this is one of those totally kitschy tourist traps that is so hilarious it’s kind of amazing.
the mystery spot kept popping up whenever i searched for things to do in and around santa cruz, and i decided to take my parents there without telling them anything about where we were going. i’m so glad i did, too, because it made the visit so much more interesting.
there’s really no good way to describe the mystery spot except to say it was like no place i’ve ever been before. located in the woods outside santa cruz, the mystery spot is home to a number of unexplainable phenomena.
the story goes that a man wanted to buy a flat patch of land and the lumber company that owned the land would only sell to him if he agreed to buy the hills surrounding it. he did, not heeding their warnings that mysterious things happened in there, and proceeded to build a small house on the hill.
and that’s where things get weird.
the house slowly slid down the hill, eventually stopping on the incline one day, even though nothing held it in place. it still stands today and is the focal point for the guided tours that are on offer at the mystery spot.
during the tour guides demonstrate a number of ways the entire attraction maintains its mystery. things that appear level are not. balls spin the opposite of the way they’re supposed to. lots of things about the place are unexplainable, and it’s all very bizarre and – wait for it – mysterious.
visiting the mystery spot was a fun little detour on our drive from monterey to santa cruz, and it’s worth the stop if you’re not in a hurry.
things to know:
- taking the tour requires walking up and down a pretty steep grade. there are handrails to use, but a few parts of it are pretty challenging. it can also be a little disorienting to stand on the grades for a long time, especially if you are prone to motion sickness
- wear closed toe shoes
- the people who work there fully embrace the weirdness of the mystery spot. be prepared for lots of puns and other ridiculousness. in other words, i loved it
- it’s pretty deep in the woods, so you won’t have phone signal or gps once you turn off the main road
- the tour takes about 45 minutes, but there is a self-guided walking trail nearby as well
now go forth and embrace the mystery.