Submitted by: AnonymousVisiter
Last updated by: Anonymous
Last updated on : 6/1/2005
525 South Winchester Boulevard
San Jose, Ca 95128
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County: Santa Clara
GPS: 37.318752, -121.950287
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San Jose, California is the where one of the most unusual houses in the world calls home. The 160 room house is a jumble of twists and turns, dead ends and doors to nowhere. It is the result of thirty-eight years of nonstop construction with no more of a blueprint than the whim of the house`s owner.
Sarah Winchester was the wife of the heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune, William Winchester. They had one child, a daughter, Annie, who died about one month after her birth. William died approximately 15 years later of tuberculosis. Mrs. Winchester, deeply distraught over both deaths, consulted a medium for guidance. This is where the fun starts.
The medium, rather than giving a message of a comforting nature, told Sarah that her family was cursed by the spirits of all those killed by Winchester rifles. These spirits had taken the lives of her husband and daughter as a revenge. The only thing that would pacify these tormented, and tormenting, souls would be to purchase a house and build on it continually. If Sarah did as the spirits directed, she could escape them. Apparently, the medium also gave Sarah the impression that if the construction ceased, so would Sarah`s life. Make sense to you? Me neither! It made sense to Sarah, though, which is why I`m able to write about this.
In 1884, Sarah bought a house in San Jose and immediately set to using her $20,000,000 inheritance to fund nonstop additions. There were people working on the house twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year until the day she died, thirty eight years after construction began. Sarah was responsible for the architectural design of the additions, which includes doors that open to 8 foot drops, staircases that rise to nowhere but the ceiling, switchback staircases with two inch steps, and a room that has a window in the floor. Theories abound as to why Sarah constructed the house in this fashion. A common one seems to be that it was her intention to confuse the spirits that were after her. A more outlandish one is that she had a seance every night to learn what the spirits wished. Most sources I read stated that the house has a "seance room", but some claimed it a bit of legend. The most down-to-earth theories are: 1) The house looks like that because she was not an architect and had no idea how to design a house. 2) The house looks like that becuase the woman was completely out of her gourd.
Here are some statistics about the house:
more than 450 doorways
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