53 Mysterious Winchester House Facts That Will Surprise You

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Sep 08, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Apr 14, 2022
Edited by Rhea Nischal
Fact-checked by Prakriti Sinha
Winchester House facts are interesting to learn.

The Winchester Mystery House is a haunted mansion in San Jose, California.

It was built by Sarah Winchester in 1884 on orders from her late husband, William Wirt Winchester. It was believed that the spirit of her late husband instructed her to build the haunted mansion where ghosts would stay.

The mansion is still one of the most haunted places in California. Even today, when you visit the mansion, you will get an eerie feeling.

It has been believed that ghosts reside in the mansion, and tour guides still hear voices from the interior walls. Even during its construction, contractors could hear Sarah Winchester speak to the deceased. She feared her own life and always changed rooms to evade them.

After the mansion was opened to the public, more storage rooms were discovered, containing huge amounts of treasures worth more than $25,000. In 2018, a movie called 'Winchester' was released, which featured Helen Mirren as Sarah Winchester herself.

This led to more recognition of the spirits' haunting and the mansion gained huge popularity. The movie was filmed in the original Winchester Mystery House.

It continues to gain public curiosity as Sarah Winchester never gave any interviews, keeping a journal record. Even so, no family member is willing to speak about it.

Description Of Winchester House

By the time the house was completed, Winchester Mansion was a modern amusement with facilities like indoor plumbing, multiple elevators, a hot shower, and central heating that were never seen in a house in that era.

There were eccentric architectural designs like 2000 doors, among which some led to an eight-foot kitchen sink, others led to a 15 ft (4.5 m) drop into the buses of the backyard garden. There were staircases that led to the interior walls and some even led to the ceilings.

There was even a mystery cabinet that, when opened, extended into 30 rooms of the mansion.

In 1884, Sarah Winchester purchased the Winchester Mansion. At the time of purchase, the house was just an unfinished farmhouse.

Sarah Winchester employed carpenters to build a mystery house. However, there was not enough time nor a proper architectural plan. The house was built haphazardly.

It had rooms with windows overlooking other rooms and different sized staircases. Many staircases end abruptly into walls.

Doors were made that did not lead to any room. Hallways had dead ends.

At first, Sarah Winchester wanted the entire house to be made of redwood. However, once the Winchester Mystery House was completed, she did not like the look of it. So the entire paint was changed and was covered with stain and faux grain.

To cover the entire Winchester Mystery House, 20,000 gal (90,921 l) of paint were used.

There was hand-inlaid parquet flooring, and gold and silver chandeliers were used to decorate the haunted house.

Colorful stained glasses were used on the windows that were purchased from 'Tiffany & Co.'. Some of them were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany himself.

There was one particular window that was designed in such a magnificent way that when the sunlight fell on it, it would lead to a prismatic reflection.

There was a particular Tiffany window that was designed by Sarah Winchester herself. The glass pane had a spiderweb design and cost a lot of money due to its intricate design and vintage value.

However, due to mismanagement, the window was made on an interior wall, so the effect was never witnessed.

The mystery house had indoor plumbing, which was not only very rare at that time, but also not expensive. It had an all-time hot running water supply, as well as a push-button system for gaslighting.

Also, the Winchester Mystery House had forced-air heating, which warmed the house at all times.

Interestingly, there were 13 bathrooms, yet only one of them was functional, so that spirits would get confused if they wanted to haunt the spigot.

In 2016, a secret attic space was discovered that might have served as a secret storage room. Inside it, there were mysterious yet expensive items such as a pump organ, a Victorian-era couch, a dress form, a sewing machine, and various vintage paintings.

Anybody who comes to the Winchester Mystery House can easily understand that millions of dollars were spent on the architectural features.

Mystery Of Winchester House

Sarah Winchester's late husband had an arms company that made rifles. Sarah wanted to make a mansion that was a shelter for the late spirits of the victims of those people who lost their lives to the bullets from their rifles.

Due to the claims of ghostly encounters and other paranormal phenomena, a parapsychologist and paranormal investigator named Christopher Chacon was employed in the early '90s to conduct a scientific assessment of the property.

The investigation lasted over a month, and Chacon interviewed over 300 people to record their experiences on the property. Later in 2018, a movie was filmed based on this.

In 1904, there was a major earthquake in San Jose, California. This destroyed the top three floors of the mystery house.

However, not a lot of damage was done as the building had a floating foundation. This foundation had equal weight to that of the surrounding soil and thus could bear the pressure of the earthquake.

Eventually, due to the immense weight of Winchester's property, the top three floors of the house were removed.

As seen today, the house has only four floors.

Sarah Winchester never claimed that she was building a haunted mansion. But the contractors told people that they would frequently hear Sarah Winchester talk to a medium in order to contact the good spirits.

These good spirits were believed to be mediators for the ghosts that she initially intended to build the mansion for. The good spirits would call and praise the house to other ghosts, so that the ghosts would come and live in the mansion.

It was also believed that those spirits instructed Sarah Winchester to make the illogical alterations to the Winchester Mystery House.

Even after the mansion was completed, Sarah would continue to please the ghosts who were the victims of Winchester rifles.

It was believed that Sarah Winchester slept in different rooms each night so that the ghosts would not follow her.

Sarah also used secret passages to go from one room to another in the Winchester Mystery House to evade the spirits, who, she believed, could potentially harm her.

Sarah Winchester passed away in September 1922. After Sarah Winchester's death, she left all her inheritance to her niece, Marion. Marion had served as a personal secretary to Sarah Winchester when she was alive.

Interestingly, the Winchester Mystery House was not mentioned in the will of Sarah Winchester.

Marion tried to sell the Winchester mansion, but it was deemed worthless by appraisers due to its haunted history, architectural disparity, and damaged condition by earthquakes.

So, Marion auctioned the house off. A local investor bought the haunted mansion for only $135,000 and opened it to the public as a tourist attraction site just five months after the death of Sarah Winchester.

Winchester House is located in San Jose, California.

History Of Winchester House

The mystery house was originally inhabited by Sarah Winchester. She was the widowed wife of William Wirt Winchester.

After her husband's death, she was the next to own the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Sarah Winchester was born into a rich family. Sarah was fluent in four languages and attended the best schools in town.

She was eventually married to William Wirt Winchester and bore a daughter named Annie. Unfortunately, the infant daughter, Annie Pardee Winchester, passed away in her late 20s.

Around 10 years later, Sarah even lost her husband.

Sarah Winchester was left with a large fortune, including a 50% stake in the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and approximately $20 million.

As she suddenly came into possession of such a huge amount of money and was mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, she thought to take the help of a medium to guide her through these tough times.

The medium connected Sarah with her late husband, William, who advised her to leave her home in New Haven, Connecticut, and move to California.

He also asked Sarah Winchester to donate all the inherited money to build the Winchester House, which would house spirits. If not, they will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Area, Location And Size Of Winchester House

The address of the house is 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, United States of America. It is present in the city of San Jose in the state of California.

The Winchester Mystery House is 24000 sq ft (2229.6 sq m). The house is a seven-story mansion.

It has 10,000 windows and 2,000 doors.

It has 161 rooms and also has 52 skylights.

It has 47 stairways and fireplaces.

The house also has a large number of winding hallways.

It has 13 bathrooms and two elevators.

The mystery house also had six kitchens.

At today's price, the house needs $71 million. However, considering the price in 1923, the year when the house was built, it should have cost $5 million.


How many rooms does the Winchester House have?

The Winchester Mystery House has 161 rooms.

What is the Winchester House known for?

The Winchester Mystery House is known for its evil presence and illogical architectural designs.

Has anyone died in the Winchester House?

Sarah Winchester was the owner of the Winchester mansion, and she passed away in September 1922.

How much is the Winchester House worth?

The Winchester House is worth $6.2 million.

Why is the Winchester House a mystery?

No one knows exactly why the house was built. Numerous people heard voices from the walls of the rooms, and Sarah Winchester herself feared for her life in that house. The entire architectural pattern of the mansion is very odd and gives an eerie feeling.

How many stairways are in the Winchester House?

There are 47 stairways in the Winchester House.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Prakriti Sinha

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Business Mangement

Prakriti Sinha picture

Prakriti SinhaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Business Mangement

Prakriti is a content fact checker at Kidadl while completing her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. She has achieved impressive feats, such as ranking 155 in her state with a 95% in the 11th International Commerce Olympiad by Commerce Teachers Foundation (2020) and securing second place in the Inter-school Bizgeist competition held by Cambridge. Prakriti has previously worked as a content writer, researching and writing articles on various topics.

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