We’ve been looking forward to the upcoming Winchester movie for what feels like eons. It’s been more than five years since the project was officially announced, and a full year since Helen Mirren signed on to play the titular Sarah Winchester. And now we finally have a trailer for the movie about the widow who spent her life building a never-ending maze of a mansion designed to either trick or appease the many spirits she believed haunted her.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s a doozy. I recommend falling down this rabbit hole, but in short, Sarah Winchester was the wife of William Wirt Winchester, of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. When William died, Sarah inherited $20.5 million and nearly 50% of the company and, according to a medium she visited, was also plagued by the spirits of everyone who had ever died at the hand of a Winchester Rifle. (And thanks to a couple of big events like, say, the Civil War , that’s a lot of ghosts.)
The medium told Sarah that she’d be fine, so long as she moved from Connecticut to California, started construction on a house, and never finished it. So in 1884, she bought a 10-room house in Santa Clara and over the next nearly four decades, kept construction going on what would become a sprawling and often nonsensical estate.
If you’re ever in Northern California, you can tour the mansion and see for yourself the doors and staircases that go to nowhere, the indirect passageways, windows overlooking other rooms within the house, and all the other fantastic oddities that were either (most likely) designed to trick the ghosts or simply to extend the construction process.
The trailer above sets a pretty standard supernatural thriller tone for the movie (officially titled Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built), with jump scares and loads of creepy ghost stuff. Hopefully they still do justice to Sarah Winchester’s incredible story, but at the very least, we get to see Helen Mirren, draped in incredible capes, exploring the actual house where they filmed the movie.
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