William Winchester, Mrs Winchester, Winchester Mystery House discussed on BrainStuff
Hello. I'm Anna Faris, and I'm Laurin Vogel bomb, and our show foodstuff all about these ci- history and culture food entering is relaunching as saver re along with our super producer Dilling Fagin are hitting the road to find the stories behind all the things we like to eat and drink. We will be talking to the culinary creators and eaters of the world to get to the bottom of why we like what we like. And how we can find more of those things on our first trip. We went to Asheville North Carolina a city that pulled itself out of a seventy year, economic depression with beer and food. New episodes will be coming out Wednesday and Friday on apple podcasts. Welcome to bring stuff from how stuff works. Hey, brain stuff, Lauren Bogle bomb here. Most of us want to get home construction over as soon as possible, we worry about the expense and complained about the inconvenience but four Sarah Winchester construction was a way of life for thirty eight years. She had construction going twenty four hours a day at her home in San Jose, California. This was no ordinary construction job, though, the house is an oddball labyrinth of rooms that at one point reached seven stories. It's filled with weird things like stairs and doors. The go nowhere. Not to mention the ghosts. Sarah Winchester didn't start out looking for this kind of project born Sarah party in eighteen thirty nine. She was one of the social stars of New Haven, Connecticut, although she only stood four feet ten inches. She was known for her beauty and sparkling personality in eighteen sixty two Sarah, married William Winchester, who has the air of the Winchester, repeating arms company, the company had developed the repeating rifle a gun that was easy to reload and fired rapidly at a rate of one shot. Every three seconds. The gun was used by northern troops in the civil war. And it was also known as the gun that won the west the young couples started a family in eighteen sixty six but their daughter any died in infancy and Mr. Winchester died of tuberculosis fifteen years later distraught over these losses, MRs Winchester, visited a medium for spiritual guidance. The medium told her that the Winchester family had been struck by terrible curse and was haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by the Winchester rifle their spirits were seeking vengeance. And the only way to appease them was to build a house for them. But the ghosts had another request that the house never be completed never stopped building. The medium told MRs Winchester, or you will die. We can't know exactly how she interpreted this advice. She might have thought the spirits would get her if she stopped or she might have seen the continuous construction as a path to eternal life. Mrs Winchester, headed west to build a home for herself and her ghosts. She bought a six room farmhouse on one hundred sixty two acres in California and set to work she served as her own architect. But it's possible that some ghosts had a hand in designing the house as well. Every night. Mrs Winchester would retreat to her say aunts room and receive instruction from the spirits on the progress of her house, the next morning should present her construction workers with hand-drawn sketches of what was to be done. Sometimes it seems she didn't care what she built as long as she could hear the hammers of her crew. The crew might spend a month constructing a room only to be ordered to destroy it the next month because MRs Winchester paid well, no one disputed her instructions. A MRs Winchester had inherited twenty million dollars and just less than half the Winchester, repeating arms company stock that left MRs Winchester with a daily income of about a thousand dollars to spend on her house. That's equal to about twenty five thousand dollars a day in today's money. But what if those doors and stairs to nowhere doors may open onto walls or in the case of? Second-story door to the outside resulting in a big fall for anyone who might try to exit that way a closet door on the second floor seance room opens onto a first floor sink several feet below the stairs to nowhere are pretty much. What they sound like stairs. Go up until they reached the ceiling, and then they just stop. These might have a simple explanation. The stairs were likely part of the original house that MRs Winchester bought and when she started adding onto the home she covered up the stairs. Whether it was accident or on purpose. Mrs Winchester, usually covered up her mistakes by just continuing to build around them because she had no master plan for the house. Her architectural ideas didn't always work out since she had no deadline for completion should either. Tear down the mistake or cover it up with something else. But the new stairs. She built also zigzag back and forth going around and around in circles and most are only two inches about five centimeters tall, some people. Think that these touches were designed to confuse the evil spirits that were haunting MRs Winchester, the height of the stairs served a very specific purpose, though, she had very bad arthritis and these. Small stairs allowed her to get around. However, MRs Winchester might have deliberately installed some of the other weird touches believing that ghosts would get lost on stairs. That went nowhere or accidentally step out a door that went outside if the sound strange to you today, you're not alone. Even at the time that MRs Winchester was building the house. She was regarded with suspicion some dot her and eccentric with too much money on her hands and her home took on the nickname mystery house, not long after her death because MRs Winchester left, no, diary or other communication. We honestly have no idea. What might have been going on in her mind? What we do have is her house, which is still open to tourists. Mrs Winchester died in her sleep in nineteen twenty two and the house was sold to a group of investors who wanted to create a tourist attraction to this day. It's hard to know exactly how many rooms are in the house because people keep getting lost when they try to count. But it's estimated that about one hundred sixty rooms are in the home. It had reached seven stories by nineteen o six for the top three floors collapsed after the nineteen o six San Francisco earthquake. Some other famous numbers associated with the house include. It's forty-seven fireplaces seventeen chimneys to basements. Six kitchens ten thousand window panes and four hundred and sixty seven doorways despite these impressive numbers. There are only two mirrors. Mrs Winchester thought ghosts were afraid of their own reflection. Mrs Winchester, also had an obsession with the number thirteen many things installed in the home feature. Thirteen of something a thirteen window panes thirteen wall panels thirteen sections of flooring thirteen stairs in each staircase. Their thirteen bathrooms sinks that have thirteen drain holes and the sales room has thirteen coat hooks and beyond the stairs and windows to nowhere. There are other architectural oddities all over the house stare posts were installed upside down and chimneys served. No, purpose are all over the house. Their cabinets that are less than an inch deep. That's about two and a half centimeters. Mrs Winchester, ordered a beautiful and Atlanta expensive, Tiffany glass window, but after she installed it a wooden wall was built behind it. So that. Sunlight could never shine through the pains. Mrs Winchester was convinced that she lived with spirits. But are they still there today? Does the spirit of MRs Winchester herself walked the halls some psychic say yes that upon visiting the house they sent spirits wandering tour guides and visitors report mysterious footsteps banging, doors and weird moving lights some see doorknobs moved by themselves and feel cold spots. It may be something you'll have to determine for yourself. The Winchester mystery house offers daily tours and for those who want to be particularly spooked flashlight tours are offered on Halloween and all Fridays that fall on the thirteenth of the month.