Helen Mirren Thriller Renews Interest In The Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House has long been an oddity and a curiosity, featured on various television and radio shows seeking to draw interest to the house and its history. It was the house’s resident, Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester gun company founded by her late husband, William Wirt Winchester, who. Now, a supernatural thriller based on the true tale of the Winchester Mystery House is in the works and more recently a famed psychic medium has conducted a radio show from the house in the hopes of drawing upon the psychic energy believed to have been captured within the Winchester house.

Helen Mirren Attached To Winchester Mystery House Thriller

Ms. Mirren has signed up to play Sarah Winchester, the emotionally devastated widow of the founder of the Winchester gun company and the creator of the “gun that won the west,” in a new supernatural thriller. The film has been brought into development by Imagination Design Works, which owns the rights to the Winchester Mystery House. The company will allow the film to be shot on the Winchester property and within the house, so the Helen Mirren led film will be the first to have been permitted to shoot the house’s interior.

Shortly following the death of her husband, the widowed Sarah Winchester was left alone to care for the couple’s only child, Annie Pardee Winchester, until the girl passed away in her early infancy, due to an unknown illness. The passing of her daughter was too much for Ms. Winchester to bear, and the widow sought out the services of a medium to help her reconnect with her husband and daughter. Through the sessions with the medium, the Winchester widow came to believe that she was cursed and haunted by ghosts of those people killed by Winchester weapons and that the only way to keep these angry spirits at bay was to begin a massive 38-year, 24/7 construction of a 24,000-square foot, 160-room home, a project which began in 1884 in San Jose, California.

Construction on what was to become known as the Winchester Mystery House continued ceaselessly until Sarah Winchester passed away on September 5, 1922 at the age of 82.

Ghost Whisperer Co-Producer James Van Praagh Airs Radio Program From Inside The Winchester Mystery House

Clairvoyant and psychic medium, James Van Praagh, aired an episode of his radio program from the Winchester Mystery House earlier this week, adding to the rebirth of interest to the property, which was first stirred by the upcoming Helen Mirren film. Praagh hosts a live weekly radio show on Hay House Radio, which airs at noon on Tuesdays. This week, James hosted his show live from the Winchester Mystery House and offered a guided tour through the house for “V.I.P.” guests willing to pay the $297 admission fee.

In addition to the live show and the guided tour, guests were invited to stay into the evening hours and participate in a seance. The planned seance was to be the first seance conducted within the Winchester house in more than 40 years.

“We’re delighted to welcome James Van Praagh to America’s most legendary haunted home and one of California’s original historic attractions,” Walter Magnuson, General Manager of the Winchester Mystery House, stated in a release. “It will be exciting to see what secrets he unlocks within the walls of this renowned estate.”

When Sarah Winchester first began construction on the house, it was little more than a modest farmhouse, but, by the time construction was ended at the time of her death, the Winchester Mystery House had quadrupled in size. Termed by Time magazine as “One of the Most Haunted Places in America,” the Winchester Mystery House has 160 bedrooms, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, and 2,000 doors, but the mansion isn’t quite as roomy as one might think. Many of those doors and windows open to more walls and dead ends.

[Image by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]