The Mystery Within

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.

Overview of Winchester Mystery House

Overview of Winchester Mystery House

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.

Stairs leading to nowhere.

Stairs leading to nowhere.

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 famous "Door to Nowhere"

The famous “Door to Nowhere”

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.

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11 Responses to The Mystery Within

  1. mbaldwin3 says:

    Great article. The Winchester house is such an interesting site and I never thought of it as a heritage site until now. I definitely agree that it is completely authentic, it is truly amazing.

  2. I like how you chose to write about the winchester mystery house, since it never occurred to me that it would have so much history. I enjoyed reading it and learning interesting facts about this house such as 13 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 13 windows.

  3. tjimenez7 says:

    Once I saw your title, I knew I had to keep reading. It is a very interesting yet eerie heritage site. It was quite clever how you connected the site to today’s paranormal-interest. The site sounds like a great place to visit. Great job!

  4. sdavallou says:

    I really enjoyed your article on the Winchester Mystery House. I actually just visited this site this past December as it was decorated with the Christmas theme. I think with it being decorated, it attracted more visitors and didn’t make it seem as scary.

  5. acontreras26 says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place before, even though it’s in California. It was definitely interesting to read.

  6. rolmos3 says:

    I had heard of the house before, but I don’t think I had heard about how a lot of it focuses on 13. The house itself is an oddity, and I was surprised to learn it was in San Jose.

  7. tgonz22 says:

    Wow, this house is amazing! So beautiful

  8. The architcture for this site looks great! the bulidings have alot of detail. There are 160 rooms!! This place is amazind big, I would want to see it in the future.

  9. storres27 says:

    i remember my grandma took me there when i was younger it is so nice and it really is crazy to see the doors that open to walls and the one that opens to nothing!! also the noises that the house makes id kind of creepy but definitely a cool site i recommend everyone to go to

  10. rdiaz29 says:

    I read the title and thought it might have something to do with Supernatural. In a way it does since Mrs. Winchester built the house for ghosts.

  11. dperez34 says:

    Every time I drive back to Merced I see the sign of the Winchester Mystery House, since the first time I saw it I wanted to go but haven’t had the chance; hopefully soon I will be able to visit!

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