Located in San Jose, near Santa Clara, California, USA, the Winchester house has a reputation for being haunted in American folklore and is known as the strangest house in the world.
The history of the place and its owners:
First of all, let’s start at the beginning. Before being recognized in the world as a house inhabited by entities, the owners of this house experienced a tragedy even before the construction of this house.
In 1862, William Wirt Winchester (son of Oliver Fischer Winchester, founder and president of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, known for making the famous Winchester lever repeater rifle) married Sarah Lockwood Pardee, who is none other than the future owner of the mysterious house of the same name and not yet built at this precise moment.
On July 12, 1866, the couple had the birth of a little girl whom they decided to call Annie Pardee Winchester, but unfortunately the happiness was only short-lived, because the child died a few weeks after his birth due to an infantile illness.
Sarah Winchester then fell into a deep depression, and following this terrible loss, the couple decided never to have children again…
In December 1880, William Winchester took over the reins of the company from his father, but died of tuberculosis shortly afterwards, in March 1881.
Sarah Winchester then very quickly began to think that a terrible curse was falling on her and her family, and decided to visit a medium in Boston. As surprising as it may be, the latter advised her to build a house for herself and for all the spirits who were victims of the Winchester rifle, she would have to stay in this house until the work on it was completed.
Sarah Winchester followed the medium’s advice and bought an 8-bedroom farm near Santa Clara in 1884. At that time, it spent the equivalent of $70 million to renovate and build the extensions needed to create the house we know today. The work is then in constant motion, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
They will have lasted a total of 38 years, almost as long as the Château de Versailles in France (30 years of construction) at the time of the Sun King.
Good to know, Sarah Winchester herself draws the plans for each room in the house. She made them every night in a private room, which is a unique and empty room that only she could frequent, because according to what had been reported, it was the spirits who were victims of the rifle who told her on the plans, the work to be done every day. And every day after that, she would hand over the new plans to her project manager.
The work on this house was not completed until Sarah Winchester died in 1922, following a cardiac arrest during her sleep. She was then 83 years old and the work stopped due to lack of funds.
Today, Winchester House is classified as a historic monument but is also a popular tourist destination, with 160 rooms, 40 bedrooms, 10,000 window panes, 47 fireplaces, 17 fireplaces and a few unique sights such as empty doors, stairs to the ceiling, bottomless cupboards or windows on the floor!
Interestingly, at the time of its construction, the house had very modern innovations such as central heating, indoor toilets, sophisticated plumbing, 3 elevators, switches and even a hot water shower.
You will have understood that the house itself is already a great mystery, yet the strangeness of it does not stop there.
Since the house is open to all, many witnesses would feel a deep sense of oppression in most rooms of the house, which is not surprising given the curiosities there. Visitors have the impression of entering without any possibility of leaving this strange house.
Others even claim to have seen the ghost of Sarah Winchester haunting the place, especially in the living room where she welcomed the spirits, which is also not a surprise, because let us not forget that she ended her days in this house, without her soul having had the opportunity to find eternal rest.
The other phenomena that have been identified are also auditory. Thus we would hear footsteps towards the stairs leading to the ceiling, or doors that open and close themselves without any explanation…