Midst the chips and modems of Silicon Valley,
At the vineyard’s edge, ‘twixt mountain and sea,
In San Jose, like a compressed city,
The Winchester House of Mystery.
Sprawling like an architectural dog’s breakfast over 2.4 hectares (six acres), the Winchester Mystery House was the project of Sarah L. Winchester, the heiress to the fortune made by the Winchester Repeating Rifle, the gun that won the west.
Inevitably, in winning the west, it was responsible for dispatching a number of folks to the great beyond. After the premature death of Sarah’s husband and only child, she became convinced that the spirits of the gun’s victims cursed her. Her $20 million inheritance allowed her to assuage her remorse in a unique way. One could call it gilt by association.