Winchester Mystery House

Recently, the movie Winchester starring Helen Mirren was recently released and as a big fan of the actual house in California, of course I had to see it.

Before I get into the film, for those of you who are not familiar with the Winchester House, allow me to give you a little background. Sarah Winchester was the wife (and widow) to William Winchester who was the Treasurer of Winchester Repeating Arms Company until his death in 1881, and mother to Annie who died in infancy in 1866. After the death of her husband, Sarah came into a great deal of money. In her grief, she went to see a psychic who allegedly told her that her family was haunted by the spirits of all of the people who have been killed by Winchester Rifles and that she had to move west and build a house for herself and the spirits. The medium claimed that if the construction on the house ever stopped then Sarah would join her husband and daughter in the afterlife.

Sarah moved out to San Jose, California and purchased an 8 room house and began building and did not stop until her death in 1922 due to heart failure. But she left behind an amazing legacy. The Winchester house now stands 7 stories high with over 100 rooms. But the weird thing is, there are stairs that go to nowhere, doors that open to nothing or even the outside of the house, and even rooms with no doors! (Crazy right?!)

The movie that was recently released was a really big deal for me because I have been a huge fan of the house and all the stories. But overall, I think I may have hyped it up a bit too much. It says that the film was “inspired by true events” but even though the Winchester Mystery House is the most haunted mansion in North America, it all seemed just a bit too far fetched. But, Hollywood does like to over do things and it definitely helped sell some tickets.

In the movie, the spirits speak to Sarah Winchester to have her build them a room (the room they died in to be exact) so they can have a presence on Earth. They talk to Sarah (who apologizes for their untimely demise at the end of a Winchester rifle), and then most souls move on and find peace. Some on the other hand do not, and those are locked into their room with 13 nails.

The storyline focuses on one cruel soul in particular that is stronger than the others that Sarah has encountered and is having a hard time finding peace. Sarah needs the help of a doctor who was sent to evaluate her mental state, who coincidentally died for 3 minutes by a Winchester rifle. He helps help her get rid of this unruly spirit that is haunting the house.

Overall, I think it was definitely worth it, especially if you love the house and story as much as I do. I look forward to making my way out to San Jose, going on a tour and seeing the house and even going to the shooting gallery in the attic they have there now! Although, I am not too sure Sarah would approve of a shooting gallery in her house, even if it is fake guns.