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Sarah Winchester (of the Winchester rifle clan) was a woman desperately trying to escape the demons of her family. When her baby daughter died in 1866, she fell into a deep depression. When her husband died of tuberculosis in 1881, Sarah moved from New Haven, CT, to this spooky house in San Jose, CA, convinced that she was being chased by death including the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles.
Strangely, she believed that to save herself, her new house had to remain under constant construction. So she hired a crew to build. Day and night. For 38 years. When she died, the eccentric abode -- full of labyrinthine rooms and lavish details, plus a stairway to nowhere -- was a seven-story architectural portrait of madness.