Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tuesday Reminiscences: In which we visit the crazy house

Before The History Channel became The History of War Channel, it was cool and had interesting things on it. Once, they ran a program on the Winchester House. I was pretty young, 10 or 11, and I had no idea where it was located, but I was completely fascinated. My sister Anne and I begged Dad to let us go visit it. I don't remember what he said exactly, but I think he told me it was too far away. It was built by Sarah Winchester, widow of William Winchester, of Winchester rifle fame. She believed that the house was haunted by the ghosts of those killed by the Winchester rifles and that only continuous construction would keep them away, or something like that.

Construction on the house continued around the clock for 38 years. The house has all sorts of numbers of all sorts of things: 160 rooms, 950 doors, 17 chimneys, 5 or 6 kitchens, staircases that lead to nowhere, itty bitty cabinets, doors that open into nothing (complete list of stats here)

I had almost forgotten about my desire to go see it, until Tyler took me home to meet his family for the first time; I had never driven to Northern California before. And, when we passed San Jose, I saw a big billboard for nothing less than the Winchester Mystery House!

I may have squealed with delight. Too far away? Maybe, but I think I took that to mean it was in Kansas, or something. Here it was, in my own state!

We didn't go on that day, or the trip after that. But eventually, I got to take a tour and check off 'visit Winchester House' from my life's to-do list.

I don't know why I don't have any pictures of the inside. Perhaps we weren't allowed to take any. Tyler, do you remember? It was really cool, although (and Myriah, I think this is how you feel about Hearst's Castle) all I really wanted to do was explore on my own: peak into rooms, open drawers, wander aimlessly for hours. Ah, oh well.


Anne said...

I totally just want to wander aimlessly at those kinds of places.. its such a shame that we can't =(

Tyler Ball said...

I think she saw a fortune teller that told her she would die the day her house finished construction, which made her decide to never finish. And yes, I don't think they let us take pictures inside.

Myriah said...

Doesn't that place completely freak you out?

No? It's a joyful experience, huh?

Bridget said...

SO COOL. Did the experience temporarily scare Tyler's hair into getting lighter? It seems to be darker these days.

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