The Mystery Behind the Winchester Mansion

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is one of the most beautiful mansions in the world.

It’s also one of the most bizarre. Windows in the floor. Doors that open to a two-story drop. Secret passageways. Stairways to nowhere (which could have been a famous song by Led Zep had they ever written it).

Why such an odd construction? It was built by ghosts.

The mansion was the brainchild of Sarah Winchester, the wife of William Wirt Winchester, who was the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune. After her infant daughter and husband died, Sarah Winchester sought the guidance of a spiritualist.

The Boston Medium explained to her that her family was cursed by the ghosts of all those who died by the “The Gun That Won West.” The only way to appease the spirits and save her life was to move west and use her blood money to build the spirits a house.

Legend has it that Mrs. Winchester literally let the spirits design the house. She would conduct nightly sances where good spirits would give her instructions that she passed to her foreman every morning.

That turned the mansion into a sprawling 7-story maze of 160 rooms, 47 stairways, and 13 bathrooms. In fact, the number 13 appears quite a bit in the house: rooms with 13 windows, walls with 13 panels, chandeliers with 13 candles, even walls with 13 coat hooks.

The unusual design of the mansion was also spawned by Mrs. Winchester’s attempts to disorient evil spirits that were stalking her. She allegedly never slept in the same room two nights in a row and would often sneak through secret passages to deter ghosts… because ghosts can’t pass through walls or anything.

Mrs. Winchester also believed that if construction never stopped, she would live forever. So her crew worked around-the-clock, even on weekends and holidays, for 38 straight years, until Mrs. Winchester died of heart failure in 1922. Today, her eccentric $5.5 million construction (that’s around $20 million in today’s money) still remains in an unfinished state… which I’m sure didn’t look good on the architect’s resume.

The tour of the house was an informative and entertaining look inside the mind of a woman gone mad. And you have to stay with the group because if you get lost, they literally have to send a search and rescue team to find you (if the bad ghosts haven’t gotten you yet). I always had the feeling that one wrong turn would lead us into a portal to nowhere; after all, the mansion is basically a mirror maze away from becoming a carnival funhouse.

Unlike the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, however, when you leave you don’t hear a man say, ” a ghost will follow you home!” Bummer – that would have been a cheap souvenir.…

Elite Modular Mansion Homes

Modular mansions come in sizes that might startle the average home buyer. Elite modular homes are available in five, ten and sometimes fifteen thousand square feet. These homes are the latest trend among the financial elite. To the wealthy, modular mansions make sense because you get more home for less, receiving all the extras they expect without any sacrifices.

The general public takes longer to catch up with new trends. Some still believe modular homes are just fancy trailers, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just like trucks were once considered just a work vehicle, some trucks are now considered luxury vehicles. The same can be said for modular homes, they are now available in every size with any floor plan that the customer desires.

From their humble beginnings modular homes have evolved to become high precision homes, with built-in fixtures that incorporate the latest advances in automation, cad-cam design, and quality control. From a construction standpoint, the accuracy and strength excels over the traditionally stick-built home. The average modular home contains 17-20% more material compared to the same home built on location.

The additional material comes from the need to strengthen the home for shipment and the crane assembly once it reaches the building site. The added strength and rigidity helps maintain a solid home for generations to come. At the site, most homes are set in place in two to four days, and the finish work which includes electrical, mechanical, septic, garage, driveway, and other architectural details, are normally completed in a 60-120 days. The shorter completion time is an added attraction for many buyers, waiting to see their dream home.

Size has no limit as attested by the 12,700 square foot Cape Cod modular mansion built in Massachusetts that was comprised of 26 individual sections. The owner achieved the appearance of a traditional “period home”, using modern materials giving the feeling of warm and cozy, new antique. The home was designed for its ocean front site, with all the rich details you would expect in a custom high-end home. Skeptical buyers can take a virtual tour of their home plan, room-by-room before it is ever built and see every detail, right down to the placement of their furniture through the use of modern computer technology.

From a financial standpoint, there is an average savings as much as 10-20% for the same floor plan compared to a stick built home. If wealthy buyers are reaching to the modular format to build their dreams, they understand the value in using modern automation for a quality built home, and perhaps the average home buyer should look closer at the modular option when searching for a home builder.…