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  • Erin Egnatz

The Winchester Mystery House

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

In San Jose, California sits a mansion like no other. Built in the 1880's, The Winchester Mystery House is one of the most bizarrely constructed homes ever built. It was built for Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Winchester. They were part of the family who created the famous Winchester rifles. After William passed away, Sarah suffered depression. This, combined with a psychic medium who told Sarah she needed to create a home to make the spirits of those killed by the guns made by Winchester happy, led her to design the home in such a way that the layout makes little to no sense. For almost 40 years, construction continued as Sarah added new additions to appease those haunting her. Sarah was said to frequently preform seances to contact the ghosts who haunted her.


Once seven stories high (though no longer due to the 1906 earthquake), the house now stands at four stories, with a couple of ballrooms, over 100 rooms, almost 50 fireplaces, staircases that begin and then stop or that lead to nowhere, among other oddities. Secret rooms where found in the house as recently as 2016, almost 100 years after Sarah had passed away.


The haunting's of the Winchester Mystery House have been spoken about since construction began. The most famous, of course, being the ghost's of the people killed by Winchester rifles. Considering Winchester has been used in wars, among other places, that could be a lot of spirits. While it is not certain that these spirits actually haunt the residence, many will agree someone or something does. The third floor is a common spot for paranormal activity. Orbs and shadows have been seen, disembodied voices have been heard, and footsteps with unknown sources occur often.


Tours are offered at the Winchester House throughout the year, though the most popular is their after dark tour. If you are ever in San Jose, check it out! I did, and it is amazing.



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