it is not sunlight poking through the trees because the sun was off to the right of the picture. For the life of me, I can’t remember what compelled me to take the picture originally but I am certain I could not see the orb with my naked eye.” Photo #50 by farkus888

misty mystical forest -- the national park near sutherland in sydney

“Misty Mystical Forest — the national park near Sutherland in Sydney, one of my favorite haunts… those fantasy creatures are hiding behind the bush and the river disappears into the mist.” Photo #51 by ☻☺

Haunted forest

“Haunted forest. Best viewed large, in dark room, with some garlic handy ;)” Photo #52 by hermox

the pumpkin king haunted forest Vermont

The Pumpkin King, haunted forest, Vermont. Photo #53 by Rob Friesel

Sometimes I’m in the woods…

“Sometimes I’m in the woods…”. Photo #54 by Bernhard Benke

The spooky Woods Of Skåne

The spooky Woods Of Skåne. Photo #55 by Erik

The Greenhouse Effect in Silverton Oregon

“The Greenhouse Effect in Silverton Oregon.” The photographer added, “There’s something about old decaying buildings, especially when they’re clothed in moss and weeds.” Photo #56 by Ian Sane

Shadows in the gloomy mist of a haunted forest

Shadows in the gloomy mist. This was also tagged as “haunted.” Photo #57 by João Almeida

Dark forest in Wales

Dark forest in Wales. Photo #58 by Marc Dominianni

Misty Sunrise (sans zombies)

“Misty Sunrise (sans zombies).” Photo #59 by Rick Harrison

spooky fairy tale woods

Spooky fairy tale. Photo #60 by botterli

Projekt 52 - Geheime Orte

Would you walk into the darkness of the woods alone? “Projekt 52 – Geheime Orte.” Photo #61 by Konna E

Haunted woods, taken at Hoar Cross National Forest, Leicestershire

Tagged as “Haunted woods,” taken at Hoar Cross National Forest, Leicestershire. Photo #62 by Kwan Cheung

If you go down to the woods today...Holga, UK

“If you go down to the woods today…” Holga, UK. Photo #63 by Carl Jones

dark and spooky near Simonsbath on Exmoor

Dark and spooky near Simonsbath on Exmoor. Photo #64 by Jon Bowen

Enchanted forest

Enchanted forest. Photo #65 by Signor DeFazio

Then again, other times being alone in the woods is more spectacular than spooky

Then again, more often than not, being alone in the woods is more spectacular than spooky. Photo #66 by Marty Desilets


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