The Winchester Mystery House is one of the most famous “haunted” locations in the entire state of California; the San Jose landmark was the inspiration for the horror-survival video-game The Evil Within, and has been featured on paranormal reality-TV programs like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures—even an episode of MythBusters. Renowned for its impressive size, architectural curiosities, and lack of any master building plan, the sprawling Victorian mansion at 525 South Winchester Blvd. may soon be known as a great place to enjoy some delicious food and libations.
The house was commissioned by Sarah Winchester, widow of famed gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, who inherited over $20M dollars upon his death in 1881. She moved to California after a Boston medium told her to relocate out west and build a perpetually-expanding mansion that she was to inhabit—along with the ghosts of everyone who had died by a Winchester Rifle. Building continued at the mansion until the day she died; notable curiosities include: Doors and stairs that go nowhere, windows that opened into other rooms or brick walls, and unusually-sized risers.
According to Wikipedia: “Today the home is owned by Winchester Investments LLC, a privately held company representing the descendants of John and Mayme Brown. The home retains unique touches that reflect Sarah Winchester’s beliefs and her reported preoccupation with warding off malevolent spirits. These spirits are said to have directly inspired her as to the way the house should be built. The number thirteen and spider web motifs, which carried spiritual significance for her, occur throughout the house.”
The 160-room estate has been a tourist attraction for decades, offering guided tours and a museum along with events services. But as reported by SF Eater and The Silicon Valley Business Journal, The Winchester Mystery House will be transforming its tiny cafe into a full service restaurant; permits allowing alcohol consumption anywhere on the property have already been procured. And for guests who may imbibe a bit too heartily, the pump house, the caretaker’s residence, and the foreman’s quarters are being equipped to accommodate overnighters.
While these conversions will hardly make The Winchester Mystery House the first haunted hotel or eatery, it’s a rare instances of an established haunted landmark opening its doors in a hitherto unprecedented manner, allowing for merriment and extended stays.
Some believers in the paranormal may question the prudence of allowing drunken visitors to cavort around these supposedly haunted corridors; still, it’ll definitely revive interest by attracting more of the hip (rich) local “Techies”, along with out-of-towners—not to mention thrill-seekers and adrenaline-junkies! Stay up to date on renovations and availability at The Winchester Mystery House by visiting their official website: HERE (Beware the creepy music!).
Would you be willing to spend the night in one of California’s most haunted mansions? Sound off in the comments section!
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Visisted it years ago would LOVE to spend the night.
I always found the similarities of this house to the hotel that HH Holmes built years ago around the same time very eerie. If you don’t know who I am talking about, here is a documentary on Americas first serial killer and a rumored movie called “Devil in the White City” soon. (Book is out for you and is a disturbing read)
Beyond that, I would happily spend the night there as I have lived in and been to many haunted locations. I find it exciting.