Sleepovers at Winchester Mystery House

A view of the Winchester Mystery House. Photograph property of

Darien Malekos, Staff Writer

San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House has recently obtained a permit which will allow the facility to hold overnight stays for its guests.

The Winchester Mystery House is a popular tourist attraction within Silicon Valley. Once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of the famous William Winchester, the property is said to be haunted by everyone who died from a Winchester repeating rifle and Sarah Winchester herself, according to the house’s website.

Senior Zack Beauchamp said, “That house has over 160 rooms and they keep adding more. It has doors that don’t lead anywhere.”

The house was constantly being constructed during Sarah Winchester’s lifetime. According to its website, the house originally had around 500 rooms but so many were redone that the house has “peculiar effects, such as stairs that lead to the ceiling, doors that go nowhere and that open onto walls, and chimneys that stop just short of the roof.”

While many people do believe the house is haunted, others are not nearly as interested in the house or its new permit.

Senior Matthew Gallelo said, “It’s just a normal house, I don’t feel like there’s anything extremely scary about it. I wouldn’t mind spending the night but I wouldn’t pay that much extra to do it.”

On the other hand, some people are intrigued by the new experience and eagerly await the opening night.

Beauchamp said, “I think it’s really cool the house is going to be open for overnight stays. I like ghosts, I want an experience with a ghost.”

Visitors like Beauchamp may soon have their dreams fulfilled. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported that on March 5 the requested permit was approved. Guests will not be allowed to sleep in the house but rather in outbuildings such as the pump house, caretaker’s residence and foreman’s quarters, according to the San Jose Planning Department.

The permit has also allowed for alcohol to be sold on the property, enabling wine walks through the gardens and buildings of the property, whiskey tastings, and private functions that rent out parts of the property.

During an interview with the Huffington Post, a spokeswoman for the Winchester Mystery House said, “As this idea is still in its earliest preliminary planning stages, nothing at this time has been decided as to what an ‘overnight stay’ offering might look like or when it would become available to the public.”

Eager fans must be patient as the preparations are made to accommodate overnight stays. It is unclear when these sleepovers will begin but it doesn’t look like the ghosts and spirits of the property are going anywhere anytime soon.