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Lizzie Borden House


“The house is full of residual energy … ”

While visiting the US, a stop at the infamous Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts, was an absolute must!

I’ve wanted to go and explore the house ever since I watched an old true crime doco on the still unsolved case, and heard the gruesome schoolyard rhyme (most likely on an 80s US TV show) …

Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks,
And when she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one

Ahh, but did she? Or did she have help? Or was she innocent, and became caught up the hysteria of the brutal murders which claimed the lives of her father, and stepmother?

It all unfolded on the morning of August 4, 1892. Between 9am and 11:10am, Abby and Andrew Borden were the victims of violent axe murders that are thought to have been perpetrated by Andrew’s 32-year-old daughter, Lizzie. Her stepmother, Abby, was hit 18 times, and Andrew was hit 11.

How it unfolded … allegedly

According to numerous news reports of the time, it all unfolded like this … on the morning of August 4, 1892, Andrew Borden went out on business, leaving his wife, Abby,  an Irish maid named Bridget Sullivan and Lizzie at home. Lizzie’s sister Emma was away visiting. Lizzie and Emma’s uncle John Morse had also stayed the night prior to the murders, and was known to have had issues with Andrew.

On Andrew’s return from town (he wasn’t feeling well as the entire family has eaten spoiled mutton for breakfast), he went to the downstairs couch for a nap and, according to her testimony, Lizzie discovered her father dead around 11.15am, repeatedly struck in the head with a sharp instrument.

Upstairs Abby’s body was found, even more brutally mutilated with suggestions that she was murdered about an hour before her husband.
Apparently Lizzie had tried to purchase a type of poison on August 3, and a few days later she allegedly burned a dress in a stove.
Sullivan, who was also a suspect at different times (there’s speculation the pair had been in a relationship of sorts), had reportedly left the house carrying an unexamined parcel.

No weapon was found, though a hatchet found in the basement was suspected to be the murder weapon. Lizzie was arrested and tried for both murders in June 1893 but was acquitted, given the circumstantial evidence.

Not surprisingly, she was ostracised by the people of Fall River despite her many philanthropic efforts, and refusing to be run out of town, she continued  to live in Fall River in a nearby mansion called Maplecroft until her death in 1927.

Our investigation

Despite the accusations, Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the crimes but  her innocence remains in question: Did Lizzie Borden brutally murder her father and stepmother?
Following in the footsteps of many a paranormal investigator before me, I decided to conduct a series of investigations at the unassuming weatherboard house, located in a fairly quiet street in the sweet city of Fall River.

But I wasn’t just going to do a ghost tour … noooo, I was going to stay in the very room where Abby was brutally slain, and sleep in the bed riiiiiiiight next to where her bloodied and lifeless body was found.

I could have chosen any room in the house, but I chose to spend the night in the John V Morse room. This room is on the second floor, and the place where Lizzie and her sister Emma’s uncle had slept in the night before. Abby Borden was making up the bedroom after John Morse’s unexpected overnight stay when she was brutally murdered.

We set up all our equipment and then ventured outside to take some night-time snaps of the exterior of the house before starting our investigation.
We had a rem pod, spirit box (SB7), K2, cat balls, EVP recorder and phone apps from Amy’s Crypt – Ghost Tube, SLS and Vox.

The rem pod was set up on the chair in the room, right next to where Abby was found, and the K2 in front of her photo on the dresser.
We were mindful to be very respectful, not asking directly about the murders, but asking if Abby was there, and needed any help, and the same for Lizzie, and Andrew. The rem pod went crazy a few times, and the K2 meter went off at almost the exact same time.

While we got a few random words through the Ghost Tube app such as blacksmith, shovel, Amanda, like, we got some others in direct response to questions such as fine, sure and how are you?
All in all, it was a relatively quiet night but we did feel there was residual energy in the house, and it did directly interact with us on a few occasions.

If you do choose to stay the night, the house does run ghost ‘hunts’ for those who are interested, and if you want the full, immersive experience, you can stay in one of the rooms. All are super comfortable and are set up as they would have been when the Bordens lived here.

There’s some artefacts displayed around the house that belonged to the Bordens, including some of Lizzie’s books which she signed when she’d read them, some dishes, plates and other things that were found on the site.

Don’t forget your souvenirs!

You can buy a variety of Lizzie Borden Museum merch from the adjoining shop … and why wouldn’t you? There’s bloody axes, t-shirts, bobble heads, vials of brick dust from the basement (it’s where the alleged murder weapon, the hatchet was found), loads of books and other trinkets such as bookmarks, charms, cards, caps, earrings, coins and even a Lizzie Borden board game!
Even though I did wonder what Lizzie would make of all these, I MAY have bought a few things, you know, just as mementos.

Visitors to the region can visit the Borden family plot, and Lizzie’s long-term home called Maplecroft in Fall River, and stay at the Lizzie Borden House all year ’round. Room rates vary, but expect to pay around $AU480+ for the night.

You also have to take into account that the house is a major tourist attraction, so your arrival and departure times must work around daytime tour timings.

There’s day time tours which give you pretty good access to the house’s many rooms including the basement where the alleged murder weapon was found, as well as night-time ghost hunts but as there’s usually guests staying the night, these tours are limited to the first floor and basement.

You can also have breakfast for an additional $US20 per person which is a nice touch as it includes a mix of what the Bordens had that morning (hopefully without the spoiled part!), with a more modern … and palatable twist.

To read more about the House, or to book, visit the Lizzie Borden House website, here:


Andrea is the founder of Hallozween and a paranormal enthusiast who has visited locations all over the world.


Andrea is the founder of Hallozween and a paranormal enthusiast who has visited locations all over the world.

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