Winchester Mystery House

LORELAI: And you just need to give this situation [with Rachel] a fair chance.
LUKE: I know.
LORELAI: And that starts with ceasing work on the Winchester Mystery House here.

The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, California that was built as the home of Sarah Winchester, the wealthy widow of the firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester, the treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Constructed between 1884 and Sarah’s death in 1922, the house is rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by Winchester rifles, with tabloids of the day claiming that Sarah intended the house to be used as a refuge for their restless spirits (although other rumours said that she tried to ward off their spirits by building the house). Her biographer finds no evidence to support either claim.

Built without an architect, the house is very large and has many oddities, such as stairs that lead nowhere, and windows overlooking other rooms of the house. Some of the more bizarre curiosities may have been added after Sarah’s death to make the house seem more eccentric, while others may be due to the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. The Winchester Mystery House is privately owned, and operates as a tourist attraction.

Lorelai connects the lengthy and haphazard building of the Winchester Mystery House to the work that Luke is doing on her home.

Sarah Winchester was originally from New Haven, Connecticut, so this reference links the state that Gilmore Girls is set in with the state that it is filmed in.

Amusingly, Jared Padalecki, who played Dean Forester in Gilmore Girls, later went on to play Sam Winchester in Supernatural, with his surname chosen in honour of the Winchester Mystery House. Sam’s brother is named Dean – their first names are a nod to Sal and Dean from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, previously mentioned.

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