Shoot The Creepy Baby & 2 More Weird Things to Do in San Jose
I love California.Whenever I’m away, I miss driving the highways with the sun in my eyes, the sight of Palm Trees and me kicking my favorite jams. I was there for a week with my tour, so I decided to find a few weird things to do while there. I decided to go to Monopoly in the Park, the Winchester Mystery House and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.
The Game of Overly-Competitive
There's a GIANT Monopoly board, called Monopoly In the Park, located in Guadalupe Park. It’s not a functioning board, in that there are no player pieces. But they did have some cool large statues like “the frog” that were obviously meant to represent them. The board is about the size of one-half of a tennis court. There was no one there (surprisingly) so I broke out my camera and got to work.
There is something about Monopoly that made me go. Maybe It’s the fact that my Dad and cousins were so competitive that when I was a kid that they’d set up 2 boards and play. They had NO PITY for me and happily took my money with an evil laugh to follow. There was a nostalgia there that I needed to capture.
I recommend that you take a short trip on a sunny day and go take some pictures. The park sits perfectly in the sun and with the creek nearby, the trees and the walking trail it’s a relaxing place. In addition to the Monopoly board, Guadalupe Park is a nice place to sit down at one of the colorful chessboard tables and have lunch. Or listen to the meditative crackle of the creek just a few feet away. Or you could go for a run if you’re one of THOSE people. With lots of trees, pretty green grass, a creek covered by a decorated bridge, it’s Instagram worthy. So take your camera.
The Un-Photographable Mystery Mansion
The Winchester Mystery House is #1 on all of the “Weird Things to Do in San Jose” lists. It’s an old Victorian mansion, turned into a museum. It’s also allegedly haunted. The pictures from all of the articles that I saw made me and my camera start salivating. What wonderful pictures could I take here? Anyone taking photos here will be an Instagram success! Maybe I’ll photograph a ghost!
When I arrived I was Immediately struck by how awesome the architecture of the mansion was. From the parking lot, I could see the decorative trim, large bay windows, and the tinted glass. “This is gonna kick ass”. Camera at the ready, I walked inside. At the ticket counter you have 3 options:
You can just walk the grounds, which is totally free.
You can go on the “Mansion Tour”, which allows you to walk through 110 of the 160 rooms. You’ll be provided a tour guide that will tell you the creepy story of the house. Prices range from $26-$36 and the tour last about an hour.
You can buy the “Grand Estate Tour”, which gives you full access to all of the rooms and a more behind-the-scenes look at the stables and the unfinished ballroom. Prices range from $34-$44 and the tour is 2.5 hours.
I opted for the Mansion Tour, but when I went to pay, I asked about taking photos in the mansion. He said photos are only allowed on the grounds and are forbidden inside the mansion. Are you kidding me? With my bubble deflated, I opted to just walk the grounds, for free.
(*Note. Not being able to take photos is not the norm and was only because a film about the mansion was being shot there and the film company had the rights to all images)
Taking the Low Ground(s)
I have to say, while somewhat interesting, I wasn’t super impressed with just walking the grounds. There were strangely-shaped bushes and I did get some good views of all of the decorative trimmings and columns that were visible from the outside. There were also statues that creeped me out. Especially the fountain with the serpent, wrapped around another serpent that seemed to be drinking its own backwash.
Overall, I was able to get some good shots, of half-dead trees, overgrown vines, and more statues. It’s not all morbid, though. There is a small section where roses grow.
Shoot it! Shoot the Creepy Baby!!
I noticed this booth on the way out that was set up like an old school piano parlor. A “haunted” one. Complete with Ouija board, player piano, and a creepy baby doll that I think was trying to steal my soul. It was actually a shooting range with fake rifles. For $5, you could shoot for 1 min. The music alone was giving me the willies and I was ready to mess some sh%t up! And WHY is this baby STILL staring at me?
I put in my $5 and madness begun. Music started playing and the goal was to aim for the small bulls-eyes that would trigger things like the trap-doors opening, water spraying at you, and skeletons movings. The problem was, having no experience with guns, for the first 20 seconds, I shoot the gun, from the holster. After I realized to take the gun out, it was on. I shot at everything. But my focus was on that damn baby!
The minute was over and all was right with the world. It was fun and I recommend you check out the Winchester House, even if it's just to take a few mins and play shoot-em-up in the weird, haunted piano parlor. Get the baby for me, will ya?
Mummies and Statues and Hieroglyphics, Oh My!
By far the attraction that won my heart was the Rosicrucian Museum, which is dedicated to ancient Egypt and its burial processes, including mummification. After stepping through the front doors, you are immediately drawn to the statues of Egyptian kings, and the golden Sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen to your right. For the price of $9, its well worth it for the amount of history that you get to view. It’s not a huge museum and can be walked in about an hour. Or maybe more if you read about all of the artifacts. There are simply too many things to cover but I want to share some MUST SEE highlights:
The Boat Models
A miniature of the Tower of Babel
Giant Hieroglyphic Wall
The Bust of Nefertiti (a replica)
Akhenaten Prayer Relief Frag
There are much more things to see. I got a true history lesson, in addition to some unforgettable photos and videos. If you are at all into archeology, this is a MUST-SEE!
San Jose fulfilled my need for sun, weirdness, good photos and history. The Monopoly board gave me a hint of nostalgia and some great photos. The Winchester Mystery House, although I could not go inside, was the most fun I’d had in awhile getting to play “shoot the creepy baby”. Once, I figured out to take the gun out of the holster, of course.
The Rosicrucian Museum was truly one of the most amazing museums I’ve ever been to. Seeing the mummies and ancient artifacts up close really feed my inner nerd. After leaving, I was truly inspired to learn more about Egpyt.
Have You been to San Jose? What are some of your favorite locations?