Places That Don't Impress Me: Winchester House

It seems like there’s a paranormal “must see” spot in every direction of the United States. Actually, now that I think about it, I could probably make an even bolder claim and say there’s a paranormal “must see” location in every single state – a place people flock to if not solely for the sheer purpose that “everyone talks about this place”.  Well, in my opinion, the Winchester House in San Jose, California is a location that fits the bill.  It’s a place that was probably destined to live out its days with a paranormal legacy because, let’s face it, it was born to do so.   The whole house was designed by its owner, Mrs. Sarah L. Winchester, to fool the spirits of those who were killed by the Winchester guns her husband was responsible for manufacturing.  Since we’re talking about a time period when Native American skirmishes were still quite an issue, and the Civil War had taken place, that’s quite a large number of souls to take into consideration.  Mrs. Winchester was certain that her entire estate and family fortune was being haunted by these destitute, and even angry, souls because a psychic told her this was the case, and who was she to argue?  So she packed up her things and moved out to the West Coast where she had built the estate we know today as “The Winchester Mystery House”.

My personal opinion of the Winchester Mystery house is quite similar to a number of other locales whose lore precede logic, reasoning, and factual timetables which might actual dispel certain myths and undying fallacies.   Could the Winchester House be haunted?  Absolutely.  In my opinion, could it be haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester guns?  Based on what I know of hauntings, how they “work”, what causes them, and why they happen – my answer is a resounding “very likely not”.  In my opinion, Mrs. Winchester built a magnificent house, remarkably confusing in its design – with staircases that ascend to ceilings, doors that open to the wall that holds them in place, and other similar senseless “flaws” in architecture, for nothing more than peace of mind.

It’s common knowledge there are very few agreed upon “facts” involved in the study of paranormal, but a little research on the part of Mrs. Winchester may have persuaded her to seek alternate opinions of such drastic (and expensive) advice, for starters.  It may also have soothed her worried mind to know that, historically speaking, it would be incredibly rare for her to be haunted based on the deeds her husband may have committed onto another person.   Regardless, the manufacture of the guns didn’t kill people.  It was the usage of the weapons which did so.  She was removed from the equation of being the target of a haunting, in this case, at least twice – maybe more.

There are many more aspects of this “haunted hot spot” which deserve attention, but I think I’ll save that for a follow-up entry.   Be sure to look for it.

For now, just know that I find the Winchester Mystery House fascinating in its design, history, and legacy – but I do not, in the least, find this location to be a place haunted for the reasons Mrs. Winchester built this house.  It may be haunted by those who have passed through its doors over the years since it was built, but from the soldiers killed by the guns her husband oversaw the manufacture of – hardly likely.

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