For “truth is stranger than fiction” it’s difficult not to stumble over the story of Sarah Winchester. Mysteries of the Museum, America’s Castles, and every series that has ever taken viewers on an excursion to America’s supposedly haunted houses has covered the story. Heir to the Winchester rifle fortune, Sarah Winchester became one of the world’s wealthiest women of the 19th century. Her husband died in 1881 and she then proceeded to spend her fortune on a sprawling mansion over the next 38 years, a mansion that was never finished. And why? Because Sarah Winchester thought the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles were haunting her. She built extra room after room on her mansion to trick them into not finding her. And she had new rooms added to the mansion until she died. And this story is all true.
Next month the great Helen Mirren (RED, Hitchcock, The Queen) steps into the shoes of Sarah Winchester in the new drama horror film, Winchester. One of genredom’s pervasive actors, Jason Clarke (Terminator: Genesys, Farscape, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Everest) plays a doctor looking into Winchester’s outlandish claims for the Winchester business.
The mansion still exists and is now a tourist attraction called the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. Check out the website here. For fans of Supernatural–show creator Eric Kripke gave Sam and Dean their last name because of Kripke’s interest in the Mystery House.
The film adaptation appears to take the ghost story into the realm of Guillermo del Toro’s ghost story Crimson Peak. Check out previews for the new movie, Winchester, after the cut:
If you think you’ll want to see this movie, here’s a tip: Only watch the first trailer below. The newest, longer version seems potentially to reveal far too much about where this fictional account is going to take the true story.
Look for Winchester in theaters beginning February 2, 2018.