Sunday, July 17, 2011
The Winchester Mystery House
The Buzz Girls have gone on a relaxed schedule for the summer, giving us all more time to write and read and just...hang out. So I thought I'd pop in to mention one of the more unusual things I have done with my summer so far...
Last weekend I was in San Jose, California, and at the advice of a friend, visited the Winchester Mystery House, a seriously odd and fascinating mansion that was under 24/7 construction for 38 years.
Purchased by Winchester gun magnate widow Sarah Winchester in 1884, she paid for round-the-clock renovations and add-ons until her death in 1922. She had been told my a psychic that a curse was on her family from all the lives that had been lost to Winchester guns, and that only way to be safe (and possibly live forever) was the continuous building of what turned out to be a somewhat crooked and very confusing (though lovely) house!
Before the 1906 earthquake, it had boasted 7 stories, but these days, it's 4 stories high with 160 rooms. But it's the rooms themselves that are so odd and one merely fold into the next, with doors and staircases that lead nowhere. One door opens to the second floor air! One of the first things the tour guide tells you as you embark on the one hour tour is that if you need to leave, he'll have to walkie-talkie to get you a escort out, otherwise, you'd never find your way!
Here is a staircase that leads you into a roof:
I ended up calling it "Hearst Castle meets Ripley's Believe It or Not!"
Although this was not mentioned in the tour, I have since heard this house was the setting for the 2002 Stephen King movie, "Rose Red," and I know of at least TV program on the house, claiming that it is haunted to this day.
And yes, I did immediately send our resident Ghost Huntress, Marley Gibson, a message to ask if she'd been there. She said no--not yet, but it was definitely on her to-do list!
I thought I'd share the details with our readers here, to see if any of you have visited, or to possibly put on your to-do list for an interesting sightseeing adventure!
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie
The ABC's of Kissing Boys