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The Oregon Vortex is a roadside attraction located in Gold Hill, Oregon, in the United States. It consists of a number of interesting effects, which are gravity hill optical illusions,[citation needed] but which the attraction's proprietors propose are the result of paranormal properties of the area.[1] It is located at 42°29′35″N 123°05′06″W / 42.49313°N 123.085113°W / 42.49313; -123.085113Coordinates: 42°29′35″N 123°05′06″W / 42.49313°N 123.085113°W / 42.49313; -123.085113.

The Oregon Vortex
Entering the Oregon Vortex (6275492718).jpg
Nearest cityGold Hill, Oregon U.S.
Coordinates42°29′35″N 123°05′06″W / 42.49313°N 123.085113°W / 42.49313; -123.085113


Prior to any construction of the area, local legend had it that Native Americans in the area referred to the site as a "forbidden" land, and travelers passing through would often find their horses refusing to go through the area.[2]

A gold assay office was built in the area in 1904, which slid from its foundation in the early tens, coming to rest at an odd angle. Odd angles seem to create an illusion of objects seemingly rolling uphill. The same effect can be seen in The Montana Vortex and house of mystery, Pennsylvania's Laurel Caverns, and at Santa Cruz, California's Mystery Spot. Oregon Vortex is also famous for "height change" as the apparent relative height of two people varies, depending on where each stands.[3] Most people[who?] believe that this effect is due to a distorted background that induces a forced perspective, as with an Ames room,[4] but this has been ruled out by taking readings with a stick.[clarification needed] The Oregon site also appears to exhibit phenomena similar to those perceived by visitors at the mystery spot located outside St. Ignace in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

In popular cultureEdit

  • The site was investigated on a second season episode of the SyFy reality show Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, and although there seemed to be a small debate between the show's investigators over the "height change" phenomenon, they ultimately concluded that overall, all of the effects demonstrated were optical illusions.[5]
  • It was also mentioned on season 3, episode 11 ("Mystery Spot"), of The CW's Supernatural by Jared Padalecki's character, Sam Winchester.[6]
  • It is alluded to by one of the places that can be visited in the game Sam & Max Hit the Road. One of the locations that can be visited in the game is called Mystery Vortex and is located roughly at the position of the Oregon Vortex on the in-game map of the United States.
  • In The X-Files an "Oregon Vortex" is mentioned in episode five of season seven, "Rush".
  • The Mystery Shack in the Disney TV show Gravity Falls was modeled after the Oregon Vortex.[citation needed]
  • On their Season 15 premiere episode of Ghost Adventures, "Golden Ghost Town", the Ghost Adventures Crew visited the location in order to ask why rituals are happening in the forests surrounding the Golden area and by extension, near the vortex and get an understanding on how ley lines work.
  • On the Season 15, episode 10 episode of ‘’Mysteries at the Museum’’, hosted by Don Wildman and airing on The Travel Channel, explores a theory that the non-level angles of the floor actually warps visitors’ depth perceptions and cause headaches as well as nausea. This explanation could possibly account for objects appearing to defy gravity and the house’s ability to distort people’s heights.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hauck, Dennis (1996). Haunted Places: The National Directory : A Guidebook to Ghostly Abodes, Sacred Sites, UFO Landings, and Other Supernatural Locations. Penguin. p. 344. ISBN 978-0-14200-234-6.
  2. ^ Weeks, Andy. Haunted Oregon: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Beaver State. Stackpole Books. pp. 59–61.
  3. ^ Oregon Vortex official website. Retrieved December 2008.
  4. ^ Oregon No-Vortex Retrieved December 2008.
  5. ^ Butler, Grant (June 20, 2012). "'Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files' investigates Oregon Vortex: Optical illusions or unexplained mysteries?". Oregon Live. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Supernatural. Season 3. The CW.

External linksEdit