The Winchester Mystery House has been a subject of fascination for many since it was built in 1884, and now those who want a closer look at the home will be able to stay overnight and imbibe spirits during their time there. The mansion has just been approved for overnight guests and a liquor license; however, the owners aren't willing to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast, at least not yet. For now, only certain areas of the property will be available for overnight stays and the existing bedrooms in the mansion aren't included.
"It wouldn't be a hotel type of thing," said Kristinae Toomians of the San Jose planning department. "Some people just have a fascination with it."
The owners will also be turning the existing small cafe on the property into a full-sized restaurant, which will be open to the public rather than tourists only.
The home endured ceaseless construction for over 35 years after Sarah Winchester--the widow of William Wirt Winchester, gun magnate and treasurer of Winchester firearms--lost her only child and her husband and became convinced that the spirits of the victims of Winchester rifle gunshot wounds would haunt her forever unless she built a home for them and kept up constant construction. She did so until her death in 1922, and by that time the home was seven stories high and had cost an estimated $5.5. million.
The home has become a tourist attraction over the years due to the bizarre and interesting way Sarah Winchester had the home constructed; doors that lead to nothing, staircases that lead to the ceiling, a series of Tiffany windows depicting spiderwebs, and the repetition of the number 13. It's said that Winchester added the false doors and odd staircases to confuse the evil spirits in her home.
No word yet on when everything will be available to the public, but I'm feeling a road trip coming on.
Image via Wikimedia Commons