Explore More at the Winchester Mystery House

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The Winchester Mystery House

Since I was a small and very weird child, the Winchester Mystery House has held a spot on my bucket list.   So when I found out my flight home from my honeymoon in New Zealand would be routing through San Francisco, I had to make the hour drive to San Jose (actually my friend Melissa made the drive, because she’s the best) to see the house in person.  For those of you who were less weird children, read on for a bit of context.

The Winchester Mystery House

The History

Winchester Mystery House

In 1884, the lady of the house, Sarah Winchester the heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, left her home in New Haven, CT and headed west at the suggestion of a medium channeling her late husband.  She thought the was haunted by the people that had been killed by the Winchester Rifles and in an effort to out run the ghost she moved to California and started construction on her new home.  The construction would last for 38 straight years, out of the fear that if she stopped the ghost would catch up with her.  In an effort to confuse the spirits the house is full of secret passageways, stairways to the ceiling, and doors to nowhere.  Construction on the house only ceased after Sarah’s death in 1922.  Another peculiarity about the house is that there were no blueprints, making it difficult to survey the entire property.  New rooms were discovered as recently as 2016!  Of course, the house is now open to the public for tours, and that makes me giddy.

The House’s Mysteries

The Winchester Mystery House

The history of the house is fascinating and there is so much to explore.  Stick with your tour guide though or you may get lost in one of the homes many mysterious rooms.  Here are a few of the interesting, peculiar, and just plain creepy things you can find in the home;

The Number 13

Sarah Winchester was obviously a very superstitious person and the number 13 must have held great meaning for her.  No one know exactly why, but the number 13 pops up very frequently in the home.  There are 13 bathrooms in the house.  Many of the staircases have 13 steps.  The windows have 13 panes.  She even signed her will 13 times.  Go though the house and search for patterns of 13, you won’t be disappointed.

Stairways to Nothing

Stairase to nowhere at the Winchester Mystery House

There are many stairways in the house that lead straight to the ceiling, into another staircase, or hopelessly winding just to lead to the next room.

The Seance Room

Seance Room of the Winchester Mystery House

Sarah Winchester held frequent seances to get instructions for new construction from the spirit world.  You know you’ve made it when you have a house with a seance room, and visiting Sarah Winchester’s is pretty much a dream.

The Doorway to Nowhere

Door to Nowhere at the Winchester Mystery House

A literal door to nowhere.  How bananas is that?  It just opens up to the outside on the second story, presumably causing ghosts to plummet to their second death.

Visiting the House

The Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is open to the public, but the inside is only accessible via a guided tour (they don’t want tourist walking through a door to nowhere or getting trapped in an oil painting).  The main tour is $39 for adults and last just over an hour.  You can book tours starting at 9:20am until 5pm on weekdays and 6:40pm on weekends.

For a limited time, The Winchester Mystery House offers an extended tour as an add on to the regular house tour.  The Explore More tour gives you an extra hour in the house, plus some never before seen by the public rooms, including the ultra creepy basement for only $10 more!

The Explore More tour of the Winchester Mystery House takes you so far behind the scenes that you need a hard hat!

The Explore More tour of the Winchester Mystery House takes you so far behind the scenes that you need a hard hat!

Definitely book ahead if possible.  The place was PACKED when I was there.  I’m not sure if that’s typical, or because I was there on a Saturday shortly after the release of Winchester, the horror movie (very loosely) based on Sarah Winchester and the Winchester Mystery House.  At any rate, booking ahead will surly save you some disappointment.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed that I didn’t see any ghost during my visit at the Winchester Mystery House, I’m still thrilled I got to see the house in person.  And I’m definitely going to try again on one of their Friday 13th Flashlight Tours (the next one is in July!).

The Winchester Mystery House

I was hosted as a guest of the Winchester Mystery House, but my opinion that this house is maybe the coolest house in the world, is entirely my own.

11 thoughts on “Explore More at the Winchester Mystery House

  1. Brianne

    Haha I was obsessed with the Winchester Mystery House as a kid too, as well as all sorts of other weird things! Hope to make it there myself someday as well.

  2. Danila Caputo

    I never heard of the Winchester Mystery house before! And I can’t believe that they still haven’t probably discovered all there’s to see! 2016 is pretty recent so who knows what else they might find! I’ve added this to our bucket list!

  3. It looks like a fun place to go. Look what you achieve 🙂 you were on honeymoon and on the way you got to tick one of your wishlists. Lucky you. I am glad you had fun and visited Winchester Mystery House which was your childhood obsession 🙂

  4. So being from the UK I have never heard of Winchester House before but it has just gone onto my list of things to do when I eventually get to the USA. What a crazy house I want…no I need to explore it for myself now. How mad is that door to nowhere on the second floor, and the obsession with 13 – I take it 13 wasn’t unlucky for her – Or was it?

  5. I am so jealous. I am a super fan of horror stories/movies (and the TV show Supernatural). The mere idea of visiting THE Winchester house is so cool! The writing on the stone about Sarah Winchester sends me shivers. And wow, new rooms as recent as 2016! Very creepy! Especially the Seance room.

  6. Indrani

    What a story! This will haunt me for sure.
    The obsession with 13 is indeed strange.

  7. How cool is this! I am so into weird stories and weird stuff and this fits weird perfectly! Adding this to my bucket list!

  8. What a fascinating place to visit to unravel a mystery. So many 13 figures all over. If someone is superstitious, don’t they avoid 13 in that case? i bet you had tons of fun!

  9. What a story! It is incredible to note that it took 38 years to build this mansion. With all the spirits floating around , it certainly would be a fun place to visit.

  10. I’ve never heard of this place, but Winchester Mystery House definitely sounds like it would be fun to tour. Do they ever hold events where they let guests stay overnight? This would also be a super fun place to do one of the those murder mystery games like a real life game of Clue.

  11. Wow….this is my kind of place. I love mysteries and this one has no dearth of them. Secret rooms, hidden staircases….lovely! Scary to note that there are no blueprints – I mean, if you suddenly get lost, no way of figuring out where you went unless it is a designated area. Really Enjoyed the post.

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