Established in 1923.An auction was held for the property and the proprietor met the public's need for answers by opening the doors to tours just a few months later, in 1923.
Operated as a small "mom and pop" roadside attraction for many years, time took it's toll on the mansion over the decades. But in 1973 a major restoration was begun that is still ongoing. Rooms are restored only as necessary to maintain them in their original condition.
Today the Winchester Mystery House is San Jose's #1 attraction and known all around the world as a "can't miss" spot when visiting the San Francisco Bay Area.
Guided tours of "the house that fear built".
Sarah Winchester, widow and heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, moved from new Haven, Connecticut to San Jose, California in 1884 and started a construction project like nothing ever before or since.
Mrs. Winchester believed that the untimely deaths of her daughter and husband were due to the wrath of the spirits of the thousands of people killed by the family's product... the famous Winchester Repeating Rifle, the "Gun that Won the West".
A Boston medium informed Mrs. Winchester that she would continue to be haunted unless she built a home for these wandering spirits. To comply, she bought an unfinished 8-room farmhouse near San Jose and begin to add onto it. Construction went on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until Mrs. Winchester died 38 years later. The result is a rambling, maze-like residence containing 160 rooms, beautiful craftsmanship, and strange building oddities like doors to nowhere and stairs that dead-end at the ceiling!