How to Plan Your San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour

How to Plan Your San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour

Are you ready to explore the stunning Victorian mansion built by Winchester rifle heiress Sarah L. Winchester? The Winchester Mystery House tour in San Jose is an experience like no other! From the bizarre oddities like stairs to the ceiling to the splendid Victorian architecture and beautiful gardens, this 65-minute guided tour leaves visitors amazed and fascinated. This article presents a practical guide to plan your tour, including highlights, how to get there, what to expect, and booking information.


The San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour is a 65-minute guided tour of the 160-room architectural marvel built over 38 years from 1884. Upon arrival, you will meet your friendly and knowledgeable guide, who will take you through the strange and unusual mansion. You will learn about Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, who believed that she was being haunted by the spirits of people who were killed by Winchester rifles. Her solution to ward off the spirits was to keep adding rooms, turn corners, and create odd features that resulted in an architectural wonder.


During the tour, you will experience beautiful stained glass windows, ornate parquet floors, and turn-of-the-century craftsmanship. You will discover strange oddities such as staircases to nowhere, doors that open into walls, and windows in the floor. Dare to go through the low doors and take a peek into tiny rooms, explore the basement, and see the strange seance room. You can also see the traces of the 1906 earthquake damage that destroyed three floors of the mansion, mirrors added to make it more difficult for spirits to follow, and statues placed in the gardens to protect visitors from evil spirits. After your tour, you can walk around the beautiful gardens and enjoy the fresh flowers, picnic benches, and palm trees. You can try your hand at axe throwing or take aim in the shooting gallery for an additional charge, or simply browse at the gift shop for souvenirs to take home.

Getting There

The Winchester Mystery House is located at 525 S. Winchester Blvd. San Jose, CA 95128, United States. It is easily accessible by car, public transportation, or ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. You can also take a leisurely walk or bike ride through the beautiful and historic Rose Garden neighborhood.

Booking Information

To book your San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour, visit the official website or book through third-party services like GetYourGuide. The tour costs $44 per adult, $39 per senior, military personnel, or AAA members, and $29 per child aged 6 to 12 years. The tour hours vary depending on the season and day of the week, so it’s better to check the website before making your reservation. Once you have booked your tour, you will receive a confirmation email with important details and instructions on what to bring and what not to bring. If you need wheelchair access or have other special needs, make sure to contact the tour operator at least 48 hours before your scheduled tour to make arrangements.

Tips for Visitors

Here are some helpful tips to make your San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour unforgettable:
  1. Arrive early or on time for your scheduled tour to allow time for parking, checking in, and using the restroom.
  2. Dress comfortably and wear comfortable shoes as the tour involves walking, going up and down stairs, and going through narrow passages.
  3. Don’t forget your camera as there are many Instagram-worthy spots in the mansion and gardens.
  4. Bring a jacket or sweater as some parts of the mansion and gardens can be chilly.
  5. Respect the mansion and follow the tour guide’s instructions. Do not touch or remove anything from the mansion, and do not use flash photography.

Book Your Tour Now

The San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour is a fascinating and fun experience for anyone who loves history, architecture, and oddities. Plan your visit ahead of time, book your tickets online, and enjoy a guided tour of the mansion and gardens. Don’t forget to take your camera, wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared for a unique adventure. Book your tour here and get ready to explore the mysterious and marvelous Winchester Mystery House!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Winchester Mystery House

If you’re planning a visit to the Winchester Mystery House, you probably have some questions. Here are some of the most common FAQs and everything you need to know before visiting this mysterious attraction.

1. What is the Winchester Mystery House?

The Winchester Mystery House is a sprawling mansion located in San Jose, California. It was built by Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, in the late 1800s. It’s known for its bizarre design, including doors that lead to nowhere, stairs that go up and then down, and other strange features.

2. Why did Sarah Winchester build the house?

After the deaths of her husband and infant daughter, Sarah Winchester was convinced that she was cursed by the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles. To appease these spirits, she began construction on the house and continued building it for 38 years, until her death.

3. How many rooms does the Winchester Mystery House have?

The exact number of rooms in the house is unknown, as renovations and additions were made continuously throughout Sarah Winchester’s lifetime. Estimates range from 160 to 200 rooms.

4. Is the Winchester Mystery House haunted?

Many people believe that the Winchester Mystery House is haunted. In addition to the story of Sarah Winchester’s curse, there have been numerous reports of strange occurrences, such as doors opening and closing on their own, cold spots, and the sound of footsteps when no one is there.

5. Can you take a tour of the Winchester Mystery House?

Yes, guided tours of the Winchester Mystery House are available. There are several different tour options, including a basic mansion tour, a behind-the-scenes tour, and a flashlight tour. Tickets can be purchased online or in person.

6. How long does a tour of the Winchester Mystery House take?

The length of the tour depends on which option you choose. The basic mansion tour takes approximately one hour, while the behind-the-scenes tour and flashlight tour are both around two hours.

7. Is the Winchester Mystery House wheelchair accessible?

Most areas of the Winchester Mystery House are accessible to wheelchair users. However, due to the historic nature of the house, there are some areas with limited accessibility. Visitors with mobility concerns should contact the attraction in advance to discuss their needs.

8. Can you take photos or videos inside the Winchester Mystery House?

Photography and videography are allowed inside the Winchester Mystery House, but only for personal use. Tripods and other professional equipment are not allowed. Flash photography is also prohibited.

9. Are there any age restrictions for the Winchester Mystery House?

There are no age restrictions for the basic mansion tour. However, the behind-the-scenes and flashlight tours are recommended for ages 10 and up.

10. What other attractions are near the Winchester Mystery House?

The Winchester Mystery House is located in San Jose, which has many other attractions to offer. Some nearby attractions include the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art.

Book Your Tour Now

If you’re fascinated by the bizarre and mysterious, a visit to the Winchester Mystery House is a must. With its strange architecture and haunted reputation, it’s a unique attraction that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Exploring the Winchester Mystery House: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you planning to visit the infamous Winchester Mystery House? This historic mansion in San Jose, California is a unique tourist attraction that was once the residence of the eccentric widow, Sarah Winchester. The house has inspired many ghost stories and legends due to its mysterious architecture and history. If you’re curious about the Winchester Mystery House and want to plan your visit, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the most of your time.

Step 1: Understand the history of the Winchester Mystery House.

Before your visit, it’s important to learn about the history of this mansion. Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company fortune, began construction of this house in 1884 and continued until her death in 1922. Legend has it that she believed the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles were haunting her and thus, she kept on building the house to appease them. Although many of the stories surrounding the mansion have been debunked, the house remains an intriguing and mysterious place. Understanding the history of the house will enhance your overall experience of the tour.

Step 2: Plan your visit.

The Winchester Mystery House offers a variety of tour options to suit different preferences and interests. They have regular, flashlight, and specialty tours. It’s best to check their website in advance and book your tickets ahead of time to avoid long waits at the entrance or the possibility of missing out on your preferred tour.

Regular Tour:

The Regular Mansion Tour is the most popular type of visit to the Winchester Mystery House. The tour takes approximately 65 minutes and covers around 110 of the house’s 160 rooms. You will get to see Sarah Winchester’s master bedroom, beautiful stained glass windows, and unique features like stairs leading to a ceiling and doors that open onto walls.

Flashlight Tour:

If you’re up for a spooky experience, the Flashlight Tour is perfect for you. This tour takes place after dark, and visitors are given flashlights to explore the mansion’s dimly lit rooms. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and is sure to leave you enthralled.

Specialty Tours:

Winchester Mystery House also offers a variety of specialty tours such as the Behind the Scenes Tour, the Explore More Tour, and the Grand Estate Tour, each with its unique features and focuses.

Step 3: Be prepared for your visit.

To make the most of your visit to the Winchester Mystery House, be prepared and plan accordingly. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will be walking a lot during the tour. It’s also essential to carry a sweater or jacket as some areas in the house can be chilly, especially on the flashlight tour. In addition, carry a camera or smartphone to capture the mansion’s unique architecture and odd features.

Step 4: Make the most of your tour

Now that you have your tickets and are ready, follow these tips to make the most out of your tour:

Listen to your guide:

Your tour guide is knowledgeable about the history and secrets of the mansion, listen carefully to their stories and take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions.

Take your time to appreciate the architecture:

The Winchester Mystery House has some unique architectural features that you don’t want to miss, such as secret doors, hidden passageways, and staircases that don’t go anywhere. Take your time to appreciate these oddities and soak in the house’s strange ambiance.

Visit the Gift Shop:

Before you leave, take some time to visit the mansion’s gift shop, which features a variety of unique Winchester Mystery House souvenirs and artifacts.

Book Your Tour Now

Exploring the Winchester Mystery House is a unique and exciting experience that you won’t regret. Follow this step-by-step guide to make the most out of your visit, and you’ll be sure to come away with unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to share your experience with your friends and family, and let us know in the comment section below how you found this guide.

How to Plan Your San Jose Winchester Mystery House Tour