Why does the Winchester Mystery House have stairs leading nowhere?

Winchester Mystery House: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif. was built by Sarah Winchester from 1884 until her death in 1922.
  • The house is a labyrinth of approximately 160 rooms and bizarre features such as stairs that lead nowhere, doors that open onto walls, columns that are installed upside down and chimneys that don't reach the ceiling.
  • Heartbroken from the deaths of her infant daughter and her husband, Sarah Winchester consulted a medium who told her that her family was cursed, as her husband was the heir of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The medium told her that the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles were haunting her, and the only way to appease them was to build a house for as long as she lived.
  • Winchester allegedly consulted the ghosts haunting her about the design of her house. She held nightly séances to commune with the ghosts, and then presented hand-drawn plans to her architect the next morning.

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