Today's stop is in San Jose. The Winchester House, continously built for 38 years, 24/7, at the instigation of the widowed Mrs. Sarah Winchester. Yes, of Winchester Rifle fame.
The story goes that she lost an infant daughter, and then years later, her husband. The grieving widow contacted a medium who told her that there was a curse upon her family, due to the fact that the rifles her husband's family's company manufactured had killed many people. She was to leave New Haven, and head west. She was doomed to die early herself unless she started building a house, and never stopped work on it--if she did, she would die. Mrs. Winchester wound up in San Jose, California, where she bought a mansion that was in the process of being built at the time. This was in 1884.
Some quick facts and then some links.
Mrs. Winchester's home grew up to 7 stories.
The odd designs were meant to trap and confuse the spirits who meant her harm.
She was fascinated with the number 13.
She communed with the spirit world about the house's design.
Mrs. Winchester was convinced the earthquake of 1906 was a sign from the spirits-- a warning-- because the house was almost complete. The top 3 stories fell in the earthquake and were never rebuilt.
Mrs. Winchester died in 1922, at the age of 83.
The house was purchased by a group of investors who planned to open it as a tourist attraction.
Is the Winchester House really haunted? Does it matter if it is or not?
The Winchester House!
The Winchester House Estate Tours
Press Pictures of the Winchester House
Our next Spooky Express stop? It's the Mystery Stop. See you then!