Sunday, April 3, 2011

Winchester Mystery House

Perhaps you've seen this on television. Or maybe you've seen a brochure in the lobby of any hotel in the Bay area (the house is in San Jose). Or maybe you have no idea what the Winchester Mystery House is all about. Well allow me to explain....

Sarah Winchester was the wife of the heir to the Winchester Rifles fortune. Apparently these guns were a big deal during the Civil War. I really don't know anything about guns so I'm not going to elaborate. Sarah and her husband had a baby. It only lived 6 weeks though and she was obviously devastated by the loss of her child. A few years later her husband died of tuberculosis so then she was really, really devastated. She went to a psychic that told her all of these bad things were happening because the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles were angry and trying to get back at her. The only way to get the spirits to chill out was to move out west and build a house. But she couldn't just build a house, she had to always be building a house, as in adding on, not just building a bunch of different homes.

So that's what she did. She built and built and built. She also made the house really odd with stairs that lead to nowhere, doors that open to walls, and such a confusing layout that she had to give maps to all of her new servants so that they wouldn't get lost.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to ruin the tour for those of you that might go one day.

Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to take pictures inside the house so you'll have to enjoy a lot of exterior photos.

Waiting for the tour to start

One of the most amazing things about the house is all the stained glass. It was all over the place and it was all made by Tiffany Co. and shipped from New York. I told Jake that he never needs to buy me any Tiffany jewelry if he can promise to build me a home one day filled with Tiffany stained glass.

Here are my two tips for the tour:

1. If Wayne is your tour guide, then ask to go on a different tour. This guy was crazy! He had a psychotic laugh and he laughed a lot at his jokes that didn't make sense. I wish that I could put into words how weird this guy was, but I just can't. On second thought, maybe you should go and request that he be your guide so that you can understand what I'm talking about.

2. For an extra 5 dollars you can take an additional "Behind the Scenes" tour. It's definitely worth the 5 dollars. They take you all over the grounds and into the basement.

I thought the $35 price tag was a bit much for a tour, but we were there for over 2 hours. We learned so much and had a lot of fun so it was definitely worth the price.

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