Photo: Paul Townsend/Flickr
San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House is an infamous curiosity defying all architectural and design sensibilities — and that’s exactly why people love visiting it. This eerie property listed on the National Register of Historic Places has been tapped to be the star of Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built.
The movie is based on Sarah Winchester, a widower who inherited more than $20.5 million after her husband died of tuberculosis. She became the part-owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, which provided her with a steady income of $1,000 per day, which amounts to roughly $22,000 per day when adjusted for inflation.
With her massive fortune, she moved across the country and purchased an unfinished farmhouse. She hired a team of carpenters, but no architect, and transformed the humble abode into a seven-story mansion. Its most notable features include staircases that lead to nowhere, windows with a view directly into other windows, and strangely-placed doors. She claimed the house was haunted by ghosts of those who were killed with Winchester rifles.
With 161 rooms, two ballrooms and 40 bedrooms, the film crew certainly has more than enough space to shoot. The horror film is set to premiere on February 2nd of next year. Directors (and brothers) Michael and Peter Spierig are no strangers to the genre — this will be their sixth horror film. Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren will star as Sarah Winchester.
The synopsis by CBS Films details the property’s construction in an exaggerated way, likely to boost the tension. “Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades… to the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness.” Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built will also star Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook and Angus Sampson.
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