Memorial Day weekend came early for me this year with my mom's visit to Los Angeles the weekend prior. This wasn't my mom's first visit to LA (it was her third, actually, and I've lived here barely a year), so we decided to make a day trip to The Winchester Mystery House.
I'd been curious of the Winchester House ever since I was a kid when I caught some kind of "Most Haunted Places in America" special on the History or Discovery Channel. My mom and I have no shame about the fact that we're all about the supernatural (100% believers), and we've always thought it would be fun to make the trip. My move to Los Angeles just made it more accessible for us.
For those who aren't familiar with the Winchester House, I'll try to be brief - it's quite an interesting story and if you're interested I'd urge you to read about the history behind the house. In short, Sarah Winchester was the widow of the man who invented the Winchester rifle. Upon his death, she became a millionaire, rich even by today's standards. As a widow she became paranoid that the ghosts of those killed by her husband's rifles were trying to kill her, so she hired a construction crew to build onto the house 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sarah designed the building plans with rooms and passageways to "confuse" the ghosts so they'd be unable to find her. The mansion now includes stairways to the ceiling, doors that open to nowhere, windows in the floor and cupboards that open to brick walls, among other oddities.
The house is truly a marvel - not only because of the curious construction and sheer size of the house, but also because of the intricate details and craftsmanship of the late 1800's Queen Anne style architecture. The house itself is a work of art.
I'd highly recommend the Winchester house to anyone with a passion for history, architecture or the supernatural, though I'd say it was a tough trip to make from Los Angeles for a short day trip. Although the drive is beautiful in itself - dotted with roadside fruit stands selling everything from baskets of strawberries to garlic ice cream and views of California farmland. While I wasn't able to bring home any garlic ice cream, my garlic jelly will have to do.