When it comes to haunted houses, the Winchester Mystery House may be the strangest still standing. Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (Predestination, Daybreakers) and starring screen legend Helen Mirren (Trumbo, The Tempest), 2018’s Winchester is the fictionalized tale of this real-life architectural oddity.
The most haunted house in the world sits on an isolated stretch of land that’s 50 miles outside of San Francisco. Built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester fortune, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To an outsider, it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness. But Sarah’s actually building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts — and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters.
Winchester opened in theatres this weekend. Perhaps you’ve already seen the film and are hungry to learn more about the bizarre and haunted structure on which the film was based.
Don’t worry — we’ve got you!
The Winchester Mystery House
The mansion was once owned by Sarah Winchester, whose husband was the inventor of the Winchester rifle. The ghosts of those killed by the rifle are said to haunt its halls. At least, this is what Sarah believed. She also believed that she could keep the ghosts happy by continuously adding onto her house. I guess she just wanted everyone to be comfortable and have enough space? Whatever her reasoning, construction continued for years unabated. By the time of her death, the mansion contained 161 rooms, 47 fireplaces, 17 chimneys, two basements, three elevators, stairs that led to nowhere in particular, and doors with no destination.
Check out the tour of the Winchester Mystery House below!