The Winchester Mystery House is offering a free 41 minute virtual tour

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It looks like the sort of house that will appeal to a very specific type of buyer.


There is a graphic novel based on the story of the building of the house; House of Penance by Peter Tomasi.

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I’ve been there at least three times (relatives live about a ten minute drive from it).

It’s an interesting tour, but over the decades, it has certainly commercialized a lot. By my last tour, it had very much become an exit-through-the-gift-shop kind of place.

I asked a tour guide once if anyone had made a map of the whole estate, basically a floor plan.

The answer: “Oh, no. The Winchester Mystery house is much to complicated to map. It’s impossible.”

I didn’t say it aloud, but the D&D player in me stood up and said “Challenge Accepted!”


It was kind of a cynical commercial endeavor from the beginning. The whole bit about Mrs. Winchester’s obsession with ghosts was apparently invented by an entrepreneur named John H. Brown who bought the property because he thought he could turn it into a tourist attraction. And of course “come tour the possibly haunted mansion where a half-mad heiress held seances to commune with the vengeful spirits of the people killed by her husband’s rifle!” makes for a better pitch than “come tour the house built by a rich woman who liked to indulge in experimental architecture!”


It actually looks like a lovely, if slightly overblown, house from the outside. I thought it would look weirder… But, yes, I need those floor plans, which any competent architect could do.


There is a bit more to it than what is shown in the cover photo.


Yeah; 1616 rooms won’t fit into the largish, but not gargantuan structure shown on their intro page … the aerial view when you enter the site is a bit more illustrative.

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Is it still under construction?

Thanks for sharing this and the Paris Catacombs one, my son actually got really into this (I would not expect it to be his thing) and watched the whole video and learned all about the house and Sarah. Now I have an 8 year old who really REALLY wants to live in that house.

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It really is a tourist trap but it’s also really fucking cool. I’ve been there more times than I can count and used to have a season pass. It’s always a good time.

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