Century-Old Home Has Doors That Lead Nowhere to Confuse Ghosts Who Haunt the Builder
The name Winchester has been synonymous with guns for centuries, but there’s another side to the story that’s far more chilling.
William Winchester was the rifle magnate who made a fortune with Winchester rifles. In 1881, Winchester passed away and left his vast fortune — at the time nearly $20.5 million; almost $500 million in today’s dollars — to his wife Sarah. However, she was not happy with her inheritance. She was widowed and childless — the Winchesters had lost their only daughter in infancy. She reportedly entered a deep depression and eventually turned to a psychic for guidance.
The psychic told Sarah she needed to move out West and to build a home. But here’s where things turn creepy: The psychic said that the home must be a built to make amends for the many souls taken from Earth on account of the Winchester rifles. With nearly unlimited wealth, Sarah followed the instructions of the medium and began construction on a massive Victorian home in San Jose, California that still stands today. The sprawling mansion had 300 rooms, 13 bathrooms, 2 ballrooms, six kitchens, 47 fireplaces, two basements, and three elevators on seven floors. It also boasts 2,000 doors. This is where the history gets strange.
Legend has it that Sarah didn’t use an architect while constructing the mansion. She reportedly used a ouija board to communicate with spirits who told her what changes to make. Because of this, Sarah asked for constant updates and upgrades. Her construction crew worked tirelessly through day and night in rotating shifts to help keep up with her demands.
The result was a mansion filled with twists and turns everywhere. This includes doors seemingly out of place and leading to nowhere.
It’s said Sarah purposefully had these random, useless doors built throughout the estate to confuse spirits who she thought were haunting her and seeking vengeance for their gun-related deaths.
Sarah’s bedroom is pictured above, but many think that she barely slept in her mania. Reportedly, the bell tower in the mansion would ring out every night at midnight and 2 a.m.
Sarah had an affinity for glass and windows, often using them to help spread light from outer rooms into the many interior rooms of the home. Sarah Winchester would incorporate one of her favorite designs into many panes of glass, the spiderweb.
Sarah eventually passed away in 1922, but lucky for those who came into possession of the home, Sarah often had bought numerous replacement parts for anything in the house. To this day, there are still Victorian-era pieces stored in the home to help replace anything that may break to help keep the original look of the home intact.
Now, the home has been turned into a museum where visitors can explore the many pathways and dead ends within its walls. You can learn more about the Winchester Mystery House by visiting their website. With so much history left to be discovered, it’s likely more mysteries will eventually come to light.
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