Friday, March 1, 2013


Today's topic: The mansion that served as inspiration for writing Lancaster House! 

If you missed yesterday’s post about a personal experience with another old, creepy mansion, click here.

I grew up in San Jose, California. We spent many a holiday visiting and touring the infamous Winchester Mystery House. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out, it’s something else! The basic story behind the house is that the Winchester’s earned their money through the proceeds taken from the Winchester rifle. When Sarah Winchester lost both her husband and baby, she was sure that it was retribution for living on blood money—in other words, the Winchester rifle killed people, and they earned their money from the rifle, hence they were being punished. She was sure that she was going to be the next victim. Sarah was told by a medium that she needed to build a home for the spirits, to appease them—and that the construction should never cease. Building on the Winchester House never stopped, 24/7 for thirty-eight years! The results were a huge monstrosity of a home. The weirdest thing is that there are doors that lead to nowhere, strange staircases that end at the ceiling, secret passageways, a labyrinth of rooms, etc.

That alone right there ought to spark your imagination, right? I know it did mine. It’s a fascinating house to tour and I highly recommend the experience to thrill seekers. There’s a definite feeling of creepiness though. If you’re one of those people who love to be ‘safely scared,’ then you’ll love the Winchester Mystery House.

So, how does this all relate to my book? In Lancaster House, I decided to have my hero actually work as one of the many employees who worked on the Winchester House. He loved the oddities so much that he incorporated them into the building of his own home, Lancaster House. Hence, Lancaster House is filled with hidden rooms, passageways, and strange staircases—and much more.

COMING NEXT: Read an excerpt that describes Lancaster House! (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted during a book tour at Colorimetry.

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