The Winchester Mystery House

by K-Dean

The cost of the constant building was approximately $5.5 million. In today’s dollars that would be the equivalent of $71 million.

The Winchester Mystery House is one the most famous haunted houses in America. Tourists travel from around the world to see the historical landmark. The house which is located in San Jose California, began construction in 1883 and construction ended in 1922. How could it possibly take that long for one house to be built you wonder? Well the owner of the house, was told to do so by ghosts.

The story begins with one woman named Sarah Winchester. In 1862, she married William Winchester the manufacturer of the famous Winchester repeating rifle. The couple lived a happy life until tragedy struck in 1866, when their infant daughter, Annie, died of the disease marasmus.

Mrs. Winchester became deeply depressed and never fully recovered from the loss of her daughter. In March 1881, her mental health took yet another turn for the worst after her husband died from tuberculosis.

Winchester sought out guidance from a medium, who told her there was a curse on the family. Spirits of American Indians, Civil War Soldiers and others killed by Winchester rifles were haunting her family and fortune. The medium explained to Winchester that the spirits had been the reason her husband and daughter died, and that she might be next. He told her the only way to prevent her death was by moving west and building a large house for all the spirits.

Winchester was financially well off after the death of her husband. She received several million dollars in cash and 777 shares of stock in the Winchester Repeating Arms Company as well as 2,000 additional shares when her mother-in-law passed away.

Winchester left her New Haven home and headed for California. In 1884 she purchased an unfinished farm in Santa Clara Valley, and began building her mansion. Carpenters were hired and worked on the house day and night until it became a seven story mansion.

Neighbors would hear a bell ring at midnight and 2 a.m. every night which was when Winchester would summon the spirits and ring it again to dismiss them. Some said that Winchester never slept in the same bedroom two nights in a row, in order to confuse any evil spirits that might be waiting for her. It was said that in the center of the house was the Blue Room, where Winchester supposedly would go every night to commune with the spirits, including her husband.

In 1922, Winchester died in her sleep from heart failure and was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut beside her husband. This is when the continuous additions to the home finally came to an end after 38 years of straight building.

The mansion has 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens. It is unsure if Winchester was trying to confuse spirits when constructing the house, because she had stairs built that led to the ceiling, doors that opened to brick walls, upside-down stair posts and chimneys that stop just short of the roof.

The number 13 held a special significance in her spiritual world and the number is repeated throughout the house a 13 armed chandelier, 13 holes in the drain covers of the kitchen sink, 13 bathrooms, with 13 windows, 13 panes of glass in each window, and every Friday the 13th the large bell on the property is rung 13 times at 1 o’clock p.m.

Staff at the mansion as well as visitors have reported strange experiences with what is thought to be spirits. Some of the mansion’s caretakers have heard the sound of footsteps, breathing when no one is around, rattling door knobs, lights turning on and off and doors that are locked unlocking themselves.

Read more:

The world famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House – Your Ghost Stories

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