All those mystery and adventure books I read as a child, have had a definite impact on me. Say the word mystery, and I’m willing to check it out.
Two places I checked out recently are –
- The Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA
This house is a sprawling mansion built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. The tour guides story says that Mrs.Winchester, bought a small farm house and converted it into a 5 storied maze. Lore has it that the after losing her whole family in a very short span of time, the depressed and vulnerable Sarah Winchester was told by a medium that this was because of the sorrow brought about by the guns. The medium advised her to move from California to the east and to never stop building her house. Sarah spent the next 36 years continuously re-modelling and making additions to the farm house.
Sarah had no sense of building, but she had money and taste. The haphazardly constructed house is filled and decorated with the most tasteful and expensive furnishings. Some of it, can still be seen. Legend has it that the house is a jumbled maze, to confuse the spirits and not let them find her.
Since a movie is being filmed on Sara Winchester and the making of the house, photography was prohibited inside the house.
- Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, CA
The drive to this spot alone is worth the effort. The crazy optical illusion the place offers is an added bonus.
On getting here we realized there was around a hour of waiting for the 45 min tour. Since we did not have that kind of time at hand, we contemplated just picnicking in the woods around. Not willing to give up so easily, Amruta talked the man at the ticketing booth, to call us if he had a cancellation. We didn’t expect to be called, and we about to leave, when we hear an announcement for Amruta and group. As we made it thorough the till, the people who had been presumed absent, and whose slot we had got, also walked in. Since we were already in, they couldn’t ask us to leave. That is the story of how we saw the Mystery Spot.
The spot had a strange effect on us. The circle was thickly wooded. The trees in the circle had an inward tilt. With no visual reference, it was hard to gauge the slope of the land. The strange little house in the centre of the spot, did make us feel uneasy. Slight nausea and dizziness forced us out as quickly as possible.
The phenomenon can probable be best explained as a gravity hill. For mystery lovers, it could be aliens or the earth working her magic.