Friday, October 26, 2012

Winchester Mystery House

One of the most humiliating things that touristy places like to do is pose visitors in ridiculous positions with props and snap a photo in hopes of selling them to you at outrageously exorbitant prices.

So, today I visited the Winchester Mystery House with my friend Lisa, and naturally they had us pose with old model Winchester rifles. Because I am a person with a sick sense of humor, naturally I took the prop, immediately cocked the weapon, and pointed it straight at Lisa's head with my finger on the trigger just in order to make the other tourists behind us gasp. Silly people. If they think a tour guide at the Winchester Mystery House is going to actually hand anyone a working, loaded weapon .... well, they must believe the place is, like, totally haunted or something.

Anyplace that makes you walk into a gift shop first to buy tickets to get into the place is all about the money and not about much else.

Still, the story of Sarah Winchester is interesting, and anybody who is genuinely sensitive knows full well the old mansion has the random residual spirit hanging around---not because this place is anything special, but simply because the darn things are everywhere. Yes, I got poked, and since the only person behind me was Lisa (and she swears it wasn't her), and yes, there was one room where I definitely felt a presence. There was another area of the house that was a little harder on me because I couldn't feel an agenda (like curiosity) and I felt dizzy and nauseous. The rest of the place felt like mostly nothing, just a rickety, crazy old maze of a house--you know, with the doors opening to nothing or the stairs that go up and just end at a ceiling. I'd post pictures, but they don't let you take any from inside the house.

We also did the basement tour, which was kind of interesting because it would be a helluva place to be stuck perpetually shoveling coal into the furnace, dumping and sifting ashes. Mostly what I got was pictures in my head but I didn't feel anybody there--though Lisa (who is much more sensitive than I) said there was a grumpy old guy who more or less saw us as an annoyance and wanted to be left alone.

But that's me: I feel and hear; I don't see, and so for me I'm often left wondering "was that real or was that just my imagination?"

On the whole, it was still fun to visit but nowhere near as haunted as the USS Hornet.

To read about Sarah Winchester, go here.


Lisa Gilliam said...

Adventure! In a nutshell, Sarah was a few peanuts shy of a snicker's bar. Trying to find the reason behind the construction and design was the most delightful journey through the paranoid mind as manifested in architecture. Most of what I sensed while on this little escapade into Sarah Winchester's legacy centered around the structure itself. It is almost as if she knew every nook and cranny so well, that her spirit now gives life to the woodwork itself. So much of her focus was to protect from the unseen spirits, that she completely missed the point...chaos absorbs peace of mind like sourdough absorbs soup. Aside from the grumpy old guy spotted while descending from the widow's peak and a presence that briefly waved from a corner seat (Joyce picked up on this one), a small spirit that followed the group for a bit and giving touring tips of his own, there really weren't ghosts hidden around every corner. Residual moments in the kitchen of hustle and bustle, along with shortness of breath and heaviness in Sarah's quarters were about all that I could really sense beyond a flicker or two of spirit. The only real "long term" guest at the Winchester home seems to still be Sarah herself. It was a wonderful tour, and we were given opportunity to wear a hardhat in the basement, which I hit several times to ensure the integrity of such protection. Well worth the adventure, and keep an eye out for those lost seems...remain lost! Perhaps the place needs a bigger sign so ghosts can find it with ease :P Thanks for the backup, fellow ghostbuster! We'll find that giant marshmallow soon enough!

Joyce said...


The darn ghosts are probably lost in that place. Maybe they, too, have to follow the little arrows ("this way") that have been painted along the corridors

FROG'S new PAD said...

I have heard and even had an old travel brochure about the Winchester House as it was on my old list of things to do. I am thinking someone poked ya on Facebook and it just showed up while you were there! Lol. I ain't afraid of no ghosts! Good writing!

Joyce said...

Naw, just call Ghostbusters.