What is so scary about the mysterious Winchester house?

The world is full of beautiful places. While some of them will put your heart in awe, others will scare you. One such place is the mysterious home of Winchester. Located in San Jose, California, this luxurious mansion has plenty of ghost stories circulating about its existence.

For more than 40 years, Sarah Winchester of San Jose, California, has owned the mysterious Winchester mansion. The palace was elaborate and built to her exotic specifications. The mistress of the house is said to have given these specifications to satisfy the ghost who she thought was haunting her.

Today is Friday the 13th, and we bring you the story of the mysterious Winchester house. Read it to the end to find out all about this place, including the hard facts.

Who was Sarah Winchester?

Sarah Winchester was an eccentric woman. She was the widow of William Wirt Winchester, heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Born around the 1840s, Sarah was raised in both luxury and privilege. She spoke four languages, attended the best schools, married well, and had her activist daughter, Annie.

When she was in her late twenties, tragedies began to ruin her life. Her daughter died at a young age, followed by her husband’s death more than a decade later. William died in 1881, and after his death Sarah inherited a whopping $20 million. She also became the owner of fifty percent of Winchester Arms. Her inheritance left her a lot of money equal to $1,000 a day.

Sarah bought Winchester Palace

After the death of her daughter and husband, Sarah decides to travel from New Haven, Connecticut, to San Jose to start a new life. She bought a small eight-room farmhouse that later became the Winchester Mystery House. At the time of its purchase, the house was small and unfinished. However, it changed when the lady bought it.

Soon, Sarah hired two carpenters to work around the clock to transform the tiny house into an elite seven-storey mansion. Since there was no plan or a qualified architect, the house saw random construction. The rooms were added to the outer walls, making the front windows overlooking the other rooms. The carpenters also added multiple stairs with different sized fronts. The arrangement gave him a distorted look.

The alterations seemed disorganized and pointless as the stairs would go up to different levels, ending up abruptly. To add to this, doors will open on the walls, corner corridors will turn and end in a dead end.

The construction did not stop here. Sarah wanted everything to be built of redwood. However, she did not like the look of the redwood and ordered workers to cover it with synthetic grain and stain. By the time construction was completed, more than 20,000 gallons of paint had been used to cover the redwood.

Luxurious Palace

Her home was a strangely shaped mansion with seven floors, 47 fireplaces, 161 rooms, 10,000 panes of glass, three elevators, two basements, and a mysterious, fun-house-like interior.

Any outsider who has set foot inside the property can tell us that Sarah has spared no expense in making the interiors look very elaborate. Chandeliers hanging from the ceilings above were made of gold and silver. The home is home to dozens of gorgeous stained glass windows created by Tiffany & Co. The products of some of the best designers, including Louis Comfort Tiffany himself, were used to decorate the property.

Things didn’t stop here. The fixtures and plumbing in the house was more luxurious. Winchester House’s plumbing system was ahead of its time. She prided herself on indoor plumbing that no other home had during that time. There were features like required running hot water, push-button gas lighting, and forced air heating. The entire building was the epitome of luxury.

In 1904, the city of San Jose was hit by an earthquake, and the house was severely damaged. The floating foundation saved the property from collapse. The three upper floors of the house were removed, leaving a four-story building.

The legacy of the haunted palace

Before the earthquake, the palace was large enough to attract the attention and speculation of the community. An article by the San Francisco Chronicle was published in 1895 that laid the foundation for the legend of Winchester Mystery House. Accordingly, the sound of the hammer was never silenced. Sarah Winchester thought she would die when construction was completed.

After that, many stories spread about the house that was haunted like wildfire. Throughout the years of its construction, the lady of the house never confirmed that she was building a haunted house. But the stories about its construction indicated the presence of a ghost.

Contractors who worked in the home reported having daily sit-down sessions with local means to get in good spirits. She consulted with good spirits to decipher the means of pleasing the spirits for which Sarah was allegedly building property. These spirits are so called Winchester to make many senseless additions to the property.

Sarah’s death

Sarah Winchester died on September 5, 1922 of heart failure. After her death, her niece and personal secretary inherited all of her property. Her niece took everything she wanted and sold the rest at a private auction. The mansion was also sold at auction to a local investor for more than $135,000. It was then leased for ten years to John and Maym Brown. The duo bought the house. Five months after Winchester’s death, the house was opened to the public, with May serving as the first tour guide.

As of today, the property is owned by Winchester Investments LLC. The house retains its unique touches that reflect the mistress’s beliefs and her reported involvement in warding off malevolent spirits.

Disturbing facts about the mysterious Winchester home

Here are some haunting facts about the mysterious Winchester house to blow your mind.

It has been under continuous construction for 38 years

The construction of the mysterious Winchester house took the longest time to complete. Sarah hired a crew of carpenters who would split their shifts to keep building day and night. Construction only stopped after Sarah died of heart failure in her sleep. Carpenters immediately stopped working on the house.

The house is built from fear

Many stories indicate that the palace was built out of fear. Sarah Winchester wanted to overcome the grief in the wake of her husband’s death. Some folklore states that Sarah even sought to communicate with a spiritual man. While she was looking for solace or something closer, she received chilling warnings from spirits. It might be one of the reasons why the house is haunted.

The architecture is very strange

Winchester Mystery House is nothing like a luxury property. Although millions of dollars went into construction, it includes all architectural oddities. There are trap doors, secret passages, spider web windows, skylights on the floor and many other strange features.

More like a maze

Some suggest that the maze layout of the Winchester house was done on purpose to confuse the ghosts and allow the owner some peace and means to escape from them. You didn’t hire an architect to design it. The whole design was her plan. No master building scheme for the house was ever discovered.

Her will did not mention the house

As strange as it may sound, Sarah never mentioned the house in her will. The apparent absence of the palace against her will became a mystery to many.

Sarah was a crazy woman

Lots of stories, legends and folklore revolve around the property as well as its owner. Some of them mentioned that Sarah was crazy. She was also dealing with her grief with a flurry of activity. Historian Janan Boehme later denied the allegations of her being insane. He painted a happier portrait of the owner and stated that the constant renovations reminded Sarah of the good times when she and her husband built their home together in New Haven.

Nobody knows the number of rooms

After Sarah’s death, the property was turned into a tourist attraction. But when trying to count the number of rooms, the new owners always kept coming up with different numbers. After years of renovations, there are said to be 160 rooms. However, no one knows if the number is correct or not.

Sarah was obsessed with the number 13

The construction of the property also revealed a few things about Winchester’s obsession with the number 13. During construction, she insisted that many things had to do with the number 13.

For example, the house had 13 windows and 13-panel ceilings. It also includes a 13-step staircase. The owner’s will also reflected her obsession with this number. It had 13 parts that I signed 13 times. The thirteenth bathroom in the house has 13 windows.

One of the most haunted places in America

Winchester Mystery House remains one of the most haunted properties in the USA. It is a destination for paranormal encounters. The corridors of the third floor are the focus of all ghostly action. The tour guides claimed to have heard footsteps and a voice whispering their names.

Would you like to visit Winchester Palace?

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