Saturday 18 July 2015


Sarah Winchester, widow of the gun manufacturer, considered herself cursed after the death of her baby daughter and, soon after, several members of her family. She consulted a psychic who told her that she was being haunted by the spirits of all those who had ended up at the wrong end of a Winchester rifle.

The only way to appease them was – obviously – to build a house. And keep on building, adding rooms and annexes constantly for the rest of her life.  The result is a sprawling, chaotic mansion with crazy features such as a staircase from floor to ceiling, leading nowhere; a door that opens on to a brick wall; a window with crystal insets designed to diffuse the sunlight, installed on a north-facing wall.

Whether these incoherent features were the result of Sarah's incompetence as a designer, or of her desire to confuse the spirits she believed were haunting her, is a matter of speculation.

As our bubbly tour guide at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose told us, you can decide which version is true.

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Be nice :-)