Friday, February 10, 2012

Extreme California Haunted Houses | Winchester, Whaley

Winchester House

There are a couple of haunted houses in California that are apparently 'sanctioned' by the U.S. Commerce Department as being haunted. To me, that's hilarious in itself, as the obvious purpose of taking such a stand by the Commerce Department would be for the purpose of getting people to visit the two homes.

The first home is called the "Winchester House," and is considered among the more extreme of alleged haunted houses in the United States. It is located in San Jose, California.

Why is is considered more extreme or strange than other reputed haunted houses is because of the woman behind the design of the house: Sarah Winchester, who was the wife and widow of William Winchester, founder of the Winchester rifle company.

How the story goes is, after the deaths of her daughter in 1866, and husband in 1881, Sarah Winchester was supposed to have consulted a medium. The medium evidently told Sarah to build a house in order to fight off evil spirits.

Concerning the design of the home, legend has it that Sarah held seances every night in order to receive instruction from spirits, along with her late husband, concerning how to design the house.

What came out of those sessions was a bizarre home which has all sorts of weird designs which make it more like a maze than a livable home. All of this was for the purpose of disrupting evil spirits be confusing them through the odd design, which included hallways that suddenly stopped, various twists, a window in the floor, and a variety of secret panels.

Winchester House

Whaley House

The Whaley house, located in San Diego, California, was built by businessman Thomas Whaley.

What was unusual about this home was it was reportedly built on the place where “Yankee Jim” Robinson was hanged for the crime of attempted grand larceny.

The story goes that after the home was completed and the Whaley family moved in, not long afterwards there were sounds of loud and heavy footsteps heard in the house.

After that the legend of the house grew, as the son of the Whaleys, Thomas, Jr., died at a year-and-a-half of scarlet fever, while daughter Violet, ended up committing suicide there in 1885.

Strangely, it is now identified as a California State Historic Landmark, and can be toured by the public.

Whaley House

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