31 Days of Spook – Winchester Mystery House

Today, I’m focusing on the Winchester Mystery House.  Have you heard about this mansion that is located in San Jose, California?  Have you been there?  It’s claimed that some people are there and they have never left.  The Winchester Mystery House is just that – a mystery.  It was the residence of Sarah Winchester.

20131027-182422.jpgIn 1862, she  married William Winchester – who came from the family that created the famous Winchester guns.  Everything seemed like it was grand and wonderful …for a while.

In 1866, the Winchester’s infant daughter, Annie, passed away from a childhood disease called marasmus.  (Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition and causes a child to look emaciated.)  Losing her child caused Mrs. Winchester to fall into a deep depression.

In 1881, Mrs. Winchester’s husband, William, passed away from tuberculosis.  Can you imagine watching two of your very close loved ones pass away so early in life?  Mrs. Winchester was beside herself and sought help from a spiritualist.  Through consulting with the spiritualist, Mrs. Winchester believed her family and her fortune were haunted by the ghosts of the people who had fallen victim to the family Winchester rifles.  She was advised that the only way she could appease the ghosts was to move west and build them a house.  Not just a house but to continuous build them a house.

In 1884, Mrs. Winchester moved west to San Jose, California and bought an unfinished farmhouse .  Work began immediately.  Mrs. Winchester  would hold nightly seances to speak with the spirits to help guide her in how the house would be worked on the following date.  In the morning, she would meet with her construction workers and give them the plans.  Did the plans make sense?  You decide.

  • There are roughly 160 rooms, including 40 bedrooms;
  • 2 ballrooms (one completed and one unfinished);
  • 47 fireplaces;
  • Over 10,000 panes of glass;
  • 17 chimneys (with evidence of two others);
  • 2 basements with three elevators.  
  • It has gold and silver chandeliers and hand-inlaid parquet floors and trim;
  • There are doors and stairways that lead nowhere and a vast array of colors and materials.
  • The home’s conveniences were rare at the time of its construction. These included steam and forced-air heating, modern indoor toilets and plumbing, push-button gas lights and Mrs. Winchester’s personal (and only) hot shower from indoor plumbing.
  • The number 13 is repeated frequently in the home – whether in stairs, candles, wall hooks, stained glass windows or even 13 holes in the drain covers.  Also every Friday the 13th, the large bell on the property is rung 13 times at 1300 hours in tribute to Winchester.   Mrs. Winchester even signed her will 13 times leaving everything to a niece and personal secretary.20131027-182354.jpg

Construction continued every day around the clock until Mrs. Winchester died on September 5, 1922.  Upon her death, all hammering ceased.  When they looked in Mrs. Winchester’s safe they found the things that meant the most to her.  Not money.  Not diamonds.  Not riches.  It was two pieces of hair – one from her husband and one from her daughter.

And until this day, it is said that you can still hear the construction work taking place, that you can see the workers inside and outside of the home.  And, people still say that Mrs. Winchester herself is still in the home.



Posted by on October 13, 2015 in 31 Days of Spook, Bacon, Bacons Tales of Terror


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Shopping Around the World – Mark Your Calendars

Thanks to everyone for participating in mine and Fozzie‘s Shopping Around the World.  It’s so awesome to see the various prices, recipes and pictures of food from around the world!

Our next scheduled Shopping Around the World is for Wednesday, October 28th.

This month is a free for all.  Five items of your choice for any meal or dessert or appetizer – it’s your choice.  

Do a posting on your blog linked back to mine.  That way we can keep track of all of the different prices.  It should be interesting to see the differences between.  Mark your calendar so you can do a posting with us.

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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Bacon, Shopping Around the World


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31 Days of Spook – Evil Passenger

There you are in the morning getting ready for work or school.  You are running around trying not to forget anything.  Was that coffee you put in the refrigerator and milk in the cabinet?  You don’t know.  You are running late now.  You have a piece of toast in your mouth, coffee cup in your hand, your purse on your shoulder and tote bag in one hand.  You go out to your car, open the door, get in and crank it.  That’s when you feel that you are not alone.  You look over in the passenger seat and oh my dear piggy heavens above – you see this!   What the oink!?  What do you do?


Posted by on October 12, 2015 in 31 Days of Spook, Bacon, Bacons Tales of Terror


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31 Days of Spook – Oakland Cemetery

 I thought it was time to walk through a cemetery with you once again.  Today, I’m going to focus on one close to home – the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.  Oakland Cemetery was bought in 1850 and was originally named Atlanta Graveyard or City Burial Place.  It was renamed to Oakland Cemetery in 1972.

Oakland Cemetery offers twilight tours of the cemetery – how scary huh?  And around this time of the year, the cemetery even offers what they call “Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours”.  What a way to catch some things that go bump in the night.  There are over 70,000 residents in over 40 acres that are just dying to meet you whether you have a guided tour or walk the cemetery by yourself… if you’re brave enough.

A lot of the history of this wonderful cemetery centers around the Civil War.  There have been stories in the Confederate portion of the cemetery of hearing names being called as if in a roll call.  But to look around, there is no one living there, just the statue of a lion guarding the unknown Confederate dead and he’s not talking.

Often the guides at the cemetery will tell you that people actually die three times.  Once on their last breath, once when they are laid to rest and once when they are no longer remembered.  Sounds just like a situation for a few people to come out and be remembered, doesn’t it?  So the next time you’re in the area, drop by for a visit.  I’ve heard they’re always looking for a good soul to fright.

There are lots of famous people buried here in Oakland.  Mom took this photograph not too long ago.  Do you recognize the name?



Posted by on October 12, 2015 in 31 Days of Spook, Bacons Tales of Terror


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31 Days of Spook – Jail House Talk

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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in 31 Days of Spook, Bacons Tales of Terror


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31 Days of Spook – The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

Today is one that is close to our hearts here at the Hotel Thompson.  Today, we focus on one of the all time greatest movies, “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”.  What, you don’t believe me when I say it’s scary?  Let’s discuss shall we.  What is a hero – snorts.

This movie came out in 1966 and starred Don Knotts as Luther Heggs.  It starts off with Luther driving down the street and hearing screams of, “Murder, murder” from a neighbor.  He takes pictures, gets the story from the neighbor and then goes to the local police station to report the crime.  While he’s reporting the crime, who walks in but the local ‘victim’.   The town thinks he’s a laughing joke.  And to top everything off, the full time writer for the paper, Ollie Weaver, lives in the same boarding house as he does and tells everyone over breakfast the next morning about what Luther did the night before.  This is also the time that you get to meet Ollie’s girlfriend, Alma Parker, who Luther has a secret crush with.

Poor Luther.  He works as a newspaper typesetter and wants to be a reporter so bad.  The staff of the newspaper want to increase sales and sees an opportunity for Luther to help out…even if it’s a joke  Ollie challenges Luther to spend the night in the local haunted Simmons mansion on the 20th anniversary of the murders that took place in the home.  The story was that Mr. Simmons murdered his wife and then jumped to his death from the organ loft of the home.  Legend says that you can still hear the ghost of Mr. Simmons still playing the organ at night, a haunting macabre tune.  Luther takes the bait and accepts the challenge of staying in the haunted house all by himself.

So the night comes and Luther goes into the haunted Simmons mansion.  He looks around and you visibly see that he’s scared by his shaking.  He settles down on the sofa in his sleeping bag for the night.  At midnight, it starts.  Luther hears the old organ begin to play from the loft.  He goes up to the loft area and sees the organ playing the haunting melody by itself.  He runs down the stairs and sees the painting of Mrs Simmons on the wall with hedge clippers sticking in it and ‘blood’ like material dripping out of it.  The newspaper starts flying off the shelves of Luther’s story of his night in the haunted Simmons mansion.  So much so that Nicholas Simmons (the nephew of the deceased couple) sues Luther for libel.  When it goes to court, the judge orders the courtroom to the Simmons mansion at midnight to prove Luther’s story.  Nothing happens and Luther looks like a fool.

Everyone leaves the house except for Luther who is moping around feeling sorry for himself.  Soon after, the organ begins to play the haunting macabre tune from the loft area again.  Luther runs upstairs and behold he sees Mr. Kelsey (who is the newspaper janitor) playing the old organ.

Mr. Kelsey and Luther talk about what happened and guess what?  They confront Nicholas Simmons and we learn that he was the one that killed his aunt and uncle and have been trying to cover the story all of these years.  How did he get away with the murders you ask?  There was a secret passage from the study up to the organ loft that had been his alibi.  Mr. Kelsey knew the secret and wanted Luther to be the one to open the case wide open.  Just by luck, Luther knocks out Nicholas Simmons with a body slam and becomes the local hero.

And yes.  Luther even got a girl out of the ordeal.  He marries his secret crush, Alma Parker.  As they say their “I do’s”, the organ starts playing all by itself the haunting macabre tune that was being played in the Simmons mansion.

It’s a great movie, one that is watched many times here at the Hotel Thompson.


Posted by on October 11, 2015 in 31 Days of Spook, Bacons Tales of Terror


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31 Days of Spook – Dead and Breakfast


Hello my friends.  Hope all is doing well from my 31 Days of Spook and that you had a restful weekend.  Mom had a really special weekend planned for daddy.  She told him to be ready to go in 15 minutes, she loaded up Casper her Jeep and they were off.

We anipals here thought they would be gone overnight.  But no, they were back probably in a couple of hours.  We couldn’t understand why.

That’s when daddy showed us this picture.  Gulps.  Enough said daddy.  He said that once they pulled up and saw this sign, for some reason he just felt like coming back home to us anipals.  Dad said that people were dying to get into this place – snorts.

Would you stay here for the weekend?


Posted by on October 10, 2015 in 31 Days of Spook, Bacons Tales of Terror


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