Winchester is a recently released supernatural horror movie based on the infamous Winchester Mystery Mansion. This mansion has been a site that has fascinated me for years. I even based my major creative work for my degree on it, along with the genre of Gothic Horror. So, obviously, I’ve been awaiting the release of this movie since last year!
The movie itself exceeded my expectations. Unlike many horror movies, the plot was actually firm and made sense from start to finish. The characters were fleshed out and faced realistic inner demons. And, best of all, there weren’t any silly cringy moments that made me roll my eyes. It’s a film worth a visit!
But that’s not exactly why I’m writing this! If you remember from a million years ago, I wrote an aesthetics post on the film Crimson Peak – another modern-day gothic horror film. And I could not avoid writing another on the amazing house and aesthetic that is Winchester.
So, what is it exactly that I want to steal straight off the screen?
A big part of the plot is based on mediums and seances, which is encapsulated in the film with lots and lots of candles. Especially in one of the most enchanting scenes (pictured first above) wherein Sara Winchester is communicating with the dead the room is dark with so many lit candles surrounding her.
A candelabra and candle stick holders have been something I’ve wanted for a long time! I just can’t find the right antique pieces. But I can only keep looking!
THE GARDEN ROOM
As for favourite scene, mine is the amazing exchange in the garden room with the ghost of the main character’s dead wife. The garden room itself is hauntingly beautiful. A dark shadow of the version we see at the beginning of the film in the main characters own home.
Although I’m almost incapable of looking after plants, I can find inspiration in the lots of colour imbued light coming in through the windows – like stained glass! Also, from the many plants that are seemingly dead and only branches and sticks. What is a Goth home without some dead trees anyway? Not to mention the huge array of fake plants that you can find in almost any craft store. Vines are my favourite!
A new-to-me obsession I’ve picked up lately has been collecting weird and wonderful books from Morbid Curiosities to collections of Post Mortem photography. Piles of beautifully bound books and a lot of hard wood is also easily added to any room to build a library sort of vibe. It would also go perfectly with heaps of candles and fake vines flowing all about!
While Victorian mansions such as the Winchester Mystery House were built with pure opulence in mind, when recreating the same aesthetic you really need to be purposeful in what and where you place your decor. Maximalism can easily become over crowded. We want opulence not hoarding status, right?