The Curse of the Winchester Rifle

In “Love, Daisies and Troubadors”, Luke breaks into Lorelai’s house and begins to fix things around her home, including her cheap locks. Like Sarah Winchester, Luke turns to home renovations to avoid his emotions. Lorelai encourages Luke to resolve his issues with his girlfriend Rachel which “starts with ceasing work on the Winchester Mystery House here.”

Sarah Winchester married William Wirt Winchester in 1862, the heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In 1866 the couple had a daughter, Annie, but unfortunately, she died 40 days later due to Marasmus.

Sarah Winchester, cursed by spirits and doomed to continue construction on her 160 acre property

The death of her daughter was not the only tragedy in Sarah’s life, in 1861, the year after he inherited his family fortune, William died of Tuberculosis. Following William’s passing Sarah inherited $20 million dollars (in 1880 dollars), 50% of Winchester stock, and approximately $1,000 in royalties each day.

Like many people during this time, Sarah believed in Spirituralism which involves séances and the appeasement of spirits. Sarah visited a psychic who told her that she was haunted by the spirits of those who were killed by the Winchester rifles that her husband’s family produced. To ward off these spirits, Sarah was told to build a house where construction never stopped.

Sarah purchased 160 acres of farmland in San Jose, California. Following orders of the psychic, Sarah’s new house was under construction 24/7, as she feared if it ceased for even a moment, she would die. Sarah’s devout belief in Spiritualism was heavily represented in the construction of the house, the number 13 is represented in custom made chandeliers, stain glass windows and the like.

Despite her efforts, her death came two decades later on Sept. 5, 1922. After her death, the house was turned into a popular tourist destination as there are many architectural oddities; such as the infamous door leading to no where.

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  1. ok, I am completely in love with this blog. I love that you are explaining all of the Gilmore Girls pop references that I never understood and I am developing a new appreciation for the depth of the show. Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Thanks girl that means a lot! It’s crazy how a quick side remark that into almost forgettable actually relates directly to situation.

  2. Lol, I’m in the same boat as Steph! All the references in the show were completely over my head! It’s so awesome that the showrunners incorporated so much research into the show. Makes me want to watch an episode right now 😉 Looking forward to your next post!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! There are so many references I haven’t even mentioned that don’t ruin the show if you aren’t informed, but definitely, add another later that makes me appreciate it even more. i.e. The Little Match Girl reference in the Pilot episode.

  3. Hi Hilary,

    I loved reading your blog. I have yet to delve into the Gilmore world, but your blog has given me much reason to start watching, like tomorrow. Great post, keep up the great work.

  4. You have always told me to start watching Gilmore Girls, and I think you have finally convinced me. This is a great read, thanks for sharing!

  5. I can’t say I’ve had experience watching Gilmore Girls but after your posts delve deep into the meaning of the show, it makes me want to invest the time to give it a chance. Thanks Hilary!

    1. Please do, I feel the name of the show makes it seem like it’s only for women. However as the Gilmore Guys podcast has shown its definitely a show that can appeal to the masses.

    1. There’s alot of shows that seem to just throw out cultural references in order to appeal to others, but I like that Gilmore Girls looks for references that fit the scenario. Although they do sometimes go overboard. Thanks for the comment.

    1. I had never heard about it, it’s so interesting and there’s a lot I haven’t mentioned. You should go and let me know what it’s like.

  6. Very interesting read. I am surprised at the history behind scenes of the Gilmore girls. Now I am going to be curious when watching on Netflix. Love it Hillary

  7. Spoooooky! I do love me a television show with some good history behind it. However being the stick in the mud person I am, I’ll be sticking to Survivor.

    I look up all the “isms” during the episodes when I’m watching because theyre so quick and witty.

    So happy to have a place to refer to. Keep it up please!

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