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Modern Mysteries

Old Winchester Mystery House photo found

By T.K. Randall
March 24, 2018 · Comment icon 11 comments

(Above) The mansion as it appears today. Image Credit: Public Domain
An old photo of what is thought to be the house's original foundation has been discovered in a local archive.
One of San Jose's most popular tourist attractions, the enigmatic mansion has 161 rooms, 40 staircases ( some of which leading to nowhere ), 10,000 windows and 2,000 doors.

Constructed in 1884 and owned by Sarah Winchester - the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester - the building is said to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
Now one of the mansion's employees has discovered what is believed to be a never-before-seen photograph of the Winchester Mystery House back before all its extensions had been built.

Intriguingly, one of the two women in the image is thought to be Mrs Winchester herself. If confirmed, it would make this only the second known photograph of her on the Winchester estate.

Our historian made an exciting find in the History San Jose archives: a photograph of a Victorian farmhouse that looks quite a bit like the foundation of our 160-room mansion! There are many recognizable features in the design of this home that are uncannily similar to those of the front of the Winchester Mystery House. What makes this even more compelling are the two women in this picture: a younger woman on a horse and an older woman seated on the bench in the lower left of the photo. It's quite possible they are Mrs. Winchester on the bench and her favorite niece Marion on the horse - making this the 2nd known photo of Mrs. Winchester on her estate! Could that be Mrs. Winchester? Let us know your thoughts below!

A post shared by Winchester Mystery House (@winchestermysteryhouse) on

Source: NBC Bay Area | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Ozfactor 6 years ago
What a great find but I can't find the 2nd person in the photo , I can see the girl on the horse , are they sitting in front of the window on the porch ?
Comment icon #3 Posted by .saraharas. 6 years ago
  On the bench by the tree..bottom left corner. I can just barely make her out though. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by and then 6 years ago
It looks like she was cut off in the frame.  I can see her arm, maybe her knees... or that could just be imagination.  The actual photo probably is clearer.  There is a movie that debuted in early February that tells the story (as only Hollywood can) of her, her house and their, er, eccentricities.   WINCHESTER 2018
Comment icon #5 Posted by Susanc241 6 years ago
There is a figure sitting on a bench on the right of the picture.  Could this be a typo in the original deion?
Comment icon #6 Posted by and then 6 years ago
Excellent!  You spotted her.  I was looking in the lower left side.  She appeared to be a rather full-bodied lady when this picture was snapped.  I assume that the picture matches others of her so that they can confirm the identity.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ozfactor 6 years ago
I found her , she is hiding up the tree on the left 
Comment icon #8 Posted by acute 6 years ago
Yes, I can see that one, but there's also a woman in an upstairs window, sitting in a rocking chair, holding an AK-47. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by .saraharas. 6 years ago
Ahh..yes you are right. There she is! That's a much better figure then the one I was trying to see on the left. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by bison 6 years ago
The structure, and facade were so much altered from the original design, that it's hard to tell if this is the same house that formed the basis of the Winchester House. I see what could be a figure sitting on what could be a bench at the lower right of the image, near the edge of the circular path in front of the house, along a line formed by the base of the house. Even with maximum magnification there's no telling, really. It could just be a bush. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by and then 6 years ago
Accept NO substitutes... 

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