April 2, 2016: Exterior of the Winchester Mystery House with statues and a fountain.


Winchester Mystery House

San Jose

This ridiculous yet fascinating Victorian mansion is filled with 160 mostly non-utilitarian rooms with dead-end hallways and a staircase that runs up to a ceiling. The standard hour-long guided mansion tour includes a romp through the gardens plus entry to an exhibition of guns and rifles.

Sarah Winchester – heir to the Winchester-rifle fortune – spent 38 years constructing this mammoth white elephant. No expense was spared in the construction, the extreme results of which sprawl over 4 acres. Apparently, it was commissioned because she claimed the spirits of the people killed by Winchester rifles told her to.

The house is west of central San Jose and just north of I-280, incongruously across the street from the upscale Santana Row.

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