Calling all fans of horror and the supernatural!!!
A new movie is coming out February 1. It’s called “Winchester”. It’s based on the true story of Winchester Rifle fortune heiress, Sarah Winchester. Played by Helen Mirren, who is absolutely fantastic at playing the roles of dark, creepy, solemn matriarchs, Sarah Winchester becomes a widow and obtains great wealth after the death of her husband, William Winchester, who leaves her his fortune. This is a fortune of about $20 million which, in today’s world, equals about $500 million, give or take. This chick has money coming out her ears. And it’s going to continue to come because she owns half of the Winchester Rifle Company (Winchester Repeating Arms Company).
Unfortunately, she starts to experience a number of supernatural phenomena. She becomes tormented and haunted, desperately wanting to know what all of this spiritual activity is in her house, and why. She begins to think she and her family are cursed and calls on psychic mediums to try to give her an explanation. She is informed that “the spirits” are the souls of all of the victims of the Winchester Rifle. She is also told that the only way to appease said ghosts is to move West and build a house for herself and the spirits. However, she is gravely informed that she must have building construction going on at all times in order to make these ghosts happy and for them to leave her alone.
So, in 1886, just five years after the death of her husband, she moves to California, buys an eight-room farm house on 160 acres and begins construction that goes on practically non-stop for 38 years.
This house has windows with views of other walls, staircases that lead nowhere (like to the ceiling or into a solid wall), there are doors that open to reveal brick walls, I mean, this house turns into a maze of craziness. Even the house staff need maps to move about the property because even THEY can’t get the layout straight, especially with all the constant work being done. (I will say that there is some difference of opinion among scholars and biographers whether or not Sarah Winchester had a fascination with the number 13. There are stories that she had thought it to be a lucky number and supposedly worked it into many facets of the house such as, there are 13 bathrooms, many windows have 13 window panes, etc. However, there are people who maintain that some of that work was done and the house was altered AFTER her death, when it was purchased and made into a tourist attraction. No, I haven’t been…yet.)
It is widely believed that all the twists and turns in the house, the odd architecture and construction, was intended to confuse and confound the ghosts. A lesser known explanation for the vast property and its confounding design is simply that, because Sarah was rich and had absolutely NO architectural training whatsoever, that when she would choose what additions to make and where, due to her lack of experience and technical knowledge, it just plumb ended up a perplexing and massive structure that eventually, she didn’t even live in anymore.
I love movies based on real events. This one has always fascinated me. I have been aware of the Winchester Mystery Mansion and its backstory for years. I think this is one of those spellbinding tales of fear, faith and the everlasting battle of warding of perceived evil.
Can you imagine spending over $500 million spanning almost 40 years to build a house you don’t ever intend to live in?
Our beliefs of what is happening around us and to us can be very influential, sometimes even debilitating. They can be so strong and so captivating that, sometimes, they can control ever aspect of our very lives.
Sarah Winchester’s belief in her unseen tormentors drive her to deal with her fear and its apparent demons at their very core of existence.
I truly cannot wait to see this movie. I hope it’s as good as I think it’s going to be.
The Countess of the Crypt