The Winchester Mystery House
Today we got to explore!
We’ve been in Northern California just south of San Jose for a week now. This trip was partnered with a big work event for me so it’s been a long week. Very long. Pretty much my days consist of 12-15 hours of work then just kind of collapsing into bed. Greg has been a great sport about all this. Luckily he’s used to my workaholic tendencies and he’s like a self contained entertainment unit.
Today we headed off to The Winchester Mystery House. This is my second time back and one of my favorite places I learned about as a teen. And I was super naughty because you’re not… very much not… allowed to take photos inside the mansion. However, I’m crazy about this place and couldn’t help myself (even got scolded by the guide) and I hope this inspires you to make your own visit.
There’s a ton you of information you can find online and during the tours they really like to play up the spooky factor which I’m personally ‘meh’ about. Here’s my take on this…
I think Sarah Winchester was a very lonely woman after her daughter starved to death due to Marasmus and then both her parents, Father-in-Law, and finally her husband all died within 18 months of one another. Mental illness and depression treatment were in their infant stages in the late 1800’s and I think the suggestion to move out West, where most of her remaining family had relocated to, and build, probably had some appeal to a woman with a lot of money and time on her hands.
Bedroom where Sarah Winchester Died. The photo on the wall was her late husband William Winchester.
She absolutely had an interest in architecture and I think a lot of the funny things you see such as doors & staircases to nowhere are the outcome of constant rebuilds — That she just didn’t feel the need to rip out, maybe because of spirits? Who knows.
I think she was a generous woman as well. She housed and fed her 18+ servants and provided medical care all for free. She even paid double the standard wage at $3 a day.
Greg and I talked with the guide who took us through the Fruit Drying Shed for her orchard and personal brand and he said the venture was never profitable — The brand made just enough to break even and allow people to earn a living in the area.
Sarah’s personal Brand – S. L. Winchester
Fruit Drying Oven.
The rest of the house is pretty amazing and if you’d like to check out all 98 photos of our visit you can find them here.