|Posted on April 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM|
When it comes to being haunted there are no places perhaps more haunted than the Winchester Mystery House. Located in San Jose, California, the giant Victorian mansion once was home to Sarah Winchester, widow of the maker of the Winchester rifle. Aside from now being a historical landmark, the place is known for its size, strange architecture, and strong paranormal activity. The most perplexing feature about the place is its known construction that went on every single day with Sarah Winchester's insistence until her death in 1922 when all construction halted. So why did Sarah Winchester keep building? Who are the spirits that haunt this place and why is the architecture so bizarre?
When her husband died, Sarah Winchester inherited his fortune and his land. After her child also died she decided to move but not before going to a medium who told her to build a home for herself and always continue to build to appease those who died from Winchester rifles. It is also claimed that she moved west because the spirits of those who died from the rifles haunted her and her family. When she finally moved to the property that we now refer to as the Mystery house she began building and it began a strange house at that. She did not use an architect and would add on to the building in a strange fashion. The house has several oddities such as doors and stairs that go nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms, doors that when you open them up it's just a brick wall, and stairs go up to nothing and stop at a wall. Many accounts suggest these oddities are due to her belief in ghosts haunting her to make up for the bloodshed her husband's rifles caused. It's suggested today that the layout for the house's odd structure could be the reason it seems so haunted.
The outside may look normal but the inside tells quite a different story. There are around161 rooms, 40 bedrooms, 2 ballrooms as well as 47 fireplaces, over 10,000 panes of glass, 17 and possibly there were more. There are also two basements and three elevators. The number 13 is also prominent throughout the house with the number of stairs, tiles on a floor, windows in a room, and other things always at 13. There is also a room that Sarah Winchester stopped going in altogether after she placed one of her late child's items inside it. Perhaps the most puzzling thing of all is in modern times a census was taken to find out how many rooms were in the house and oddly enough it was more than the 161. Did people just miscount the number of rooms or have some been added over the years by spirits?
So who haunts the house and why? Sarah Winchester is said to haunt the house of course. She is mainly said to be seen in what used to be her bedroom. She is said to be seen throughout the house but mainly in the rooms she frequently used. Aside from Sarah Winchester, the ghosts of the construction workers who worked on the house are said to haunt the place. They are seen walking the halls or even seen building. During tours, people also claim they hear whistling as if a worker if passing the time while working. Whatever it is there is no doubt between the reasoning or the building that the Winchester House is in fact haunted.
Winchester died in 1922 all building of the house ceased..at least from a living standpoint. Since she left no one in her will to get the house it went to the city and it was made as a place for people to be given a tour of. Over the last few years when a census was done on the house the outcome for the number of rooms seemed to be more than the previous time they were counted. Some suggest that the person handling matters simply miscounted but the other theory is suggested that the ghosts are still adding onto the house.
So what is our fascination with this house? It’s strange, it’s not like any other house we’ve ever seen or will ever see in our lives. It’s an endless labyrinth that tells of a woman’s bizarre superstitious endeavors and is one of the best and obvious places that ghosts should roam because they feel their mission will never be done. The Winchester House is not to be taken lightly in fact if you ever tour the place you should always stay with your group because you don’t want to get lost and who knows who you may bump into.
Here is a poem I wrote that is in my poetry book, The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage. It’s called Echoes of a Rifle and it’s about the Winchester House and it’s history. There have been many homages and references to the house in popular culture and with the house as big as it is it’s no surprise why it’s inspiration and referenced so many times.
It was to be a simple build
of what was to become a house
But told to add on for blood that spilled
With enough spaces to confuse even a mouse
So it went on for years and years
Men everyday hard at work
Adding on features hidden with fears
The lady of the house slowly going berserk
They put in windows against walls
Doors and stairs that lead to no where
For as long as the echoes call
She tells them to build without concern or care
Each stairwell ending in thirteen
of all kinds straight, angled and spiral
Even today workers are still seen
Whistling Dixie as they nail and smile
Taking a count of the rooms within
May lead to a chilling revelation
Since constant building would forgive sin
The number can only be an estimation
The whispering of voices carry on
as the spirits seem ever so delightful
The men hard a work still, never gone
All from the echoes of a rifle