Do you love Halloween as much as I do? If so, then I’m sure you’re already scrounging the internet and social media to find the best of the best attractions. If this sounds like you, I have a very important question for you- don’t you want to experience a Halloween haunt in one of the most haunted houses in America? If you said, ‘Yes’ to this, then Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse at the Winchester Mystery House is an absolute must-visit for you this year.
What is the Winchester Mystery House?
First, it’s important to understand the history of the Winchester Mystery House, but don’t worry, we have you covered. The Winchester Mystery House is celebrating 100 years of tours next June, and visiting the property this Halloween is an exceptional way to celebrate this milestone and to see firsthand why this property is so famous. The Winchester Mystery House became iconic all thanks to the strange architectural choices and spooky legends that came from Sarah Winchester’s construction. You see, in 1886, Sarah Winchester purchased a 2-story, 6-room farmhouse after moving from New Haven, Connecticut across the country to San Jose, California after the death of her husband, William Winchester (of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company). After her move, she began working on renovations to the home. Her renovations, however, quickly became eccentric as the home went through ongoing construction for 38 years until Sarah’s death in 1922.
She turned this charming little Victorian farmhouse into a massive titan of a mansion spreading across 24,000 square feet with 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 160 rooms, 52 skylights, 47 stairways and fireplaces, 17 chimneys, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens. Included in her designs are also odd anomalies such as a stairway that leads to nowhere, a door that opens up from the second floor and drops out into the garden below, and many accents highlighting the number 13. While there are architectural reasons for many of the choices, many guests believe that she was motivated to continue building by the spirits of those who were killed by Winchester rifles. The legends associated with the Winchester Mystery House have put it on the charts as one of the most haunted houses in America.
So, naturally, it sets the perfect mood for a Halloween haunt and celebration.
What to Expect at Unhinged
Now, I hope I’ve piqued your interest. What makes Unhinged so frightfully unique is that you get to do a Halloween haunt through the inside of one of the most haunted houses in America. The winding stairs, crazy turns, and unique architectural marvels all add to the thrill of this spooky maze. There are two ways through, and the only way to get to do both trails through the mansion is to get VIP tickets. At only $20 more, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t!
After you arrive, you will begin the evening at Madame Nightshade’s Spirit Carnival where you can eat delicious treats, pick up some uniquely spooky drinks (we loved the Witch’s Brew!), and play some exciting games. You’ll also get to watch the pre-show prior to the event.
From there, guests will be ushered into the Winchester Mystery House’s interior through one of the eerie mazes (or through both if you do the VIP ticket). Move around the darkened corridors with your friends as you go down the elongated halls, twisting around all the naturally bizarre elements of the house, and see the hauntingly new sets put in for Halloween, such as bookshelves with books that move on their own and objects that move about. While there are actors within the mazes to add to the spookiness of the haunt, what I like most about Unhinged is that it relies a lot on the natural mystery and eerie atmosphere of the Winchester Mystery House for a Halloween haunt experience like none you’ve ever had before.
I cannot recommend visiting Unhinged enough! If you’re in the San Jose area, it is a must-visit! If you’re more towards Southern California, I recommend arriving earlier in the day to do a Mansion tour to see all the home’s unique elements prior to getting to stumble through in the darkness during Unhinged. All in all, it’s a spooky good time and something you cannot miss! I don’t say this lightly- it’s the most unique Halloween haunt I’ve experienced to date.