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Winchester House

A house that is said to be haunted, located in San Jose

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Definitely Worth the Visit!

  • Jul 2, 2010

The Winchester Mansion was owned by the Winchester family (firearms makers) and built in the 1800's.  It is located in San Jose California, just South of San Francisco.  I visited this site about 15 years ago and writing a review does it very little justice as you really need to experience it to understand it.

I was given a formal tour of the building and the tour guide was able to provide us in amazing detail, so many facts about the mansion.

From the outside it does not seem that imposing but once you inside it can take you more than an hour to go through the entire house.  That is because it is designed in a more crazy fashion than the most difficult maze.  There are hundreds of twists and turns throughout the corridors.  There is a winding staircase made of steps that measure less than an inch in height each.  We are told that there are over 200 total rooms but only one bathroom.  There are staircases that lead to walls and another that leads to a drop. 

Parts of the house are severely damaged and we were told that the damage was caused by the great San Francisco earthquake in the early 1900's and was never repaired.  We were told that the house is haunted and that there is a huge seance that occurs there every Halloween.

Why all the weird things.  We were told that Winchester's wife lived in the mansion and believed that spirits of those who died by Winchester firearms would come from her.  Therefore, she had the house designed to make it so difficult for the ghosts to find her in it.

We were told when the Winchester woman died she donated the mansion to San Jose and required that all furniture inside be removed and sold at public auction.  It apparently took several trucks, working day and night, more than a month to remove everything.

As I took this trip so long ago it is hard to remember all the details but I do remember being way more enthralled than any other building I have toured.   It definitely was the highlight of my trip to San Jose.  It is not that far south of San Francisco so if you are in the vicinity, I highly recommend that you do not miss a chance to see this marvel for yourself!

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January 05, 2012
Amazing place !
October 23, 2010
ONE bathroom and 200 rooms?!? Jeez! I drive by this place at least 3 times a week, it's so strange to me that it's literally on a busy city street. It's across from Santana Row, a tony shopping area, and next to movie theaters. It's $33 for the whole shebang usually and the Flashlight Tours (which are specially done at night and Halloween) run $45. I'm going to have to get over myself one of these days and check it out- I keep hoping a visitor will drag me there ;p .
October 23, 2010
And here I thought I was the only one. Living in New York my whole life, spending three years working across from the Empire State Building and never even going inside once. I would recommend the Mansion especially if you get a good tour guide that can explain the entire history of everything as you walk through.
October 23, 2010 makes me feel better that I'm not alone. I always wait for visitors to do the "touristy things". I have lived in the Bay Area for most of my life and it wasn't until @Nando1's parents came to visit that I went to the top of the Coit Tower. I'll have to get a good guide for sure, thanks for the tip!
July 07, 2010
Sounds like everything I expected it to be! I live about an hour away from San Jose and have been meaning to make it out there to check this fascinating house out for years. May just do that this summer :P Thanks for sharing!
July 07, 2010
Nice review. Sounds like a fascinating experience. My wife would really like to see this as she loves to watch shows like "Ghost Hunters". Thanks for telling us about it!
July 07, 2010
I have been to the Bay area several times and this mansion is the most memorable place that I have visited there.
More Winchester House reviews
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
Went here a year ago - I wouldn't say it felt haunted. Very interesting building though.
Quick Tip by . March 15, 2010
I've been to this place in San Jose. Pretty wild and a fascinating tour!
Quick Tip by . March 13, 2010
I've read all about the history of this house over the years & can't wait to visit it!
About the reviewer

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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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About this landmark


 The Winchester Mystery House is a well-known California mansion that was under construction continuously for 38 years, and is reported to be haunted. It once was the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, but is now a tourist attraction. Under Winchester's day-to-day guidance, its "from-the-ground-up" construction proceeded around-the-clock, without interruption, from 1884 until her death on September 5, 1922, at which time work immediately ceased.[2] The cost for such constant building has been estimated at about US $5.5 million (if paid in 1922, this would be equivalent to almost $70 million in 2008 dollars).
The mansion is renowned for its size and utter lack of any master building plan. According to popular belief, Winchester thought the house was haunted by the ghosts of individuals killed by Winchester rifles, and that only continuous construction would appease them. It is located at 525 South Winchester Blvd. in San Jose, California.
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