Here’s why you need to visit the Winchester Mystery House
A great big Victorian mansion? It’s gotta be haunted by spirits. Depending on who you believe, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is full of them. Rumors since its owner, Sarah Winchester, built the home have circulated that she lived cursed unless she continued to renovate the home.
Maybe it comes from the legacy of the Winchester Firearms Company, and Winchester was haunted by those killed with guns her company produced. Maybe it comes from the sudden death of her husband and daughter. Regardless, many to this day still believe her home remains haunted by these spirits.
But even if you’re not a ghost hunter yourself, the Winchester Mystery House offers twists and turns, and is just a stunning architectural beauty to visit. If you want to play yourself a mystery-themed road trip, make sure the Winchester Mystery House is on your list. Of course, you can also virtually tour it now, but it’s more fun to see in person.
Many of the rooms remain unfinished
As part of her fears, Winchester felt the need to constantly renovate her home to help ward off the spirits. We’re still not sure why she thought renovations would magically scare these ghouls off, as ghosts aren’t afraid of construction. Yet she sometimes had construction going for 24 hours a day to help ward off the spirits.
But when Winchester passed away, all work on the house ceased and has never been finished. Her daughter moved everything out of the house, and sold it out of the family, leaving the work unfinished. Introduced in 2017, the Winchester Mystery House offers tours into these rooms that show the construction frozen in time.
A home built with no blueprint
Staircases that lead to walls. Dead end hallways. Doors that open to nothing.
Winchester was so focused on building a grand mansion, she didn’t think to draw up a proper blueprint first. Even as the construction around the house continued, many of the mistakes made during the home’s initial building period were never corrected.
Think of the mansion almost like a maze. As you walk around, you’re never 100% sure what will await you at the top of a staircase, or behind a closed door. Naturally, the museum likes to keep the mystery part of its name alive, and left these mistakes intact for visitors.
Million dollar artwork hanging in a fun house
What’s most bizarre about the design of the house is the amount of money that went into the interior decorations. Tiffany and Co. stained-glass windows were used on windows. Gold chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Heck, the house had indoor plumbing, something that was extremely costly for the time.
Yet, with staircases that were uneven, flooring that was mismatched, and windows that would just look into other rooms, this decor felt out of place. Think of the home like when you have unlimited funds in The Sims, yet your home looks like trash even with the most expensive furniture inside.
Sarah Winchester herself haunts the home
Paranormal investigators have spent hours in the home, yet have never come up with any evidence of the claims that spirits haunted the home. Even Sarah Winchester left no written accounts about her experiences, and there was never any interview with her.
Yet the legend goes that a medium spoke to her husband, who said build this home to be cursed with the spirits of all that were killed by Winchester firearms. And so Winchester moved to the west coast and did exactly that. Whether there were truly ghosts in the house, only Winchester knows.
It wouldn’t make sense for Winchester’s spirit to haunt any other location than the Winchester Mystery House. She built it as a safe space for restless souls, so why shouldn’t her spirit get some use out of it too? Guests even say they’ve felt a chill around them, as if Winchester was there warning them of the house.