The Haunting Story of the Winchester Mystery House
Thu, February 2, 2023

The Haunting Story of the Winchester Mystery House


Sarah Winchester was an American heiress who amassed great wealth after the death of her husband in 1922. Little has been uncovered about her obsession with the Winchester Mystery House. She had no family willing to speak about her, gave no interviews, and left behind no journals.

Sarah was born around 1840 in a privileged family. She was able to attend the best schools and speak four languages. She married William Wirt Winchester, heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, and eventually gave birth to a daughter, Annie. However, Annie passed away, and William followed a decade after.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Sarah was devastated with the loss of her family so she decided to seek the advice of a medium, hoping that her husband would tell her how to spend her fortune or what to do with her life. It is believed that William instructed her to use the fortune to build a home for the spirits of those who had fallen victim to Winchester rifles. If not, she would be haunted by them for the rest of her life. After all, she inherited roughly $20 million (over $500 million in 2019 dollars) as well as 50 percent of the Winchester Arms company.


Photo Credit: egorshitikov via Pixabay


Sarah bought a small unfinished farmhouse in San Jose, California which later became known as the Winchester Mystery House. Although she hired carpenters to help her, the house was constructed haphazardly. Multiple distorted staircases were added, as well as rooms with windows overlooking other rooms. Doorways opened to blank walls, corners rounded to dead ends, and staircases ascended through several levels before ending abruptly.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, Sarah was able to build a mansion with seven stories, 10,000 panes of glass, 161 rooms, 47 fireplaces, three elevators, two basements, and a mysterious fun-house-like interior. 




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