10 FAQ’s on the Winchester Mystery House!

Something that has become a bit common for me to tell you is that I am a California native. Yet, I have not seen many of the considered ‘must-see’s’ of my Golden State. This past year has found me finally at Universal Studios, the Tournament of Roses Parade and now last month. thanks to an invite from Team San Jose, The Winchester Mystery House!

I’ve seen the billboards my whole life, heard the rumors, and wondered is there really a door to nowhere? I was so thrilled when I saw a visit to this historical house on my itinerary and now, I’ve complied a top list of FAQ and info to share with you, enjoy!

1) What’s the mystery?

Sarah Winchester was the wife and heiress to William Winchester of Winchester Rifle fame. She had a life full of heartbreak; The couple’s only child, a baby girl, passed away at only a few weeks old, followed by the death of her father-in-law. And sadly, William Winchester. All of this trauma, of course, put Sarah into a deep depression.

Searching for comfort and answers, Sarah enlisted in a Boston medium, believed to be a psychic. She allegedly told Sarah that the Winchester family was cursed by the spirits of all the people who had been killed by the rifle. Her suggestion? Move west and not stop building a home for her and the spirits. The medium is claimed to have told Sarah that if construction on the house ever stopped, she would join her husband and infant daughter.

2) Did she have any family?

When she made home in San Jose, she was joined by her sister and niece, Marion Marriott (no relation to the hotel) whom she was very close to. Marion would go on to inherit her home and fortune.


3) With such a large home, did she ever host parties?

Supposedly, no. While no one can truly know for sure what Sarah did in her mansion, those closest to her,  her staff, have stated over the years Sarah was a quiet, kind woman, who kept to herself.

4) Was she really weird? Eccentric?

Again, open to discussion. On the tour, it was such a pleasure to ask our hosts from the Social Media department these questions. Over the years, most have said she was kind. There’s always some who have the stories, but most agree she was a sad woman truly trying to protect herself.


5) Is any of the original furniture, decor, still at the house?

Unfortunately, no. When Sarah passed and Marion was the sole inheritor, she auctioned off all belongings and home to the highest bidder. It was then it was turned into the attraction home we know today. The first tourists walked through in February, 1923. All furniture, chandeliers, etc, are replicas of what Sarah had, though.

6) What’s a common number of things in the home?

13. 13 bathrooms, 13 panes, many rooms with 13 windows, etc. Guess that was her lucky number?!

The room Sarah Winchester passed away in.
The room Sarah Winchester passed away in.

7) Who owns the house now?

It is privately owned by Winchester Investments LLC, and is a state historical landmark

8) Do they hold any cool events throughout the year, for holidays?

You bet! Every Friday the 13th, The large bell is rung 13 times at 1300 hours (1pm) in her honor. There’s spooky flashlight night tours for the superstitious days, as well as for Halloween and at Christmas time, they go all out with gorgeous tress and decor.


9) Are the home and grounds pretty, or just strange?

It is absolutely GORGEOUS. I was actually considering doing a post just on the landscape and grounds. They go through at-least 20,000 gallons of paint a year to keep the house looking sharp, gardeners are working daily and the countless stained glass windows are to die for.

10) How close can you get to the infamous Door to Nowhere?

For everyone’s safety, they have the door to nowhere, as well as other staircases and doorways you could easily fall through, roped off. You can get a great view for a photo-op outside of the door to nowhere, though. (And FYI, photography is not permitted inside the home).

The Door to Nowhere.
The Door to Nowhere.

The Winchester Mystery House is a must-see for anyone. Its such a historical piece of California history. Plan your trip by visiting their web-site HERE. xo

(*Disclosure: Such a special thanks to Team San Jose and the Winchester Mystery House for their hospitality and extensive media tour on behalf of this feature.)

  1. Jennifer

    September 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    My hubby had visited the Winchester Mystery House during a family vacation when he was young. It always sounded so cool. I’d love to visit it one day!

    1. AlongComesMary

      September 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Oh, you would LOVE it, Jennifer!!

  2. Anna

    September 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    OMG – no photos inside allowed?! I sure know why…you’ve left me at the edge of my seat, Mary! I want to see more of that famous door-to-nowhere?! Ahhh!

    What a beautiful place!

    Looks like you had a glorious time, Mary.

    Thanks for sharing!

    🙂 Anna

    1. AlongComesMary

      September 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Anna! Yep, they were so kind to our Press tour, allowing us to take photos, but otherwise, none at all.

      I tried to share just enough of my photos to keep it a mystery, still 😉

  3. Kathleen

    September 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    My husband and I went to the Winchester House for our anniversary one year. We live in Idaho, but I was working in California and he came for a visit. Interesting post. It’s fun seeing it again. Thanks for linking up to Tips and Tricks. Hope to see you again this week.

    1. AlongComesMary

      September 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen!! I would love to link up again 🙂

  4. Tawny

    January 31, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Saw it on Ghost Adventures!! Those are my boys!! LOL. Putting it on my list to visit and going to see the movie.

    1. AlongComesMary

      February 1, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Didn’t you also see the San Diego hotel we stayed at on there, too?!

      1. Tawny

        February 2, 2018 at 5:06 pm

        Yeah those guys get around. You need to rent some paranormal equipment when you stay the night in some of these places. Maybe you’ll capture some activity and blog about it lol. By the way, saw the Winchester movie today. A must see!!

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