Monday, July 19, 2010

Mystery House and Other Weird Stuff in Kentucky

For this year’s vacation, we decided to see Kentucky.  We got the book Weird Kentucky.

Weird Kentucky: Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

The weird book people have books for most states. 

Mammoth Cave is beyond weird.  It’s amazing. It’s gorgeous. I couldn’t see the whole thing if I had nothing else to do in my lifetime.

Near Mammoth Cave is a Mystery House.  Dozens of these Optical Illusion Houses were built during the Great Depression. Most of them are on the west coast.  I was delighted to find one in the midwest.  

The first several rooms were art galleries, surreal posters by Escher, Dali and other geniuses of fooling the eye.  One room was filled with paintings that glowed in ultra violet light.  

In the room after that, nothing was straight or level. Water flowed up hill. Balls rolled up hill. And it took major concentration to walk what appeared to be a straight line.  Corners aren’t square, vertical is not straight up and level is sloped.  Here’s a picture of a man who appears to be leaning forward at an impossible angle, but he’s actually standing straight in a skewed room.

In another room, our guide directed a short person to go to the right side of the room and a tall person to go to the left.

Then she instructed them to trade places.

In the next room, one tiny section of floor appeared to be a steep slope, but our guide assured us that this floor was the only level section in the whole building.  I couldn’t resist, and placed the towel I was carrying on the floor and stood on my head.  It took several tries because I felt disoriented while attempting the inversion.  Perhaps you can see why.

After that we entered a mirror fun house, and finally we had to choose from 3 doors to exit. Only one of them worked, and it wasn’t the one with the light seeping through.

The Mystery House is near Mammoth Cave.

Big Mike's Rock House
566 Old Mammoth Cave Road
Cave City, KY 42127
Fax: 270-773-2923

You can get in free with a coupon.

I highly recommend supporting the store. They have a good selection of postcards and fridge magnets, as well as a huge collection of unusual rocks.  There’s also a tip jar at the exit to the Mystery House.  The guide deserves a tip.

Between nature and imagination, KY definitely qualifies as a great weird vacation.  We didn’t even get to all the weird spots we wanted to see.

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