Friday, April 25, 2014

Biography: Sarah Winchester

Sarah Winchester is an interesting and strange person.  She is included in a book I am reading called "The Good, the Bad and the Mad."  She was the heiress of the Winchester estate.  Her husband died in 1888.  She moved west, purchased a property.  She became convinced that she needed to be working on the home constantly, but it should never be complete.  By this she would be able to keep evil spirits at bay, the spirits of those who had been killed by the Winchester rifle.  "'She had a good many spirits to appease, so that when she was told by the psychic that she should appease those spirits, it may have contributed to obsessive compulsive behavior,' says house guide Laurel Johnson.  'The psychic apparently told her that if she was to appease those spirits, she should build a house and never complete the house.'"
SO that is what she did.  SHe hired 18 to 20 workers, who worked around the clock.  They worked with no master plan, but following the directions of the heiress.  There are stair cases going no where, rooms without entrances, upside down pillars and doors that are side wise.  Reportedly this is to confuse the spirits.  After the San Francisco earthquake she boarded up part of the house, it ws reopened after her death.
The Winchester Mystery House, as it is now called, is now a tourist attraction and open to paid tours.  There is also free self guided tour of the gardens and the Winchester rifle museum.  It is in San Jose off of Winchester Avenue. 

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