This elaborate and bizarre estate is outside of San Jose in California. The home was constructed by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester arms fortune. It is a vivid and lasting example of how a grieving person can be manipulated.

Sarah married the weapons magnate and had a vast fortune with which to build her home. Sarah gave birth to her first daughter in 1866 who died a short time later. It took her a decade to recover from the loss. She never had another child. Her husband contracted tuberculosis and died in 1881. Sadly, upon the death of her husband, many “psychics” apparently targeted the elderly grieving widow. The psychic soon convinced her that she was “cursed,” because so many Winchester guns had killed people. This unfortunate myth launched Sarah into an obsession. At the psychic’s suggestion, she sold her original home in New Haven, Connecticut and followed the directions given.

The “remedy” for the curse was to sell her home and start a new life in the West. The house was eventually a total of seven stories and Sarah kept building. The Great San Francisco earthquake that nearly leveled the city in 1906 also removed three stories of this monolithic construction. While disheartened, Sarah was not stopped. She continued construction on the house until her death in 1922 at the age of 83.

The grand design was to create a home so confusing that any angry or wrathful spirits would become lost. The family fortune was gone by the time Sarah died. Decades of construction and imported luxuries had depleted the riches. The house became a tourist destination. There are doors and windows leading to know where, stair ways that end at a ceiling, and countless other quirky and strange features.

The Winchester House is featured in many countless programs and documentaries regarding the paranormal. The house is, according to witness reports, still haunted by a number of people, including Sarah herself.

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2 thoughts on “The Winchester Mystery Mansion

  1. Laura,

    I visited the house with my sister in 2009 when I went to see her. It is a fascinating place. They do conduct tours there, but the paranormal aspect is not mentioned, only the historical significance of Sarah’s life and the house itself. When I was there, I didn’t sense anything alluding to the paranormal, but, of course, that doesn’t mean that the place isn’t haunted. Plenty of witnesses have claimed to have seen/heard many things, and stories, when compared, are similar in nature and description.

    As for the “psychics'” ploy, I would be very interested in seeing sources that attest that this part of the story is indeed myth. I know that the woman was eccentric in her later years and that she had grown guilty over the deaths that resulted from Winchester arms, but I do question the “myth” claim to her belief in the spirits and how she planned to misdirect them in the confusing structure of her home. The structure of the house as it presently stands serves as a testament to her serious beliefs.

    Regardless, however, this is a great story.

    I will soon be entering images of the Winchester mansion into my Facebook photo album. Please keep an eye out for it and comment on it when you see it. I know your insight will spur some interesting discussions.


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