Susan Winchester

Sarah Winchester's Mystery

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Sarah Winchester was an American heiress, the wife of firearms magnate, William Wirt Winchester. She was among the most outlandish believers in the number 13.  Sarah’s Winchester’s mystery was her labyrinth of a mansion. A mystery that still remains unsolved, though many have an opinion about it.

Early Life

By age 12, Sarah was fluent in Latin, French, Spanish and Italian. She was a beautiful child prodigy and proficient in the classics, as well as a remarkable musician. They considered her ‘The Belle of New Haven’.

Two of her family members were Knights Templar Freemasons. The ‘ever building’ theme dominated Sarah’s world. Sarah, born in 1839, lived in an era where society placed enormous limitations on women.

New Era

Francis Bacon’s scientific methods were exploding into a virtual catalogue of finally being accepted, new and revolutionary theories. It was an era of discovery and higher dimensional perception, as the complexities of the universe were starting to be discovered.

Sarah Winchester amassed a fortune, following the death of her husband, William Winchester in March 1881 and her mother-in-law, Jane Ellen Hope in 1898. Sarah inherited $20 million. This equates to $576 million today. Sarah also inherited a 50% holding in the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The Winchester rifle was the gun that won the west.

Sarah became one of the wealthiest women in the world, with a daily income of $1000 in royalties. That is $28,000 in today’s money. How much good could she do with that kind of income?


Sarah’s only child died at six-weeks-old and her husband died of tuberculosis, at 43-years old. Her husband was 23 years her junior. Sarah was no stranger to grief. She built a hospital in memory of her husband.

Sarah believed her dead husband spoke to her through a medium. She was told that she needed to build a home for the spirits of all the people killed by Winchester rifles. The sound of construction would keep the vengeful spirits at bay. The medium warned her, “Stop building and you will die”.

Sarah spent vast amounts of money on the Winchester Mystery Mansion. She gained inspiration for many of her building ideas, during a three-year trip to Europe.

Continuous Building

Sarah’s building continued for 38 years and only ended with her death in 1922. Despite its imposing appearance, the Winchester Mansion’s history is cloaked in tragedy and mystery.

The Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion is renowned for its size and architectural curiosities and has become a Californian historical landmark and a tourist attraction. However, the 24,000-square-foot mansion lacked a master building plan. The Winchester Mansion is listed by the National Register Of Historic Places.


Sarah Winchester’s mystery of oddities fills the seven-storey mansion. Windows overlook other rooms and staircases go nowhere. The house sits on a floating foundation. There are 160 rooms, including 40 bedrooms, and rooms within rooms.

The mansion has two ballrooms. One is built without nails, like Solomon’s Temple. One ballroom remains unfinished. In the finished ballroom, two mirror images flank the fireplace, with Francis Bacon’s spiral banners. Shakespearean quotes are written on them.

Sarah Winchester’s mansion has over 10,000 panes of glass. Including many stained-glass and spider-web windows. There are 950 doors, some large ones leading into small spaces and small doors leading into large spaces. Several doors open onto blank walls. The second floor has a door that opens out into nothing and there are many upside-down pillars.

Sarah Winchester And More Oddities

Sarah Winchester’s house of mystery has 47 fireplaces and 47 chimneys, some covered by an overhead ceiling. There are 40 stairways, some going nowhere, or ending at the ceiling.

The mansion has three elevators, plus an ‘easy riser’ stairway. There are 52 skylights, many covered by a roof and one in the floor. The mansion has 6 kitchens, numerous trap doors, winding and dead-end hallways and secret passages.

Sarah Winchester And Her Innovations

There are many innovations in the mansion, but there is only one working toilet. The gaslights are push button controlled, and the mansion has its own gas manufacturing plant. It boasted the first shower and a sewerage drainage system. The home has forced-air heating and plumbing.

There was a $25,000 storage room, equivalent to $405,000 today. The labyrinth disorientates the sensibilities.

Sarah Winchester Confused The Spirits

Sarah slept in a different bedroom each night, in order to confuse the spirits. She wore one of her 13 various coloured robes to her nightly seance.

The reclusive eccentric was never alone. She had a staff of 18 servants and 18 gardeners, and the construction team working on the ever-evolving building.

Number 13 and the prime numbers of 7 and 11 are throughout the Winchester Mansion. Many of the windows have 13 panes. Ceilings have 13 panels and stairways with 13 steps. The 13th bathroom has 13 windows. Susan wrote her will in 13 sections and signed it 13 times.

An in depth read is available on the symbolism in Sarah Winchester’s house of mysticism.


The Winchester Mansion is one of the most haunted places in America. The third floor is the spookiest part of the entire mansion.

Was Sarah Winchester a spiritualist, influenced by Masonic, Rosicrucian and Baconian concepts? Or did Sarah enjoy building an artistic puzzle? Did she weave a tapestry using numerology? Did she leave a trail of clues?

The labyrinth reveals Sarah’s love of geometry and symmetric numbers. In all his work, Francis Bacon infused multi-layered, coded cipher messages. Throughout the Winchester Mansion, you can see Bacon’s influence.

Sarah identified with Bacon, nearly 300 years later, philosophically, artistically, and spiritually. Sarah Winchester and Francis Bacon both understood the transcendental science of numbers, which reveals what nature conceals.

Journey Of Discovery

Sarah Winchester’s house is a journey of discovery. A dimensional puzzle with many underlying layers of codes and symbolism. It represents the tangled, interconnectedness of all things.

Some people see the Winchester Mansion as a jumbled muddle that confuses and disorients. There are people who consider Sarah Winchester’s mystery as the work of a madwoman.

Still others wander through the mansion in wonderment. Like Sarah Winchester’s mystery, we can read the library that makes up the Bible, at face value. Or we can discover the much deeper layers of symbolism.

Sarah Winchester had a unique voice. It still speaks today. Every woman has a unique voice in her sphere of influence. Ivana Trump was another woman who clung to her own perceptions.

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