Haunted Winchester Mystery House Mansion
Many people believe the Winchester Mystery House Mansion is notoriously haunted. The Winchester Mansion is an architectural oddity—with numerous ghosts and strange activity. In the 1800's, the owner turned the mansion into a never-ending construction project to avenge the dead spirits killed by her husband's invention…
How the Winchester Mystery House Began
In 1884, widow Sarah Winchester—heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company fortune—purchased an 8 bedroom home on 150 acres in San Jose (California), and embarked on a never-ending construction project. Her purpose? To remove the curse of “spirits seeking vengeance” for their death at the hands of a Winchester rifle.
Until her death in 1922, Sarah managed to keep three shifts of carpenters, architects and construction workers busy for 38 years! By the end of her life, Sarah had turned the eight bedroom home into a 160-room Victorian mansion with three working elevators, 47 fireplaces, staircases that led to nowhere, doors that open to brick walls, and doors that open to the outside on the 2nd floor with a straight drop down. There were no formal blueprints—Sarah would sketch out rooms on paper and tablecloths for the workers to follow.
The Winchester Mystery House Mansion and Paranormal Activity
Sarah started the never-ending construction project after an encounter with a Spiritualist medium, shortly after the death of her husband. In March 1881, Sarah’s husband died of tuberculosis while the couple was living in Connecticut. (Sarah’s daughter died 15 years earlier as an infant.) Since Sarah was having a hard time dealing with the death of her husband, she went to see a medium.
The medium claimed her husband William was present and said, “[William] says for me to tell you that there is a curse on your family, which took the life of William and your child. It will soon take you, too. It is a curse that has resulted from the terrible weapon created by the Winchester family [the Winchester rifle]. Thousands of persons have died because of it, and their spirits are now seeking vengeance.” The medium told Sarah to start a new life in the West, and to build a home for herself and for the spirits who had fallen at the hands of a Winchester rifle. Sarah was told she could never stop building house—or the curse would take her, as it did her husband and daughter.
So Sarah never stopped building. Inside the Winchester Mystery House, rooms are contained within rooms, and the floor plan is very chaotic. Sarah spent a great deal of time in a room she called “The Séance Room.”
Paranormal activity inside the home includes numerous ghostly sightings, cold spots, disembodied footsteps & murmuring voices. Visitors report seeing Sarah’s ghost wandering the rooms and halls of the home. Psychics have investigated, and identified hundreds of other spirits who call the Winchester Mystery House “home.” No one knows whether these spirits are really the souls killed by the famous Winchester rifle—or whether they are just restless spirits seeking peace.
The photo on the right shows one of the many "Doors to Nowhere" that the Winchester Mystery House contains. Underneath the door, you can see the sign, "Door to Nowhere." The current owners of the Winchester Mystery Mansion offer year-round tours, and the home is to the public. Many of the architectural oddities are labeled with signs and information describing the features. A number of the rooms on the 2nd floor have doors that lead outside—with sharp drops two stories down to the ground.