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Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House Facts


Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

© 2001 Betsy Malloy
  • Hours: Open for tours daily, except Christmas day
  • Reservations: Not required, except for special tours such as the Friday Night Flashlight Tours
  • Location: San Jose, just off I-280 (directions below)
  • How Long: Allow a couple of hours, longer for multiple tours
  • Best Time to Visit: Any time. Special flashlight tours are held on Friday the 13th and just before Halloween
  • See it Now: Photo Tour

The Winchester Mystery House is a rambling, 160-room, unfinished and unfurnished house built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune. Curiosities include staircases leading to nowhere and doors in the floor.

The Mansion Tour passes from completed rooms into incomplete ones, as if the builders lost their place and started anew every day. Winchester's fascination with the number 13 is evident everywhere: bathroom number 13 has 13 windows, one of them looking into the bedroom next door, the kitchen sink sports 13 drain holes and Winchester even modified a 12-light gas chandelier to hold 13 lights.

Other tours take in the grounds and gardens or go behind the scenes. On Friday the 13th and just before Halloween, you can take a Flashlight Tour, which always sells out ahead of time.

Winchester Mystery House Review

We rate Winchester Mystery House 3 stars out of 5. The standard tour lasts 65 minutes and costs more than three times the cost of a full-price movie, and despite all the hype, it's mildly entertaining at best.

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Where is the Winchester Mystery House?

Winchester Mystery House
525 South Winchester Blvd
San Jose, CA

The Winchester Mystery House is located in San Jose, near the Santana Row and Valley Fair shopping centers, a few miles north of downtown. Exit I-280 southbound at Winchester Blvd. and go east about 1/2 block.

If you're staying in San Francisco and want to visit but don't want to drive, Viator.com offers a day tour. You can buy tickets online and print them at home.

More: Winchester Mystery House History | Is the Winchester Mystery House Haunted?.

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