Lizzie Borden House | Fall River Massachusetts

Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, MA, USA | Addresses – 230 2nd Street – MAP

In 1845 a two family home was built in Fall River, Massachusetts.   Remained two family until Andrew Borden bought it. 

Converted into a large single family home.

Lizzie Borden was born here in 1860. 

3 years later her biological mother, Andrew wife, was dead.  3 years after that and Andrew remarried a woman named Abby.

At 37 years old, she wasn’t considered marriage material in those days.  She desired respect and status as she lacked this her entire life.  To marry someone of Andrew’s station was surprising.

Some believe Andrew didn’t love her.  Only seeking a replacement mother for his daughters, and housekeeper. 

 They all lived in that house until one afternoon in August of 1892.

Family strife – –

Lizzie and her sister Emma hated Abby, calling her “Mrs. Borden” and avoiding her company, even refusing to eat meals with her. 

In return, Andrew and Abby turned the home into a stern and loveless place.

Lizzie felt neglected.  She rebelled.  Shoplifting at local stores, forcing her father to “fix things” with the merchants, keeping her out of jail. 

Even after all that, Lizzie remained respectful to her father, but didn’t seem to love him at all.

More strife came from the sister’s suspicion of Abby’s intentions.  They knew she was after the family’s money and status.  Andrew bought her many lavish gifts.  This made the girls jealous.

Andrew & Abby Borden Die

The Borden family were all sick just days before that infamous Thursday in August of 1892.  Confined to the house for days.

Abby Borden - - Found dead on the second floor
Abby Borden – – Found dead on the second floor

And just before 10:30 in the morning, Abby thought she was alone while cleaning an upstairs guest room.  Just making the bed, she heard a creak and turned to see the killer, then the hatchet.

Reports deemed this a crime of passion.  There was anger in each swing against Abby’s head.  Even after falling dead to the floor the killer continued a few more times. 

Meanwhile, outside Andrew returned from a morning walk.  Tried to open the door but his key didn’t turn.  He knocked as a maid walked in from the kitchen.  She noticed the lock was jammed. 

Andrew Borden - - found dead on the couch in the parlour
Andrew Borden – – found dead on the couch in the parlour

Yelled to Andrew but stopped silent.  She heard breathing, then a floorboard creaked from the top of the stairs.  Shadows made it hard to see, but she felt someone was staring down.

Then soft laughter.  Sounded like a girl.  Many believed it was Lizzie fresh off killing her stepmother.

For some reason the maid said nothing, just turned and removed the jam as Andrew popped open the door.  Then going about her daily duties.

I would have been creep-ed out by this, maybe told the girl to stop trying to scare me. Maybe the maid was just used to it… strange behavior from prominent families.  

She’d go about her duties, up the back stairs, cleaning the 3rd floor when Lizzie yelled to her up the stairs to her,

“Father’s dead…” “Someone came in and killed him”

The police found Andrew lying on the couch with his legs resting on the floor. 

Final report said the killer swung a “hatchet like weapon” 11 times against his face and head.  That he was sleeping as shown by one closed eyelid that was split in two.

Tried but not Convicted

Lizzie Borden was the only suspect.  The trial was long.  Every detail examined and discussed.

The maid testified.  She didn’t see either murder, but confirmed Lizzie was there and mentioned the young girl’s laughter from the stairs.  Confirmed this was after Abby’s murder, and in eye-shot of her bloody corpse.  Considered creepy, but not evidence.

Lizzie’s words were read to the jury, what she told the police at the house…

“I was in the barn when father was murdered <pause>  Someone must have come in from the street, murdered him and ran out”

Fact told!  Lizzie was wearing a different dress when the police arrived (maybe gleamed from the maid).  The police asked her for the dress. 

She said… “I burned it”.  Why?   “I spilled paint on it”.

In the basement the police found a shined and clean hatchet head missing its handle.  Prosecution argued Lizzie removed the handle because of the blood seeped into the wood. 

Lizzie Borden, Clean hatchet head found in basement - - trial evidence
Clean hatchet head found in basement – – trial evidence

Oddly, the jury thought it was far-fetched.  Giving just a clue to what would happen with the verdict even if the next thing didn’t occur.

Desperate, the prosecution tried to expose Lizzie’s narcissistic lack of emotion.  Saying she didn’t care about her dead parents, at all.

They put two mysterious large cases in front of the jury with Lizzie looking on.  Opening them quickly for shock value, revealing the actual bashed-in skulls of Andrew and Abby Borden.

Lizzie Borden, Bashed in skull of Andrew - - used to show uncaring Lizzie... failed
Bashed in skull of Andrew – – used to show uncaring Lizzie… failed

They thought Lizzie would be cold and unemotional to the shocking sight.  Proving her murderous intent to the jury, but they were wrong. 

Lizzie swooned and fainted for all to see.  That was it.  The jury came back “not guilty”.  Lizzie Borden was free.

Deemed innocent by the court, but not the people.

She became an infamous legend, as shown in the famous rhyme…

Find creepy version to play in video

Lizzie Borden took an axe 
And gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father 41

The rhyme may have been created by a local reporter.  Flows nicely, but is inaccurate.  Lizzie whacked Abby 19 times and Andrew 11.

Residents of Fall River were upset the sisters inherited the Borden house.  Lived in it for years before Emma moved out in 1905. 

No one knew why, but rumor said she found out Lizzie did kill their father and stepmother.

Then in 1927 Lizzie Borden died of pneumonia.  She’s buried with her family in Oak Grove Cemetery, right beside Andrew and Abby.

Marker says "Lizbeth" - - grave of Lizzie Borden with family in Fall River, MA
Marker says “Lizbeth” – – grave of Lizzie Borden with family in Fall River, MA

A Night’s Stay

You can stay in the Lizzie Borden House. Sleep in the room where Abby was murdered.  Have tea where they found Andrew Borden.

The Lizzie Borden House - - Current Day
The Lizzie Borden House – – Current Day

Dark tourism at its best!

Some come for the history, but many more for the ghosts. 

Such as… an older woman seen wandering the house.  Believed to be Abby going about her chores, just before entering the guest room and meeting up with Lizzie. 

She’s seen a lot in the second-floor hallway, and inside the guest room where she was murdered

Visitors in that room do feel sheets tighten around them.  Hearing a brushing as if hands run across the bed covers, and a slight pressure against their chest and legs thought to be her straightening the fabric.

As if she’s calmly making the bed that Thursday morning, just before the hatchet swung.

The ghost of Lizzie – –

 But what about Lizzie? 

Guests in the room beside hers will wake late at night.  It’s subtle but undeniable, a woman softly crying on the other side of that wall.  Many times, reported to the caretakers, the same sound at around the same time of night. 

And imagine being one of the caretakers, always in the house, accepted by its ghosts.  

The wife fell asleep in the main parlor one evening after a long day of cleaning.  Woke up at 3am and looked around the dimly lit space, through the door she could see the grand staircase… and movement. 

Pressed against the wall was an odd shadow stretched all the way up the stairs.  Didn’t match the other shadows cast from the parlor’s lamp. 

It was moving, swaying at first, then rolling up, like somebody walking upstairs.  Disappearing at the top. 

The wife believed this to be Lizzie.  Strong residual ghostly energy, what remains from a tragedy long after, as the young murderess slowly climbed the stairs to meet up with her stepmother one final time.

My Own Personal Experience staying at the house (DANIEL)

Wanted to end this with a personal experience staying at the house.  Years and years ago I took a trip to Boston. 

As a former paranormal investigator, wanted the experience of staying overnight in the infamous Lizzie Borden House.

They set up the night perfectly, luring you with vintage charm and snacks.  Then scheduling a dusk, into nighttime tour of the house. 

Staring with some general history and family lore, before wandering to different sights.

You get your visual bearings, knowing where Abby was killed, and Andrew.  A tour from top to bottom, sprinkling personal ghostly experiences from guests.

It’s a misconception that there’s a wait list months long.  As long as you stayed in a lesser haunted room. 

We couldn’t get the murder room or Lizzie’s bedroom, settling for a space in the back of the house.  Not historically a bedroom but sharing a wall with Lizzie’s.   

My ex and I talked about some little-known experiences before going to sleep.  How some guests have heard the crying, but also a light knocking on the shared wall. 

Ya, not the popular way to settle before sleep.  But as many investigators would agree, it’s the best in a haunted place.

I had a vision that night.  I say vision instead of dream for a reason.  Have had many dreams, most of which I’ve forgotten right after waking.  Visions are vivid, easy for me to remember and stick in my mind, never fading or going away.

What I saw from the bed was a vision.  Feeling very real as I watched light spill in from around the corner of the L-shaped room.

I couldn’t see it, but heard the door open, somebody walk in.  Footsteps approaching the blind corner, I couldn’t see the person, but it felt threatening.

I woke to a dark and empty room. 

And even after this experience, I’d still recommend a visit.   And hope you have as vivid occurrence as well.   No, I don’t hate you.

And not to sound dark, but you need to feel what it’s like to be in a heavy place.  Know the feeling and being able to recognize it. 

An important knowledge in the skills of any paranormal investigator, and for everyone else.  To recognize when something dark exists, or has entered your life and home just by reading the energy. 

You don’t need to be a practiced psychic to feel it, just a benchmark or point of reference.

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