Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is a haunted mansion that is inhabited by ghosts and was built by a frightened woman, inspired by madness. It has been featured on Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted. Stephen King based his book Rose Red on the story of this house and its owner, Sarah Winchester.
The Winchester Mystery House is one of the most famous haunted houses in America. It was built by a woman named Sarah Winchester back in 1884 and the strangest thing about it is that the number of rooms it contains is a mystery.
Sarah Winchester’s husband invented the Winchester rifle and made his family very rich. But Sarah believed that a curse had been placed on her family. Her only daughter, Annie, died from marasmus and her husband died from pulmonary tuberculosis. Mrs Winchester was so stunned by the tragedy, that she fell into a coma.
Finally, she recovered and decided to visit a medium and contacted the spirit of her dead husband. According to Sarah Winchester, the medium held a seance and her husband’s ghost revealed that there was only one way to lift the curse that had been placed on her.
Sarah believed that the deaths of her husband and daughter were caused by ghosts. The ghosts of people who had been killed with the destructive rifles created by her husband. The only way to appease these evil spirits and stop the curse from killing her, was to keep building the house. If she stopped building, she was convinced that she would die.
Sarah Winchester’s husband had left her a huge fortune and she used this vast wealth to continuously build the house for 38 years.
Winchester Mystery House began to take on a strange and twisted shape. There were no blueprints and no master plan for how the house was supposed to look. Sarah didn’t care what it looked like, she just knew that she needed to keep building. The result was both bizarre and beautiful. Most people thought that Sarah had lost her mind.
As the years went by, Winchester House continued to grow. Rooms were added to rooms, doors were joined to windows, levels turned into towers and peaks and the place eventually grew to a height of seven stories. There were stairs that led nowhere, rooms built inside other rooms, open holes in the middle of floors, chimneys that served no purpose and closets that opened onto walls.
Sarah Winchester was also obsessed with the number 13. The windows contained 13 panes of glass, the walls had 13 panels, the floors contained 13 wooden planks, the rooms had 13 windows and every staircase had 13 steps.
The design of Winchester House was supposed to confuse the evil spirits and ghosts that were haunting Sarah. She designed a house that was really a giant maze where she felt she could hide from the spirits.
Sarah lived a lonely life in the solitude of Winchester House. Her only friends were the servants who worked for her and the builders who constructed her home. At night, she would wander the darkened hallways of the old mansion, trying to avoid running into the ghosts.
Sarah Winchester died in her sleep in 1922 at the age of 83. Many people believe that her ghost now haunts Winchester House, trapped there for all eternity with the evil spirits that terrified her in life.
In the years since the house was opened to the public, employees and visitors claim to have encountered paranormal activity. People hear mysterious footsteps, doors banging open and closed on their own, the whispering of strange disembodied voices, windows that suddenly shatter and doorknobs that turn by themselves.