The drive to the Vortex
The drive to the Vortex
Located on the Rogue River
Located on the Rogue River
View 1, take note...
View 1, take note...
View 2, see the switch and height difference?
View 2, see the switch and height difference?

By Bonnie Glidewell

August 17, 2012

The Oregon Vortex and location of the House of Mystery sits just outside of the quaint town of Gold Hill. This area, also known as the heart of the gold country, is located right on the Rogue River. It is open every day, and seven days a week starting March 1st through October 31st. For a very reasonable price, you can visit this world famous mystery yourself!

According to the House of Mystery website, which you need to visit yourself at www.oregonvortex.com“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 was a geologist, mining engineer, and physicist. He 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, son of a British Foreign Diplomat.”

What is it you ask?

“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 or 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.”

Last week, I had the pleasure of taking my own tour with Toshiya Kikuchi, the Editor of Globetrotter Travel Guidebook in Japan and Greg Eckhart, the Global Sales-Asia rep from Travel Oregon/Oregon Tourism Commission while on their jam-packed Southern Oregon tour. Elena Copper, our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and charismatic as always. I say this like I have had her before as a guide and I have. Growing up in Gold Hill and living in the Rogue Valley for almost 30 years, I think I have been to the House of Mystery a dozen times or so and not once has it been dull. It still remains a mystery to me!

Elena, and her adorable baby girl (yes, I said baby who was our second tour guide while riding along in the moby wrap) took us through a series of tests and demonstrations in order to give us the full effect of the vortex. As you can see from the pictures, this is not your typical house. The actual House of Mystery itself was built in 1904 by the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company as an assay office and tool-shed. This company stopped mining gold in 1911. A few years later this assay office slid off of its foundation on an angle and has been that way ever since. It was not until 1930 that it became known as The House of Mystery. One of the phenomena’s that happens at the Vortex are you can actually see and take pictures of the change in height, as seen in the pictures I have provided from my tour. When you have the pictures developed you can even measure the difference in height on the pictures. I would love to tell you more but this is something you need to see and experience yourself. While you are at it, make sure and check out the rest of these photos in our Facebook album dedicated to this attraction.