Sure there are houses that claim to have ghosts and spirits. Although not many houses can claim to be built by spirits. That’s exactly what many say about the Winchester House in San Jose, California.
The Winchester House is a 180 room mystery that has captured the imaginations of California residents for many years. It was built by Sarah Winchester, the wife of the famous repeating rifle manufacturer and former Lt. Governor of Connecticut, William Winchester. The Winchester rifle has been dubbed “The rifle that won the west”. But to Sarah Winchester, the weapon was a curse and the fortune made from it’s production was only used to ward off the evil spirits that Sarah believed were after her.
She was convinced that many of the ghosts of the men that died because of her husband’s rifle were coming to get her.
After her husbands death in 1881, Mrs. Winchester sought the help of a medium in order to contact her dead husband. It was there, that Sarah Winchester learned of the vengeful ghosts. She was told by her husband’s spirit that the ghosts of ones who had met their fate at the end of her husbands barrels were the reason that William Winchester had died. She also learned that the ghosts had now focused their attention on her and that she could be the next victim. Mrs. Winchester was told that the only way to keep the spirits at bay was to move west and build a house. She was told that construction could never stop, or the spirits would enact their revenge. Thus the Winchester House was born.
Sarah soon purchased an 8 bedroom home along with 150 acres in San Jose California and construction began. Construction that did not stop until Sarah Winchester’s death in 1922. Over 38 years of construction, superstition and fear resulted in over 180 rooms filled with stairs that lead nowhere, doors that open into walls, awkward twists, turns and many other strange and mysterious things that have yet to be explained. It is believed that nearly 600 rooms were actually built, but Sarah had the workers tear down many rooms almost instantly upon finishing them. As long as hammers were banging and the smell of sawdust was in the air..Sarah Winchester felt safe and happy.
Since Sarah Winchesters death the home has remained very popular and according to many..Very haunted. Disembodied voices, phantom footsteps and appearances of Sarah Winchester herself have been reported. It is often whispered that the ghosts of thousands of men killed by the Winchester rifle have taken up residence in the home. It was believed that Sarah designed many of the strangely constructed rooms herself and had the intention of confusing the ghosts by adding the doors that lead to nowhere, upside down columns and other complicated and unnecessary things. Maybe Sarah did a better job than expected and the spirits of the Winchester dead have been unable to find their way out of the twisted home. Or maybe they prefer the company of Mrs Sarah Winchester and have been able to get their revenge after all. Either way, The Winchester House is and always will be one of the weirdest and most spooky structures in California.
The home is a popular tourist attraction and haunted hot spot. Tours are given daily where you can learn much more about the haunting at Winchester Mansion. You can learn more about the strangely spooky home in San Jose below.