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The World's Longest Construction Job

Updated on December 31, 2016

House construction time can vary greatly depending on the climate and season. Typically the completion time for an average single family house is somewhere around 7 months. Houses that are built on an owner's land can take little bit longer. If a contractor builds the house on the owners land it might be completed in about eight months. If an owners decide to build the house themselves on their land it may take up to 11 months or longer to finish the job. However the story that I'm about to tell you is anything, but average.

This is one of those stories that has been going on now for over three separate centuries. Starting back in the year 1884 and lasting for almost 38 straight years, construction never stopped once on this massive house in Northern California. What began as a simple eight room farm house turned into a colossal structure with 160 rooms. This Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion includes forty bedrooms, two ballrooms, forty seven fireplaces, 10,000 windows, seventeen chimneys, two basements, three elevators, but only one single functioning bathroom.

This is the famous Winchester house which is still located today in beautiful San Jose, California. In the Guinness book of world records this house holds the record for the "Longest continuous house construction". The construction on this house only stopped because of Sarah Winchesters death in 1922.

Sarah Winchester was the wife of the great rifle manufacturer William W. Winchester. It was said that a medium told Sarah that she needed build a house and keep building it, so to confuse and keep the ghost calm that were killed by Winchester rifles away from her. So that's exactly what Sarah did, and she never stopped as long as she was alive. The house is full of oddities to trick ghost and keep them on the move. There are windows on the floor, doors that open into walls, stairs that lead absolutely no where, and the number 13 is used consistently throughout the construction of the house.

Even though the Winchester house is very famous for it's massive size, it really didn't have a formal building plan of any kind. However because of it's floating foundation it was saved from two separate earth quakes in 1906 & 1989. There was some damage, but not total destruction as there was in other buildings in the area.

Now the entire purpose for all of this construction was to keep angry spirits away from Sarah, but that's exactly what it didn't do. Today the house is a popular tourist attraction, and there have been numerous reports of ghostly contact. From the smell of hot chicken soup in the hallways, foot steps from unknown sources, to different types of construction sounds of hammering and screws falling onto the floor. Ghostly images of spirits from another time have shown up when photographs are taken on the inside of the Winchester house. It's also been reported that Sarah Winchester herself is still roaming around.

It's really shame that if all of the work that Sarah Winchester went through to avoid ghosts actually kept her from crossing on over to the other side. That's really something to think about with Halloween always just around the next corner.

This is the actual famous Winchester house, which is still around today.
This is the actual famous Winchester house, which is still around today.

Would like like to have the job just to clean and dust this house?

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      Alessandra Bee 11 months ago

      I love the Winchester Mystery House. My father is from San Jose, and so I've visited the house twice now. I don't remember the tidbit about one functioning bathroom, but that doesn't surprise me! Another cool fact is that all the support beams you see in the house - don't actually support anything. They are all made to end 1" or so below the ceiling.. if you look closely you can see!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 17 months ago from Kuwait

      Nice hub! ☺

    • Maggalynn Grace profile image

      Maggalynn Grace 2 years ago from Michigan

      Interesting... Great hub!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I'm familiar with the Winchester home. A fascinating story.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was interesting from start to finish. Only one bathroom, eh?

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Wow, that really is a giant of a house. I used to work as a secretary for a construction company and we built some really big houses, but none of them would compare that that house. Interesting hub.

      Blessings to you.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I used to live near there. It's a shame I never visited it.

      Check this out - my brother's wife commissioned a colossal mansion to be built. It took 4 years to complete. Her mother lived it 4 years, then brother for awhile. Now it sits EMPTY! LOL!