The fastest route from California’s Mt. Shasta over to the coast is a loop through southern Oregon. Having only driven quickly through Oregon once, many many years ago, I figured that I needed to find somewhere interesting to visit during my short jaunt through the state. When I saw the signs along I-5 for the House of Mystery, I knew I had found my type of place. The House of Mystery and Oregon Vortex is a bit off of the beaten path, but easy to find following the road signs.

The House of Mystery sits in the Oregon Vortex, a place where there is a whirlpool of force that makes strange things happen. I’m not sure I completely understand the phenomena, which is probably why this place is a Mystery.

A posted sign tries to explain the Oregon Vortex.

The Mystery House was an Assay Office built in 1904 which slid off of it’s foundation in the early teens. The odd angles, along with the vortex, make strange things happen here. Walking through this house was a challenge for my old legs!

The Mystery House at the Oregon Vortex

The Mystery House can only be visited by taking a short tour, where your tour guide will describe the properties of the house and show you some amazing feats. Oddly, an old soda bottle and a golf ball seemingly rolling uphill. There is one spot within the house that is a level platform, if you stand there, you unknowingly lean into the vortex. Here, while people find it hard to stand without holding on the the railings, straw brooms stand on their own.

The music from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice gets stuck in my head.

The platform just outside the house is proven to be level. Here people visibly grow taller or shrink depending on which side of the platform they are standing on. There is no filming allowed while on the tour. 🙁  I’m so bummed I wasn’t able to get a video clip of this phenomena,  since watching the transformation happen is straight out of the Twilight Zone.

A ball and chain demonstrate the tilt of the house but it really slightly leans into the Vortex.

The Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery is an easy side trip if you are traveling along I-5 in Southern Oregon, so be sure to stop the next time you are in the area. I would love to visit this place again, because I still don’t quite understand! 🙂


For information on the Oregon Vortex and “World Famous” House of Mystery visit their Website.

To see full sized photos from this story, check out my Gallery.

Leave a Comment