As the day celebrating people’s weird compulsion to be scared out of their minds approaches, it’s to be expected that various websites will be flooded with stories about the paranormal and supernatural. Well, since no one can deny that Halloween is fun and because Michael Myers might get mad if it’s not celebrated properly, let’s just jump onto the bandwagon and post the inevitable article that will satiate your need for fear.
What exactly does architecture and design have that will satisfy your curiosity about paranormal phenomena? Well, what do you think ghosts and poltergeists haunt? Buildings and houses, duh! So now, let’s talk about famous historical and architectural beauties that have been labelled as “haunted.”
THE WINCHESTER HOUSE
Considered to be an architectural phenomenon, the Winchester Mystery House, first broke ground in 1884 when Sarah L. Winchester, the Winchester Rifle heiress, moved to Santa Clara Valley in Northern California because a medium told her to. Through the medium, she was able to converse with her dead husband, who supposedly told her that she can only continue to live if she never finished building the house. And so, one of the most unique mansions in the country continued to be built for 38 years—until Sarah died in 1922.
Although additions and renovations spanned over the different decades, the 160-room estate was true to its Victorian Revival theme. At the center of its sprawling lawns stood a mansion with elegant turrets in vivid Burgundy, Tiffany stained glass windows with dark redwood panels and walls painted in a sophisticated shade of citrus. Hand-inlaid parquet floors, ornate gold and silver chandeliers and intricately designed fixtures give the interior a stunning visual effect.
Aside from the expanse of its classically Victorian architecture, the seven-storey mansion built on a floating foundation was a marvel during its time because it boasted of modern plumbing and heating systems, indoor toilets and three elevators. But this wasn’t the only things the mansion became known for.
Today, the Winchester House is more famous for its “hauntedness.” Allegedly built to confuse and ward off bad spirits, they said the mansion ended up housing them. After it was opened to the public in 1923, tourists, visitors, employees and caretakers all have a lot to say about the weird sounds they hear in the house—from the typical cold spot to mischievous spirits and poltergeists that open doors and turn doorknobs. A caretaker even said he kept hearing construction sounds at night, as if the carpenters went back to work on the house after they died. Some even say that all the souls of those who died after being shot by the Winchester rifles came back to haunt the house. Whether it’s true or not, just thinking about walking inside a 160-room Victorian mansion is enough to give people goosebumps.