Thursday, 29 January 2009
Winchester Mystery House
credit for photograph:
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA.
Sarah Winchester (1839–1922), heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, grief-stricken at the death of her husband and infant daughter, was told by a medium that she must move to California and never stop building on a giant house, to appease the ghosts of all those who had died by her family’s evil rifles. Which she did. The Winchester Mystery House, now a tourist attraction in San Jose, California, built over 38 years, has 160 rooms, 40 staircases, 950 doors, and 10,000 windows.
“My interest in the mansion,” Jeremy Blake said in the catalogue for the 2004 Winchester show, “is rooted in an understanding that the site is more than just a monument to one person’s eccentric fears—it is the tangible outcome of a pileup of social and historical narratives.”