Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Winchester Mystery House Granted Permit for Overnight Stays

Would you spend the night in The Winchester Mystery House?
Would you spend the night in "the world's strangest home" that's also supposedly haunted and has been featured on such popular shows as "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures?" Well now you'll be able to not only spend the night, but enjoy an alcoholic beverage as well! The Winchester Mystery House on 525 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose, California began being built in 1883 at the command of heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, Sarah Winchester. It stopped being built when she passed away in 1922.

Why? Sarah was told by a medium that "her family and her fortune were being haunted by spirits – in fact, by the spirits of American Indians, Civil War soldiers, and others killed by Winchester rifles. Supposedly the untimely deaths of her daughter and husband were caused by these spirits, and it was implied that Mrs. Winchester might be the next victim." The solution to appease the spirits was to build them this grand home which would also potentially guarantee her eternal life. Well, Sarah did indeed pass on at the ripe old age of around 85 but her spirit does live on.

That being said, according to The Silicon Valley Business Journal, on March 5, the tourist attraction "secured permits to allow overnight lodging and to build a full restaurant on the site as well as more places to drink." There is certainly plenty of space for a "hotel" since upon her death the mansion contained 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens. This won't be an ordinary lodging place for typical travelers though. According to Kristinae Toomians in the city's planning department, "It wouldn't be a hotel type of thing. Some people just have a fascination with it."

The Journal also reported that, "In addition, the city approved converting the existing cafe (a humble affair) to a bona fide restaurant open to the public, not just guests at the attraction. Winchester Investments LLC, the owner of the business, was also granted approval to allow the consumption of alcohol across the entire site (except the parking lot). That will presumably boost the attraction's events business." As for which rooms will be available for lodging, it's reported that, "it doesn't look like the existing bedrooms in the structure are included in the permit. Instead, a staff report singles out certain structures on the site, including the pump house, caretaker's residence, and foreman's quarters as lodging possibilities."

So who's up for a field trip that not only includes a stay in this weird, wild and possibly haunted home, but also some drinks? Let us know your thoughts on this decision and if you've been to this amazing mansion.

-Larissa Mrykalo