Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

3.7
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 holiday in San Jose, and find out what else San Jose has to offer, use our San Jose road trip app .
Create an itinerary including Winchester Mystery House
map
Winchester Mystery House Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
2,268 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • It's hard to believe that the house as it stands now is actually quite a bit smaller than it was before being taken out by the 1906 earthquake. Really interesting tour, and we were lucky enough to get...  more »
  • I really enjoyed my visit to the Winchester Mystery House. The $49 "Explore More Tour" includes the basic "Mansion Tour". Although you briefly pass through some of the same spaces on both tours, they ...  more »
  • This home is quirky and also beautiful. For the time, there are innovations that made the servants’ lives easier. And the low rise steps were brilliant. The high-end decoration is gorgeous and the Bal...  more »
Google
  • This is a tourist venue that has been open since 1923. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are a bit pricey as the owners have started dolling the place up with period furniture. There are a great deal of conventions and special events, as a result, so don't be surprised if some rooms aren't available for touring during your visit. The outside grounds are free to visitors and probably better suited to young children. I have a yearly pass, which is approximately the cost of two tours, and it is good for all three tours on offer. If you enjoy visiting Mrs. Winchester's oddity as much as I, it may prove to be the best value. Halloween and Christmas are the best times to visit, allowing for crowds. The middle of the week during school session, it's very slow and guides have more time for questions.
  • I had visited the Winchester Mystery House twice before. Once in the seventies and once in the eighties. I had actually badmouthed this place for the past thirty years because of my visit then. That changes now. The family had a great time. Of course, the building, itself, hasn't changed for almost 100 years. The tour no longer has the flexibility it once had. I remember being able to go up the stairs to nowhere and opening doors to the restrooms, etc. I think the biggest change is that they no longer allow photos inside the house. Our guide was fantastic. She was engaging and fun. She was able to answer most questions and made the tour better. The mansion is well-maintained. We saw several maintenance workers while there. I was impressed that the entire place was decorated for Christmas. The only reason I don't give this five stars is the cost. Groupon lowered it quite a bit for us but for a family of four, it was a bit pricey.
  • Be prepare to have a good pair of feet to finish walking the entire tour. The mansion was built spirally outward and was never meant to be finished, due to the mistress's psychological breakdown. Therefore, the main building's structure and floor plan is really messy, easy to get lost without guidance. The garden and servant/worker-related facilities and outskirt buildings make better sense in functional design. Nevertheless, the labyrinth-like main mansion contents the most fine pieces of antiques and art collections. Many of the rooms have the antiqued furniture and household items placed in ways to let tourists easily imagine the luxurious but nervous life of the owner. The House provides two regular tour options and the option to book private group events, with the option to stay overnight and having Victorian style meals. But the most well-known special event is during Halloween, at which the House opens at night and let tourists venture inside with only candle lights. During Christmas season, there would be seasonal decoration as well.
  • Really fun place to take family,friends, and kids too. Guided tour is over an hour walk through the house. Tour guide stops a lot and tells you fun facts. But you have to stay with your group in the house. Outside you can wonder around on your own. Big gift shop. Tour is expensive. Check for discounts.
  • I went here for a corporate event. It was okay. You walk around and learn about the history of the place. Our first tour guide gave us the general walk around of the place. He was excited and had character when showing off the house. We did the extended tour and unfortunately the guy seemed nervous and wasn't as cheery. He was nice though. I would say you should at least visit this place once. If you don't visit it, you're not really missing out on much.

Plan your trip to San Jose

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in San Jose

Luxury hotels surrounded by palm trees and fountains host many visitors to Silicon Valley. Some of the largest hotels are congregated around the convention center. Farther away from downtown, you'll find hotels and bed and breakfasts in renovated historical mansions, complete with chandeliers and marble floors.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in San Jose by other users

10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA May, teens, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: February, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in San Diego, San Francisco & San Jose BY A USER FROM INDIA January, culture, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in California, Grand Canyon National Park & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM CANADA May, teens, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in San Jose & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans