The Intriguing Oregon Vortex and the House of Mystery
Oregon's House of Mystery Published: 5:35 PM - 2-2-11

Oregon Vortex - Gold Hill, Oregon

The Mystery:

Measuring 165 feet in diameter and known for producing intense feelings of vertigo, this curious site in southern Oregon has attracted visitors since the 1930s.

Here, balls roll uphill, brooms stand on end, and people appear to grow and shrink inside its centerpiece, a former gold mining outpost called the "House of Mystery."


Whether caused by gravity anomalies, a concentration in the Earth’s magnetic fields, or paranormal presence, the Vortex’s strange phenomena is well documented, and animals still refuse to enter its sphere.

Native Americans referred to it as Forbidden Ground.

The Oregon Vortex is a spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below the ground.

The word "vortex" simply means a whirpool of force, like a whirling mass of water, especially one in which a force of suction operates, such as a whirlpool or a whirling mass of air, especially one in the form of a visible column or spiral, such as a tornado.

A vortex, essentially a whirlpool of force, is the basic form of our universe.

From our galaxy, whose vortex form we see as the countless suns of the Milky Way, throughout the gravitational vortex of our solar system, down to the vortex of an atom, the vortex form recurs throughout our world structure.

The Phenomena that gives The Oregon Vortex its name are evident throughout the entire area.

Nowhere in the circle do you normally stand erect. Inevitably the visitor assumes a posture that inclines toward magnetic north.

The corona of The Vortex, as well as the minor vortices, discovered during the continuous study of The Vortex, are among the unique phenomena to be observed here.

As another person, on a level platform, recedes from you towards magnetic south, they appear taller. When they approach you, coming towards magnetic north, they become shorter. This is contrary to the laws of perspective, as we know it, and must be seen to be believed.

Height Comparision

Height Comparision

History of the Vortex

The House of Mystery itself was originally an assay office and later used for tool storage, built by the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company in 1904.

But the history of the surrounding area, The Oregon Vortex, goes way back to the time of the Native Americans. Their horses would not come into the affected area, so they wouldn't. The Native Americans called the area the "Forbidden Ground", a place to be shunned.

Many years before The House of Mystery was built it was noted that unusual conditions existed there. But it was not until well into the 20th century that any effort was made toward a scientific analysis of the disturbance.

John Litster, a geologist, mining engineer, and physicist, developed the area in the early 1920's and opened it to the public in 1930.

He conducted thousands of experiments within the Vortex until his death in 1959. He was born in Alva, Scotland on April 30, 1886 a son of a British Foreign Diplomat.

The Cooper family has run a business at the Oregon Vortex for more than 40 years, and every year it draws thousands of tourists, mystics, psychics, scientists and those obsessed with the unexplainable.

The vortex is billed as a mysterious point where some laws of physics are temporarily suspended as the result of a confluence of magnetic fields.

The owner, Maria D. Cooper, and the other tour guides say the vortex makes objects defy gravity and other laws of nature. Balls roll uphill, brooms stand on end and people appear dramatically taller or shorter as they switch places.

Some people even visit the vortex because they find relief there for their back pain, Ms. Cooper said.

"It's a unique piece of land and we don't really know what makes it all happen," she said. "It is strongest when the moon is full.

Mysterious 'Leaning' Effect

Edited by Brenda Booth

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