The eccentric Mrs. Winchester’s House

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Winchester Mystery House

525 South Winchester Boulevard
San Jose, CA
408 247-2101
website
Built: 1884 – 1922

In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so many unexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House.

Check out the Switchback Staircase, which has seven flights with forty four steps, rises only about nine feet, since each step is just two inches high. (Mrs. Winchester arthritis was quite severe in her later years, and the stairway may have been designed to accommodate her disability.) Her belief in the occult led her to design the miles of twisting hallways and secret passageways in the walls. Mrs. Winchester traveled through her house in a roundabout fashion, supposedly to confuse any mischievous ghosts that might be following her.

Tours leave at specific times, (allow 2 hours) and you can’t self-guide. Rats.

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(Photos © copyright 2006-2013 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved)

Winchester House