- Something Different
The notoriously haunted Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is a perfect Halloween getaway destination for both adults and families with older kids.
Since its first construction in 1886, the enormous mansion has had a reputation as a haunted house with paranormal activity. The unusual architecture and layout of its roughly 161 rooms, combined with the personal history and beliefs of its original owner, Sarah Winchester, account for its reputation.
For modern-day visitors on Halloween, in 2023 the mystery house features a show called “Unhinged: Housewarming”, a new experience and follow-up to last year’s “Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse” show. Like last year, it’s a scary show, so they recommend the show for kids 13 or older (younger kids must be accompanied by an adult). Feel free to dress up in a prohibition era costume and immerse yourself in the experience!
There are a few nearby attractions that you can add to your itinerary to make this a weekend getaway worthy of an overnight stay. Adults and groups will enjoy the shopping, restaurants, and bars of Santana Row right across the street. With its mummies and Afterlife Gallery, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is a fascinating warm-up for a night of paranormal activity.
Arrive on Friday so that you can socialize on Friday night in Santana Row. Visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum during the day and the Winchester Mystery House in the evening. Return to Santana Row on Sunday morning for brunch.
If the weather forecast is pleasant for your trip, consider playing the world’s largest version of Monopoly (reservations required) as a fun daytime option on Saturday or Sunday.
Things to Do
When to Go
The Halloween tours at the Winchester Mystery House happen every year starting in mid-September and run through October.
Adult tickets for the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum start at $10 and $69.99 for Unhinged at the Winchester Mystery House.