San Jose

The Wintry Side of the Winchester Mystery House

The sprawling manor isn't covered in snow as cold weather sets in, but the gift shop boasts brrr-ful items made for holiday giving.

Winchester Mystery House

SAN JOSE IN DECEMBER? It's definitely going to be on the cooler side, however you might define the word. You'll want to have a jacket with you when you're out and about, one that is a little more medium than light, and on chillier days you'll need to make sure you have a coat handy, and probably a scarf and hat, too. But a finding a full-on, super-frosty snowstorm? The kind that the Sierra Nevada might see near the end of the year? That's not going to happen in the ever-pleasant city. And yet? It is home to a historic house that seems as though it should, on occasion, have immense amounts of snow dramatically collecting around its eaves and windowsills. It's the Winchester Mystery House we speak of, of course, Sarah Winchester's twisty-turny abode. It's a place that has become well-known for its Victorian-inspired...

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, the swags and boughs that lend the landmark oodles of December-delightful loveliness around its ballroom and main spaces. Still, if you'd like to find a snowier side to the structure, you can always take a peek in the mansion's online store, especially if you're shopping for your favorite haunted house buff. Look for the Miniature Winchester Mystery House Snow Globe, priced at $12.99, or the $24.99 Glass Winchester Mystery House Ornament (there's no snow on it, but it is oh-so-Christmassy). Adding to the chilly choices? An Ugly Sweater Beanie with the house and its name right on it (and a sizable pom pom on top for dramatic effect). Mugs made for warm beverages and puzzles for cozy nights at home also feel just right for the colder time of year.

IT'S TRUE: San Jose's most spooky destination will never see great snow drifts along its garden walkways nor long icicles lining its porches. But when December grows near you can find some seasonal touches around the online store, if you prefer the Winchester to rock a winter-like character now and then. For more on the fabled house, grab your flashlight and point it down this long, long hallway now.

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