Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Flashlight Tours at the Winchester Mystery House

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    NEWSLETTERS

    10:14: In the morning. That's the time we entered the Winchester Mystery House, give or take, and even at one of the bird-chirp-iest parts of the day, it had. Well. A certain presence. A heavy feeling? Secrets and delights. This is the San Jose house that heiress Sarah Winchester built onto, and built onto, and built onto -- you know this, if you've called California home for longer than a month, but you likely know all about the house, even if you have never visited our state -- on the advice of her spiritual adviser. Today, the striking abode remains a popular attraction, both for its historic architectural features and for its famous phantomry.

    BY FLASHLIGHT: So the reason we brought up 10:14 a.m. was to juxtapose it with eveningtime at the Winchester Mystery House, which has to be at-mos-pher-ic, emphasis on every syllable. And every so often, and every October, on particular dates, the people behind the house hold the oh-so-popular Flashlight Tours. If you think this means you'll be going through the gabled wonder wielding a beam of light and your bravery, you'd be right.

    FIVE NIGHTS: The 2010 tours are happening on Oct. 16, Oct. 23, Oct. 29, Oct. 30, and Oct. 31. There are multiple tours leaving each night. The thought of being in the mansion at a quarter to midnight is appealing, yes, and a little bit spooky. Those doors leading to nowhere really up the "little bit spooky" part.