Bill slapped a hammer into the palm of his hand a few times and looked down the stairs where his foreman was going over a stack of papers with an old woman. It was his first day on the job and he didn’t want to make any trouble, but he couldn’t help himself.
“You want me to do... what?”
The foreman glanced up from his plans and said in an irritated voice, “I want you to hang that closet door.” He shook his head and turned to the old woman, “I’m sorry ma’am. He’s new here.”
Bill turned around and whistled quietly through his teeth. He was standing at the top of a staircase that led precisely to nowhere. The steps rose sharply from the sixth floor of the mansion and ended at the ceiling where an ornate wooden frame had already been mounted. He shrugged his shoulders and set himself to the task, thinking he’d be at the employment agency by the end of the afternoon.
An hour later, Bill was sliding himself from under the newly-installed door on the ceiling when he heard footsteps on the stairs. It was the foreman.
Uh-oh, here it comes, Bill thought to himself.
The foreman looked up at the work and then, wide-eyed, back at Bill.
“Fine job,” he said. “Now I’ve got a chimney for you to install in the basement...”
For thirty-eight years, twenty-two carpenters worked twenty-four hours a day constructing this impossible home in San Jose, California; a home destined to be built until the death of its owner, Sarah Winchester, on September 5th, 1922.
Sarah had been compelled to build continuously by the restless and angry ghosts of those who died at the hands of her husband’s invention, the gun that won the west, the Winchester Repeating Rifle.