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70Years of Intrigue

Mystery Hill By Jan Todd

Y’ever seen rattlesnake eggs?” asked were the ones that discovered the natu- in a tree, and it took more force to push 70-year old Wayne Underwood, as ral gravitational anomaly. They didn’t it one way than it did the other.” Matthew continued, “One day, Mr. know what it was, but they knew there he welcomed me to Mystery Hill. “I can’t say that I have,” I replied, as he was something strange going on out in Hudson was out working in the orchard and sat down to rest. He handed me a small packet. noticed that two of his “They’re safe,” he asworkers, twin brothers, sured me. “They’ve been were standing on one of the frozen, so they won’t new platforms he’d built hatch. Some people take for cider pressing. As he ‘em for their heart.” glanced at the brothers, he I opened the packet, noticed that one appeared and immediately dropped to be about six inches taller it as it vibrated in my than his brother, who was hand and emitted a rather standing on the other side alarming rattling sound. of the press. Mr. Hudson Wayne doubled over knew that the twins were laughing, and asked, “So in fact almost the same how’s your heart?” exact height, and he also He has probably pulled knew that the platform that gag hundreds, no, was level, because he’d just thousands of times on visibuilt it. Mr. Hudson veritors to Mystery Hill, and The original Mystery Hill, which became an iconic tourist attraction fied both facts, and after evidently it never gets old in Blowing Rock, was built by William F. Hudson in 1954. a round of experiments, for him! Wayne has spent proved that anyone who most of his life working at this iconic attraction in Blowing Rock, the orchard. They knew that when they stood on one end of the platform apspinning tales of natural anomalies and walked through this particular section of peared to be taller than they did on the intriguing tourists with optical illusions, the hillside, they’d feel a little bit dizzy other end. He could look at people on magical experiences, and feats of pure and lightheaded. They knew that strange the platform from any angle, any spot things happened; the apples fell and and the same thing was true.” science. “So there were several weird things, landed on the upper path instead of the That’s right, science. I admit that until recently, I thought lower path below the tree, like you’d ex- with no explanation. Then one day, Mr. that Mystery Hill was simply a roadside pect. They had an old tire swing hanging Hudson saw a Life Magazine article about a place in Santa Cruz, Calicuriosity full of gimmicks. But then fornia that had occurrences similar I learned that there is solid science to what was happening in his orin them there hills! chard. He was excited to find out Wayne’s son, Matthew, the more, and so the Hudsons ended up third generation of Underwoods taking a trip to California to see the to run Mystery Hill, told me the place and learn what they could.” story. “Mystery Hill started out While in California, the Hudas the old Hudson Apple Orchard, sons found out that there were which was run from the 1920’s several other places in the world through the 1940’s. The Hudsons 80

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