Sarah Winchester’s Mystery House

By | March 8, 2019

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Winchester Mystery House. Source: (

Currently, a tourist attraction in San Jose, California, the Winchester Mystery House, formerly known as Llanada Villa, was once the largest and most expensive private residence in the United States. At its peak, it had two hundred rooms, ten thousand windows, and two thousand doors.

It was a simple eight-room farmhouse when it was purchased by Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester fortune. The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was founded by Sarah’s late husband’s father, Oliver Winchester, who died in 1880. Sarah inherited the fortune after her husband, William Winchester, died of tuberculosis in 1881. Their only daughter had died one month after being born, leaving Sarah as the sole heir. She moved from Connecticut to San Jose in 1885 and bought the farmhouse in 1886. Construction began that year and continued twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year until her death in 1922.

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Sarah Winchester. Source: (

The reasons behind the continuous building have become one of America’s most well-known ghost stories. According to legend, Sarah visited a psychic who told her that the deaths of her husband and child were the result of a curse on the Winchester family. The curse was enacted by the ghosts of all the victims killed by the Winchester rifles and the only way Sarah could avoid succumbing to it was by continuing to build. Some believe that the blueprints for her additions came from the spirits themselves as Sarah was alleged to have seances in which she communicated with the ghosts.