The Winchester House

With The film "Winchester" coming out this weekend, it might be time to drive up the coast a bit to San Jose to check out the real Winchester house.

Located at 525 South Winchester Blvd. in San Jose, the Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion is renowned for its size, its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan. There were windows where there don't need to be, staircases leading nowhere, 47 fireplaces, 40 stairways, six kitchens, three elevators and somewhere around 160 rooms spanning 24,000 square feet.

After her husband's death from tuberculosis in 1881, rifle heiress, Sarah Winchester, who inhereted more than $20.5 million (equivalent to $510 million in 2018) contacted spiritualists to determine what she should do next.

A Boston medium, Adam Coons, believed to be a psychic, allegedly told her that the Winchester family was cursed by the spirits of all the people who had been killed by the Winchester rifle and that she should move west to build a house for herself and the she bought an eight-room farmhouse in San Jose, California and moved in and right away she began remodeling.

Some say that that her house grew from 8 to 26 rooms in the first six months, and that the Winchester’s crew worked on the house in rotating shifts, 24 hours a day, for 38 years...building onto the house until her Sarah's death in 1922.

As the legend goes...the medium who, while supposedly channeling her late husband, said she needed to build enough rooms for all of the souls of people who'd been killed with Winchester rifles and told Sarah that if construction on the house ever stopped, she would join her husband and infant she built and built and built.  Sarah felt that the home's labyrinth of rooms within rooms, interior-facing windows, doors that opened to walls, and stairs leading to nowhere were all and important part of a grand plan to "confuse" the spirits of the dead.

But that's not the only theory behind the bizarre house.  Some historians believe that the house was just a strange means of philanthropy...

Janan Boehme, who worked as a historian at the house for 40 years, thinks she may have built the house as a way to keep so many people in the area employed. "She had a social conscience and she did try to give back," Boehme told the Los Angeles Times last year. "This house, in itself, was her biggest social work of all."

After her husband's death, Sarah did fund a tuberculosis clinic at Yale University which still exists today as the Winchester Chest Clinic.

For the feature film, Helen Mirren will play Sarah Winchester, and we can't wait to see what story they tell and all the crazy behind this crazy house.

Parts of the house are open to the public, so if you find yourself in San Jose you can explore the property for around $49.  For more information, click HERE.

Crazy... and all this so close to Hollywood...and that's why we ❤️you!!!

The Winchester House The Winchester House Reviewed by #IheartHollywood on February 01, 2018 Rating: 5

1 comment

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