The Winchester house was built over the course of almost half a century when the widow of William Winchester, inventor of the Winchester Rifle was told be a medium that the ghosts of the dead who had been killed by Winchester Rifles would claim her life if she ever stopped building the house. The fortune teller’s warning eventually resulted in the most haunted and famous house in the United States. But there’s a more troubling side to this story.
When we think of ghosts and the things they have to work with, they seem quite terrifying if someone is caught alone and yet they quickly lose their effect in the presence of others. And even then the things they generally credited with doing are merely the simple groans in the night, doors opening and closing, and the occasional appearance in front of terrified witnesses. But if we were to take these simple effects that most ghosts seem to have and illustrate how much they can do with them we could have the makings of an explanation for how these ghosts actually built the largest house in the United States.
The Winchester House was built until September 5, 1922 the same day as the death of Mrs. Sarah Winchester. While some accounts indicate the house was stopped actually just moments before her death, the actual truth is she died and the house’s construction was stopped as a result. With over 160 rooms the mystery house is not only the largest in the United States, but also one of the most confusing to navigate. Legend has it that Sarah specifically designed stairways that would lead up walls and drop into thin air and doors that would open into nothingness so the ghosts pursuing her would get trapped in the labyrinthine walls of her home and be unable to get to her.
But the most disturbing aspect of the Winchester House is that this woman was terrified of the retribution these ghosts would have enacted on her. And so as a result, she was forced to build more and more on her house until it eventually consumed her entire existence. In essence the house itself stands as a testament to her fear of the paranormal and her desire to retreat from the powers she believed the ghosts had over her. If the psychic had truly been influenced during her channeling session with the woman, then this would have been an occasion filled with import and power. And whatever spirit she would have been communicating with would have been responsible for the creation of an immense house larger than most living people could ever fathom building.
Does this mean that any ghost or paranormal entity, if contacted at the right time and place could have massive (and possibly devastating) effects on the world? Are there other moments in history where this appeared to be the case? Several cultures throughout history have called on the advice of psychic and seers to ask the advice of the dead. In this way is it possible that throughout human history mankind’s progress has been subtly influenced by communications from the dead?