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Are You Prepared For Oregon's House Of Mystery?

By Andrew Regan

Some debates are everlasting: since the dawn of time, people have tried to establish whether paranormal activity exists in the world. This burning passion for the unexplained has been enshrined in popular culture: from the Twilight Zone to The X Files, we have seen alien and unearthly events being dissected from all sorts of angles, but we have still reached no firm conclusions about their origins. However, there are actual sites of so-called paranormal activity where evidence seems so irrefutable that even the most die-hard sceptics are tested. One of these sites is Oregon's House of Mystery.

The House of Mystery is a roadside attraction in Gold Hill, Oregon, located to the north west of the town of Medford. The house itself was built in 1904 by the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company. First used as a gold assay office and then for tool storage, it is situated in the famous Oregon Vortex, a region so well-known for its paranormal qualities that it was featured in an episode of The X Files in 1999. The Oregon Vortex is renowned for its unnatural events: it is said that the laws of physics are temporarily abandoned in the area, which first opened to visitors in 1939. Objects are said to defy laws of gravity, brooms stand vertically unsupported, balls can roll uphill and the laws of perspective appear dramatically altered. Some visitors even claim to find relief from backache in the Vortex, and its powers are said to be strongest when the moon is full.

Yet sceptics have found natural reasons for this so-called paranormal activity. Some critics say that when the House of Mystery was a gold assay office, it slid from its foundations, settling at an odd angle, although this claim has been disputed. Visitors to the house assume that its foundations are normal, and thus the events that occur in it seem to have somehow sidestepped gravity. Yet there are fatal flaws in this argument: John Litser, a former owner of the property who died in 1959, apparently carried out detailed tests and investigations on the activities in the Oregon Vortex, and allegedly burned his findings, screaming, "The world is not ready for this." Some of these notes survive, however, and are sold in pamphlets at the House of Mystery gift shop: in them he argues the existence of an actual vortex in the region, which affects a circular area measuring 165 feet, 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Proven vortex or not, however, the House of Mystery provides the perfect forum to demonstrate its quirks and abnormalities to a wide audience.

The Oregon Vortex is only one among a variety of mystery spots in the world. As well as the Bermuda Triangle, perhaps the most legendary example, other mystery spots include Pennsylvania's Laurel Caverns, also known as Gravity Hill, California's Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, and the Mystery Vortex in Hungry Horse, Montana. These sites of paranormal activity are certainly best appreciated in comparison with one another; a tour of America's mystery spots, for instance, would be an ideal holiday for the aspiring mystery solver. By joining a hotel honours rewards scheme with wide benefits, such as Hilton Honours, this multi-stop travel can still be value for money, and you can extend your mystery solving impulse to all corners of the country.

Andrew Regan is an online journalist who enjoys socialising at his local Edinburgh rugby club.

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