Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Wacky World of the Winchester Mystery House

Author: Richard Stoffer 

Ever wonder what Willie Wonka’s house would look like? Well wonder no more, The Winchester mystery house is as strange as you think it could be and is open for tours. 

The Winchester Mystery house with all its spires and windows looks welcoming from the outside. But if you look closely you can see the door to nowhere on the right. 

The Winchester Mystery house was built by the widow of William Wirt Winchester, Sarah Winchester. Construction started in 1884, three years after her husband's passing, and her inheriting his 20.5 million (or 532 million now), she saw a medium who told her to move to California and build a house for herself and all the spirits who had been claimed by her husband's rifles. If she continued to build, she would appease the spirits but if she didn’t, they would haunt her to her death.  

The construction on the property lasted for 20 years and thru 2 earthquakes. The design of stairs that lead to nowhere and 161 rooms were a feature she insisted upon to confuse the spirits. Until the 1906 earthquake the mansion stood at 7 stories, today it stands at 4. Boasting 161 rooms, 40 bedrooms, 2 ballrooms, and 47 fireplaces it was a marvel of its time. It also had over 10,000 panes of glass some made by the Tiffany Glass company, 2 basements and 3 elevators. The building of the property and the reasoning for it have been explored thru several books as well as a movie in 2018 featuring Helen Mirren. 

The Winchester Mystery house is one women's attempt to keep spirits at bay that turned into a wonderfully weird house to explore and is a marvel of engineering, in its own right. 

Works Cited: 
“Helen Mirren gets spooked in Winchester Mystery House”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd83XJe1XYA Hosted by AP News archive on Youtube  Accessed March 26 2019 

Taber Photographic Co. (I.W. Taber?) - History San Jose Research Library “Sarah Winchester”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Winchester#/media/File:SWinchester.jpg Hosted on Wikimedia. Accessed on 26 March 2019 

The Winchester Mystery House” https://www.prairieghosts.com/winchester.html Hosted by Troy Taylor and Apartment #42 Productions. Accessed on 26 March 2019. 

Links for further research: 

Sarah’s Story: Winchester Mystery House. Winchester Mystery house website. 
The visitor's website is maintained by the trust who run the tours of the mansion and provides details about Sarah Winchester and the grounds. The purpose of the site is to allow site visitors a glimpse of the background and entice them to visit. 

The Winchester Mystery House: AtlasObscura
The page is hosted by Atlas Obscura: The definitive guide to the worlds hidden wonders and is maintained as a repository for weird and unique places to visit. The purpose of the site is to allow web searches for curious people who wish to visit unique places close by them or on a trip they may be taking soon.  

The Winchester Mystery house: The haunted history of one of America’s strangest and Most haunted houses. 
The website is maintained by Troy Taylor & Apartment #42 productions. It serves as a repository for all things haunted in the US and provides for research and sales of books on paranormal places and things. 

Winchester. Movie released on February 2nd 2018 by Lionsgate CBS Films. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1072748/.  This is a film that provides us a 1h 39m accounting of Sarah Winchester and her building of the Mystery House. The purpose of the film is to explore the possible in mental workings of the eccentric Heiress played by Helen Mirren and to deepen the mystery surrounding the House. 

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