Of all the haunted places in my world, the Winchester Mystery House has to be my favorite. I was fortunate to have been raised in San Jose, and had toured the house over thirty times by the time I left the valley in 1988.
There is one room that has always been very active. The top floor in that area, old grey walls, particularly dark room. Climb the stairs, turn right to a corridor with storage cup boards on both sides of the walkway in the eaves, opening into the large room, several skylights in the floor, windows to the outside of the house.
In 1972, when the tour group I was with went up into that room, I saw that there was another group still in the room. Strictly a no no. You know how sometimes the guides will often hold your group back to wait for another to go on through another hallway?
This time, they didn't, and the room as quite crowded. Then, while standing about, I noticed their dress. Not right, something is amiss. Then one of the people in our tour literally walked through one of the people that were in the other group. Oh, to hold back that yelp! This was one of my very first experiences there, so I was silent and watching, my eyes must have been the size of saucers. My mind was racing miles a nano second.
Then, I saw someone I knew. He was watching me, hands in his coverall pockets, grinning that grin. He walked past me, behind me and back again to my side and just stood there. Grinning, peeking at me. He nodded and disappeared. He drowned July 6, 1969, the night of his bachelor party at Lexington Dam in Los Gatos, the night before our wedding. I never saw him again.
That upstairs room was always full of extra guests, no matter when I visited. Sometimes they are active, but most often they are quiet and lurking. When changes started to happen on a large scale (painting, renovating, furniture moved in) the activity became less and less frequent. The last time I toured, 2007, everything was extremely quiet, and we did not even see the room with the sky lights at all. 2008 note: That room is still oddly missing from the 2008 tour and the manager does not know which room I speak of.
Not another trip in all those years was THAT good.