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Winchester Mystery House Story Coming To Big Screen, Starring Helen Mirren

KCBS_740 SAN JOSE (KCBS) -- Sarah Winchester, a Bay Area legend, may soon be portrayed on the big screen by a living movie legend.

Dame Helen Mirren, who won an Academy Award for her work in "The Queen" in 2007, is apparently close to inking a deal to play Winchester of Winchester Mystery House fame.

House spokesman Tim O'Day told KCBS that legend has it that Winchester was told by a medium that her family was being haunted by the people killed by the rifles that bore her family name. She was also told that in order to keep herself out of danger, she needed to keep adding rooms to her Queen Anne property in San Jose.

"A medium in Boston said, 'you need to atone for the lives lost to your husband's rifles. And so, she moved west, and purchased a very small farm house in San Jose, and as the psychic said, you must continue to build onto the home to appease the spirits. And so, that's what she did," O'Day said.

Winchester died in 1922, at which point the house had 160 rooms, a number of doors that go nowhere, bookcases that open into brick walls, and a stairway that goes from the floor to a ceiling.

O'Day said Winchester was actually a remarkable woman in her day, and to have Dame Helen Mirren playing her is just an amazing turn of events.

Filming for the movie could begin in a few months, and will include several days on sight, at the house - something that O'Day has said has never been done before.

"We're thrilled; and my goodness, Helen Mirren. It doesn't get any better than that," O'Day said.

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