Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is just that; a mystery. Why would Sarah Winchester have the house built, adjusted, and rebuilt constantly between 1884 and 1922? Was she a genius? Or was Sarah Winchester under the influence of the spirits it is said she was terrified of? Let’s explore Sarah and her mystery house and decide from there.

Sarah Pardee

Sarah Winchester was born Sarah Pardee in September 1839, in New Haven, Connecticut. Sarah grew into a charming, multi-lingual, musically talented that was a petite beauty of only 4’10” tall. Sarah was bred, born, and raised in New Haven.

William Wirt Winchester

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Museum of History San Jose

William Winchester was also from New Haven, Connecticut. William’s father was a shirt manufacturer who took over the assets of a firm that made Volcanic Repeater firearms in 1857. In 1860 the company created the Henry Rifle that averaged one shot every three seconds. The Henry Rifle was a favourite among the Northern troops during the American Civil War.

Two Become One

Sarah Pardee and William Wirt Winchester were united in marriage on September 30, 1862, in New Haven. They were living a life of financial stability due to the success and popularity of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company at the height of the Civil War.

The Winchester’s had a daughter named Annie Pardee Winchester on July 15, 1866. Unfortunately, Annie was not a healthy baby and she passed away on July 24, 1866. The death threw Sarah Winchester into a deep depressive despair that robbed her of the next ten years of her life. Sarah just wasn’t her usual self and she and William did not have any more children. As Sarah emerged from her dark depression, William contracted Tuberculosis. William would pass away five years later of TB on March 7, 1881. William’s death left Sarah distraught again and she would wear Victorian mourning dresses and veils for the rest of her life.

Inheritance

When William died in 1881, Sarah inherited over $20 million plus 48.9% of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and an income of $1,000 per day. But as they say, money cannot buy happiness.

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Winchester Mystery House

The Mysterious Story of Sarah Winchester

The tour guides at the Winchester Mystery House tell guests that after the death of  William Wirt Winchester, Sarah sought the guidance of a Spiritualist Medium. It is reported that the Medium told Sarah that the Winchester family was cursed and the spirits killed by Winchester guns were seeking revenge against her. The Medium reportedly told Sarah to “move towards the setting sun, and to build a house continually for if she stopped construction she would die.”

As the story goes, Sarah sold her home in New Haven and moved to California. When Sarah reached the Santa Clara Valley in 1884 she found a 6 room house that was being built for a Dr Caldwell. Sarah convinced the doctor to sell the house and the surrounding 162 acres to her and after the sale took place she threw out all of the building plans.

The Winchester Mystery House

For 36 years Sarah Winchester kept 22 carpenters at work building her home 24 hours a day. Sarah paid the carpenters well and was continually ordering building materials from all over the United States and in some cases, the world, so much so that she had her own set of railway tracks running to the building site. The carpenters would build, demolish, alter, and rebuild one section of the house after another all day, every day. (2017, prairieghosts.com)

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seawolfliving.com

Sarah Winchester would meet with the construction foreman every morning and give him the building plans she drew up overnight. It is reported that Sarah would spend a lot of time in the “seance room” at the centre of the house every evening. It was in the “seance room” that she came up with her building plans, most of which were nonsensical. It is reported by the current day tour guides at the Winchester Mystery House that Sarah received the building plans from the spirits within the house.

Over time the Winchester Mystery House grew to be seven stories tall, it contained three elevators, 47 fireplaces, staircases that lead nowhere, a blind chimney, closet doors that open to walls, trap doors, double-back hallways, skylights stacked upon each other, doors that open to steep drops out to the lawn, bathrooms with glass doors, and banisters that are upside down.

Sarah Winchester liked the number 13. So much so that most of the windows in the house have 13 panes of glass, walls contain 13 panels, the greenhouse has 13 cupolas, some staircases have 13 steps, some rooms have 13 windows, and many floors have 13 sections. One exception is the 42 steps of a staircase that only goes up nine feet, two inches at a time.

It is said that “Sarah felt the maze confused the ghosts of the Old West gunslingers and outlaws killed by Winchester guns.”

The Winchester Mystery House is no longer seven stories tall. The house was damaged during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the top three stories collapsed.

Rooms of The Winchester Mystery House

$25,000 Room– In this room, there is a display of the many fine artisan windows that Sarah Winchester bought. The windows were valued at $25,000 at the time of Sarah’s death in 1922. The windows are now said to be worth millions.

Seance Room– as mentioned earlier in this post, the seance room is located near the centre of the house. The room has one entrance but three exits.

Daisy Bedroom Sarah spent the duration of the 1906 earthquake trapped in the Daisy Bedroom. It is named after its lovely stained glass windows.

Sarah’s Bedroom the bedroom is ornate and large and it is the room that Sarah Winchester died in in 1922.

Grand Ballroom  the grand ballroom cost over $9,000 at the time of construction and was built almost entirely without the use of nails. The parquet floors contain six different hardwoods: mahogany, teak, maple, rosewood, oak, and white ash.

The Corridors of the Third Floor These corridors are avoided by the staff after dark. Why, you ask? Well, they have heard footsteps and even whispers of their names from disembodied voices. This area has never been open to the public.

Witch’s Cap Believed to have been built as an attic storage sGuided Tours

The Winchester Mystery House offers guided tours of the sprawling maze of a house.  Around Halloween time they also offer Hall’ween Candlelight Tours. Click here to learn more.

Winchester The House That Ghosts Built

Yay, a movie about Sarah Winchester and here mystery house! So excited to see this one.

A Different Theory

The tour guides at the Winchester Mystery House will tell their guests about Sarah Winchester and the ghostly reasons for the strange house she had built. That reason has been explained above. Richard Allan Wagner has written about his theory of what drove the continuous construction of the Winchester Mansion.

On thetruthaboutthewinchesterhouse.com Mr Wagner claims that all the folklore about Sarah Winchester has been fabricated to make money. Mr Wagner argues that Sarah was a Rosicrucian and a Freemason and that her beliefs drove the strange construction that was dominated by the number 13. Click here to learn more about Rosicrucian.

It is easy to argue that stories of folklore make money in this situation. I am not convinced that Sarah Winchester was not led by either spirits or spiritualism when having her amazing, huge, and confusing mansion built. Something motivated Sarah to continue with construction for those 36 years. Anyone who has lived through even a small renovation should agree that Sarah was a very motivated and determined lady.

We hope that you have enjoyed this post and that we have shared information that is new to you. Let us know what you would like to learn about next. Have you been to the Winchester Mystery House? If so, please share your experience and impressions with us.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

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What is a Psychic?

The subject of psychics is immense. There is a ton of information regarding not only what psychic abilities are, but how to increase your own abilities, and what you should know before visiting a psychic. Let’s explore this mysterious world and find out “what is a psychic”.

Psychic Abilities

  • According to a paranormal.lovetoknow.com article written by Sally Painter, the following list is the different types of psychic abilities people may have.

    Astral Projection-Astral projection is the ability to achieve a different level of consciousness.  This is obtained through meditation and is said to be a voluntary process.

    What is a psychic

    Out-of-Body Experience (OBE) and Near Death Experience (NDE)- Now you might ask, what is the difference between astral projection and an out-of-body experience? Aren’t they the same thing?  No, and the main difference is that an OBE is considered involuntary and can happen when frightened, threatened, hurt, or for no apparent reason. Some people experience OBEs when they have a Near Death Experience (NDE). In the book, The Nightmare Encyclopedia: Your Darkest Dreams Interpreted, authors Jeff Belanger and Kirsten Dalley describe OBEs of NDE survivors floating above their bodies as their death scene unfolds below them.

    Side note: My wife, Val, used to have OBEs as a child.  She attributes them to the stress of her family breaking up. She had the experiences at the end of her Grade 4 school year when the family was scattering to different parts of the province and she ended up as the only child to live with her mother and new stepfather.  Val has said that the experience did not last for a long period of time but she would feel that she was outside of herself, watching what was happening for just a minute or so. The feeling or sensation was significant to her as she still remembers them many years later.

    Aura Reading-Some psychics are able to see and therefore “read” peoples auras. An aura is an energy that your body emits and it appears to those with the ability to see them as different colours.  The different colours have different meanings and are interpreted as showing how you doing emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

    Automatic Writing-The New World Encyclopedia states automatic writing doesn’t occur from the conscious mind.  The writing is generated while channelling spirits. This was popular during a séance with the medium often going into a trance-like state. The Spiritualism Movement that began in the late 1840’s embraced this form of mediumship in the 1920s. Automatic writing was also popular within the Surrealist Movement (the 1920s) when artists used automatic writing as a tool to induce their flow of creativity.

    Channeling-The First Spiritual Temple (founded 1883) describes channelling as the use of a medium for communication with a disembodied spirit. People who have this ability are called “mediums” because they serve as a medium or vessel for this communication. Some mediums allow the spirit to take control of their bodies similar to automatic writing, yet other mediums don’t relinquish control over their bodies.

    To someone who has spent time watching programs and learning about possession from Ryan Buell, and Lorraine Warren, I would be very wary of channelling. But on a lighter note think of Whoopi Goldberg’s character channelling Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie Ghost.

    Click here to read my article about mediums

    Clairaudience-The ability to tune in and hear what the spirit world is communicating, including music.

    Claircognizance-Empathetic Perspectives explains claircognizance is also known as clear knowing or clear recognition. Psychics with this ability can know things without having any previous knowledge about the topic. This knowledge is inexplicable, but the psychic “knows” it to be true. Psychics believe that the knowledge is communicated to them by spirits, or spirit guides.

    hauntedrealities.com
    Psychic. Crystal ball

    Clairvoyance-The Llewellyn Encyclopedia defines clairvoyance as being one of the several psychic abilities known as “supranormal visual talents.” This ability refers to seeing visions of events, people and places beyond physical eyesight. Clairvoyance includes seeing the past, present, and future events. It is often thought to be the same as extrasensory perception or ESP.

    Clairsentience-According to Psychic Elements, another supranormal psychic ability is clairsentience. This isn’t a physical ability to feel, such as touching an object. It’s the ability to feel or sense something beyond the physical realm. A person with clairsentience is able to sense the presence of a spirit or other energies. This ability has also been described as a knowing. For example, a psychic with this ability can meet someone for the first time and know their name or their birthday. The Psychic Library states that those with this ability are able to “feel the present, past or future physical and emotional states of people.” The ability works in unison with psychometry and aura sensing to allow the psychic to pick up information from buildings, geographical locations and objects. I am left hoping that psychics with these abilities also have the ability to turn them off.  Otherwise, it must be incredibly distracting to travel or experience historical locales. I would love to hear from a psychic who can tell me how they turn this ability off.

    Divination- The Paranormal Encyclopedia describes divination as a practice used to find answers by the observation of various natural signs believed to come from the spiritual world. A psychic can use dowsing, tarot cards, tea leaves, crystal balls, pendulums, Ouija boards, bibliomancy, and “scrying” to obtain answers.

    Click to read more about Ouija boards

    Empathy- A psychic with empathic abilities is able to feel another person’s emotions as well as their physical pains. The ability is involuntary, but the psychic can learn to control how they react to these often confusing feelings that don’t belong to them. I believe this is a common ability that many people have, and it involves the ability to read body language and have compassion.

    ESP (Extrasensory Perception)-Perhaps one of the best-known psychic abilities is ESP (Extrasensory Perception) that are often called the sixth sense. Encyclopaedia Britannica describes ESP as an independent sensory perception. It also states ESP is an ability to perceive things that others might not. ESP is grouped with other psychic abilities, such as telepathy and clairvoyance.

    Intuition- Intuition is an innate “sense” of events, thoughts, activities, or feelings of others that are outside of the normal human ability to perceive them. An intuitive person has a borderline psychic perception.

    I have always thought of intuition as that “little voice or gut feeling” that I occasionally experience when meeting someone new or entering a new relationship whether that be a new job or a new pursuit. I get the best results when I listen to and obey my intuition. Trust me when I say that the times I have ignored it have ended in both emotional and physical pain.

    Bare Hand Surgeons- The other type of psychic surgeons are known as the Filipino Bare Hand Surgeons who practice the ancient Asian art of energy incision surgery. The energy incision is made, and the surgeon plunges his or her bare hands into the patient’s body to remove diseased tissues or correct an internal disorder. The energetic incision automatically heals once the surgery is over. Psychic surgery has a controversial history plagued by hoaxes and charlatans.

    Precognition- The Psychic Library explains precognition as the ability to see future events or have prior knowledge of an event. This is often done through the use of other psychic abilities, such as ESP (Extrasensory Perception) or clairvoyance. There are several ways that a psychic receives details of a future event. This can be in a vision or a flash of knowledge about the impending event. I believe that psychics or psychic mediums that help solve crimes have a strong precognition ability.

    Psychometry- The Psychic Library describes the psychic ability of psychometry as utilizing one or more other abilities, such as clairsentience, clairaudience, or clairvoyance. The psychic can pick up information, impressions, events, thoughts, and even visions of a place or object. This often involves the sense of touch and psychics believe that objects can hold emotions or memories of the person who owned them.

    Telepathy- Esoteric Science states telepathy uses physical senses in order to create a direct communication between individuals through thoughts, emotions, and imagery.

    There are three types of telepathy that include:

    •   Instinctional– This form of telepathy is subconsciously controlled and the lesser of the three. It’s the type of communication a mother and child have and is often based on an emotional tie. These communications are vague and often subtle forms of impressions.
    • Intuitional: This form of telepathy is strictly mind-to-mind with direct communications absent of any possible misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
    • Intellectual: This form of telepathy is about entire concepts being communicated in the blink of an eye with a complete understanding between the two participants. It has been studied and reported that twins can have this ability to communicate with each other and even feel each other’s pain when they are not near one another.

    Animal Telepathy- Psychics with the ability to communicate telepathically with animals are known as pet psychics. Psychics with this ability believe they can establish a psychic connection with the thoughts and feelings of animals. Some people believe that people who excel at training animals tend to have this form of telepathy without realizing it. Debbie McGillivray is a professional Animal Communicator and Pet Intuitive and explains her ability as receiving thoughts, images, feelings and even words from animals either in-person or over distances.

    How Can I Become a Psychic?

    If you are curious about developing psychic abilities you can check out reaprendentia.org, or imhu.org.  There are fees involved, of course, but pursuing the training is up to you.  Let me know how it goes if you proceed. Would love to have a review of the programs.

    I Want to Visit a Psychic

    William Stillman suggests that you consider these things before consulting a psychic.

    -Be open to the experience.  Don’t go into a reading with a set agenda.

    -Allow the psychic to guide the session. This means that the psychic should do the talking and your job is to acknowledge the information you are receiving if it resonates with you.

    -Listen for credible details. An authentic psychic will be able to tell you bits of information that are not common knowledge to others. But also understand that you may not fully understand a message until you have had time with it after the session.  This is referred to as “psychic amnesia.”

    -Are you booked to see a psychic or a medium? Yes, there is a difference. All mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums. Know what you want and decide accordingly which type of a professional you want to see.

    -Terminate any session that does not feel right. A psychic can sometimes have a difficult time connecting with someone. If that happens the psychic will stop the session and will not charge for the time they have spent with you.  Do not listen to someone who claims they are a psychic who can tell you the winning lottery numbers, or who wants you to pay more, or buy items from them. Do not fall for a fake.

    Like any type of relationship, whether it’s with your dentist or a psychic, you should feel comfortable. I would not continue to see a dentist that I felt was ripping me off, nor would I stay with a psychic that had me feeling ripped off either.

    Have you been to a psychic, or a medium? If you wish to share your experience I would love to read about it.  Comment below.

    Cheers,

    Bill and The Other Half

     

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Are Ouija Boards dangerous?-Many People Say Yes

In this article, I will attempt to answer the question of are Ouija boards dangerous? Ouija boards started as a board game developed and sold by Hasbro dating back to 1890.  The name Ouija is said to come from “oui” the French word for yes, and “ja” the German word for yes.

In my childhood I played with Ouija boards on an occasion or two, admittedly this was before I had heard any warnings about their use.  I was a bit tentative about playing with the Ouija board as a friend told me it was used to communicate with dead people. That made me equal parts scared and excited. I did not have any luck communicating with a spirit in my childhood, and upon learning more, I am glad I didn’t.

I spent hours watching various television programs about spirits, or the paranormal. I am always curious, although I will remain somewhat sceptical until I have my own experience with the paranormal. Ryan Buell of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS), and of the A&E television show, “Paranormal State,” has stated in the past that he believes Ouija boards are dangerous and can cause evil spirits to find you, and follow you. That is not at all appealing to me.  It was through Ryan Buell and his television show that I learned of Lorraine Warren.

Lorraine Warren and her late husband, Ed, are well known in the paranormal community and are highly regarded for their knowledge of spirits, and demons.  They have researched and spent time in many notorious haunted locations, such as the Amityville Horror house. Ed Warren has been known to say “we are warning not to use Ouija boards, not to go to seances, and not to practice the occult.”  While Lorraine has said, “Seventy-five percent of our cases come about through the use of Ouija boards.”  Now some people may be sceptical or may believe that these words were only said to bolster the mystery of the Warren’s. Lorraine, who is now 90 years old, still consults with others that work with the paranormal and she has experienced events that would have made other people run for the hills.

Click here to read more about the Warren’s.

So are Ouija boards dangerous?

Some people may believe that the Ouija board cannot do you any harm and that it is common sense to know that.  I can only provide you, the curious, with information and ask you to do some research yourself before using an Ouija board. If you have any misgivings, or if you feel uncomfortable about the use of Ouija boards you should leave them alone. I, for one, will leave them alone as I am a cautious, yet curious person. But I will use my common sense that tells me to believe both Ryan Buell and Lorraine Warren as they are the experts.

Please let me know your thoughts. Any Ouija board experiences?

Cheers,

Bill

 

 

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