• Lindzay Alvaraz ​

The Winchester Mystery House

Ever heard of the Winchester Mystery House? It is said to be the most haunted and mysterious place in the[if gte vml 1]><o:wrapblock><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="officeArt_x0020_object" o:spid="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" style='position:absolute;margin-left:-9.3pt;margin-top:8.8pt; width:468pt;height:234pt;z-index:251659264;visibility:visible; mso-wrap-style:square;mso-wrap-distance-left:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-top:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-right:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-bottom:12pt; mso-position-horizontal:absolute;mso-position-horizontal-relative:margin; mso-position-vertical:absolute;mso-position-vertical-relative:page' strokeweight="1pt"> <v:stroke miterlimit="4"></v:stroke> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\LHiltz1\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.png" o:title=""></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="topAndBottom" anchorx="margin" anchory="page"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif][if gte vml 1]></o:wrapblock><![endif] world. The Winchester Mystery House is in Santa Jose, California, one of the world’s biggest mansions with 160 rooms.

The Winchester Mystery House used to be the home of Sarah Winchester, the heiress of the Winchester fortune. Sarah Winchester was a beautiful woman with amazing musical abilities, fluency in several foreign languages and was known as the belle of the town. She married William Wirt Winchester, who was to be heir of the Winchester fortune. The Winchester’s gained their money by making the famous repeating rifle that would kill thousands of people during the Civil war.

Four years after their wedding, Sarah gave birth to their daughter Annie Pardee Winchester on July 15,1866. Nine days after she was born, the baby died due to an illness called “marasmus”. After the death of her daughter, Sarah almost went insane and withdrew from the world for almost a decade. Once Sarah recovered, another tragedy struck her. William had contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and soon died on March 7, 1881, leaving Sarah with over $20 million dollars and 48.9% of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Despite the enormous fortune that she had received, many believe that due to the grief of losing her child and husband, Sarah contacted a spiritualist medium to ask for answers. As the story goes, the spiritualist told Sarah that her family is cursed because of the repeating rifle that took the life of thousands of people. The spiritualist then told her to head west and build a home, the spiritualist then said that Sarah must continue building or else she will die.

When Sarah found the house she wanted, she hired 22 carpenters that rotated shifts so the construction would go on year round for 24 hours each day. The house then grew into a 7 story building. The house contains several stairs which lead nowhere or into the ceiling; doors that would open to walls or in one case, a door on the second floor opens to a drop outside; trap-doors. Sarah also had a séance room in which they said was where she talked to the ghost for guidance on how to build the house. The house used to have 600 or more rooms but due to constant remodeling and an earthquake, the house is now only 3 story house and 108 rooms. Sarah died in her sleep at the age of 37.

The house was said to be haunted by several paranormal investigators and tourists that visit the house. Visitors of the house report hearing doorknobs rattling , footsteps and breathing into empty rooms. One caretaker reported that while he was closing up the mansion one night, he had locked all the doors and turned off every light, but when he looked up on his car he found that all the lights on the third floor were turned on. Tour guides often hear someone whispering their name and on occasion the tour manager reported seeing a woman that looked similar to Mrs. Winchester roaming the halls.

The most famous and well-sighted ghost in the property though seems to be “The Wheelbarrow Man”. Many tour guides reported seeing a man wearing white coveralls and a hat pushing a wheelbarrow in the basement where several of the tour guides were cleaning. One guest also reported seeing a man in white coveralls, a moustache, and pushing a wheelbarrow, and while she was looking at picture of Mrs. Winchester’s carpenter and pointed out a man which looked like the one spotted in the basement prior. Out of curiosity, the Tour Manager showed the picture to the tour guide who reported seeing the wheelbarrow man first and the tour guide curiously enough pointed at the same man that the tourist did.

Many paranormal investigators over the years have come and gone, trying to prove the existence of any spirits or ghost in the mansion. Some investigators believe they scrounged up evidence, while others’ investigations found nothing.

Whether you believe in the paranormal, you can’t deny that the Winchester Mystery House with its intricate designing and the mysterious layout, is fascinating.