WINCHESTER MANSION MYSTERY

John is joined again by co-host Charlotte Andersen from Brisbane Australia to talk about the Winchester Mansion Mystery.

Image from: flickr.com

Harry Houdini toured the mansion in 1924 and the newspaper account of his visit, displayed in the rifle museum on the estate, states he called it the Mystery House.

 SARAH WINCHESTER’S CONTINUAL PROJECT

The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, California, which was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester.  The mansion is located at 525 South Winchester Blvd,  San Jose, California.  the Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion is renowned for its size, its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan.  The mansion is a designated California historical landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now privately owned and serves as a tourist attraction.

Ever since the construction commenced in 1884, the property and mansion were claimed by many, to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles. Under Winchester’s day-to-day guidance, its “from-the-ground-up” construction proceeded around the clock, by some accounts, without interruption, until her death on September 5, 1922, at which time work immediately ceased.

Image from: wikipedia.org

The home itself is built using a floating foundation that is believed to have saved it from total collapse in the 1906 earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. This type of construction allows the home to shift freely, as it is not completely attached to its brick base. There are roughly 161 rooms, including 40 bedrooms, 2 ballrooms (one completed and one unfinished) as well as 47 fireplaces, over 10,000 panes of glass, 17 chimneys (with evidence of two others), two basements and three elevators. Winchester’s property was about 162 acres (66 ha) at one time, but the estate has since been reduced to 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) – the minimum necessary to contain the house and nearby outbuildings. It has gold and silver chandeliers, hand-inlaid parquet floors and trim, and a vast array of colors and materials.

Image from: wikipedia.org

Mrs. Winchester never skimped on the many adornments that she believed contributed to its architectural beauty. Many of the stained glass windows were created by the Tiffany Company. Some were designed specifically for her, and others by her, including a “spider web” window that featured her favorite web design and the repetition of the number thirteen, another of her preoccupations. This window was never installed, but exists in the so-called “$25,000 storage room” – so named because its contents were originally appraised at a value of $25,000. The value today is inestimable, but $25,000 would be equivalent to $354,026 in 2015. A second window was designed by Tiffany himself, so that when sunlight strikes the prismatic crystals a rainbow is cast across the room. The window was installed in an interior wall in a room with no light exposure, preventing the effect from being seen.

Image from: flickr.com

Despite the fact that the story of Sarah Winchester’s fear of angry spirits haunting her unless she continue to build for them, John and Charlotte discuss information that completely contradicts this and in their minds makes the Winchester Mansion an even greater Mystery and attraction.

http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

http://abc7news.com/society/new-room-found-at-san-joses-winchester-mystery-house/1548352/

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/winchester-mystery-house

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dy0TnZ_vpk

http://thetruthaboutthewinchesterhouse.com/

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