Imagine walking up to a monster house that was under construction by a grieving and frightened heiress for almost 40 years. The now know Winchester Mystery House is a must-see for anyone who has a love of creepy stories (or gun enthusiasts). This mansion is located in San Jose, California and has some of the craziest stories coming out of it. Keep reading if you need some more reasons to visit this incredible piece of history.
What started it all?
Sarah Winchester was married to the Winchester Repeating heir William Winchester, she watched her only daughter die at five weeks from a rare disease, and then 15 years later, watched her father-in-law, husband, and father all die within the same year. She called for a medium (spiritualism was huge in these days) who told her that she was being haunted by the victims of her husband's family's rifles and the only way to get them to back off is to move out west and build a house, but never complete it, because the constant construction would scare the ghosts away.
Mrs. Winchester was superstitious and wasn't going to go against what a psychic told her, so she moved out west and started with an eight-bedroom farmhouse and started work with the $20 million dollars her husband and mother-in-law left her. This is the equivalent of $484 million today. As promised, she never finished the house. When she passed away in 1922, she left a house with 160 rooms, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, 6 kitchens, and 10,000 windows. It's amazing what can be done when you never stop working.
Mrs. Winchester had her own private seance room that she would retire to every night to discuss building plans with the spirits. There are stairways that lead straight into the ceiling, chimneys that stop a food away from the roof and even doors that open up to nothing. There are rumors that she did this to keep the ghosts always guessing but no one really knows. Sarah Winchester was also obsessed with the number 13, all throughout the house things are in 13's. There are 13 windows to a room, 13 drain holes in a sink and even 13 steps to a staircase.
The Winchester Mansion is a place that everyone should want to see, even if you don't believe in the ghost story behind it. The architecture alone is something to behold and it's a piece of history that you can spend hours exploring. Harry Houdini even spent some time at the mansion so this place is just filled to the brim with stories.