San Jose, CA
Winchester Mystery House™ is an extravagant maze of Victorian craftsmanship – marvelous, baffling, and eerily eccentric, to say the least. The miles of twisting hallways are made even more intriguing by secret passageways in the walls. Mrs. Winchester traveled through her house in a roundabout fashion, supposedly to confuse any mischievous ghosts that might be following her. Mrs. Winchester enacted a nightly séance to help with her building plans and for protection from “bad” spirits. While she sometimes drew up simple sketches of the building ideas, there were never any blueprints….or building inspectors! In the morning, she would meet with John Hansen, her dutiful foreman, and go over new changes and additions. During the early years of construction, this resulted in some awkward and impractical concepts such as columns being installed upside down – though some suggest this was done deliberately to confuse the evil spirits. This resulted in many features being dismantled, built around, or sealed over. Some rooms were remodeled many times. It is estimated that 500 rooms to 600 rooms were built, but because so many were redone, only 160 remain. This naturally resulted in some peculiar effects, such as stairs that lead to the ceiling, doors that go nowhere and that open onto walls, and chimneys that stop just short of the roof! Once a room was completed, and most importantly, not targeted for further alterations, it was adorned with some of the best furnishings money could buy. Among the most remarkable features of the house are the parquet floors. One craftsman worked for thirty-three years doing nothing but building, installing, and tearing up the floors! The mansion’s dazzling art glass windows are her exquisite taste Mrs. Winchester herself designed the special daisy and spiderweb patterns that are embedded in many of the window. The daisy was her favorite flower, and some believe the spiderweb pattern had a special occult meaning for her. The most curious element of the Grand Ballroom are the two leaded stained glass windows, each inscribed with a quote from Shakespeare. The first, “Wide unclasp the table of their thoughts,” is from Troilus and Cressida (IV:5:60). The second, “These same thoughts people this little world,” is from Richard II (V:5:9). Nobody knows for certain what these lines meant to Mrs. Winchester.
For nearly thirty-eight years, the round-the-clock sawing, sanding, and hammering at the Winchester Mystery House™ never ceased – not even on weekends or holidays. It was never a rush job. Mrs. Winchester had all the time in the world – at least, all the time needed to maintain a steady pace.
Discovered on Flickr (misty~bee ) for this super evil building. Original date: 2011-07-12 16:56:28
Tagged: , Winchester Mystery House , San Jose , California Oregon Pacific Coast Northwest Beach travel road trip Highway 101 Pacific Highway 1