Activities / Whimsy

Spooky Diary: I Visited the Haunted Winchester Mystery House

Start with THIS POST if you’re not familiar with the Winchester Mystery House.

PLEASE NOTE: I received complimentary tickets in exchange for coverage and an honest review

If there are any ghosts here, I’m going to find them!

Armed with tickets to both tours, I brought a bold bunch with me to explore The Winchester Mystery House. You can tell by their smiles that they’ve never seen a ghost.

The Plan

The plan was simple enough, take both tours, look for ghosts, and then tell you, my internet besties, what I found!

After spending so much time googling the Winchester Mystery House, I had to visit it in person. It felt like it was the only way to truly experience it.

Was it really haunted? Was I going to cry, embarrassingly, in front of a group of strangers? Only time would tell.

The House

Umm, is this the right place?

You’re telling me this beautiful victorian house, painted pastel yellow, might be haunted?

I mean, there are cute little baby cherubs in the water fountains and the lawn is perfectly manicured.

My great grandmother has a house in Mexico that’s scarier than this. I’m not kidding, I’ve been there.


The Mansion Tour – 65 minutes

The tour starts with a short video and we all get more excited about the house we’re about to explore.

We start to make our way up a set of zig zagging “riser stairs”. Each step is only about half the height of a regular step and I trip over myself a few times. Play it cool Niki…play it cool.

Ahead of us I can hear the tour guide explain that Sarah Winchester had terrible arthritis and the “riser” steps made it easier for her to move around her multi-level home.

Also, the tour guide is a little creepy, wait is he a ghost?! No… regular tour guide. Still creepy.

His voice has a vintage twang and he speaks in an eerie rhythm. I hope he gets a bonus this Christmas because I’m totally buying what he’s selling.

The tour continues and we get to see the big highlights:

The most expensive window – stunning, pink, and somewhat smaller than expected. It’s original price tag was $1,500 which would be equivalent to you paying $40,000 for a window today!

Door to Nowhere – On the second floor near the front of the house and the Daisy Bedroom, there is a very interesting door. Walking through it would mean a two-story drop to the sidewalk outside. (*Explore More Tour – but you can see this door from the exterior as well)

Windows, Stairs and Doors – Misplaced windows, stairs, and doors are a prevalent feature in this house. There were so many in fact, that I started to consider adding a window to our apartment floor so I could apologize to our downstairs neighbor for all the early morning workout noise.

Seance Room – A seance was not considered an eerie activity back in the day, in fact, it was thought to be a purely science based method of contacting the dead. This was also one of the least scary rooms in the house, strange right?

The Ballroom – A beautiful room for a woman who would never entertain guests, at least not living guests. The two windows have Shakespearean quotes on them which speak to Sarah’s inner turmoil. If you take a second to read them out loud, you might get a little spooked like I did.

Sarah’s Bedroom – This is where Sarah passed away from heart failure at 83. And even though the furniture isn’t original, I’m a little spooked by the fact that someone DIED in this room.


Explore More Tour – 70 minutes

One tour complete and no ghosts!

Thankfully we’re heading down to the basement now and basements are notorious for being paranormal epicenters!

This basement is cold and empty but I’m beginning to feel a little chill down my spine. I keep falling behind the group to take photos and my separation from the others is starting to give me goosebumps. Will stays near me but I want to get us back to the tour – safety in number, right?

I turn a corner and spot a long dark hallway/tunnel to my right. There’s a light twinkling in the distance and I feel the hairs rise on my arms. Thankfully our tour guide leads us in the opposite direction of the hallway.  This is the first time I feel a little spooked.

I move along to the next “attraction” and set myself in front of the old broiler to get a view of it’s vintage face. Definitely horror movie prop worthy. 

I glance back one more time in the direction of the scary hallway from earlier as I the group slowly ascends the stairs to the first floor of the house.

We get to see a few more rooms that under construction/repair but they’re the least spooky of all.

And finally, our small group is shown a photo of the front of the house. At first, nothing stands out to me. I’m desperately scanning the photo for a floating figure or strange light.

Our tour guided guides everyone’s eyes to one of the upstairs windows where an ambiguous white shape seems to be hovering behind the glass.

In all honesty, it was hard to draw much from the photo but it was fun to examine it.


The Ghost Stories


Nothing scary happened to us (boo!) but I did hear a few good scary story retellings while on each tour.

The first was about a door that we passed on our way out of the house. It’s been known to lock and open itself, it’ll also occasionally throws itself open with a loud slam.

We also walked past a chandelier that employees said will swinging back and forth of its own volition.

Here’s a shot of the haunted chandelier light!

Lastly, a blind tour goer had claimed to feel Sarah’s presence in the house during the tour she took. I wish this lady had been in our group but the tour guided said it happened a while back and no one else has made the same claim since.


Is It Worth It


But I’m going to keep it real (as always!) – I recommend doing the Mansion Tour. The Explore More Tour was, of course, interesting but unless you’re a die hard Sarah Winchester fan I think the main Mansion Tour is more than enough.

You won’t get to see the basement or have an up close look at the door to nowhere but you will see so many other beautiful and peculiar things!

Now, if you do the first tour and are instantly OBSESSED, by all means, please do the second one! You get to wear a hard hat and look for ghosts a little longer.

Overall the Winchester Mystery House should absolutely be on your must-see list! No doubt about it.

And, to make planning your visit easy, I’ve gathered all of the links for you!

Main Website

Location + Directions + Hours

Tour Descriptions

Buy Tickets

I hope you enjoyed this eerie post!

Do you like reading about spooky things? Would you be interested in a Spooky Tuesday series dedicated to the dark side?! Muhahaha….

Let me know in the comments!

1 Comment

  • […] (On the way home) Get Spooked at the Winchester Mystery House: (1.5 – 3+ hours) Whether or not you believe in ghosts, you’ll enjoy learning the TRUE story of Sarah Winchester and the very unique house she built. There is so much I want to share with you about this eerie stop so I dedicated an entire post to it HERE! […]


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