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Winchester Mystery House loses trademark suit, wins for spookiness


Photo by e53/Zach Petersen via Flickr Creative Commons

The Winchester Mystery House — an eight room farm house turned 160-room tribute to architectural deconstruction and madness — was at the center of a trademark lawsuit regarding a straight-to-DVD horror flick based on the former owner's life.

This week, the famed San Jose mega-Victorian lost its lawsuit against a Los Angeles film company for the 2009 film "Haunting of Winchester House. The 6th District Court of Appeal ruled that the movie did not violate the popular attraction's trademark and had a First Amendment right to use Sarah Winchester's name and story.

Sarah Winchester moved from New England and purchased the unfinished home in 1884 where she began 24 hours a day/7 days a week construction until her death 38 years later. 

The eccentric building beliefs and nightly séances held by the widow Winchester — heir to the Winchester rifle fortune — stemmed from grief and depression over the deaths of her infant daughter and husband, according to legend.