The tale of the ‘Winchester Mystery house‘ is an intriguing one that plunges into the heart of the mythology of the Old West. It is also unusual in that the subject of this article is not just in itself haunted but rather was built (allegedly) because of a haunting.
Sarah Winchester was the wife of William Wirt Winchester, widowed when her husband fell victim to Tuberculosis in 1881 and therefore heiress to his vast fortune and a significant number of shares in the company that manufactured the Winchester rifle. The story goes that the grief of losing both her husband and daughter (who died in 1866) led to her consulting a medium who informed her that her family was haunted by the ghosts of all the Native American and Civil war soldiers who had been killed by the Winchester rifle. The medium’s advice was to travel to California and build a house ‘to house the spirits’ in order to appease them. So long as the house kept being built they would leave her in peace.