Monday, December 7, 2015

Winchester Mystery House - Odd and Interesting

The folks had planned on visiting Chinatown on Saturday, but the weather was quite cool. They switched gears and decided to visit the Winchester Mystery House.  They had been dragging their feet on it because Mom had hoped to find a Groupon deal on it.  The tickets are $34 each and Mom thought that was pricey.
 
Winchester Mystery House
Sarah Winchester owned the house.  She was from Connecticut.  Her husband's father owned the Winchester Rifle Co.  Her infant daughter died which left her in a depression and then her husband died 15 years later.  She visited a spiritual medium that told her that her family and fortunes were being haunted by those killed by the Winchester rifle. The medium told her to move west and buy a house to appease the spirits by building a great house for them. She was told that as long as construction of the house never ceased, she could rest assured that her life was not in danger. Building of the house was supposed to bring her eternal life.  She found a house while visiting her niece near San Jose.  She hired a staff and over the next 38 years, work was done on the house 24 hours a day.  The work stopped on the day that she died.  If you would like to read more about Sarah Winchester and her house, click on this link: Winchester Mystery House.  It really is quite interesting. Photography is not allowed inside the house, but photos are on the website.  Mom also found several videos on YouTube that give small tours of the house.

 Before the folks took the tour, they ate lunch in the cafe.  The house is located near a mall and the traffic in that area was terrible with holiday shoppers, so they decided the cafe was their best option. They shared a plate of sliders and fries for $10.  Mom said it was good even though the bun was a little burnt.


The folks toured the garden before the tour.



These doors cost $3,000 when installed in 1906 and were unused as she did not entertain.








The tour took an hour and the guide said that they walked a mile. They did not tour the entire house. He said part of his test to becoming a guide was his ability to be able to find his way out of the house in five minutes.  His first try took him three hours.  You see the house is 24,000 square feet, 160 rooms, 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 52 skylights, 47 fireplaces, 40 bedrooms, 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms, six kitchens, three elevators, two basements and one shower.  There are steps that end at the ceiling and also some that end at a wall, doors that open to walls and doors that open to nothing, just big drops.  There are steps called easy risers that are steps that are maybe just a few inches off the ground.  Mrs. Winchester had arthritis and those steps were probably easy for her to use.  However, it looks like guest are walking to a ride at Disney World watching them go up the steps because the steps had half walls around them. A ramp may have been easier.  Mom said Scout could have walked on the easy riser steps.  There is a seance room that had one entrance but three exits.  Mrs. Winchester did not sleep in the same room two nights in a row. She really wanted to confuse the spirits.   

She was very wealthy.  It is estimated that she made over a $1,000 a day and that was in the early 1900's.  She paid her staff well, but also fired them easily.  Many of the staff members lived on site.  If they had a family, they had their own little house on site. 

Mom said the stained glass windows were beautiful.  She wishes she could have taken photos.  The number 13 and spider web designs were important to Mrs. Winchester, so there was evidence of those all over.  The spider web designs were in some of the windows.

There is also a museum of the Winchester rifles.  That is included in the basic tour price.  There is a behind the scenes tour that is also offered, but the folks did not do that.  It included a tour of the basement and a few other rooms.


The folks really enjoyed the tour of the house and are still talking about it today.  The guide they had didn't seem to like his job much.  He commented that tour guides have to clean the windows, put up the Christmas trees and do five tours a day....same tour five times a day. 

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Is Glad He Doesn't Live In The Mystery House Because It Might Take A While To Find The Door To Go Outside

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