New: Winchester Mystery House by Candlelight

Will the flicker add even more foreboding to the famous manse?

CANDLELIGHT IS CENTRAL... to many celebrations, but Halloween has a lock on the illumination. Look to the jack o'lanterns that sit on our front porches, the ones lit from within by small flames. And look to our party tables, the ones full of freaky finger foods, and how we often make a candelabra the dramatic centerpiece. Candles, as a rule, though, aren't a part of haunted tours, tours that either rely on the lamps and sources of light within the structure or, more spine-tinglingly, flashlights. The Winchester Mystery House has gone the flashlight tour route for a number of years, and the after-dark delight has become a go-to for many a ghoul-loving guest. Those tours are returning, as they do each autumn and every Friday the 13th (regardless of season), but there's a fresh twist at the 132-year-old San Jose landmark: Halloween Candlelight Tours. It's a form of illumination that's much associated with...

THE LATE 19TH CENTURY, just before the widespread usage of electric lights. Thus it fits the rambling, 160-room manse, a home that's often said to be as ghostly as ghostly abodes come (thanks to the stories of Sarah Winchester and her medium-guided construction, construction undertaken to appease possibly restless souls). Rooms "frozen in a state of arrested decay" will be visited during the candlelight tour, a "touches of festive Halloween abound." But fear not if you already have fearsome plans for Halloween night: The tours by candlelight are scheduled for a number of October eves. True, the Winchester Mystery House is kitted-out for electricity, and was long ago, but figure how a wee flame, and its flicker, can change up how you view stairways to nowhere and doors that open to brick walls. Chilling stuff, just as long as that flame doesn't... go... out.

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