Map &

Been here?
Rate it

Top Tours

Roaring Camp Steam Train Through Santa Cruz Redwoods
"Experience California’s redwoods as never before by taking a steam train through one of the Golden State’s towering ancient forests. Be inspired by both the natural beauty of the groves and the engineering prowess of this hulking locomotive which dates back to the 1890s. Hop aboard the train at Roaring Camp in Felton near the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains just 80 miles south of San Francisco. Settle into your open-air car and hang on as you chug past hundreds of old-growth redwoods with an unobstructed view. As you make your way up to the top of Bear Mountain you’ll cruise over trestles and glide beneath the verdant canopy. Along the way the knowledgeable train conductor will illuminate the forest with bits of history about how it was formed and facts about the local wildlife
From $27.00
Beginner Surfing 1-Day - Santa Cruz
"Learn to Surf! This clinic was designed with the beginner in mind – we welcome complete newbies as well as people who have tried surfing on there own for a while and still need help. We will walk you through all the basics to get you started and catching wave breaks ocean conditions safety in and out of the water wave etiquette paddling push up and pop up techniques
From $99.00
Monterey And Carmel-by-the-Sea Day Private Tour from San Francisco
"Escape the big city for a trip along the beautiful Monterey Peninsula via the Pacific Coast Highway. Enjoy stunning seascape views the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and Steinbeck's Cannery Row as you cruise the famous 17-Mile Drive heading to the coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.Stop at historic Cannery Row—John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name takes place on this street during the Great Depression—for a 000 strange and colorful underwater creatures from playful sea otters and turtles to powerful sharks and the rare and massive ocean sunfish.Cruise along the scenic and celebrated 17-Mile Drive home to the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course. Admire the Lone Cypress—this postcard-worthy tree stands on a rugged granite outpost amid the waves—and scope out the area’s magnificent mansions with their sweeping coastal views. Stop along the way t head to enchanting Carmel-by-the-Sea
From $1,100.00

Winchester Mystery House Tips (19)

Interesting experience...

Its most famous landmark is the Winchester Mystery House , 525 S Winchester Blvd, just off I-280 near Hwy-17 ($12.95-22.95; daily 9am-5pm, until 7pm June-Sept). Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, was convinced upon her husband's death that he had been taken by the spirits of men killed with Winchester rifles, and believed that unless a room was built for each of the spirits and the sound of hammers never ceased, the same fate would befall her. Work on the mansion went on 24 hours a day for the next thirty years - stairs lead nowhere, windows open on to solid brick. The Rosicrucian

venteeocho's Profile Photo
Apr 25, 2008

Winchester Mystery House Gardens

The grounds has one of the most lovely gardens I have seen. You should just wonder around and take in the beauty. Plus there are other structures you can see inside on your own from the garden walkway. Lots of lovely fountains and statues. Some of the nicest I have seen.

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Sep 07, 2007

Winchester Mystery House

In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began one of the most oddest task till her death 38 years later by having her house constantly built on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep the dead spirits away from exacting revenge on her for her husbands invention, the "Winchester Rifle."

What can be said about being so superstitions that such fear can affect the very aspect of everyday living?! Goes to show you that money cannot buy you happiness. Although being one of the oddest architectural built Victorian homes, it still has that lasting beauty of a hardy era. This house encompasses about 6 acres so far, 160 rooms, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms and 10,000 windows. The windows always encompasses at least 13 windows in a room, stairs of 13 steps that lead to no where.

When we took the tour the house felt errie and sad. You can almost feel it. While outside enjoying the gardens it almost felt someone was always watching you from every window.

There is lots to see here and you will get your monies worth in the tour, in fact that is the only way you can see because of the safety factor.
The house has many dangerous aspect to it since sometimes doors way lead to a drop off to the next floor or floors left undone. So stick to the tour!

Historical Marker#868

Yaqui's Profile Photo
Sep 07, 2007

Winchester House

Unfortunately, the tours are run rather like a conveyer belt. You're assigned a time and put in groups, and usually have to wait some time in the gift shop (gee, I wonder why that might be?). The groups are quite large, rather too large for some of the rooms. There's not much time for lingering in any of the rooms to catch the many fascinating design details or enjoying any of the views.

That said, the place is fascinating on an architectural and design level, whether you believe the stories about spooks, believe that Sarah Winchester believed, or consider that she took her hobby rather too seriously and that the rumor mills built everything from very little foundation. She was far more practical than you might imagine from the stories and even invented ways to make various household tasks easier.

Feb 25, 2007
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Winchester Mystery House

355 Santana Row, San Jose, California, 95128, United States
Show Prices
2404 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose, California, 95128, United States
Show Prices
440 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, California, 95129, United States
Show Prices
4241 Moorpark Blvd, San Jose, California, 95129, United States
Show Prices
550 West Hamilton Avenue, Campbell, CA, 95008
Show Prices
2118 The Alameda, San Jose, California, 95126, United States
Show Prices

Winchester Mansion

The Winchester Mansion is a zany tourist trap a few miles west of downtown San Jose. It was built by Sarah Winchester, a native of Connecticut and wife of William Winchester, the son of the man who started the Winchester Arms Co. When Mrs Winchester's child and later her husband died, she went a little wacky and moved to San Jose (not that everybody who moves to San Jose is wacky, but she can't be the only one).

She bought a small farm house on 160 acres and just kept adding rooms and remodeling old rooms until her death in the 1920s. Some people think she saw ghosts ("I see dead people") and built the house with dead ends and secret passages to confuse them. In my experience, ghosts are difficult to confuse, and they usually know all the secret passages better than the people who built them. Besides, ghosts don't need passages, they are ghosts.

Many say the ghosts who haunted her were those killed by Winchester guns. If I was a ghost, I'd haunt the guy who killed me instead of the daughter-in-law of the person who invented the tool that was used in my death. By this logic, 30,000 Americans a year should be haunting Ford, GM & Toyota for their deaths in cars made by those companies. And what about the people killed by Smith & Wessons, Colts, Berettas... did they all haunt Mrs Winchester or did they pick an innocent bystander to haunt in each of those families?

Back to the house. It has some 160 rooms, many of them damaged in the earthquake of 1906. Almost all of the rooms have beautiful natural lighting using Mrs Winchester's unique open architectural designs with great windows in the walls and sometimes in the floors. She also had a few neat innovations like her sloped floors to conserve and reuse water as well as her system for calling her servants.

People say when she died the carpenters happily quit and moved on. I have a hard time believing this as they made double what other workers in San Jose were bringing home, and they had a guaranteed job for life, as well as free living quarters on her estate.

Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
Nov 10, 2006

The House built to appease the Dead

Sarah L. Winchester, the Winchester Rifle heiress, started building this house in 1884 after the death of her husband. This house is really an architectural marvel. 160-room Victorian mansion was built continuously 24 hours a day 365 days a year for 38 years straight- to appease the dead spirits that Mrs. Winchester felt haunted her. I love old houses especially those with pocket doors and stained glass. This house has all the elements that make a beautiful older home and then some non-sensical details that make it even more interesting. For example: it has stairs that lead to nowhere, secret rooms (who wouldn't want one of these??),and a very expensive front door that no one ever walked through except for the man who installed it?? If you like bizzaro with a mix of rich elegant architecture-this is the place.
Put some walking shoes on the tour entails lots of walking

Sad for a woman to live her life in such turmoil, hopefully in death she found the peace she apparently couldn't find while alive.

I believe it cost around $23 a person-we took the regular Mansion tour since we had small kids with us.

AVG2319's Profile Photo
Oct 13, 2006

That's what happens when you believe in ghosts.

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.

Fewf's Profile Photo
Aug 01, 2006

Winchester Mystery House

Sarah Winchester the rifle heiress bought this place as a standard house and on the advice of a psychic kept adding to it for the remainder of her life (nearly 40 years). It is a masterpiece of ad hoc design with rooms, staircases etc. being added in a haphazard fashion. Look out for the staircase that goes up to the ceiling and more importantly the door that opens onto a two storey drop.

Martin_H's Profile Photo
Nov 30, 2005

Top 5 San Jose Writers

trvlrtom's Profile Photo


"San Jose - Silicon Valley"
View Member
Anthro's Profile Photo


"The 411 on San Jose"
View Member
Ewingjr98's Profile Photo


"North on Hwy 1, across Hwy 156, then up 101..."
View Member
ATXtraveler's Profile Photo


"California's Original Capital City: San Jose!"
View Member
Shaft28's Profile Photo


"Born, raised...yeah I know the way"
View Member

Winchester Mystery House

Sarah Winchester married the inventor of the famous Winchester rifle (the one often seen in western movies). He died shortly thereafter. She consulted an alleged psychic or "spiritual advisor" who said that she had to buy this small house and continue adding on to it non-stop. Otherwise, all the ghosts of the men killed with Winchester rifles would return to haunt her.

So she spent several decades doing just that--creating this sprawling mansion. It's full of anomalies, such as a staircase that goes up to the ceiling, closets less than a foot thick, and doors that open onto thin air with no floor beneath. Stay with your guide; this place is a maze, and it's very easy to get lost. That's because Sarah Winchester wanted it that way, to deceive the spirits.

Sarah Winchester was definitely one of a kind.

Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
Oct 27, 2005

Mad MAD 38 Years

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.

wkcsmt's Profile Photo
Dec 29, 2004

Winchester Mansion Garden

Sarah Winchester's favorite number is 13, she even added another candle holder to one of her beautiful chandeliers so it can sum up to 13. It is apparent in her beautiful gardens that the number 13 is very important to her.

GinGinCoo's Profile Photo
Feb 26, 2004

Mystery Haunted House

In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so
many unexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester built a home that is an architectural marvel. Unlike most homes of its era, this 160-room Victorian mansion had modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. From rambling roofs and exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors to the gold and silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass windows, you will be impressed by the staggering amount of creativity, energy, and expense poured into each and every detail. (info taken from website)

GinGinCoo's Profile Photo
Feb 26, 2004

Things to Do Near Winchester Mystery House

Things to Do

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

This beautiful museum and park are in the middle of San Jose, yet when you're there it's easy to forget everything except the ancient architecture and artifacts which are close enough to touch. Walk...
View More
Things to Do

Mission Santa Clara

Mission Santa Clara de Asis is the eighth of 21 missions built in California, and was the first mission to honor a woman, Saint Clare of Assis. It was founded in 1777 beySpanish Franciscans, and holds...
View More
Things to Do

De Saisset Museum

The De Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay's free Museum of history and art. The 19,210 square-foot facility was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asis on the Santa...
View More
Things to Do

Triton Museum of Art

I'm not much of a museum guy, but most locals don't even know about this little treasure. Located in downtown (yes, there is a downtown) Santa Clara, the Triton boasts rotating exhibits highlighting...
View More
Things to Do

HP Pavilion

The HP Pavilion, also known as the "Shark Tank" is not really a has walls and ice, more like a hockey arena. Plus, this so-called pavilion even has seats, some 17,000 of them, unlike...
View More
Things to Do

Heritage Rose Garden

The San Jose Heritage Rose Garden is a 5 acre garden located in the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens. The rose garden is a unique circular design with six triangular sections each containing a...
View More

Getting to Winchester Mystery House


525 South Winchester Boulevard


  • Sunday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Monday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Tuesday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Wednesday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Thursday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Friday 09:00 to 19:00
  • Saturday 09:00 to 19:00