The Best Winchester Mystery House Tours You Can’t Miss in 2024

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Written By Razvan Radu

Adventurer. Storyteller. Paranormal investigator. Cryptozoology enthusiast.

If you’re looking for a unique and spooky adventure, these Winchester Mystery House tours are just what you need.

From exploring hidden rooms on the Explore More Tour to wandering the gardens on Sarah’s Garden Tour, and experiencing the eerie Flashlight Tour, there’s something for everyone.

Trust us! These fascinating Winchester Mystery House tours will take you into the mansion’s bizarre history and architecture. Get ready to uncover the secrets of one of America’s most mysterious mansions.

Winchester Mystery House Tours: Explore More Tour

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Price: Starting at $39.99 for adults, $32.99 for seniors, and $17.99 for children ages 5-12.

Details: The Explore More builds on the classic Winchester Mystery House tours, giving you way more access to previously off-limits areas like the Basement, Witches Cap, North Wing, South Turret, and the Crystal Bedroom.

It’s a unique opportunity to learn more about the mansion’s history and architecture. It’s also a great way to learn a bit more about Sarah Winchester’s life.

Booking: Explore More Tour’s official website.

Explore More Tour Key Highlights

1) Extended Access

  • Cool New Spots: Get ready to explore parts of the house you won’t see on the standard Mansion Tour. Check out the Basement, Witches Cap, North Wing, South Turret, Crystal Bedroom, and Staff Quarters.
  • Secret Rooms: Discover rooms that have never been open to the public before this tour.

2) Historical and Architectural Insights

  • Deep Dive into History: Learn more about Sarah Winchester and the mansion’s decades-long construction saga. We guarantee you’ll hear some wild stories about her and the house’s evolution.
  • Weird Architecture: You’ll see some of the mansion’s unique and bizarre features, which showcase Sarah Winchester’s quirky building style.

3) Tour Logistics

  • Safety First: You’ll need to wear safety helmets in some areas, like the basement and third floor. Also, kids under 5 aren’t allowed for safety reasons.

4) Photography

  • Snap Away: Feel free to take photos, but no flash or videos. We want to keep the spooky vibe and respect everyone’s experience.

5) Accessibility

  • Getting Around: The mansion’s old-school design makes some parts of the tour tricky for wheelchairs. We suggest calling ahead if you need special accommodations.
  • Kid Guidelines: The tour is great for families, but it’s best for kids who are 5 and older and can walk on their own.

6) Booking Info

  • Grab Your Tickets: You can book your tickets online through the Winchester Mystery House website. These tours are popular, so we recommend booking early, especially during busy times.
Dark hallway in the Winchester Mystery House illuminated by a single flashlight
The Flashlight Tour offers a thrilling way to explore the Winchester Mystery House at night, enhancing the eerie and mysterious experience.

The Flashlight Tour

Duration: Self-paced, typically around an hour.

Price: $49.99 for adults and $29.99 for children ages 5-12.

Details: Held in the evening, this self-guided tour lets guests explore the mansion with just a flashlight, adding a spooky layer to the experience.

The Flashlight Tour is only available on select nights and includes eerie tales of the house’s history and supposed hauntings. Guests can bring handheld paranormal investigation equipment if they wish.

Availability: Starts from April 26 (every year) and runs through select dates​.

Booking: Winchester Mystery House’s official website.

Flashlight Tour Details

1) Experience the Thrill

  • Atmosphere: Picture this – it’s nighttime, and you’re wandering through the eerie halls of the Winchester Mansion with just a flashlight. The dark and spooky vibe brings out this historic house’s haunted charm.
  • Self-Guided Adventure: You get to explore at your own pace. Feel free to take your time soaking in the creepy stories and bizarre architecture. There will be staff around to help you out if you get turned around. The staff can also offer some interesting facts about the Winchester Mystery House if you’re interested.

2) Haunting Tales and Ghost Stories

  • Spooky Stories: As you wander, you’ll hear all about the haunted history of the place. Learn about Sarah Winchester and the ghosts she was trying to escape.
  • Ghost Hunting: If you’re into paranormal stuff, you can actually bring your own ghost-hunting gear. It’s a cool, interactive part of the tour.

3) Tour Logistics

  • How Long: Plan for about an hour, but you can move at your own speed since it’s self-guided.
  • Safety Note: The tour is generally family-friendly, but it’s best suited for kids 5 and up who can handle the spooky setting. Kids need to be with an adult the whole time.

4) Taking Pics

  • Photography: Snapping photos is cool, but leave the flash and video gear at home. Keep it spooky!

5) Accessibility

  • Getting Around: Some parts of the mansion might be tricky to access due to its historic layout. Call ahead to see how they can help if you have specific needs.

6) Booking Your Spot

  • How to Get Tickets: You can grab tickets online through the Winchester Mystery House website. These tours are popular, so book early!
  • No Refunds: Tickets can’t be refunded, but you might be able to reschedule if something comes up. Just get in touch with their support team.
Dimly lit hallway in the Winchester Mystery House with old portraits and flickering lights
The allegedly haunted hallways of the Winchester Mystery House, with their flickering lights and eerie portraits, create a spine-chilling experience for visitors exploring the mansion.

The Mansion Tour

Duration: Approximately 65 minutes.

Price: Tickets start at $39.99 for adults. There are discounts for kids and seniors; kids under 5 get in free.

Details: This is one of the classic Winchester Mystery House tours that shows off the mansion’s weird and wonderful design.

You’ll see staircases that lead to nowhere, doors that open into walls, and windows with stunning Tiffany glass hidden in dark corners. It’s intended to be family-friendly and accessible for all ages.

Accessibility: Due to the historic nature of the building​ , some areas may not be wheelchair accessible, which can add another 45 minutes to the visit.

Booking: Winchester Mystery House’s official website.

Mansion Tour Details

1) Family-Friendly Fun

  • Great for All Ages: The tour is designed to be fun and engaging for the whole family. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon learning about one of America’s quirkiest historic homes.

2) Accessibility

  • Getting Around: While the tour aims to be accessible, some parts of the mansion are tricky for wheelchairs due to its historic layout. We recommend calling ahead and seeing how they can help if you have specific needs.

3) Booking Info

  • Get Your Tickets: You can book tickets online through the Winchester Mystery House website. It’s smart to book in advance, especially if you’re visiting during peak times.

San Francisco Day Trips

Details: For those visiting San Francisco, there are day trip packages that include transportation to the Winchester Mystery House along with other key sights in the Bay Area.

These tours typically provide a convenient way to see several top destinations without the hassle of planning each stop individually.

Availability: These tours can be arranged through various travel services, often including stops at popular locations such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

Booking Info: We recommend booking these trips in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. For options, check out services like Viator, GetYourGuide, or local tour companies in San Francisco.

San Francisco Day Trips Highlights

1) What You Can Visit

  • Golden Gate Bridge: Snap some iconic photos and enjoy the breathtaking views from this world-famous bridge.
  • Alcatraz Island: Explore the historic prison that once held notorious criminals like Al Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz. The island also offers stunning views of the San Francisco skyline.
  • Other Stops: Depending on the tour, you might also visit places like Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, or even take a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast.

2) Convenience

  • All-Inclusive: These packages typically include transportation, entry fees, and sometimes even meals. It’s all about making your day trip smooth and enjoyable.
  • Guided or Self-Guided: Choose between guided tours where an expert shares interesting facts and stories, or self-guided options if you prefer to explore at your own pace.
Visitors holding candles in a dimly lit hallway at the Winchester Mystery House
The Candlelight Experience tour at the Winchester Mystery House offers an eerie walk through dimly lit hallways, guided by a Victorian-era caretaker.

Winchester Mystery House Tours: Candlelight Experience

Halloween Atmosphere: During October, these unique Winchester Mystery House Tours let you explore the mansion by candlelight. The dim lighting really amps up the spooky and mysterious feel, making it a fantastic activity for Halloween.

You’ll follow a guide dressed as a Victorian-era caretaker, adding to the authenticity and eerie vibe of the tour​​.

Immersive Storytelling: As you walk through the mansion, you’ll hear stories about the famous Winchester Mystery House ghosts and eerie tales about its haunted past.

The tour highlights the mansion’s paranormal aspects without relying on typical Halloween gore, focusing more on creating a chilling atmosphere​​.

Booking: Winchester Mystery House’s official website.

Candlelight Experience Info

1) Price and Schedule:

  • When It Happens: The tours run on select nights in October. Specific dates include October 14, 15, 21, 22, and 28-31​.
  • Cost: Tickets start at around $35, but prices can vary depending on the specific date and time. It’s recommended to book early as these tours are very popular and can sell out quickly​​.

2) More Details

  • Unique Features: Unlike typical haunted house tours, this one leverages the mansion’s natural creepiness. Expect dark, winding hallways and eerie rooms illuminated only by candlelight. The house itself creates most of the spooky atmosphere, with occasional eerie sounds and stories adding to the experience​.
  • Special Events: Sometimes, these tours include additional spooky activities or special events, like Victorian-themed storytelling sessions or a seasonal market with unique vendors. These extras can add to the overall experience, making it even more memorable​.

3) Additional Tips

  • Dress Warmly: The mansion can get chilly at night in October, so bring a jacket.
  • No Flash: Remember that flash photography and videography are not allowed to maintain the spooky atmosphere.
  • Family-Friendly: While the tour is spooky, it’s generally suitable for older kids who can handle a bit of a scare. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times​​.

Sarah’s Garden Tour

Outdoor Adventure: This tour takes you through the stunning Victorian gardens surrounding the Winchester Mansion. It’s perfect for enjoying the outdoors and admiring the beautiful landscaping.

The Sarah’s Garden Tour features 20 stops highlighting different aspects of the gardens, from rare plants to unique garden architecture.

Duration: Plan for a leisurely stroll as you explore the gardens.

Price: Tickets are required and must be purchased in advance. The exact pricing details vary, so it’s best to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

Booking: Winchester Mystery House’s official website.

Sarah’s Garden Tour Details

1) What to Expect

  • Beautiful Flora: The gardens contain over 10,000 box hedges and hundreds of varieties of trees and plants, including some of Sarah Winchester’s original plantings (like the Saucer Magnolia Tree, Spartan Juniper, and Creeper Trumpet Vine).
  • Whimsical Touches: Look for unique topiary designs, including a hedge shaped like the number 13, reflecting Sarah Winchester’s favorite number, and a giant “W” near the gift shop exit.

2) Availability

  • When to Go: The gardens are open daily, but due to limited availability, tickets must be purchased in advance. Check the Winchester Mystery House website for specific dates and times.

3) Accessibility

  • Access Details: The general garden tour is not fully wheelchair accessible, but ADA tours include garden access. It’s a good idea to contact the venue in advance to discuss any specific accessibility needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a tour of the Winchester Mystery House?

A standard Winchester Mystery House tour typically takes about 65 minutes and covers 110 of the 160 rooms. For those looking to explore more, the “Explore More Tour” adds additional time and rooms, extending the visit to around two hours. Guests can also explore the gardens and other attractions on the estate.

What can you do at the Winchester Mystery House?

At the Winchester Mystery House, you can take various tours, including the Mansion Tour, Explore More Tour, Flashlight Tour, and seasonal Candlelight Tours. These tours showcase the mansion’s unique architecture and history, along with some spooky elements. There are also special events like Halloween experiences and garden tours.

Can you spend the night at the Winchester Mystery House?

Currently, you cannot spend the night at the Winchester Mystery House. The mansion is open for tours and special events but does not offer overnight accommodations.

Can you take pictures inside Winchester Mystery House?

Yes, you can take pictures during any Winchester Mystery House tour, but there are some restrictions. Flash photography and videography are not permitted during the tours to maintain the ambiance and respect other guests’ experiences. Regular non-flash photography is allowed.

Was Winchester filmed at the Winchester Mystery House?

No, the movie “Winchester” was not filmed at the actual Winchester Mystery House. While the film is based on the story of Sarah Winchester and her mansion, the production used a set that replicated the house. The real Winchester Mystery House is used for public tours and events, but the filming took place on constructed sets.​