An illustration of a disassembled Winchester rifle, surrounded by bullets.

The Widow and the Winchester

Episode #107

2019-02-01 13:48:28


When Sarah Winchester’s husband died, she inherited millions from the family business: the manufacture of the famous Winchester Rifle. A medium reportedly told Sarah that she would be haunted by the victims of that rifle unless she used her fortune to build a house, and never stop building. That’s exactly what she did.

Pamela Haag’s book is The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture.

A sprawling mansion with several different architectural styles.

The Winchester House before damage from the 1906 earthquake.


A horse and carriage bearing Sarah Winchester, outside of a house.

A rare photograph of Sarah Winchester (in the carriage)


An advertisement for Winchester guns: used by the most successful hunters the world over.

An 1898 advertisement for the Winchester rifle.