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Winchester Mystery House, San Jose
(3.5/5 based on 1,800+ reviews on the web)
The attraction to Winchester Mystery House lies in its architecture and lack of any master building plan, as much as for its ghost stories. The widow of William Wirt Winchester, who built the house, began construction only after her husband died and left her a huge fortune. A medium told her this fortune should be used to build a house for the ghosts of the people who were killed by her husband's famous rifles. The architectural curiosities were added continuously from 1884 to 1922. Take a guided tour to learn all the quirky stories of the haunted rooms. Make a reservation online. To visit Winchester Mystery House on your trip to San Jose, use our San Jose family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I have a new appreciation for Mrs. Winchester, she was a pioneer and a visionary. The tour guide was interested in history and was able to bring the context of a nation and California and a household ...  more »
  • Do not recommend for young children less than 11 or 12 y.o with limited attention span. You do a lot of walk...stop....listen... walk...stop...listen. Definitely recommend adding Behind the Scenes to ...  more »
  • We took the full tour, including the behind the scenes. I could see where you could get lost inside. We had a new tour guide but he did, a good job. A different tour guide for the behind the scenes, T...  more »
Google
  • It's an unusual part of Americana. Tour guides are well trained. Since we'll never go there again we took the extended behind the scenes tour which I recommend. No photography inside (plenty available on Google images) but is permitted in their extensive gardens.
  • A weird yet historical mansion where the Winchester family lived. Feels strange how it's made into a amusement park like feel. There is a cool shooting gallery game while waiting to enter that I really enjoyed. The mansion is very mysterious.
  • The Winchester house gave a neat tour. I found it informative if a bit lack-luster. It was interesting but the "mystery" seemed fairly played-up. Worth the trip, but maybe not a second.
  • If you like seeing old architecture and just something weird and have money to burn, this might be for you. I wouldn't do anything more than the basic tour, and that ain't cheap at $36. Paying more gets you very little and will leave you feeling a bit deceived. The tour guides, while very nice, have cheesy scripted stories and need some real work on their presentation. If you are going for some sort of poltergeist experience, good luck. Point is, this place is interesting and could offer a lot more but this feels much more like a money grab. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this for the price. There is too much in the area that is better to do.
  • The main tour was good and provided some interesting history. The behind the scenes tour was also worth seeing. The candlelight tour was also great, but definitely more of a performance, and our guide for it did a great job.