Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

Winchester Mystery House Haunted?

Once the home of Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Wirt Winchester, the Winchester Mystery House certainly lives up to its name. Construction commenced in 1884 and it never stopped up until the death of Sarah. Construction immediately ceased on September 5, 1922. It is estimated that Sarah Winchester spent more than $5 million for the house’s construction.

It is reported that upon consultation with The Boston Medium, Sarah came to believe that her family was haunted by all of the victims of the Winchester rifle. She believed that she could only appease the spirits by continuously building.

The house is reported to have various mischievous spirits. Since the house opened to the public in 1923, people who have worked in and visited the mansion have described strange occurrences. Doorknobs would rattle on their own; floorboards would creak even though rooms are empty; footsteps could be heard and breathing could be felt.

There was one photograph taken by a caretaker’s friend which had the image of a mysterious stranger who wore a workman’s heavy overall. People believe that it is one of Sarah Winchester’s carpenters continuing his work in the house.


The Queen Anne style Victorian mansion does not have any master building plan and it is quite grand. Sarah decided to build the house after being told that she must continuously build a home not only for herself but also for the people which died by way of the Winchester rifle. She moved to California and purchased a farmhouse in 1884.

Sarah inherited more than $20 million upon her husband’s death and earned $1,000 per day from the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The original house was seven stories high but it was reduced to only four stories because of the 1906 earthquake. There are roughly 160 rooms, 2 ballrooms, 40 bathrooms, and 47 fireplaces. The house is popular for stairways and doors which lead to nowhere. Back in the time the house was the only one which had indoor plumbing and hot showers.

Although the reason for the house’s construction was not only bizarre, Sarah Winchester did not spare any amount to ensure that the house was beautiful. It had many adornments from the Tiffany Company and some of the objects in the house were just designed specifically for her.

On her death, Sarah’s possessions were given to her personal secretary and her niece. Her niece took everything she liked and sold the rest in a private auction. Six trucks worked 8 hours a day for 6 weeks to remove the furniture in the house. There was no mention of the mansion on Sarah’s will and it was sold in an auction in 1923. One popular personality who toured the mansion is Harry Houdini.

One thought on “Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

  1. The Microbe says:

    I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and had gone to the Winchester Mystery House several times now and have experienced different tours of the house.When it was still owned by the City of San Jose in the early 80’s there were rooms that were still unknown. The mystique of the house was well preserved. You are able to tour the grounds and gardens and hear a recorded voice of the gardener. In the early 90’s, more rooms were discovered; some were even included in the public tours. In the 2000’s, all the rooms have been discovered, a basement tour has been included where supposedly, one of the workers haunt the area. His name was Clyde. When taking a tour, you will be able to feel cold spots around the areas where Sarah Winchester died, and the seance room.

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