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The Unusual Story of the Winchester Mansion

There’s more to the Winchester name than Sam and Dean saving people and hunting things (the family business) on the CW’s “Supernatural.” Winchester is a huge name in the rifle industry. The house was built by heiress Sarah Winchester in 1886.

The Winchesters were originally from the East Coast. However, Sarah moved to California after her husband died in 1881, leaving her an inheritance of $1,000 a day.

It’s rumored that Sarah believed the souls Winchester rifles killed haunted her. This caused her to build the unusual home. Almost everywhere you look there’s something off about the design: staircases stopping at ceilings, a door opening to a 12-foot drop, and narrow and winding passageways.

There’s also a strong affinity with the number 13 used throughout the architecture including 13 coat hooks in the séance room and 13 panels on ceiling boards.

Interior windows disrupt hallways and scatter the floors. Sarah thought if she could confuse the ghosts, they wouldn’t harm her.

She became so obsessed with building the house, she had workers building 24/7 until she died in 1922.

Another theory posits Sarah just wanted to give the builders a steady job. She paid her laborers three times the average wage of someone else with similar talent.

You can tour four floors of the Winchester Mystery House outside Silicon Valley (the top three were lost in the powerful San Jose earthquake in 1906).

“Winchester” directed by Peter and Michael Spierig and starring Academy Award Winner Helen Mirren is in theaters now.

 [Photos courtesy of Google Images]

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