If you believed the house you were living in was haunted would you flee town or would you try to accommodate your house for your ghostly guest? Me myself I would run and never come back, however one woman by the name of Sarah Winchester decided that she would provide accommodation for her ghostly visitors in her whole seven story mansion.
Back when I was in middle school me and my grandma was watching the discovery channel and a piece came on in which they were talking about this bizarre mystery house, we were living in the bay area at the time and my grandma became very interested they were now doing tours of the house in San Jose California and she wanted to take me and my mom. The house was rumored to be haunted so I didn’t really want any parts of that trip, I ended up getting fooled into taking the trip anyway.
Only $13.90 / page
This was by far the most bizarre place I have ever been too.
Before I talk about my trip however I should give you a little history lesson on who Sarah Winchester was. The Winchester mystery house is a mansion in San Jose California; it was once the personal residence Of Sarah Winchester the widow of the gun making tycoon William Wirt Winchester. Winchester rifles were known as the “guns that won the west”. Sarah and William Winchester had first lived in Boston in the late 1800’s, their only child died as an infant and not long after Sarah Winchesters husband William had died of a sickness. As you can imagine Sarah Winchester went into a deep depression.
She kept to herself and she became very interested in the spirit world, In fact she believed that ghost had killed both her husband and her daughter. Now to start with the creepy stuff, legend says during a seance she communicated with her husband on the “other side” when I say other side I mean she was talking to her dead husband William Winchester. During their “talk” he gave her some advice on how to protect herself from the evil spirits of American Indians, Civil War soldiers and others killed by Winchester rifles that took the lives of both him and their daughter.
During their talk her husband instructed her to move west and make a house that would accommodate for the spirits. Here’s the trippy part as long as construction of the house never ceased Sarah Winchester could rest assured that her life was not in danger. So move west she did she found an old farm house and turned it into a mansion, the house was continually being constructed on in fact there were changes made to the house every single day for 38 years until the day she died. Of course money was no issue to Mrs.
Winchester the rifle business had her pretty much rich forever, during the tour I remember the tour guide saying she made around a thousand dollars a day, so the cost of construction was really no issue. This woman may have been crazy but she had very exquisite taste, her house was very beautiful, bizarre but very beautiful. The was mahogany and marble everywhere, statues, a ballroom and 3 elevators, even a elevator that moved horizontally instead of vertically, different right? But there are reasons for everything this woman did to her house as I found out during the tour of the house.
The tour guide told us that she would leave it up to us to decide why Winchester really built the house in the manner she did, but if we really wanted to understand the bizarre in her then you would have to understand that Sarah Winchester believed spirits were always around her and she believed that she was in tune with the spirit world. She also told us to not stray away from the group or that we could get lost for hours. The house contains many features that were used to trap or confuse spirits.
To get around the house you need a map, the house was big enough to be an apartment complex and was built very bizarrely. There were stairways that led to the ceiling, door that would open to brick walls or different staircases, in one case, while we were on the 3rd floor the tour guide opened a door that led to the outside air. There aren’t any mirrors in the huge mansion because Winchester believed ghosts were afraid of their own reflection. During the tour it got really creepy when the tour told us we were headed to the seance room and that it would take us about 10 to 15 minutes to get there.
Sarah Winchester was very paranoid and she didn’t want any bad spirits to follow her to her private seance room, so the route to the room was like a maze. We would be walking through a to a door in the door in the middle of this hallway, open the door and it’s a widow to climb through that leads to a staircase that leads to another hallway. Suddenly during the tour I remember the tour guide saying “get ready for this”. She pushed a button and a panel flew back towards us she stepped on it and glided over from one side of the
complex of her house another, after she waited for us too all glide over she opened a window in that side of the house and we all climbed through not to the open air but to another descending staircase that led to a door to a upwards stair case on the same level as before, all inside the house. Finally we got to a hallway that led to a door that was the seance room. We could not go into the room however in fact there were many rooms in the house that were not to be viewed by the public, that made things just that more creepy to me.
Sarah Winchester was such a recluse that when the president of the United States Theodore “Teddy Roosevelt came to visit her mansion, no one opened the front door for her. In fact the very expensive mahogany door was only used once by Mrs. Winchester the day it was installed. Not much is known of this women because she kept to herself she moved away from her family and did not keep in contact with her , she didn’t even keep a journal so no one really knows what was going on in this woman’s head. That’s what makes it so interesting to me, creep and bizarre but by far the most interesting place I have ever been still.