Sarah Winchester Mystery House is definitely a mystery

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  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 26, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    I took the tour when I was in town, and I was little underwhelmed.

    Too me, it didn't seem like a truly huge mansion, but it supposedly has 10 thousand windows and 2 thousand doors . . . and it definitely has a lot of useless grandiosity in the Victorian style.

    Yes, it had stairs that lead to nowhere and doors that open onto solid brick walls, but I wasn't favorably impressed overall.

    The whole place seems like a metaphor for Republican ideology.

  • 21MOM Keaau, HI
    May 25, 2014 12:44 a.m.

    Very Interesting. Would be fun to visit.

  • Dale CA Sunnyvale, CA
    May 24, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    A more enlightened view of Sarah Winchester and her "mystery" house is found in Mary Jo Ignoffo, Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2010). In the words of accomplished historian Mrs. Ignoffo: "Those who are the most mocking of Winchester, her most strident accusers, have based their definitive opinions on a mythology that does not stand up to historical scrutiny. It is a disservice to the facts of her life to dismiss Sarah Winchester as a superstitious madwoman. It is time to set the record straight." Sarah's life (1839-1922) was intensely interesting and was played out against the backdrop of the complexity of the story of the American West. Her house in San Jose is well-worth visiting as are, as noted by Henry Drummond, the spectacular gardens which surround it.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 24, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    I've been to the Winchester Mystery House many times with family and out of town visitors. Actually the gardens outside are my favorite part. The parlor is actually fairly typical of nineteenth century architecture. Other parts of the house are pretty strange, though. She seems to have liked the number "13." Nobody knows for sure what she was up to, or what the inscriptions scattered around the house are trying to tell us.

    Beware of the tour guides however. They're not exactly historians, but more often than not are frustrated actors. If you get the right guide, they can be more fun the house.