If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably saw my pictures from the San Francisco Bay Area last week. I had a great time and was able to take a much needed break from my 9 to 5 job. I was still following the markets however and did place a few trades.
More on that in another post…
One of my missions on the trip was to finally cross off one of my bucket list items…visit the Winchester Mystery House. Yes, it is a cheesy tourist attraction, but it is something that I have always wanted to see in person.
…and it is supposed to be haunted.
A Little History on the Winchester Mystery House
If you are not familiar with the Winchester Mystery House, it was built by Sarah Winchester, widow of William Winchester, of Winchester rifle fame. She started building the house in 1884 and it was continually being worked on until her death in 1922.
She got the money to do this from a $20 million inheritance and her inherited stake in the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, which provided her with an income of almost $1,000 per DAY! If you think that is a lot of money now, imagine back in the late 1800's.
As the story goes, after Sarah's husband and daughter died tragically, she was told by a medium that she must move out West from her home on the East Coast and build a home. However, if she wanted to live forever, work on the house could not be completed. It has also been said that she believed that continually working on the house kept the spirits of the people killed by the Winchester rifle, happy.
Of course, these are just stories. But looking at the house, there had to be some truth to a lot of it because what else would inspire someone to create a house that is so completely ridiculous.
Unfortunately, they did not allow us to take photos of the inside because of an exclusive movie contract or something, but I did get some great external shots since it was such a nice day. At the peak of construction, the house stood seven stories tall, but the higher floors (as well as other parts of the house) fell in the earthquakes of 1909 and 1989.
Is it Worth Seeing?
Although it does look like a Disney-style haunted house and the gift shop is way too big for its own good, I would highly recommend checking it out. There are tons of pictures on the internet showing the interior of the house, but they do not do it justice. This is something that you need to see in person to truly appreciate.
The head-on collision between money, good taste, superstition and an utter lack of planning is absolutely mad. There is beautiful wallpaper and amazing Tiffany window panes amidst stairs that lead to nowhere and half finished rooms.
As for the stories of the house being haunted, I didn't get any weird feelings walking through the house. But all alone at night, it might be a different story. However, numerous paranormal experiences have been reported. Maybe the spirits had the day off when I was there.
Craziness aside, the property is very well run and the guides do a great job of pointing out all of the areas of interest on the 4.5 acre estate. There is an aviary, stable and many other interesting things to see besides the dysfunctional house, so I would recommend getting the Grand Estate Tour for only $5 more.
If this is something that you want to add to your bucket list, be sure to bookmark the Winchester Mystery House Website and drop in when you are in the San Jose area.
The reason I blog about these experiences is because I want my trading to create more of these unique life experiences. What have you crossed off your bucket list lately? Tell us about it below and if you have some pictures, feel free to leave a link!
If you don't have a bucket list or haven't crossed off anything lately, I challenge you to get off your ass and think of something you would love to do that you haven't done before. It doesn't have to cost money…it could be something as simple as skinny dipping in the ocean.