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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
  • Huge whimsical mansion located near Santana Row. Beautiful architecture, fantastic history, and with enough crazy to keep even those who don't like touring houses entertained! Nice (smallish) display ...  more »
  • For 3 of us it was over $100 for a 1 hour tour. It was interesting but it's just an odd house with the story of the woman who owned it. The tour guide did a good job. We had about 20 people on our tou...  more »
  • It was interesting to see a unique attraction that offered any type of history because San Jose is mainly known for silicons. I enjoyed the tour of the house because there's much to see in San Jose. 
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.