on a daily basis, and on Halloween and every Friday the 13th there are
flashlight tours. The Mansion has a very interesting history.
Sarah Winchester was once a prominent member of the Boston elite society.
After the deaths of her only child, a girl, and Sarah's husband who was the
son and heir of the man who produced the Winchester repeating rifles, Sarah
thought the reason her child and husband had died was because the spirits of
everyone killed by the Winchester rifle had taken them and placed a curse on
the Winchesters. The only way to appease the spirits was to build a mansion
and keep building it forever. Thus began a 38 year quest by Sarah Winchester
to not only appease the spirits but confuse them as well so they couldn't
The wealthy Mrs. Winchester at the age of 44 travelled alone to San Jose
California to build a mansion and kept the construction for the next 38 years
until her death. The house at one time rose 7 stories and contained a maze
of rooms, hallways, staircases and doors. She named her mystery house Llanda
Villa. It was a 160 room mansion although Sarah closed off the front 30
rooms . She boarded them up after an earthquake in 1906. She took the
earthquake as a sign that the spirits were unhappy with the way the
construction was going. However estimates point to over 600 rooms built and
demolished over a 38 year time frame.
One feature of the Mansion was a bell tower, where the bell was rung
every night at about midnight to summon the spirits. Sarah would then ask
the good spirits how they wanted the mansion constructed. The bell would
again ring out at 2 am. to signal the spirits that it was time to leave.
Sarah would emerge from the seance room with new plans for the construction
workers. She claimed the good spirits gave her the plans to help her confuse
the bad spirits so they couldn't get to her.
Many psychics have spent the night at the Winchester Mansion hoping to
contact the spirits that reside there. They were not disapointed.
Experiences include organ music being heard in the Blue Room where Sarah
died. In Sarah's bedroom cold spots are felt and red balls of light are seen
that seem to explode and fade. Apparitions of a couple lingering in the
corner of the bedroom clothed in servants garb dating to the early 20th
century. The sense of being watched is also felt in many parts of the house.
During one seance a psychic appeared to age dramatically and take on the
physical appearence of Sarah. Although most people who have felt Sarah have
said she is a kind and gentle spirit.
A caretaker who worked at the house for several years said he heard
breathing in one room, and once had followed the sound of footsteps to the
doorway of Sarahs bedroom. Both instances he was alone. Another worker in
the house claimed to have heard his name whispered. While still others have
sensed being watched, hearing footsteps, and perhapes the strangest of all,
the smell of chicken soup coming from the front kitchen that had not been in
use for several years.
Apparitions of Sarh have been seen and photographed as well as a man in
overalls. Many episodes of lights turning off and on by themselves when the
house is empty and locked up for the night. Also a room in the house was
flooded, every item in the room was soaked. Upon further inspection of the
room the floor, the ceiling and the walls were completely dry.
Although Sarah Winchester lived her life in solitude and reclusive for
the last 38 years of her life, it would seem she enjoys putting on a show for
the workers and tour groups who visit her unique home now.