Winchester Mystery House™ Tours
Guided Tours Daily
The Grand Estate Tour
See it all! The Winchester Grand Estate Tour is a 2.5+ hour experience that takes guests on the 65-minute guided tour of the Mansion interior and the 45-minute guided tour of the Basement, outbuildings and grounds. Also included is admission to the Historic Firearms Museum, the Antiques Products Museum, and a self-guided tour of the Victorian Gardens. For safety concerns children 5 and under are not permitted on the Grand Estate Tour.
Tour Length: Approximately 2.5 Hours
Tour through 110 of the 160 rooms and look for the bizarre phenomena that gave the mansion its name; a window built into the floor, staircases leading to nowhere, a chimney that rises four floors, doors that open onto blank walls, and upside down posts! No one has been able to explain the mysteries that exist within the Winchester Mansion, or why Sarah Winchester kept the carpenters' hammers pounding 24 hours a day for 38 years. It is believed that after the untimely deaths of her baby daughter and husband, son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer, Mrs. Winchester was convinced by a medium that continuous building would appease the evil spirits of those killed by the famous "Gun that Won the West" and help her attain eternal life. Certainly her $20,000,000 inheritance was sufficient to support her obsession until her death at 82!
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Mansion Tour is available year-round.
Tour Length: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes
Behind The Scenes Tour
The guided Behind-the-Scenes tour adds another dimension to the mystery that surrounds Sarah Winchester’s estate while simultaneously offering both a glimpse at an earlier lifestyle and showing the elegance of a lost but gracious era. Prior to “Silicon Valley,” the San Jose area was known as the “Valley of Hearts Delight” because of all the fruit orchards and farms. The Winchester estate had over 160 acres of farm and orchard land where prunes, apricots, and walnuts were grown, dried, and then sold at markets under Mrs. Winchester’s own label. The Behind-the-Scenes tour shows what made the estate self-sustaining, and in reality a town of its own. Guests will learn the technical details of early innovations such as Mrs. Winchester’s personal gas lighting shop, fruit evaporator, 1916 Otis electric elevator (and two other hydraulic elevators), turn-of-the-century car wash, and exquisite details of Victorian architecture along the exterior of the mansion. The highlight of the Behind-the-Scenes Tour is a journey down into the basement which houses the original coal-burning furnace from the Herendeen Company of Geneva, New York and also demonstrates the floating foundation the mansion was built upon. Tour stops include the Stables, Fruit Drying Shed, Plumber’s Workshop, Aviary, Garage, Green House, Unfinished Ballroom, and Basement.
Tour Length: 45 Minutes
For Safety Purposes
Children age 5 and under are not permitted on the Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Wheelchair guests are invited to tour the Firearms Museum and gardens as our guests. Unfortunately both guided tours are NOT accessible to wheel chairs or strollers.
Foreign Speaking Guests and Hearing Impaired Guests
Tour transcripts are available to buy in French, Chinese, Vietnamese, German, Japanese and Chinese at our Winchester Gift Shop. For Hearing Impaired Guests tour transcripts are available from your tour guide.
Photography and Videotaping
Photographs and/or videos are strictly prohibited inside the Winchester MysteryHouse™. Due to the number of visitors to our property each day, photography, videos, and filming inside the Winchester Mystery House™ are not permitted. Please help us keep our tours fun, safe, and enjoyable for all guests.
Photographs and videos in the gardens and the grounds outside the Winchester Mystery House™ are permissible for your own personal enjoyment. Any use, distribution or reproduction of the photographs, videos or other images of the Winchester Mystery House™ and the grounds for commercial purposes are strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of Winchester Mystery House, LLC.
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