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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