LIST: Top 10 mind-bending facts about the Winchester Mystery House

Byby Tess Stevens KGO logo
Thursday, October 26, 2017
The Winchester Mystery House stands as a question that may never be fully answered. Here are 10 mind-bending facts you probably didn't know about the Winchester Mystery House.
The Winchester Mystery House stands as a question that may never be fully answered. Here are 10 mind-bending facts you probably didn't know about the Winchester Mystery House.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Winchester Mystery House is one big question that may never be fully answered.

Thousands from the Bay Area and beyond wander the San Jose institution's halls for a fright, to learn, and to experience the past.

Here are 10 mind-bending facts you probably didn't know about the Winchester Mystery House.

10. Expensive Taste

Sarah Winchester spent a staggering $5,500,000 on her home, which would go down in history as the Winchester Mystery House.

The mind-bending fact here is that the house was only valued at $5,000 after she died. What's even crazier is that a man named Thomas Bernett bought the house at auction for just $135,531.50, which is less than the value of the acreage the house sits on.

9. By the Numbers

There are a lot of statistics to go over with Mrs. Winchester's domain, so let's just get them out of the way now. Brace yourself.

The Winchester Mystery House has 160 rooms including 40 bedrooms, 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms, 6 kitchens, 10,000 window panes, 2,000 doors, 52 skylights, 47 fireplaces, three elevators, two basements and just one shower. Yes, you read that right. One shower.

8. Light my Fire

If there are 47 fireplaces in the house, you'd think that there'd be 47 chimneys right? Wrong. There are only 17. Some of the fireplaces were wood-burning, gas, or coal.

7. Lucky Number 13

Mrs. Winchester was OBSESSED with the number 13, and you can tell just by looking around her house. There are 13 hooks in some closets, 13 blue and amber stones in a special window she designed, 13 ceiling panels in the Entrance Hallway, 13 windows in the 13th bathroom and even more.

Trust me, you do not want to have triskaidekaphobia at the Winchester Mystery House.

6. Sarah's Labyrinth

Aside from the obvious ones like staircases leading into walls and windows that look into other rooms, there are a variety of architectural oddities that lurk within Mrs. Winchester's house. One that sticks out in the mind long after visiting the house is a room with no floor or ceiling that is tucked between her bedroom and the undeniably spooky Seance room.

If you look closely enough at it, you might feel like you're floating.

5. Houdini Spooked

Millions of people have visited the Winchester Mystery House; even famed magician Harry Houdini, who decided it would be a good idea to try and bust the myth that there were ghosts in the South Bay home and to attend a seance in 1924. He failed. Read more about Houdini at the house here.

4. Most Haunted Places

TIME Magazine has ranked the South Bay attraction among the Top 10 Most Haunted Places alongside the likes of The Amityville House and The Tower of London.

Yeah, try to dispute that, Houdini!

3. World Record Winchester

Mrs. Winchester has a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous house construction -- 38 years! The only time work slowed down was after the 1906 Earthquake rocked the estate and the Bay Area causing damage that is still visible in the home today.

2. Green Day

The inside of the house is pretty baffling, but the outside garden areas are home to some curious things as well, including a $20,000 English Yew tree that towers over 12,000 boxwood hedges, 1,500 major plants, shrubs, trees -- and even greenery called Monkey Puzzle, which is native to Chile.

It's safe to say Mrs. Winchester had a green thumb.

1. You were waiting for the ghosts, right? Well, here are some of the most vivid accounts of paranormal activity in the Winchester Mystery House, courtesy of the estate itself

"We were in the house in spring of 2017 shooting video of various locations. When we went to the editing bay to put the footage together we were surprised to find that video taken of the various boilers in the basement had a distinct ripple effect in the middle of the shot. Footage before and after did not contain this type of video static and it was only centered in the center of the frame almost as if something was walking in circles in front of us." - V.S.

"I often hear footsteps going all the way up the main staircase and then stopping at the top, but there is no one walking up." - K.C.

"I was standing in her bedroom once when suddenly I heard noise coming from the cabinets the dressing room nearby. The cabinets had been closed and they're very difficult to open, especially in a short amount of time. When I got into the room, all three cabinet doors were wide open! I checked every place a person could hide or slip out, but there was no one."- M.K

If you dare to take a trip down Sarah Winchester's hallowed halls, you'll notice the eerie feeling of history creeping up on you. If you're too scared, you can always just watch the video in the player above.

Or, if you'd like to take it a step farther and get spooked on a virtual tour of the estate, click here.

For more on the Winchester Mystery House and their Halloween candlelight tours, click here.

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