the Winchester Mansion

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      The Winchester Mansion, also called the Winchester Mystery House is a very famous haunted Victorian Mansion that has been written about in many books, appeared in many documentaries, and of course been mentioned in websites like this one.
      To fully understand this story we must first start with Oliver Winchester, a man of business whose fortune is the base of this story. In the late 1850's He took over the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, which wasn't doing very good at the time and Oliver decided to improve the old Volcanic repeating rifle by the Help of an engineer named Benjamin Tyler Henry. The new gun was created in 1860 and named the Henry rifle, which was than improved once more 6 years later with the help of another employee Nelson King. The company became known as the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

     Oliver Winchester made a great fortune with his rifle company. His new rifle was not used much in the American Civil War, but was being used by many folks after the Civil War, and many people had lost their lives due to this new weapon.
      During this time Oliver Winchesters son William Wirt Winchester had fallen in love with a woman named Sarah Pardee and they had gotten married in September of 1862 in New Haven, Connecticut. A stroke of bad luck had hit the new Winchester couple when they lost their only child Annie Pardee just one month after her she was born. Fifteen years later William Wirts life was taken due to pulmonary tuberculosis.

     Sarah inherited the Winchester fortune which was about $20,000,000 along with 48% of the rifle company, but as they say money can not buy happiness and Sarah Winchester became very depressed, hardly ever leaving her home. Sarah decided to go turn to mediums and psychics to help ease her pain in the hopes that she might be able to communicate with her husband William. All the mediums she had invited to her home had failed except for one from Boston named Adam Coons. This medium told Sarah that her husband was with them and that his message was that she was cursed by the spirits of people that had been killed by the Winchester rifles. Sarah had apparently lost her child and husband because these spirits where paying the family back for their deaths.
      She was then instructed to sell her home and go west to build a new home for herself, but also for those spirits of those that were killed by the Winchester riffle. She was told that as long as she kept building the new house their would be a chance that the curse would be lifted, however if she was to ever stop construction she would die soon after. She traveled across the country until she got to the Santa Clara Valley in California. She purchased an 8 bedroom home and began to hire carpenters and construction workers to work on this life long project that she had been instructed to pursue without a completed design of the soon to be mansion, because it would continue to grow as long as Sarah Winchester was alive. It is said that Sarah got her plans for the home by the spirits of which it was being built for as it progressed.

      The construction workers were there every day of the week, every single day of the year. The characteristics of the mansion were very strange. There were stair cases that led to nothing, strangley shaped rooms, secret passageways and trap doors, and most things in the mansion according to Sarah had to be in thirteens, such as the window panes, steps of every but on stair case, coat hooks and so on.
      The Winchester Mansion grew bigger and bigger until September 5, 1922 when Sarah Winchester died in her sleep at age 82. The home ended up having approximately 160 rooms. Sarah had left the Winchester mansion to her niece. Then it was sold to local folks that turned it into a place for visiting tourists.
      Many question whether this famous structure ever contained the spirits of victims that were killed by the Winchester rifels. There have been many vistiors of this mystery mansion that have heard strange footsteps, doors opening and shutting by themselves, closing windows, phantom voices, and some have even witnessed apparitions. Sarah Winchester living up to age 82 makes one wonder if building the Winchester Mansion prolonged her life as the spirits had claimed.

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