Ghost Stories: Winchester Mystery House

01 Oct

31 Days Of Ghosts

winchester_mystery_house_san_jose_caMost people know the name surname Winchester, because it was the name on the rifles and other guns the family had created. But what most people don’t know is the dark history that followed the family.

In September 1862, during the civil war, William Wirt Winchester married a lovely woman named Sarah Pardee. The wedding was the social event of the season, seeing that Sarah was a well received guest as most social affairs. Having musical, linguistic skill and all around charm.

Almost four years after the couple married, on July 15, 1866, Sarah gave birth to a little girl, whom she named Annie Pardee Winchester. However, the joyous occasion was short lived with the death of Annie. She contracted disease known as Marasmus, an infection that causes the body to simply waste away. Annie died just nine days after birth on July 24.

A distraught Sarah teetered on the brink of madness, withdrawing into herself while she mourned her daughter. For nearly ten year she stayed like this, and she and William never had another child.

Tragedy reared it’s ugly head again when William contracted Pulmonary Tuberculosis and died in 1881, leaving $20 million dollars behind for Sarah. Sarah would also receive nearly fifty percent of the profits the Winchester Repeating Arms Company made and an income of 1000 dollars a day. But the money did nothing to ease the pain of her loss.

155936398_dfb5be4d68Sarah was deeply broken over the loss of her husband, and never fully got over the loss of her child. A friend suggested that she speak to a spiritualist medium to perhaps better deal with the loss. The spiritualist proved to have a message for Sarah from the other side. “Your husband is here,” the medium told her and then went on to provide a description of William Winchester. “He says for me to tell you that there is a curse on your family, which took the life of he and your child. It will soon take you too. It is a curse that has resulted from the terrible weapon created by the Winchester family. Thousands of persons have died because of it and their spirits are now seeking vengeance.”

Sarah sold her property after being told to do so by the medium, and head into the setting sun. She was told her husband would guide her and she would know it when she saw it. Sarah started a new life in hopes of easing her pain and suffering as well as the spirits that haunted her. “You must start a new life,” said the medium, “and build a home for yourself and for the spirits who have fallen from this terrible weapon too. You can never stop building the house. If you continue building, you will live. Stop and you will die.”

winchesthouse2Sarah traveled west to California, and settled again in Santa Clara Valley in 1884. There she discovered a six bedroom home that was under construction and paid a hefty sum for the house. While she stayed there, there was construction in the house 24/7 . Sarah hired the best of the local workers, paying them well for them to keep up with her demands of oddities. The house grew to 10 then 26 rooms. She worked close at hand with the overseer, often showing him the plans of the house.

2006_Mar_11_Winchester_Mystery_House_05_short_steps.sizedThe house eventually became a maze, one which Sarah said would confuse the spirits and perhaps they would leave her alone. But for fear of dying, she never stopped building. Oddities of the house included stairs that lead to ceilings, or to a steep drop to the lawn below, three elevators, forty-seven chimneys. It was also clear that Sarah had an obsession with the number 13. All stair ways except for one contained 13 stairs. The one staircase without 13 stairs contained forty-two steps, which would be enough to take you three stories, unless they were two inches tall.

Year after year construction continued on in this mystery house that Sarah was building. While it didn’t make any sense to outsiders, it made perfect sense for Sarah. The house grew to an alarming seven stories, but an earthquake in 1906 destroyed three of those floors. Still Sarah plodded on with construction, closing off thirty rooms in the front of the house so they would never be completed.

Sarah’s madness came to an end when she retired for the night and passed on in her sleep at the age of eighty-three.

1444542200_eae61646a4Sightings have been reported of Sarah roaming the halls of her house as well as a vast number of other spirits. Staff and guest alike have heard footsteps, banging doors, glass rattling so hard it breaks. Sure all of this stuff could probably be debunked. But where’s the fun in that?

Keep it real and rockin


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9 responses to “Ghost Stories: Winchester Mystery House

  1. stephie

    December 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    omg that is unbelievable! i thought that ghosts were fake, i mean arent they?and this house, is it true that these stairs and passages are really like this? i want to know more about it but don’t want to go there in case something scary happens :S come to think of it! is this a hotel or just a tourist attraction, i was wondering, do people live in it? wow, so is it true that when sarah stopped working, or the workers building the house, she would die? and is that when she died in her sleep or something like that? i never knew that people believed in curses and haunting people like this, but this is way back in the nineteenth century right, woah:@ but how can we all believe this stuff is true about sarah and her husband and child, i mean, there is no evidence or anything, it was way back then and how would YOU know whether it’s true or not? it might just be a myth or something to scare people and just because there is a sign outside the house saying that this and that happened it doesnt neccessarily make it true and that we should believe you , please reply soon, i am very keen to find out more on this house, it’s fascinating and unique!

  2. Zodi

    December 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    A lot of the pictures that I used were pictures from tourists who have been there. I’ve have seen this house on TV and yes, it does actually look like this on the inside. As for proof as to ghosts existing, I think really that’s something you have to experience for yourself. I’ve known skeptics who were changed because of some paranormal activity.

    Most of the stories that come from here are usually hear say. Again having to experience it for yourself sort of deal. I personally believe that there are supernatural beings and a paranormal realm. I also like really good ghost stories.

    As for documentation, there is a lot of it out especially on the Winchester family. They made guns, they were rich and they were well known.

    I usually tell my friends believe none of what you read on the internet. 😉 However, there is a lot of truth to what I write, and a lot of embellishments. I leave it up to my readers to tell the difference.

    Keep it real and rockin’

  3. Sydney

    February 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I am actually writing a book about this house. I have never been there, but I wish to go. Alot of people say that once you walk in, you never know when your going to get out. I heard one guy was exploring the house, and fell eight stories, because one of the doors leads eight stories down into the kitchen with no stairs or even a landing. You take one wrong step, your gone.
    Anyway, I think its not creepy at all. I think it is extremely interesting and has a big sense of curiousity on me.

  4. who knows?

    February 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Kind of interesting, needs more pics!

  5. Rose

    May 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Wow. I’ve always been fascinated with this house. I mean if you aren’t the least bit curious your a little odd. Anyway i was reading one of your replys to Stephie, and i absolutely agree. For alot of people ghost dont exist and I’m just some weird freak with black hair. But you have to have an actual experience to ever really believe. I’m kinda physic i guess. I like see the fututre sometimes. I mean…oh its hard to explain. Well anyway, for all the nonbelievers out there i think you should take it from me. One day your laughing and joking around about how crazy people are and the next you watch your neighbors house burn down- just like the dream you’d had the night before. Crazy? Uh that was how i got sucked into all this. Give us weirdos a minute to speak before you make fun.

  6. Ck

    March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Please tell me how you can write about the Winchester Mystery House if you have never been. I live in San Jose, CA and have visited the house numerous times. Friends and Family who had never been were always interested in going.

    It is a beautifully crafted house with bazaar rooms, doors, leading to nowhere.

    I’ve never experienced any paranormal activity in the house. I’m sure there is though.

    I would love for the Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventurers to spend a night in the house and document anything. For the most part the house is quiet.

    At night time I cannot say otherwise.

  7. B

    August 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Went to the house yesterday with my kids. We went up the staircase called the switchback that leads to a hay loft. I turned around and looked back towards the staircase and saw a mist that obscured the wall of the staircase. My son and his friend saw it also. You could see only the faint outline of the paneling of the wall but in one area to the left it was fuzzy. Later in the tour we noticed the same type of mist in a sitting room off of the relative with the last name of Marriot.
    Too Creepy


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