Recently reborn horror studio Hammer Films has developed a taste for haunted houses: after last February’s “The Woman in Black,” they have optioned the rights for a film on the Winchester Mystery House, located in San Jose, California. Imagination Design Works and Nine/8 Entertainment are planning to produce a movie based on the “legendary story” of the property.
The “world’s most haunted house” was built between 1884 and 1922 by Sarah Winchester, the widow heiress of Winchester rifles. She had been convinced by a medium that she had to build a house, and that as long as she kept on building she would not die. For 38 years, construction went on night and day without any building plan. And no expense was spared as among the many features are stained glass windows specifically designed by Tiffany. But of course, there are two certain things in life — death and taxes — and once the former came for Sarah Winchester work immediately stopped. But, the seven-story Victorian house is said to be still inhabited by the ghosts of people that were killed by Winchester rifles. It is currently a tourist attraction, complete with “fright nights” and $35 tours.
“The Winchester Mystery House” has already inspired a film in 2009, which was based loosely on the real happenings. Unlike the upcoming Hammer production, the filmmakers of “Haunting Of Winchester House” did not have the rights to the story and were sued for unlawful use of the house’s name and story.
Development for the new adaptation is still in early stages, but president of Imagination Design Works Brett Tomberlin said that “Sarah’s spirit will be brought back to life” by working on the house’s premises. It is yet to be confirmed if that is a positive.