Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Mieography

Sarah Lockwood Pardee was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in September of 1839. In the early 1860's she met William Wirt Winchester, the son of the famous gun manufacturer, Oliver Winchester. Sarah married William in 1862, in a very elaborate wedding. They went on to have a daughter, Annie, who, sadly, died when she was only six months old. Traumatized over the death of her daughter, Sarah began her descent into madness, and began to shun the high society she had once been a shining member of. They had no other children. Just when Sarah was starting to function again, life dealt her another harsh blow. Her husband died, of tuberculosis. Sarah became convinced the Winchester family was cursed.

She inherited twenty million dollars when William died, and almost half ownership in the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, which gained her an additional one thousand dollars a day, just in royalties. This was little comfort to her, having lost her family.
A friend, trying to help, suggested she seek the advice of a medium. Sarah did so, and the medium actually verified to Sarah that the family was cursed by the spirits of all those who had been killed by Winchester Rifles. And those spirits had taken her daughter, and husband as their revenge. Furthermore, the only thing she could do was to purchase a house, add on to it continuously, to house the spirits. If construction ended, Sarah would die.
So, in 1884, Sarah bought a house, in San Jose, California, and started using her fortune, to add on to the house. She continued this every day of every week, of every year, for an astounding 38 years. It ended the day she died, at the age of eighty five. She died in her sleep, and is buried next to her husband and daughter.
Sarah designed all the construction, and did her best to confuse the spirits of the house, including having stair cases that end precisely no where. During the great earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906, much of Sarah's work was undone. She got trapped into her room. The house went from seven stories to four. Sarah took this as a message from the spirits that she was spending too much time and money on the front of the house. So, she had thirty rooms boarded up, and never used them again. She also became obsessed with the number thirteen.
The house contained
160 rooms. 40 bedrooms, 13 balthrooms, 6 kitchens..
47 fireplaces, of which many have flues that go nowhere. She thought the spirits could enter and leave through the flues.
40 staircases, and more than 450 doorways. One of the stair cases ends at the ceiling, and each staircase has thirteen steps, except one. Each step is only two inches high.
10,000 windows, which have 12 panes. One room has a window in the floor. The rooms also have rooms within rooms, and a door that opens up to an eight foot drop to the garden outside.
The kitchen sink has thirteen drain holes, and there is a gas chandelier, which was modified to have thirteen lights. It is said Sarah slept in a different room each night.
The house also boasts many accounts of paranormal activity.

Sarah's will was written in thirteen sections, and she signed it thirteen times. She left the house to a niece, who took what she wanted and auctioned off the rest. It took movers eight truckloads a day for six and a half weeks to empty out the house.
Today, the house stands as a museum to the eccentricity of Sarah, and can be toured.
Go HERE to see even more...
if you dare


sybil law said...

Oh, I've seen a show about that house before. I can't imagine being so freaking insane.

David in DC said...

Wow. I never knew this story.


Mimi said...

The Xman went there this summer, and was telling us about her.

Such a sad life.

Daryl said...

Stephen King based one of his stories on this ... and it was made into a TV movie ... AND

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hi Mie. sorry it's been a while, hope you've been ok. That place sounds mind blowing and so so sad. I hope you have an amazing time there. xx