Every haunted house has a mystery, and there is usually a story, rooted in fact rather than fiction. Of course, facts get interpreted and represented, giving birth to more mysteries and multiple versions of the truth. The history of Winchester Mystery House is a classic case. The Queen Anne Style Victorian estate is on South Winchester Boulevard in San Jose. The mystery mansion was the residence of Mrs. Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirth Winchester, a firearm magnate.
About Winchester Mystery House
Folklore has it that Sarah Winchester along with many others believed that the mansion was haunted. Sarah thought that the two-story farmhouse was haunted by the ghosts of all the people killed with or by Winchester rifles. This was circa 1884. Following the death of her husband and their infant daughter, Sarah Winchester went on a construction spree and started adding rooms, floors and various other new elements. It is believed that she did this to appease the spirits of the victims of Winchester rifles. Legend has it that a medium for spirits in Boston had advised her to do so for herself and the spirits.
Sarah Winchester was wealthy, with more than twenty million dollars in inheritance and she owned half of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company that enabled her to earn a thousand dollars a day. This was a whopping amount in the late 1800s. She started developing the mansion without any master plan and went on building it as she deemed fit. Many claim that construction work was relentless and went on uninterrupted daily over a period of thirty-eight years. This has been refuted by the biographer of Sarah Winchester.
Today, the mansion is a tourist attraction, a California historical landmark and it finds its rightful place on the National Register of Historic Places. You can tour the mansion, as many as a hundred and ten rooms out of a hundred and sixty, the hour-long tour is riveting with the right docent and the architectural intrigues are capable of satiating anyone. Tours cover the bedroom of Sarah Winchester, séance room, grand ballroom, morning room and Venetian dining room among others. The tour also covers Victorian Gardens and Historic Firearms Museum, the Antique Product Museum and Specialty Gifts. Admission starts at $20.
Stay at Comfort Inn Sunnyvale
The mystery house is ten miles from Comfort Inn Sunnyvale. Reserve your accommodation online to get the best deal.