Showing posts with label winchester mystery house. Show all posts
Showing posts with label winchester mystery house. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

San Hauntse: Mysteries of San Jose

Manuel Ávalos and Carmen Sánchez have teamed up to host San Hauntse, which is "the only actively running podcast that seeks to document every haunted place and urban legend of the San Jose area." I'm blown away at how much content there is on the site (and I love the logo). 

I still remember hearing the San Felipe Road urban legends as a kid, not to mention the many Winchester Mystery House stories. Manuel and Carmen go in depth into the history of many famous San Jose landmarks and popular stories. It's entertaining and well produced, check it out over here!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Content 10.4: Profiles

Content Magazine is launching their latest issues on Tuesday, August 21 at 7-9:30pm. The venue is the Winchester Mystery House and a mini-mansion tour is included for the first 150 guests. Subscribers also get a free drink. For more info, read the event description below or head over here to RSVP.

Join us in the gardens of the Winchester Mystery House for the release of Issue 10.4 Profiles. The issue that features 40-50 influential makers and culture creatives.

Take a walk through this San Jose landmark, hear musical performances by 10.4 featured musicians, and view artwork by our featured artists. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Free entry for all Content Subscribers and 10.4 features and contributors: includes 1 guest, mini-mansion tour, and 1 complimentary drink ticket. $10 general admission at the door for all non-subscribers: includes garden access, participation in exterior activities, and a copy of issue 10.4.

This issue features: Abel Gonzalez, Tamiko Rast, Fanny Retsek, Francisco Ramirez, Vicki Thompson, Sarah Cade, Sam Rodriguez, Jason Adams, Mark Chua, Darius B'Alexander, Kombi Co, Renee Batres, Sarah Chea - Lotus Clothing, 2nd Hand Hustle, Kung Fu Vampire, Chris Landon, Susan Sayre Batton, The Get Down, Ranchezca Vicente “Chez,” Slap Face Coffee & Tea, Red Berry Coffee Bar, Quarry Winery, Rhys Vineyard, Chef Ngoc Bao Ky Vo of Elyse Restaurant, Damian Kelly, Michael Ogilvie, Nicholas Jimenez, and more.

Event sponsors: Winchester Mystery HouseSan Jose JazzSer WineryGenARTS Silicon Valley

Monday, May 1, 2017

First look at Winchester Movie

San Jose is getting some Hollywood action. The movie Winchester tells the story about Sarah Winchester and her 160+ room mansion. It is a bit surprising that it has taken this long for a big-budget movie to tell the story of one of San Jose's top tourist attractions.

Helen Mirren is playing the lead role and her resemblance to the real Sarah is notable in the photos below. The film will start with a skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist (played by Jason Clarke) being sent to the mansion to evaluate Sarah's sanity. It seems that this will be more than just a horror/suspense movie and provide some extra insights into this mysterious woman. The directors revealed one neat tidbit, the real-life Sarah Winchester was an inventor and early adopter. She was one of the first people ever to have a telephone, and the house includes a custom-built intercom and irrigation system. Some of these details might be peppered through the movie, but the flick is designed be be a classic haunted house movie with lots of scares.

Filming will partially take place inside of the mansion itself. The movie is expected to hit theaters during Spring of next year--although I think Friday, October 13, 2018 would be a more appropriate launch date given the mansion's history and Sarah's obsession with the number 13.

Hat tip to our friend D.H. De La O for sending this in!

Source: People Movies

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Searchlight San Jose: The Sarah Winchester Movie

A former Winchester Mystery House tour guide posted some interesting thoughts on what should be included in the upcoming movie. This is an exciting moment for us--I think this will be the first big-budget movie ever to be built entirely around a historic San Jose landmark. Head over to Searchlight San Jose and read his post here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hellen Mirren will play Sarah Winchester in new movie

On this past Friday the 13th, it was announced that Oscar-winning actress Hellen Mirren will play the leading role of Sarah Winchester in a new thriller called "Winchester." The movie is based on the story of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric heir to the Winchester fortune that built the 600-room mansion now known as the Winchester Mystery House (San Jose's #1 tourist attraction).

Production is expected to begin in early 2017 and will be shot on location in San Jose as well as Australia. For more details read the full release below.


Friday, May 13, Cannes, France – Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren is finalizing a deal to play Sarah Winchester, the millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune in the Spierig Brothers new thriller WINCHESTER.

The story follows the Sarah Winchester, who was convinced that she and her family were haunted by the souls killed at the barrel of the infamous rifle.  Her real-life obsession led to the 24 hour a day, 7 days a week construction of an enormous 600-room mansion, designed to keep these evil spirits at bay.  Her home, the Winchester Mystery House, still stands today and has been named one of the “Most Haunted Places in the World” by Time Magazine.  Studio System News (SSN) called the house one of the top “haunted house properties ready to scare up audiences.”

Michael and Peter Spierig were announced at Cannes this week as the writer/directors of the film based on a script first penned by writer, Tom Vaughan.

Diamond Pictures and Bullitt Entertainment are co-financing with Australia’s Blacklab Entertainment, with Diamond selling international territories and WME brokering the US rights deal.

IDW’s Brett Matthew Tomberlin and Blacklab’s Tim McGahan are producing, with Bullitt’s Benedict Carver, Diamond’s Daniel Diamond and Tobin Armbrust as executive producers.  Andy Trapani, Toni Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper and Simon Oakes are also executive producers.

Production is expected to start in early 2017 shooting at the historic house in San Jose, California and in Australia.

Mirren is repped by CAA; IDW is repped by Michael Black Management and Mark Temple Law, and Blacklab by Marshalls+Dent Lawyers.  Sheppard Mullin brokered the deal for Diamond and Bullitt.

About Winchester Mystery House:

A 160-room Victorian wonder, The Winchester Mystery House is one of California’s original and most popular historic attractions.  Since opening to the public in 1923, the house has welcomed nearly 12 million people from around the world and has taken its rightful place in American legend.  Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by her family’s invention.  Following a medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings there and to this day, visitors share their paranormal stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the labyrinth-like house. Various tours are offered daily with popular annual events including Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours (May 16, 2016), Summer Twilight Evenings (July), Halloween Candlelight Tours (October) and The Spirit of Christmas (December).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winchester Mystery House - Spirit Of Christmas Tours

This year the Winchester Mystery House is getting into the holiday spirit with special Victorian-style "Spirit of Christmas" tours. The epic mansion will feature 100,000 Christmas lights, carolers, dozens of trees, and over a thousand feet of garland.

In addition to the regular 65-minute daytime tours of the mansion, they are adding new 50-minute evening tours that focus on the history of Christmas at the mansion and Mr.s Winchester's philanthropy. These tours start at 5:20pm and will only be available December 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28.

Scroll down for more information and click here to book tickets.


Special Holiday Evening Tours are on sale now!

Come celebrate the Victorian “Spirit of Christmas” at Sarah Winchester’s glorious mansion, beautifully decorated for the holidays. Enjoy dozens of trees & wreaths and over a thousand feet of garland gracing the fireplaces and stairways. The festive glow of 100,000 sparkling lights and the sounds of Christmas Music and Carolers warmly welcome you and filling the air and your heart.

Our traditional year-round 65-minute daytime tours of Mrs. Winchester’s 160-room mansion are offered daily from 9am-5pm and will have a touch of Christmas Spirit throughout!

Don’t miss our special holiday evening tours! Join our guided 50-minute “Spirit of Christmas Tours” through the festive Mansion and learn about the history of a Victorian Christmas at the mysterious Mansion along with the more philanthropic side of Mrs. Winchester, while the festive sights and sounds set you in the mood for the season. This is the perfect place to start a wonderful holiday tradition for the whole family. Our special holiday tours start at 5:20pm and are offered on the following evenings in December: 12th-13th, 18th-21st, 26th-28th.

More Fun Activities:

  • Santa Claus
  • Christmas Carolers
  • Victorian Characters
  • Family Christmas Photos
  • Hot Cider to warm you up

Don’t forget to stop in our Gift Shop for ornaments and gifts you won’t find anywhere else, such as vintage toys, Western items, jewelry and decorative glassware.

It’s the season to give!
Spread the joy and save! Bring at least 2 canned food items for Second Harvest Food Bank and save $3 off the day or evening admission! The Winchester Mystery House will also match whatever is brought in! Second Harvest Food Bank Drive: donate & save from 11/24 – 12/15/14.
(Limit one discount per person/ per item brought. Not good with any other offers. Valid for in-person purchases only.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Winchester Movie is Back on Track

A couple years ago news broke that Hammer Films would make a movie based around the Winchester Mystery House. The original target launch was Halloween of 2013, which would have been perfect given Sarah Winchester's obsession with the number 13. Now, it looks like they are bringing on brother filmmakers Michael and Peter Spierig to both rewrite the original script and direct the movie.

This will be the very first film to be shot inside of the Winchester Mystery House and filming is being penned for early 2015. I'm really looking forward to this one!

Sources:, hat tip to Mark and Dark Horizons, hat tip to Dan De La O

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Featured in EveryDay with Rachel Ray

The Magazine "Every Day with Rachael Ray" is featuring various real-life haunted houses and the Winchester Mystery House is first on the list. To see the article, pick up the magazine or click here.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights

It's finally October, one of my favorite times of the year. This year's Halloween season has more South Bay attractions than at any point in the past. Next week I'll have a full list of events along with feedback and recommendations. So far I have already attended one event which takes it to a whole new level, and that's Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights.

As I mentioned in a previous post, for their sophomore year Fright Nights has invested a considerable amount of time and money into expanding the original maze (already the best from 2011) and doing a new self-guided flashlight tour in the mansion itself. Here is feedback on both attractions:

Walk with the Spirits Flashlight Tour (35min)

This is a spin on the original flashlight tour. Instead of having a tour guide walking you through the mansion, it is entirely self-guided with an audio headset telling you history about each room along with stories about various encounters. They did a good job setting the ambiance by turning off all the lights and letting you explore on your own. There may not be any actors that will jump out in your face, but there is definitely a subtle psychological effect that I don't want to spoil. I would recommend looking through every nook and cranny, and definitely peering into all the windows. This sets the tone for the main event...

Curse of Sarah Winchester Resurrection (40min)

I have done just about every single haunt attraction within 50 miles for the past several years, and this is the single best maze I have ever been to, period. I would be surprised if there is another one in California at this caliber.

The maze is really designed for you to take your time and absorb the atmosphere. In fact, there are some areas that have no actors at all and are purely designed for ambiance, telling a story, and building suspense. The quality of the props and atmospheric design is beyond any other attraction I have ever been to. I would recommend taking your time, looking at all the intricate details.

As for scares, there really is no shortage here. I don't want to ruin anything, but I will say that there is a huge variety in what you will experience and a ton of surprises. I am glad that the seance room is back (where writing starts appearing on the walls) but the overwhelming majority of the maze is brand new. We're talking double the length of the previous year, double the number of actors, and giant new props.


Fright Nights is the new benchmark to which all other haunt events will be compared. I would be shocked if anything else in 2012 comes close to this, so if you have to pick just a single "haunt" event to go to this year, this is it. I would try to go early to avoid long lines, but to help with the wait they do have food trucks, snack shops, live music, and a bar this year.

Again, incredible event and congratulations to everyone involved for putting this together. The anticipation is already building for 2013, where Fright Nights will coincide with the release of a Hollywood movie about (and filmed in) the Winchester Mystery House. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights

Last year the Winchester Mystery House produced the highest quality and longest Halloween maze in the Bay Area. It was befitting that a place with so much occult history finally get a proper "scare" attraction. This year they are stepping it up to a new level with two attractions, one of which will likely be the longest haunted maze in the United States. A lot was also invested into further improving the props, actors, storytelling, and variety of scares in the flagship maze. To top it off, the second attraction is a self-guided flashlight tour of the mansion itself with a surprise or two along the way.

The October calendar for this event is below and you can use the discount code "THIRTEEN" to get $5 off per ticket. For more info, check out the Fright Nights website right over here.

There are going to be a lot of great Halloween events in the Bay Area this year, but if you can only choose one to try out... this is it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights are Returning!

My favorite Halloween event by far from last year is not only returning, it's expanding. Fright Nights at the Winchester Mystery House is adding over 100 characters and new surprises in it's 40-min maze entitled "Curse of Sarah Winchester: The Resurrection." I'm hoping most of the Hollywood-caliber props from last year will return as well.

They are also adding a brand new kind of mansion flashlight tour, one without a tour guide. It sounds like there may even be actors in parts of the mansion this time around. Each Fright Night ticket includes access to both attractions. I can't wait! Full details below:

SAN JOSE, CA, August 12, 2012 -- The award-winning Winchester Mystery House attraction "Fright Nights" returns for a second year kicking off on Friday, September 28, 2012. The world-famous mysterious, rambling and reportedly haunted home of Sarah Winchester has more thrills and exciting additions to last year’s award-winning Maze and House tour.

Throughout September and October (see complete schedule below), the grounds of the Winchester Estate will be transformed into the world’s most terrifying Halloween experience. Filled with haunted walk-through attractions, roaming scare performers, and nightmare inducing tales, “Fright Nights” will once again be an open house visitors won’t want to miss.

“We are excited to bring 'Fright Nights' back to life for a second year at the Winchester Mystery House," said Brett Tomberlin, President, Imagination Design Works, the production team behind the special event. "To give visitors even more, we are stepping up the 40-minute maze by adding over 100 spine-chilling characters and surprises around every corner. The ‘Flashlight Tour’ is also ramped up in a way that will shock and awe visitors."

Maze Length: 40 Minutes
Guests at “Fright Nights” will have the exclusive opportunity to experience the all-new “Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze” – an interactive, multi-sensory gateway between Heaven and Hell which will be opened exclusively for visitors of “Fright Nights.” For a lifetime, Sarah Winchester built and rebuilt her house to avoid a treacherous curse and to escape her husband’s legacy of damnation. Those who perished by the Winchester rifle are seeking revenge, and are now ready to sacrifice souls before midnight strikes.

Visitors find themselves trapped inside a mansion empowered by the undead, traveling through the Corn Fields of Winchester Mystery House, into the haunted ruins of the family Graveyard and ultimately, a showdown with Sarah herself in the middle of one of her infamous séances.

Tour Length: 35 Minutes
Tour the mansion as you never have before - on your own. Since her death, millions of people have visited Sarah’s home and many have reported sighting ghosts. Do the phantoms she communed with or perhaps Sarah herself still lurk nightly in the maze-like corridors of the Winchester Mystery House?

You'll tour the rambling, mysterious mansion with only the moonlight, a souvenir flashlight, and your imagination to provide illumination through the bewildering labyrinth of rooms and stairways. Guests experience bone-chilling creatures and blood-curdling moments as they find themselves trapped inside the mansion empowered by the undead.


Fright Nights at Winchester Mystery House
525 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Phone: 408.247.2101

"Slasher Savings" Pre-sale tickets from Aug. 12 – Sept. 9: $35 or $50 VIP

Two-pack tickets available at any Northern CA Costco from Sept. 10 – Oct. 31: $54.99

From Sept. 28 – Oct. 14: $40 or $55 VIP From Oct. 15 – Nov. 3: $45 or $60 VIP

Tickets available for purchase starting August 12th by visiting

*VIP tickets include front of line access
*Regular and VIP tickets include access to the Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze and Walk with the Spirits Flashlight Tour

September 28-29
6:30pm – 12:00am

September 30
6:30pm – 11:00pm

October 7, 29, 30
6:30Pm – 11:00pm

October 14, 18, 21, 25, 28
6:30pm – 11:30pm

October 5, 6, 31
6:30pm – 12:00am

October 12, 13, 19, 20
6:30pm – 12:30am

October 26, 27
6:30pm – 1:00am

November 2, 3
6:30pm – 12:00am

Featured event partners and key sponsors include: Ghirardelli Chocolate, Dead Dog’s Hot Dogs, Psycho Donuts, Monster Energy Drink, Crystal Head Vodka, San Jose State University, Santana Row, Costco and Togo’s. Media partner includes: 94.9 The Wild.

The Winchester Mystery House is a California State Historical Landmark (#868) and was designed and built by Winchester rifle heiress, Sarah Winchester. The attraction is one of the top tourist attractions in the world and has recently been honored with the following accolades: World's Most Haunted Places #2, Travel Channel; The Scariest Locations In America #3, HauntWorld Magazine; 10 Great Places To Get Spooked #5 USA Today.

IDW Productions is an independent entertainment Production Company formed for the purpose of creating feature length motion pictures, television programming and live entertainment productions. The company is owned and run by Brett Tomberlin and is the creative entity behind this year’s Fright Nights. IDW has also announced a major feature film about the House slated to premiere in 2013. Fans are invited to follow the Winchester Mystery House and Brett Tomberlin on Twitter at: or via Facebook at: (Official).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Imagination Design Works Nominated for 'Top Haunt' in the World!


Congratulations to the Imagination Design Works Special Events team.
After personal review by members of Top Haunt magazine, we are proud to announce Winchester Mystery House "Fright Nights" as one of the top 20 haunted Halloween attractions in the world!

On behalf of Imagination Design Works we would like to thank our family, friends and staff for making last year’s inaugural Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights a success! We are grateful for the opportunity to have brought a new Fall offering to the property and we are thrilled to make it an annual hit.

There is no way this kind of production can happen without the dedication of numerous people. The months of preparations and long hours of execution is a truly commendable feat.

That being said, we need the support of our fans for the opportunity to be selected as one of the Top 13 Haunts. As an Official Selection, voting begins Sunday, July 1 and ends Friday, August 31, 2012. Winners will be announced on Saturday, September 1, 2012. Winners will be determined and ranked by popular vote and votes are limited to one per day.

For more information about Top Haunt Magazine or to vote, please visit:

Fans and critics agree - Here are some testimonials about the "Fright Nights" experience:

Scare-Zone - Best Maze of 2011: "This haunted attraction has captured the elusive magic of Halloween in a nearly perfect way."

NBC News (think this was a local NBC blogger) - "This is a classic Halloween haunted house. At a house said to really be haunted. Yeah, that's awesome."

Last Doorway Productions - "I must say the WMH Fright Nights is one thing to put on your list of things to do for the month of October. This is a must!"

The San Jose Blog - "I would go so far as to call this the most anticipated Halloween attraction anywhere in the Bay Area, and it did not disappoint."

About The Winchester Mystery House:

The Winchester Mystery House is a California State Historical Landmark (#868) and was designed and built by Winchester rifle heiress, Sarah Winchester. The attraction is one of the top tourist attractions in the world and has recently been honored with the following accolades: World's Most Haunted Places #2 Travel Channel; The Scariest Locations In America #3 HauntWorld Magazine; 10 Great Places To Get Spooked #5 USA Today.

About Imagination Design Works (IDW):

IDW Productions is an independent entertainment Production Company formed for the purpose of creating feature length motion pictures, television programming and live entertainment productions. The company is owned and run by Brett Tomberlin and is the creative entity behind this year’s Fright Nights. IDW has also announced a major feature film about the House slated to premiere in 2013.

For more information about IDW please visit:

WMH Fright Nights

Monday, April 30, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Horror Movie Officially in the Works!

We're starting off the week with some really good news! The Winchester Mystery House will officially be staring in a horror movie. Hammer, Imagination Design Works, and Nine/8 Entertainment are coming together to shoot the flick in the actual mansion itself. I can't wait to see this, and who knows... perhaps one of our future contests will feature a visit to the set. Full press release below:




Los Angeles, CA (April 27, 2012) – In the first deal of its kind, the San Jose, California based Winchester Mystery House considered the “world’s most haunted house” is authorizing Hammer, an Exclusive Media company, the use of its unique property for a feature film based on its legendary story. Hammer has optioned all rights to develop and produce the feature film with Imagination Design Works (IDW) and Nine/8 Entertainment, it was announced today by Simon Oakes, Vice-Chairman of Exclusive Media and President & CEO of Hammer, and Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media.

Production on the supernatural horror film currently in development will be overseen by Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, President of Worldwide Production and Acquisitions, and Shira Rockowitz, Director of Development and Production. Brett Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos will produce for Imagination Design Works, Inc along with Andrew Trapani and Brian Gilbert for Nine/8 Entertainment. Christine Forde-Tomberlin of Imagination Design Works and Brent Emery of Coup d’Etat Films will serve as co-producers.

“The Winchester House has a rich and compelling history. The story behind how it was built has attracted a great deal of attention over the years and we are excited to bring that mythology to film,” said Tobin Armbrust. “We are also thrilled, and terrified, that the House has allowed us to film on the premises”.

"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Exclusive Media to bring the story of the Winchester Mystery House to a global audience. For many years, the mystique and history of this unique venue, and its owner Sarah Winchester, could be experienced only by those visiting the site. Now, with a film shot in and around the House, Sarah's spirit will be brought back to life, and the audience will see first- hand this stunning and bizarre house," said Brett Tomberlin, President, Imagination Design Works.

The Winchester Mystery House has a startling history and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by “the gun that won the west.” Following a Medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings and to this day, visitors share their terrifying stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the intricate and enigmatic house.

Exclusive Media is a major force in the production and international distribution arena. Recent production titles include the box office hit THE WOMAN IN BLACK starring Daniel Radcliffe, and George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH produced by Smokehouse Pictures and co-produced by Exclusive Media with Cross Creek Pictures.

Other Hammer productions in the works include THE QUIET ONES to be directed by John Pogue starring Jared Harris, BONESHAKER to be produced with Cross Creek Pictures, GASLIGHT written by newcomer Ian Fried and the newly announced THE WOMAN IN BLACK: ANGELS OF DEATH, to be produced with Talisman, Cross Creek Pictures and Alliance Films.

Exclusive Media’s current production slate includes Ron Howard’s epic RUSH starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl and produced with production partners Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Brian Grazer, and Revolution Films; END OF WATCH starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera set for release through Open Road Films on September 28; SO UNDERCOVER starring Miley Cyrus and SNITCH starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in post- production.

Other recent titles from Exclusive Media’s documentary film division, Spitfire Pictures, include the Academy Award winning UNDEFEATED currently in release through The Weinstein Company, the Grammy Award winning FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH produced in association with Allentown Productions and Martin Scorsese’s award winning GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD produced by Martin Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair and Olivia Harrison.

IDW is represented by Alexa Pagonas at Michael Black Management.


Originally founded in 1934, legendary British film studio Hammer has delivered a hugely successful run of films over the years including Dracula, Frankenstein Created Woman, One Million Years B.C. and The Vampire Lovers. Since 2008, the company has been part of Exclusive Media, which is reinvigorating this beloved global brand through investment across both traditional and new media.

Not in production since the 1980s, Hammer marked their return to features in 2010 with the release of the critically acclaimed Let Me In, an adaptation of the highly praised Swedish film Låt den rätte komma in. The film was written and directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and stars Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road).

In 2011, Hammer released Antti Jokinen’s The Resident starring two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby), Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hammer legend Sir Christopher Lee, as well as the critically lauded Wake Wood directed by David Keating and starring Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall.

February 2012 saw the theatrical release of Hammer’s first ever feature ghost story The Woman In Black, directed by James Watkins, adapted by Jane Goldman from the book by Susan Hill, and starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film has taken over $ 100mm worldwide making it one of the biggest indie horror films.

Hammer recently launched a new publishing imprint through Random House which has already published eight books. In February 2012 the imprint published its first original title with the much- praised “The Greatcoat” by Helen Dunmore, which will be followed by an original novel about the Pendle witches, by Jeanette Winterson, and “Coldbrook” by Tim Lebbon. Also publishing in 2012 are further new novelisations of classic Hammer films.

Hammer is also broadening its reach, with plans for a Hammer Theatre of Horror and a Hammer visitor attraction, as well as continuing to honour the company’s legacy with re-releases of classic films, official histories, merchandise, screenings and social media engagement.

For further information about Hammer and its parent company Exclusive Media, please and


Exclusive Media is a vertically integrated global film entertainment company, founded in May 2008 with the backing of the strategic investment group Cyrte Investments. Exclusive Media develops, finances, produces, markets and distributes prestige and talent driven commercial and documentary feature films on a global basis.

Exclusive Media is run by a five member Executive Board with Nigel Sinclair as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Guy East as Co-Chairman, Simon Oakes as Vice Chairman and President of Hammer, Marc Schipper as Chief Operating Officer, and Randy Hermann as Chief Financial Officer. Supporting the Executive Board in both the operational management and strategic expansion of the business is a strong team of highly skilled professionals who have a broad range of complementary experience.

Exclusive Media’s development and production activities operate through three specialist labels: UK based Hammer for genre titles, Spitfire Pictures for documentary features and the flagship label Exclusive Media for all other feature film production.

Exclusive Media’s international sales & distribution division maintains a strong marketing presence and represents the group’s in-house productions plus its growing library of over 550 titles, as well as actively acquiring third party feature films to further strengthen its international distribution slate.

For further information about the company, our slate of films, library and our experienced management team please visit


Imagination Design Works (IDW) is an independent production company formed for the purpose of creating feature length motion pictures, television programming and stage productions. Among its many unique projects, IDW represents the Winchester Mystery House, and was the first entity to broker the rights for a feature length film about and at the location.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights are Live!

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights Launches Today!

I would go so far as to call this the most anticipated Halloween attraction anywhere in the Bay Area this year. One of the most mysterious and haunted places in the world is finally getting a maze attraction for Halloween! For some behind the scenes information, check out their newsletter below:

WMH Fright Nights

Secrets of the New "Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze"

We asked Fright Nights' Production Designer Jeff Schiefelbein to share some insight, EXCLUSIVELY for our 13th Hour Newsletter subscribers, on Winchester Mystery House's newest event!

How did you get started in the Haunted Attraction business?
While I was growing up, my parents always hosted elaborate Halloween parties for their friends. As a child I was mesmerized by the decorations and costumes and when I was 15 years old I put together my first haunt in the yard of my parents' Orange County home.  The rest is history.

What was the planning process like for the "Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze?"
When people hear that the Winchester Mystery House will be unveiling an all new Haunted Maze this year the typical response is, “Finally!” So in one sense it has been in the making for many years. In actuality, for this year's event we began planning with a site visit in March 2011. This has been a unique process because usually we get to work with an empty warehouse and have free creative rein on what goes in it. With Fright Nights we had to build it around existing buildings and a specific theme. You can't just throw vampires and zombies into the mix! We saw it as a challenge and opportunity and I am proud to say that we took full advantage of what the Winchester Estate had to offer. Plants come to life in the green house, the 15 foot rack of the fruit drying shed becomes a perfect butcher shop, and the tool shed, already full of scrap metal and tools from Mrs. Winchester's day, was easily transformed into a blood-curdling, twisted machine shop.

Anything we should keep our eye out for in the maze?
We incorporated the number 13 everywhere! Thirteen candles here, 13 pumpkins there, pumpkins carved in the number 13, 13 slash-marks on the wall, etc. Also, the seance room has some of the most advanced special effects used in any maze I've worked on.  We took a topographical map of the room and have a 360 degree projector that makes the entire room come to life. We hired on a very talented sculptor, he's worked with Disneyland on the Indiana Jones Ride and Pirates of the Caribbean among other things, who has created a life-size replica of Mrs. Winchester's tombstone and a fully functional fountain as if those killed by the Winchester Rifle took over Mrs. Winchester's Egret Fountain themselves.

For more information on Jeff and the others in the Fright Nights production team visit,

Fright Nights take place on consecutive weekends and selected weekday nights beginning Friday, September 30 through Halloween, Monday, October 31, 2011. Additional event dates are: September 30; October 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Fright Nights begin at 6:30p.m.; closing hours vary throughout the event.

Ticket sales began June 1, 2011 at with a new "Slasher Savings" option providing discounts of up to $20 for selected dates. To buy tickets to our Fright Nights event visit

Who's Responsible for Raiding the Victorian Gardens?

This poor soul was simply trying to park his car for Fright Nights in the VIP parking lot when he fell victim to the spirits of those killed by the Winchester Rifle. It looks pretty real doesn't it? The Winchester Mystery House has partnered with the best in the business to bring you the ultimate spine-tingling experience this Halloween.

Imagination Design Works Productions is an independent entertainment Production Company formed for the purpose of creating feature length motion pictures, television programming and live entertainment productions. The company is owned and run by Brett Tomberlin and is the creative entity behind this year’s Fright Nights.

The name Sinister Pointe may not seem too familiar to you, but if you are a haunt enthusiast in the Southern Californian area you have probably been to at least one of their haunts. They have been devloping haunted attractions throughout Southern California for over 14 years including Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, Irvine's Realm of Darkness, and the themed "Saw" and "Silent Hill" mazes (Universal Studios Florida transported the "Saw" maze to their park!). Jeff Schiefelbein, quoted above, is the creator and mastermind behind this gruesome company.

While the above two companies hail from Southern California, the "Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze" couldn't have been completed without the help of some local Bay Area companies! For instance, our "VIP Parking Lot" was a true collaboration provided by J.A.Y.S Towing and Transportation, Delta Chargers (they provided a full-size yellow school bus), and Pick n Pull, "We sell parts, we sell cars, we buy cars!"

What are you waiting for, grab your tickets now to experience the all new "Curse of Sarah Winchester Maze" yourself! To buy tickets online go to
Supernatural Winchester Brothers approaching the Winchester Mystery House

Supernatural Fans Get the Chance to Win a Trip to Winchester Mystery House's Fright Nights!

Could it be? Are the Winchester Brothers on their way to the famed Winchester Mystery House? No, not really... but their fans are! If you are in the following ten areas across the country - Boston, Washington DC, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Hartford, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Austin, and Jacksonville - then be sure to tune into your local CW affiliate station for instructions on how you can win a trip for two to San Jose, California, to experience Fright Nights at the Winchester Mystery House!

Did Supernatural creator Eric Kripke really get the idea for the Winchester surname from Mrs. Winchester's famed home? He reveals all in an article on

Interviewer: Why did you pick the name Winchester? Does it have any supernatural significance in relation to the Winchester House?
Eric Kripke: "The Winchester House is, indeed, one of the reasons I chose the name... I was a few days away from production and had to come up with a new name in a hurry. 'Winchester' just popped in my head, in part because of the Western connotations (and I wanted 'Supernatural' to have the vibe of a modern-day Western), and in part because of the Winchester Mystery House."

Rentmaster, Angie and Noelle Talmon. "A 'Supernatural' Spin-Off? Death by Bad Taco? Series Creator Eric Kripke Explains." 14 Feb 2008. <>

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights!!!

It might be a little bit early to start promoting Halloween events, but I think this one is extraordinary and worth booking as soon as possible before tickets sell out. Each October I usually go to every haunted attraction within 50 miles of Silicon Valley, and I can tell you that I have never been more excited about a Halloween event than when I found out about this one.

The Winchester Mystery House is San Jose's top tourist attraction and is regarded as one of the spookiest places in the world. For a while now they have been turning off the lights and doing flashlight tours of the mansion during the weekends in October, but this year they are taking it up a substantial notch. For the first time ever, they are adding a full blown 15min interactive haunted maze called the Curse of Sarah Winchester!

I'm excited not only because I think it is the best location anywhere in the Bay Area for a haunted maze, but also because of the people working on the project. The producer is Brett Tomberlin, who has worked on various movie and TV productions, as well as on multiple Disneyland attractions (and is also producing a feature film based on the Winchester Mystery House). The show director has performed roles at both Disney and Universal Studios. The production designer has 15 years of experience of building well-reviewed haunted attractions. This his is going to be very professionally done with a seasoned team and I can't wait to see the results.

Fore more information and tickets, click here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winchester Mystery House Movie

Could there be a movie in the works starring the Winchester Mystery House? It appears so based on this page:

According the the link above, the movie is a PG13 supernatural thriller shot in San Jose and Los Angeles. I also found a reference to it in the IMDB with 2012 as the release date. I'll be ecstatic if this comes to fruition!

Winchester Mystery House™ to Star in Hollywood Movie

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Zillow Crowns the Winchester Mystery House as the #1 Haunted Home in the US

From "Top 10 Haunted Homes in the U.S.":

(Flickr photo: harshlight)
1. Winchester House (above)
Location: San Jose, CA
Notable ghost: Sarah Winchester
As one of two homes in California sanctioned by the U.S. Commerce Department as being haunted (the other is the Whaley House, below), the magnificent Winchester Housestands alone as perhaps the most bizarre haunted home in the U.S. It was inspired and designed by Sarah Winchester (photo), widow of William Winchester, founder of Winchester rifles. Legend goes that Sarah was deeply affected by the deaths of her daughter, Annie, in 1866 and then her husband, William, in 1881. Sarah consulted a medium who instructed her to build a house to ward off evil spirits. Construction on the Winchester House started in 1884 and continued for 38 years — until Sarah’s death in 1922.
Sarah reportedly held nightly seances to gain guidance from spirits and her dead husband for the home’s design. What resulted was a maze-like residence full of twisting and turning hallways, dead-ends, secret panels, a window built into a floor, staircases leading to nowhere, doors that open to walls, upside-down columns, and rooms built, then intentionally closed off  — all to ward off and confuse evil spirits. Read more about Sarah and the fascinating Winchester House. (Photo of Sarah Winchester:
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