A bit of a tourist trap, but a cute one. Sarah L. Winchester, widow of gun magnate William W. Winchester, thought that the ghosts of the people killed by the Winchester rifle would come for her when she finishes building her house--so she decided she'll never finish. Parts of the house were constantly being built and torn down, doors were built that opened into walls, stairs were built that simply went into the ceiling, etc. There's really no mystery at all to the Winchester Mystery House, but it's cute to look at (though the tickets--at more than $20 a piece--are a bit steep). Additionally, Mrs. Winchester had enough money that she was able to amass quite a collection of some quite fancy stuff, which can also be interesting to look at. If you have a good tour guide, you may get to have some of the really nasty architectural mistakes pointed out to you.
Visit this Victorian mansion built by Sarah Winchester, widow of rifle manufacturer William Winchester. Construction began in 1884 and continued without interruption until the death of Mrs. Winchester in 1922.
This is a 160-room mansion with an area of 6 acres.
This has to be one of the most unusual houses in America. This place was built virtually almost continuously from 1884 to 1922 under the supervision of Sarah L. Winchester, the hieress to the Winchester fortune--the same family which had given name to the infamous Winchester rifle. Her utter paranoia that all the people who had been killed by the Winchester rifle would haunt her led her to hire carpenters and architects to build a huge Victorian mansion which would confuse ghosts. Doors open up to brick walls, or sometimes drop two flights into open air. Stairs lead to the ceiling. Rooms were built sometimes to serve no purpose. It won't surprise you to hear that when the house was built, there weren't any blueprints either! Mrs. Winchester simply made them up on sheets of paper or tablecloths.
Although the Winchester Mystery House is by no means spooky, it is downright eerie to walk around. Not that there's going to be any ghosts poping up around the corner, but the very strange and odd layout of the house is baffling. Today it stands as a tribute to the steps a woman took a hundred years ago to avoid the paranoia her family name gave her.
Children under 12 $10
I took that Mansion tour which was very interesting. It is a pity that house is almost completely empty. What a sight it would be, if it would stay full of 1900-centrury household items.