Have you ever wished Disney’s Haunted Mansion was a real place? Well, it basically is. The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California welcomes visitors to over 130 years of freaky phantoms and baffling blueprints. The Winchester estate offers tours year round, but has added a special Halloween Candlelight Tour for those interested in a paranormal encounter on the most haunted night of the year.

If you’ve never heard of the Winchester Mystery House before (how could you not have?!), the 160-room mansion was built by the widow of the Winchester firearms company. Sarah, led by what she thought were spirits of those killed by her family’s livelihood, built a sprawling estate known for its disorienting layout meant to confuse ghosts seeking revenge. Their Halloween Candlelight Tours (and to a lesser extent, their Friday the 13th tours) present the house as it would have been in a time where electricity was just beginning to become popular and hallways were prime for haunting. As your candle’s flame flickers, watch your step as you tour infamous “landmarks” at the Mystery House: stairs that lead to ceilings, doors that open to floor-less rooms, and an obscene amount of spiderweb windows. All prime targets for a night of ghost hunting. 


The website promises “an original Theatrical Experience dotted with scares, stunts and fun.” In an all-new show, The 13th Door, tour guides highlight Sarah Winchester’s affinity for the number 13. Did Mrs. Winchester really meet with the spirits of those killed by her family’s rifles, or did she drive herself mad making a house with no end in sight. The 13th Door‘s longer, more twisted tour will allow you to draw your own conclusions.

The tours, though spooky, are a family friendly night of fun. Costumes are allowed, but follow the same guidelines as most costume policies at other attractions (e.g., no weapons or face masks). Tickets are the same price as regular tours, making this special Halloween event one every haunt enthusiast should see. But hurry, tickets sell out quick! Candlelight Halloween Tours run from September 14th to Halloween day (October 31st).


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