Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

3.5
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 .
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Winchester Mystery House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
2,218 reviews
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3.9
TripAdvisor
  • Came for Halloween night tour. It was expensive but fun. Did make me want to come back during daylight hours. Great for everyone including kids.  more »
  • Don't be shocked at the high admission price (37 for adults). The money is used to continually restore this one of a kind house. There is no stat funding so the admission fees have to cover it. This i...  more »
  • My boyfriend and I took the candlelight tour. The house is beautiful at night. The candlelight made the house look eerie and haunted. I love old houses so I was more interested in looking at the archi...  more »
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  • Get there early in the day and you will find parking near the gift shop entry, else you must park in their lot across the street from the entry area. There is a very large gift shop and in the right hand center is the desk for obtaining tour tickets. Check the Internet for discount coupons and prices as these range from $32 for Seniors to $40 regular Adult. {a little steep, but worth the cost for a visit once every 40 years}.. There is a snack-bar restaurant where you can obtain a decent lunch or a cup of coffee. There are tons of things to see on a self-tour of the grounds and several buildings are open. You will be photographed upon presenting your ticket at the entry to the home {this is a money making enterprise as the photos are for sale} and for the rifleman there is a small but free Winchester Arms museum. There are more than one tour, we took the basic and enjoyed the antics and stories of our informative guide. Do not be afraid to ask questions, he or she will be very happy to know you are interested in the answers {giving the same spiel nine times a day can become monotonous} You are allowed to take pictures in the gift shop and on the beautiful grounds, but NOT in the building itself. If you like beauty and interesting architecture, then you will be taking many pictures. Allow three to four hours for your visit and then proceed to the San Jose / Sunnyvale Rose Garden; followed by an afternoon four hours at the Rosicrucian Museum that is at 1660 Park Ave. {short drive away}
  • Though the price is exorbitant, the Mystery House can take up to four hours to enjoy. The regular 65 minute tour leaves every twenty minutes, and for a small time, they've added an extra hour's worth of touring, including going into the basement and other crevices of the mansion. The gift shop is large and the cafe is good, but not great. (Their Cajun pasta was good but not excellent. As someone from Louisiana, I should know.) There's a self guided Walk way and a couple of nice, small museums.
  • Great tours of this weird house. Tour guides Matt and Melissa were excellent. Very enthusiastic and friendly. Excellent pictures outside the house. You can't take pictures inside due to a movie being made and rights to the inside being protected.
  • I lived in San Jose for most of my life and I never been here until recently. It is a wonderful place to check out and see how houses were built back then. This house has great history tied in with it! I would say it's a little pricy but you get what you pay for! Totally recommend!
  • A gun experience and a bit of history. The Explore More tour is a limited time your that takes you through the parts of the house you don't see on the regular tour - it was worth it! Didn't see any ghosts, but certainly a unique experience! Over an hour of slow walking and talking so be prepared with comfy shoes.

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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.
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