The Winchester Mystery House Is Offering Free Virtual Tours and We're Shaking

Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: Education Images - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, majority of businesses and attractions have been forced to shut their doors. As a result, workout classes, museum tours, and even Disney rides have been made available online. If you've exhausted all of Netflix's spine-tingling content, then consider giving this virtual tour a watch. The Winchester Mystery House has released free a video tour of the property and it's bound to get your heart racing.

To give a little background: This eccentric Northern California estate was designed by a woman named Sarah Winchester. If the last name sounds familiar, it's because her father-in-law, Oliver Winchester, had founded the rifle company Winchester Repeating Arms. In 1886, he passed away, leaving Sarah a large fortune. With that money, she decided to start a new life and fled her home in New Haven, CT to travel to San Jose, CA. There, she purchased a small eight-room farmhouse and embarked on a 36 year renovation project. Winchester had believed her family was haunted and wanted to built a large home to hide in from the ghosts of those who had been killed by the rifles' her family produced. Renovations only ended on the property when Winchester passed away in 1922.

Over the years, Winchester's home had grown into a sprawling 24,000 square foot architecturally-rich Victorian mansion, best described as "Queen Anne meets Gothic Revival," according to the brochure. While the home was extravagant, it was swarming with odd features that were unexplainable. Think: doors leading nowhere and staircases leading up to the ceiling. In fact, the home has 2,000 doors, 1o,000 windows, 160 rooms, 13 bathrooms, nine kitchens, and yes, one seance room.

The museum, which opened the year after Winchester's death, has since dedicated itself to sharing the story of Sarah Winchester and her brilliant, but baffling home. While the Winchester Mystery House is currently closed, you can still get a taste of just how remarkable the home really is with this video tour. If you’re looking to visit in person, the museum is currently selling $26 tickets that can be used anytime (tickets are normally $42 a piece). You can buy tickets here.

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