On a road trip between Chicago, Illinois and Chattanooga, Tennessee, we took a detour into Cave City, Kentucky. Cave City is a crazy anomaly of a town, full of American wonders. They had everything from a motel shaped like a teepee to a dinosaur park to cave exploration to a wax museum. Unfortunately, Cave City had way too many attractions to pack into a short stopover, and we didn’t have too much time to scope everything out, but we definitely took a peek around town and caught some of the highlights, starting with Big Mike’s Mystery House.
Big Mike’s Mystery House is one of many rock/gift shops in the area (and believe me, we passed several rock/gift shops on the tiny stretch to get there). Inside are typical gift shop fares mixed in amongst a mosasaur fossil dubbed “Big Mo” (outside is a life size replica).
But this gift shop has one thing that the others can’t top: a mystery house.
We paid our $1.06 admission at the gift shop and our tour guide, Alex, brought us through to explore the wonderment.
The first room is full of posters. You know the things: the sentence that has an extra “the” that you completely ignore, the drawing of the two hands drawing each other, the staircases that you can’t tell which way was up, etc. etc. The second room was black light posters. Totally psychedelic man.
But then it was on to the good stuff. As we stepped into the next room we already felt completely off balance, were toppling over, and were hardly able to stand straight. The gravity was definitely off its mark. On one end of the room was a water fountain and as the water poured it continued to run UPWARDS on the trough. On the other end of the room was a wooden beam with pool balls that rolled UPWARDS and sat at the top of the incline.
Against the back wall, Alex propped up a chair that floated against the wall. I sat in it and floated as well. He had us try to walk a straight line and none of us could do it.
The next room had a little blue room jutting out so that it looked like it was a vortex that manifested out of nowhere. When you stood, one person on one end and another on the other, you looked either really short or really tall . There was also a ledge in the room that looked like it was on a severely severe angle, but when you stand on it, for once, you feel completely centered and balanced. It was apparently, actually, the only level thing in the room.
Finally, Alex led us past an alien and through a wall of portraits whose eyes moved to watch you pass or whose face turned from normal to scary as you passed. We tipped our tour guide Alex, thanked him for exposing us to the wonders of the mystery house, and were on our way.
I don’t think spending a buck anywhere else has ever been so worth it.
Site: Big Mike’s Mystery House
Location: 566 Old Mammoth Cave Road, Cave City, KY 42127
Admission: $1.06 (but don’t forget to tip your tour guide at the end)
Date: October 27, 2007