Winchester Mystery House offers virtual tours to quarantined horror fans

We get it. It's been a rough couple of weeks. You're stuck at home watching the same three Netflix shows, eating the same four non-perishable meals, getting haunted by the same poltergeist that you've cohabitated with for years. Thanks to modern technology and a heaping scoop of American can-do spirit, there's still at least one opportunity for the curious and the bored to branch out, altogether ookily-speaking. The operators of the Winchester Mystery House have announced that they will provide free virtual tours of the grounds until such a time as the location reopens.

On March 12th, the Winchester Mystery house, located in San Jose, California, announced via its website that it would be closing its doors until at least April 7th, citing concerns about the novel coronavirus pandemic. Flashlight tours and pre-booked visits were rescheduled and refunded. Now the location is open to the public, if only virtually. The video tour of the facilities is available free of charge via the Winchester House website.

A virtual graveyard smash

The Winchester Mystery House has been a source of public fascination for over a century. It was the brainchild of Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Winchester, the charmingly alliterative founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, makers of "the gun that won the West." After his death in 1881, Sarah began construction on the mansion, a sprawling, multi-acre monument to affluence featuring over 150 rooms, including two ballrooms, presumably in case one gets dirty.

Sarah Winchester's enigmatic personality, combined with the dubious nature of the money behind the project, led to an almost immediate position for the house in the annals of urban legend. Biography reports rumors which have circulated for years, claiming that Sarah was convinced by a medium that she was cursed, and that the only way to keep that evil at bay was to keep adding to her house. Another popular belief states that the mansion is haunted by all of the unfortunate souls killed by Winchester rifles. Whether those spirits can be properly captured via GoPro is up to you to determine.