Winchester Mansion


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The Winchester Mystery House was the private residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Manchester, Treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. It is located in San Jose, California. The house is now a famous tourist attraction.

The house is notorious for its style, extravagance and more importantly for having been under construction for 38 years until the death of Mrs Winchester. Although it is difficult to qualify to style of the house because of its complete lack of master building plan, the outdoor style of the mansion has similarities with the Queen Anne’s Style.

The House That Never Stops Growing…

There are two version of the reason why the Winchester widow never stopped the construction of the house but in both, we find a common thread for the story. Sarah Winchester had allegedly received “guidance” from a medium who told her to build a house and to never stop its construction if she wanted to continue to live.

The legend has it that the house was also built for the spirits that had died from the famous Winchester weapon. All in all, the real reason why the house was always under construction may indeed have been because of some mystical prophesies but we most probably will never know for sure.

The Winchester mansion was built as a maze with lots of strange areas, traps, corridors, hallways, stairs and doors leading nowhere. Some windows were built specifically to look into other parts of the house and the mansion has twists, turrets and dead-ends.

Only Two Mirrors…

Indeed, the widow had the house made into this strange mix in order to try to trap ghosts and since they are allegedly afraid of their own reflections, she thought it wise to have only 2 mirrors despite the enormous size of the house and its many rooms.

A lot of paranormal activities have been reported at the Winchester Mystery House.

There have been so many reports of paranormal activity in the mansion that it is impossible to list them all. The whole of the house is said to be inhabited by spirits but no person in particular has ever been formally recognised.

When the house first opened to the public, strange unearthly incidents started to happen and were reported by the staff as well as visitors, themselves.

Of course, there has been sounds of creaking wood floors and although people usually put this down to the tear and wear of an ancient building, in the case of the Winchester House, it is said to happen too often and the noise is too loud to simply blame the structure of the building.

The caretaker’s haunting experiences…

A caretaker working at the house once reported hearing footsteps. He also complained of hearing some loud breathing. These experiences cannot be put down to visitors since they happened really late at night when nobody else was present and all visitors had left the building.

He also reported the sound of a screw. Moments later he heard a noise resembling a piece of metal and in this case, probably the screw itself. When he turned around and searched he found nothing. No explanation whatsoever.

A ghost on a photograph…

The ghost of an unidentified male mysteriously appeared on a photograph taken by a friend of the caretaker during a party. The man had builder’s clothes on and it is thought that it may be the ghost of a former worker, possibly a carpenter.

Mischievous pranks are often reported at the Winchester House. The only problem is that no one knows who does them and it appears that spirits of the big mansion are keen on targeting long standing members of staff. Pranks include doors locking and unlocking.

This episode happened to one of the regular member of the staff. He had been alone in the house and had just shut down and locked the massive entrance door. He barely had time to turn around when he noticed that the door had unlocked itself.

Lights regularly go on and off. One evening after making sure that all lights had been turned off, the same member of staff who experienced the unlocking of the front door went to his car. He then noticed that all the lights on the third floor had been turned on. He confirmed again that nobody was inside the house at the time and that he had set the alarm on, meaning that if someone had been inside the building, the alarm would have gone off shortly after he had shut and locked the door.

Mysterious experiences take place so often at the Winchester House that it is possible to report them. They are published online. It is undoubtedly one of the most mysterious house, first because of the history behind the construction of the building- and second, because of the building itself. Finally, nobody has been able to provide rational answers to the mysterious episodes and haunting experienced by those who spend sometime in the building.

TV Shows and Visits

Quite a few popular TV shows have investigated the place. TV series “Supernatural” and “Ghost Hunters” have both investigated and broadcast from the house.

Visits and guided tours are available. Those of you who really want a better chance to see the ghosts of Winchester house can take the Flashlight Tour which is on every Friday 13th. On these special nights, you can visit the house for 65 minutes with a flashlight and get a feel of the eerie place.

Contact Winchester Mansion

525 S Winchester Blvd
San Jose, California 95128
Phone: 1 (408) 247-2101
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