‘Vortex’ house on ‘forbidden land’ where ‘balls roll uphill and folk get taller’

A roadside attraction where basic rules of physics appear to stop is so strange that tourists flock there in their droves.

The Oregon Vortex was researched by geologist, mining engineer and physicist John Litster back in 1920 and was opened up to the public in 1930.

The area, for many years before its development, had been known as the "forbidden land” by Native Americans communities.

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Some 80 years later, the vortex continues to stun visitors because of its lack of adherence to the basic rules of physics.

People are said to appear taller or shorter, objects such as balls and even water can be seen to roll uphill, and some objects look bigger or smaller depending on where they are.

Among the weird things which happen there, it has also been claimed that horses don’t go into the affected area. This theory was trialed on Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files and was proven to be correct, the horses refused to go into the area.

Inside the 'vortex' lies the 'House of Mystery, originally built as an office for a mining company Old Grey Eagle Mining Company in 1904.

While the company stopped mining gold in the area in 1911, Litster took to the nearly collapsed home in 1914 where he would conduct his own research on the vortex.

The house appears to have sunken into the ground at an angle and those pictured in it, although standing straight up, appear to be stood at an angle.

He named the land the “Vortex” as he believed an invisible sphere surrounding the area created a “whirlpool” of unexplainable force.

Despite performing thousands of experiments in the area over the years prior to his death in 1959, he never solved the mystery.

He compiled several theories he had about the vortex’s origin from warped atoms, electromagnets, and even an underground super-machine that was left behind by prehistoric aliens.

Over the years many people have put forward their theories over the years as to why strange things happen in the Oregon Vortex.

According to the tourist attraction's website: “As another person, on a level platform, recedes from you towards the magnetic south, they appear taller. When they approach you, coming towards the magnetic north, they become shorter. This is contrary to the laws of perspective, as we know it, and must be seen to be believed.”

However, not everyone believes in the mystery, with many people instead suggesting the odd phenomena at the house are simply the product of optical illusions.

The idea of a 'gravity hill' optical illusion is that, because of the layout of the surrounding land, a downhill slope appears to be uphill – so when balls roll, they appear to roll in reverse to what you would expert.

Mathematician Philip Gibbs said: "There are several things that enable us to sense which way is up. The balance mechanism in our inner ears is one system we have, but visual clues are also important and can be overriding.

"If the horizon cannot be seen or is not level, then we may be fooled by objects that we expect to be vertical but that really are not.

"False perspective might also play a role. If trees in a line get larger or smaller with distance, our sense of perspective is thrown off. Objects far away may seem smaller or larger than they really are."


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