The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is one of the strangest tourist attractions in the world. This bizarre private home of Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Winchester, founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, is a testament to rampant paranoia and superstition, with the inspiration for its labyrinth of halls leading nowhere, dead-end doorways, and weird rooms being to ward off angry, vengeful spirits.
Looming over the tall palms and eucalyptus trees off Highway 101, this ominous gabled abode has been inviting curious visitors inside its unreal maze of architectural insanity since 1923.
Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built is an upcoming feature film starring Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke that explores the real-life story of the fearful millionairess who believed that her life and home were haunted by the restless ghosts of all the men, women, and children who found the wrong end of her family's catalog of rifles.
Winchester believed the phantoms would pass her over as long as she continued building and adding on to the Victorian mansion's multitude of rooms, balconies, doors, and stairways, something she monitored and maintained around the clock from 1884 until her death in 1922.
SYFY WIRE's Aaron Sagers braved the eerie estate and took a tour with the movie's directors, Michael and Peter Spierig (Jigsaw, Daybreakers), to learn what lies around each endless corridor and darkened corner, their frightful experiences while filming, and the potential of ghostly goings-on in every bedroom, parlor, and pantry.
Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built appears in theaters Feb. 2, 2018.
Additional reporting by Jeff Spry.