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JULY 19, 2010 7:15AM

Mystery House and Other Weird Stuff in Kentucky

Rate: 5 Flag
For this year’s vacation, we decided to see Kentucky.  We got the book Weird Kentucky.

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.

eric funhouse rotated a

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.

mystery house size1a

Then she instructed them to trade places.

mysteryhouse size2a

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.

mystery house upside down-a

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.

mysteryhouse 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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I love stuff like this.
We've got this book - it is a GREAT read!

I remember many years ago when I worked in CT and took a week to come home. After I returned one of my co-workers who I knew only very casually asked me where I had gone for my vacation. I told her KY and she laughed a bit condescendingly and said, "Why in the world would anyone want to go to KY?" I shrugged and said, "Well, I don't know why anyone else might, but I like to go back and visit my family."

Boy, did she look sheepish!

Glad you enjoyed your trip!
I like this too. I need to find one near me.
I love caves and fun houses. Nice post. I love your Haiku on my comments as well.
What a fun post! I read and rated this an hour ago, and commented at that time, but the comment didn't work. Maybe my computer is acting weird because I was reading about the Mystery House, because another comment posted twice, and this one wouldn't post at all.