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Lights Out

I like to joke that the only thing to do in San Jose on a weekend is drive up to San Francisco. That's not quite true. There is a pretty good art museum, and it's wonderful and affordable to catch a Sharks hockey game (We just won the Pacific division and are currently fighting Detroit for first place in the western conference. Whoo!). I haven't been to the Tech Museum or Lick Observatory, but there are hundreds of great ethnic restaurants everywhere you go. Still, the city pales in comparison to SF. That's why it's great we have the Winchester Mystery House.

The House, if you don't know, was built in 1884 by Sarah Winchester, heiress and widow of the Winchester fortune of guns and sporting goods. She was batshit-crazy and believed as long as construction continued on her house, So, for the next 38 years, a team of carpenters kept adding rooms and additions onto her house. There are staircases that go nowhere, doors that don't work, and the number 13 appearing over and over again. Houdini was said to be impressed as he visited for a seance...

Last Friday, I went on their nighttime flashlight tour. They only do them on the 13th of every month. This year we were lucky, because both February and March had Friday the 13ths. Though they cheat and do a flashlight tour every weekend in October just to capture the Halloween crowd.

It's a good thing I had already been on the daytime tour, because you can't really see anything on the nighttime tour. It's more worth it for the atmospherics of a dozen people trying to stumble their way through a funhouse. It's fun to shine a light through a crack in a door and suddenly realize, holy crap! there are a dozen rooms leading off from zig-zagging hallways. Plus, people periodically jump out at you from the shadows.

It's actually a fun tour, and well worth the money. Now, I want to go to the "Mystery Spot" in Santa Cruz. I see their bumper stickers everywhere, but nobody I've talked to has gone and come back alive...

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I love the Winchester Mystery House. We made a point of going there when in CA a few years back -a lot of fun

Didn't she also have work done on that house 24 hours a day? It wasn't just a one shift job...

Yeah. Three-full time carpenters in shifts. But they didn't work very *fast*...

Well sometimes long, slow and intense is a much more gratifying building experience *veg*

The Rosicrucian Museum is another interesting thing to do. I used to work nearby, way back when.

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And if you're there on a sunny day, you'll also see why we refer to it as the Gay Beach. Interesting side note...Dolores Park was a cemetery once upon a time. They moved the bodies that were interred there to Colma...or so they say...

Didn't know you were a hockey fan, my friend. Let's go Rangers ;)

Seriously? J Giels? That's worse than *my* tastes in music lol

The tour sounds fun, I'd love to something like that.

I haven't gotten to the Winchester House yet. It sounds like you're having a blast.

I'm sure someone else posted something about this house a few weeks back on THEIR LJ blog... (unless it was you?).

But I now HAVE to go and see this house, as it sounds absolutely FASCINATING - I love spooky old houses with nooks and crannies.... Woooooo! :-)

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