The Winchester Mystery House lies quietly in San Jose, California. The mansion is estimated to have 160 rooms although some have been covered up. The Victorian style abode was home to Sarah Winchester, the wife of William Winchester, distributer of Winchester guns. The Winchester house was under construction from 1884-1922. It was listed under the National Register of Historic Places in August 1974.
After the death of her daughter in 1866 and the death of her husband in 1881, Mrs. Winchester moved to California to build a home. Sarah believed that spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles put a curse on her and after consulting with a medium she learned that in order to pacify the spirits she must continuously build a house for them or die. Sarah would perform séances in her home to try and find out what the spirits wanted built next and after would give her crew instructions. Night and day, construction continued until Sarah Winchester died in 1922.
The house has such an odd design and there many interesting things within its walls. There are many staircases that lead to absolutely nowhere or they end up zigzagging along the house. There are even doors that open up to walls. The most popular one is the door to nowhere which once opened can send them falling out of the house. The forty-seven fireplaces all had drops to remove the ashes, the first of its kind. All around the house are secret passageways as well. Sarah Winchester was very fond of spider webs and the number 13, both can be found throughout the house. In fact, every staircase except one contains 13 steps. There are 13 bathrooms and the 13th bathroom has 13 windows. The groundskeepers even cut a tree into the number 13 to honor Mrs. Winchester.
The Winchester Mystery House relates to American heritage through its Victorian architecture. The lavish furniture and crystal that was brought in during construction is simply irreplaceable and provides a look into the fine quality items that became popular in the 20th century. It’s a symbol of invention as well because of the many new architectural ideas that were created here. The house is completely authentic and no building has taken place since Sarah Winchester’s death other than small repairs. The Winchester Mystery House relates to the paranormal culture that is very popular today and it serves as a place to entertain the idea of ghosts.
The Winchester House is a historic site and tells the story of a fearful widow building a house in order to live. Many visitors are attracted not only for the mystery behind the house but for the beauty of it. There are guided tours daily where you can see 110 of the rooms, but they say try to stay with the group because you can get lost in the house. The Winchester house will always be an unsolved mystery that will leave visitors wanting more.
For more Information: http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/