Fright Nights Come to
the Winchester Mystery House
4/13/2011 by Hauntmistress
Traditionally, the Winchester Mystery House hosts Flashlight Tours every September and October. But new for 2011 is Fright Nights! The grounds of the Winchester Estate will play host to a haunted walk-through attraction, scare zones, and roaming actors in the new 20-minute Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze. And, in the 65-minute 13th Hour Flashlight tour you’ll hear the story of the Winchester Mystery House’s legacy.
The history of the Winchester House is long and, well, mysterious. In 1862, Sarah Lockwood Pardee married William Wirt Winchester, son of Oliver Fisher Winchester, Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut and manufacturer of the famous Winchester repeating rifle. They lived in Boston and had a child. Tragically, in 1866 their infant daughter died of then-mysterious childhood disease marasmus. Mrs. Winchester fell into a deep depression from which she never fully recovered. Fifteen years later her husband’s premature death from tuberculosis added to her trauma.
According to some sources, Mrs. Winchester sought guidance from a medium. That medium convinced Mrs. Winchester that her family and fortune were being haunted by the spirits of Civil War soldiers, Indians, and others killed by Winchester rifles. The medium also said Mrs. Winchester should move to the West Coast and appease the spirits by building a house for them. As long as construction of the house never stopped, Mrs. Winchester’s life would not be in danger from the spirits, and may even bring her eternal life.
Thus, the Winchester Mystery House was born. It is a maze of Victorian architecture, with a staircase descending seven steps and then rising 11, miles of twisting hallways, secret passageways, and more!