Oregon Vortex

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This article is about the location in the U.S. state of Oregon. For the 1970 rock music festival, see Vortex I.
The Oregon Vortex
Entering the Oregon Vortex (6275492718).jpg
Nearest city Gold Hill, Oregon U.S.
Coordinates 42°29′35″N 123°05′06″W / 42.49313°N 123.085113°W / 42.49313; -123.085113

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, 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.


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 teens, 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 relative height of the two people changes varying on where they stand.[3] Most people believe this effect happens due to a distorted background which results in a forced perspective, as with an Ames room.[4] It also shares similar properties with the mystery spot located outside St.Ignace in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

In popular culture[edit]

  • 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]
  • Moreover, 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 during the season seven episode number five "Rush".
  • The Mystery Shack in the TV show "Gravity Falls" was modeled after the Oregon Vortex.


  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 But they rule out background with angle changes using a stick. 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 links[edit]