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Haunted Winchester Mystery House Mansion

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winchester mansion haunted mystery houseMany 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.

winchester mansion haunted door to nowhereThe 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.

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Comments on Haunted Winchester Mystery House Mansion

May 17, 2009

Lori @ 3:52 am

I think it would be awesome to visit this place.  Maybe someday I will be there, at least I hope so.

June 26, 2009

Lori S. @ 2:54 am

There's no doubt in my mind that the house is haunted and full of weird happenings.  I'm sure it is.  But what if that supposedly psychic medium that Sara went to see was just lying to her to make money?  What if that psychic just made all that up about the curse on her life? It really does sound ridiculous to me. Spirits seeking vengeance over a rifle. How can everybody who's killed by a rifle band together and gang up on her? I think that her husband's and child's death was just coincidental and happened just like it would happen to anyone else. I mean, come on, children died alot in those days, medical care was not like it is today. Diseases were successful. So her husband died from Tuberculosis, lots of people did back then. It was a rampant disease that prevailed. I think it was arrogant of her to think that just because HER husband died that it had to be a curse that caused it. That he was so special that he shouldn't have died like everyone else had. It didn't have to be a curse just because he created the rifle. He was human just like everyone else and so therefore could be succeptible and succomb like everyone else. I think she was just an arrogant fool to believe that psychic. The medium was probably a fake like a lot of them are. Sara basically let one person control and run her entire life and believed in a whole lot of nonsense, which I think is very very sad! I'll bet that psychic herself was laughing at Sara throughout all those years that she spent building onto her house. Probably thinking, what an idiot!

But don't get me wrong, I do believe that Sara's house is haunted and filled with ghosts and spirits and strange activity, but I think that that's only due to Sara and her weirdness that she became by believing in that psychic. She had seances and called upon spirits and spoke to them and communicated with them. I believe that she invited them into her home. Plus a few of them were added by some of the deaths of the workers that happened through the years. That's her fault too. It's mainly because of Sara that that house is haunted. It's all her fault for being weird and believing that psychic and bringing spirits into her home. She was a troubled spirit herself, almost all of her life in that house, and so she remains there and her troubled spirit leaves its imprint in the home environment. She will always be there!  She worried her whole life about dying and eventually she had to die anyway. It's funny that the work stopped AFTER she died. So she spent all those years worrying and building for nothing! What a waste!

August 24, 2009

pixy @ 12:37 pm

Well I have been fascinated by this house for like my whole life. I know ppl dont think any of the spirts existed in the house but I think it did because why would there be so many stories about the house then? I mean come on! Of course, the spirits didn't all band togrther they probably went in one at a time and just caused hell for her! And she really had nothing to do with their death. She was just the wife of the maker of the Winchester rifles!

September 26, 2009

lauren @ 7:10 am

I have been to this place and trust me you, yourself, can feel the presence of someone behind you, or surrounding. It is indeed a haunted place.

May 17, 2010

Elizabeth Angela Souza @ 7:21 pm

I was raised in San Jose and have taken the tour here at the Winchester Mystery House and can remember the hallways and noises made without anyone present and thats with a tour guide. The stained glass is very nice and the gardening is very pretty. I would take the tour again if i was in the area to remember it better.

June 7, 2010

rebecca formway @ 9:36 pm

i'm doing a research paper on the winchester mansion and one of the requirements was an interview so i would grately appriciate it if you would email me back cause i have some questions

July 28, 2010

nina @ 4:44 pm

Its really cold there. Not even the sun that comes in through the windows warms up the place.

November 10, 2010

mike @ 4:24 pm

has any of you seen or gone in winchester mansion?

February 1, 2011

Alexia Partlow @ 4:40 pm

I totally beileve this becuase, i have personally had many encounters with spirits! It's creepy!

April 16, 2011

Gautam D @ 11:52 pm

There are many stories about the Winchester House that stands in San Jose and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Bay area. I've been there twice. First time I thought I felt some energies but nothing the 2nd time.

Interestingly, now they have banned cameras inside the house. The tour guide told us to put cameras away before starting with it. When I went in Dec. 2008, I took a lot of pics. I wonder what made them ban the cameras…

September 2, 2011

Samuel Hamilton @ 3:29 pm

I think i understand the reason for the stairs that lead to nowhere and the doors to the outside. It was probably meant for the afterlife and for the builders to continue building without getting rid of parts of walls.

So i can imagine that in the spirit world the mansion is much much larger then it is in this world, and it is still being worked on.

September 17, 2011

Sherry Weimer @ 2:12 pm

Yes, I visited the house in the 1960's. I did so because, first of all, I love Victorian architecture and also things that go "bump" in the night. Although I viewed this home with a tour group, I, nevertheless, had an eerie feeling during the tour. I have not returned since my first visit, but certain aspects of it, including the view down into the kitchen scullery and the stairs that lead to nowhere, remain with me still.

September 19, 2011

Rebecca Gazdik @ 9:28 am

I was wondering if you could ask taps to investigate this house on their show on weds. nights on SYFY. Thanks, I have always wondered about this house since I heard the story.

September 28, 2011

william ayers @ 9:55 pm

i am writing a book. the title is called the haunting of andrew winchester. but i noticed that one of my characters in my book – the mother of andrew – her name was sarah. i had no idea that there was a real winchester mansion except mine takes place in winchester england. cool, so i can write a book about the real thing. it was supposed to be a book about andrews family getting murdered when he was 15.

October 6, 2011

Heidi k @ 8:34 pm

My mother and I toured this house. When we entered a room at the end of the tour (ahead of the group), one of the rocking chairs was moving back and forth. There was no breeze. It stopped as the rest of the group arrived.

December 19, 2011

Juyjuy @ 12:20 pm

I would love to live here.

January 18, 2012

stephen warloph @ 10:03 am

the winchester house has 160 rooms and 4 floors. One chimney goes through all 4 floors, just inches from the roof.