Although there is not much for sightseeing in San Jose, this is a place worthy of visiting, a Victorian mansion of Mrs. Winchester build in the last half of the 19th century. There is a wailing story behind the construction of this huge house with 160 rooms. Winchester is a famous name for rifles and guns and this is the very family, a millionaire firearm manufacturer, that she was married into. Unfortunately, she lost her daughter six weeks after birth and her husband died young too, sad enough for Mrs. Winchester to lament her own destiny.
A spirit medium attributed all this tragedy to the spirits of those whose lives had been taken away by the firearms and told the widow in order to get rid of those spirits she should keep building rooms to her house. So the construction began and kept going on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 38 years until the day she passed away.
At the end of the last year, we joined the tour with Jiji and Babi for the first time. The mansion was by no means wheelchair accessible, so my dancing princess and Casey took a walk at a nearby shopping center. The tour was about 65 minutes long, taking us through 103 rooms out of 160. “Make sure to stay with the group or you’ll never find a way out.” The tour began with this warning by the tour guide who was a young man. We felt a spooky atmosphere drifting here and there in the mansion, helped by the rainy and cold weather. My dragon boy looked so nervous. l”...”l
Doors to nowhere, rooms of various sizes, maze-like stairs. It was indeed a mystery house. However, to my surprise, Mrs. Winchester was a very clever woman. She introduced modern technologies in her house for that time such as heating and sewer systems.
The mansion had 40 bedrooms, 6 kitchens, 47 fireplaces, three elevators and staircases in 40 places. There was also a huge guest hall, which she never invited anyone to. Now that the place has become a sightseeing spot that attracts thousands of people, should I say it is an irony or sorrow?
There is another kind of tour held at night, called “Behind the Scene Tour,” which we can join with a flashlight. It is only for 13 years old and up, so I want to go there again once dragon is old enough although he may say no. (^_^;)