Sarah Winchester and Her Mystery House

  • Sarah Winchester and Her Mystery House
  • While taking Drawing for Illustration with Gayle Donahue I chose to do a project on Sarah Winchester who is famously known for building The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.  All of these illustrations are inspired by Sarah and her life.
  • Sarah Lockwood Pardee was born in New Haven, Connecticut in September of 1839.

    On September 30, 1862 she married William Wirt Winchester, the son of the owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
  • On June 15, 1866 Annie Pardee Winchester was born.

    On July 25, 1866 she passed away at only 41 days old due to marasmus.
  • On March 7, 1881 William W. Winchester passed away of tuberculosis.

    He was 43 years old.
  • After the death of both her child and husband, Sarah became extremely grief stricken.

    Sarah then went to a psychic in search for closier.
  • The psychic told her...

    Build a home for yourself and for the spirits who have fallen from this weapon, too.  You must never stop building the home.  If you continue building, you will live forever.
  • But if you stop, then you will die.
  • Sarah then bought an 8 room farmhouse in San Jose, California and began construction on her house.
  • Plans for the house were random and given on a daily basis.  Blue prints didn't exist instead Sarah often drew plans on pieces of napkin and tablecloth.
  • Construction went on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and continued for 38 years.
  • 13 was Sarah's favorite number.  While most believe the number to be unlucky, Sarah believed the opposite.

    Sarah incorporated the number into the house anywhere she could; including
    13 palm trees lining the driveway to the house,
    13 candles on chandeliers,
    13 steps to the 13th bathroom,
    13 hooks holding 13 robes in her seance room,
    13 panes of glass in the windows,
    and 13 parts to her will, which she signed 13 times.
  • While her house was being built, Sarah was almost never seen.  She would wander the corridors while secretly watching to make sure work was getting done.
  • Every night at 12 AM and 2 AM a bell was rung, This was for Sarah's nightly seances.  The first bell was to call the spirits in and the second was for them to leave.
  • This card depicts a pure piercing sorrow of the mind. The sorrow must be felt and experienced for closure and relief to come. Generally speaking, it is a negative card and often refers to loss.
  • A woman is tied and blindfolded within a cage of swords. This is the "damned if you do, damned if you don't," card. The Querent is in a situation where they're afraid to move. If they move, they'll get cut. However, the ropes that bind them, the blindfold over their eyes, are their own fears, keeping them still, immobile. And so the longer they stay, the more they constrain and entrap themselves. Ever been in a situation where you're afraid to say anything, so afraid that you second guess yourself, end up saying nothing, tying yourself in knots? But speaking up is going to get you cut to ribbons? That's this card. The Querent must have the strength to endure the cuts, else they'll stay trapped. They must move, for the longer they let the situation continue, the worse it will get.
  • Building on Sarah's house continued until her death on September 5, 1922.

    Sarah died of natural causes at the age of 83.