Because this legendary haunted house is located so close to where I live, I feel obligated to report on its history and the stories surrounding this infamous spooky location. I fact, I have visited this house. Given, it was when I was young, but I still had a fascination with the paranormal and was on the lookout for ghosts and signs of such phenomenon.
Construction on the house began in 1884. Sarah Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, married William Wurt Winchester. They had one daughter who lived less than a year before dying unexpectedly. William died in 1880 from tuberculosis. Following the death of her daughter and husband, Sarah Winchester sought the help of a medium to instruct her on how to carry out the rest of her life. This is where the legend of the Winchester Mystery House began.
The medium informed Mrs. Winchester that she was being followed by all the souls that had died at the hands of a Winchester rifle (which, at that time, was probably in the tens of thousands). Sarah truly believed that it was because of these spirits that her family had met such an unfortunate end. As a result of this reading, Mrs. Winchester retreated to San Jose, California, from New Haven, Connecticut and began construction on the house that would consume her life twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, for the thirty-eight years until her death.
As a result, a maze of a house was built, and it is believed that Sarah Winchester purposely built the house in such a haphazard manner to confuse the spirits who were haunting her house. Essentially, the house was built to please the ghosts who fell victim to her husband’s gun trade. This is why this mansion has lived on in infamy even today.
there is a certain sensation when one first enters the house — that something isn’t quite right. As though the house is built on uneven ground. I remember as a child feeling almost instantly dizzy as soon as I entered the property. My family and I took a tour of the mansion, and I distinctly remember having the feeling that our group was being watched and followed by something unseen, or rather, a group of unseen people. The house itself has a heavy kind of feeling, as though you are in a room filled with people, although there are only four people actually, physically there.
The most profound experience that I had, though, was walking into the room where Sarah Winchester died. The original bed on which she took her last breath still remains. I distinctly remember squinting and trying to comprehend what I was seeing, as there was a very distinct imprint on the bed, as though someone was laying there as I was looking at it. Perhaps this was my child imagination escaping me, though, as no one else said anything.
To this day, I know that I need to go back and investigate further, as I am far more educated on the subject of the paranormal now than I was when I was a child. There is something about the Winchester Mystery House that draws me to it. I truly believe Sarah Winchester never let go of the house that she dedicated her life and money to. I am determined to find out.