day 190
winchester mystery house

"I can tell time by my tootsies!" - a
home...    map...    photos...    contact us...      visit our giftshop!
Constantly Building:
Windows: 10,000
Doors: 2,000
Skylights: 52
Fireplaces: 47
Bedrooms: 40
Staircases: 40
Bathrooms: 13
Kitchens: 6
Elevators: 3
Showers: 1

Chocolatey Building:
Construction Time: 400 hrs
Gingerbread Dough: 84 cups
Icing: 34 cups
Baked Pieces: 242
7oz. Bags of Candy: 31
Roof: French Burnt Peanut
Ridgecrest: Snappy Tarts
Shingles: Pastry Bag Icing
Turretts: Ice Cream Cones
Scale: 1/4 = 1'

Room With A View
of the Day

Guiding Us Through:

This is Wayne. Without him, we'd be stuck in that crazy place for days.

To The Nines:
For just turning 290,000, he still purrs like a big ol' kitten. Yup, lotsa years left in this old coot of a car.

Wanna buy him?
Click here if you're interested!
Ten days to go!

'Chester Chicken
March 4 - Now, this is a house worth paying for! Hearst Castle? Pah! Hearst Castle is nothing but a rich dude's tacky collection of trinkets. Does Hearst Castle have a stairway to nowhere? No! Does Hearst Castle have a closet that's really a door, and a door that's really a closet? No! Again, I say Pah!

Remember those rules I mentioned three days ago? The ones about when to pay admission and when to just visit the gift shop? This is the second time that bastion of journalistic genius, Unsolved Mysteries has broken them. Thanks again, Robert Stack!

If you've never heard of Winchester Mystery House, you must have been watching some second-rate crap like Dateline that night. Allow me to play the part of Mr. Stack for a brief moment (though let it be known that I could never fill the shoes of such a man) and let you in on the secrets... of Winchester Mystery House... when we come back... right after this.

[ [ [ commercial break ] ] ]

In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so many unexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House.

No one has been able to explain the mysteries that exist within the Winchester Mansion, or why Sarah Winchester kept the carpenters' hammers pounding 24 hours a day for 38 years.

It is believed that after the untimely deaths of her baby daughter and husband, son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer, Mrs. Winchester was convinced that her life was cursed by the spirits killed by the rifle, and that she was next to die. She consulted her psychic advisor on a way to ward them away, and was told that only through continuous building could she appease them.

Her eight room farmhouse grew and grew, and no expense was spared. Every room was decorated with the finest in stained glass from Tiffany's, imported wall coverings and Victorian era furniture.

But the oddest stories of the house stem from the actual plans.

Sarah Winchester had a seance room in her house, which only she was allowed to enter. In this room, she would communicate with the spirits, who would aid in the planning of the next wing of the now sprawling mansion. After a seance, she would return to the builders and show them the latest designs: a window built into the floor, staircases leading to nowhere, or a chimney that rises four floors to stop just one and a half feet from the mansion's ceiling.

The number thirteen was incorporated into the houseplans as often as possible. Thirteen was Sarah Winchester's lucky number, and felt that to appease the spirits, she needed to see the number thirteen appearing throughout the house. Thirteen hooks in the closet. Thirteen steps in a staircase. Thirteen ornaments on a bedpost. Thirteen holes in the kitchen drains. Her favourite stained glass window was of a spiderweb (another favourite design) with thirteen coloured stones.

There were doors that opened into walls, cupboards that opened into doors, and walls that opened into cupboards. There were rooms with no floors, and rooms with no ceilings. One door opens to a window in the floor to look down into the kitchen. Another opens to a drop into the hallway below.

Perhaps the strangest are the staircases. As Sarah Winchester became older, she developed arthritis, which made it difficult to lift her feet higher than a few inches. As a result some of the regular staircases were torn out and replaced with smaller steps. One such staircase has 45 steps and seven turns, simply to gain a single floor.

At the age of 82, after 38 years of building, death finally claimed Mrs. Winchester. The eight room farmhouse had grown to 160 rooms. The carpenters could finally stop hammering.

Did the spirits of the Winchester Rifle finally steal Sarah Winchester's soul? Was it the constant building that kept them at bay for so long, or simply the hardened resolve of a desperate woman? Only she... can answer that now. Join us next week when we explore how a woman from Ontario stepped on a scale to reveal her correct weight, only to find out she weighs 17 pounds... right here... on Unsolved Mysteries.

doo doo da doo dee doo da DEE, doo da doo dee doo da DOO...


13 Stairs To

45 Teeny Stairs To Second Floor

Door To Floorless Room

Door To the

The Smallest Cupboard

The Largest Cupboard

The Smallest

13 Stairs To Everywhere
more weird wild stuff in the archive...

Current Location
(if we can find a way out)

San Jose

Next Stop: San Francisco

see the full map...

Today's Weather:

Daily Stats
Gas: $19.00

Killer Admissions...
Mansion Tour: $16.95
Hidden Tour:$22.95
Flashlight Tour: $34.95

Sleeping Quarters
Avery's Pad

We're staying with our new pal Avery in Berkeley. He's got a futon that's perfect for us. As you can see by his face, he's thrilled to have us around!

Cost: Free!

Yosemite N.P.
Both:Special K Red Berries, Coffee
Small Town USA
K's Order:Combo #1
A's Order:Combo #2
Avery's Kitchen
Both:Salmon, Spaghetti and Salad

© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Duck!