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Lizzie Borden House | Dark History & Ghost Stories

The infamous Murderess of Fall River, Massachusetts creates dark tourism.  The family home now turned into the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast.  Allowing regular folks, like me, to stay overnight in the house where Lizzie (allegedly) murdered her parents.  Dark history and ghost stories around Abby and Lizzie.

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Murders | Judgement | Ghosts

In this article expect murder, disturbing pics and mystery! Reader discretion is advised…

Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts, United States of America 

by Ghost Guide Daniel – – In 1845 a two-family home was built in Fall River, Massachusetts.   Remained two-family until Andrew Borden bought it in the mid-1800’s.  Converting it into a large single-family home for his family.

It’s inside this house, Lizzie Borden was born, in 1860.  Only three years later her biological mom, Sarah, was dead.  And three years after that, her father remarried a woman named Abby.

At 37 years old, in those days Abby wasn’t considered marriage material.  To marry someone of Andrew’s station in Fall River was very surprising.  She wanted respect and status, something Abby lacked her entire life. 

Some say Andrew didn’t love her.  Was only seeking a replacement mother for his daughters Lizzie and Emma.  And also, a housekeeper.

They all lived in the 230 Second Street house.  Until one horrific afternoon in August of 1892.

Borden Family Strife

But why such violence?  Well, maybe because Lizzie and Emma hated Abby.  Sarcastically calling her “Mrs. Borden”.  Avoiding her company, far as refusing to sit down to family meals.

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Abby Borden
Abby Borden

As emotional revenge, Andrew and Abby turned the house into a stern and loveless place.  It caused Lizzie to feel neglected.  So, she rebelled. 

It’s said she stole from local stores.  Starting as rumor and reported as fact.  However, according to the Fall River Herald News, this may not be true after all. 

The story may have started from rumors in 1897, after her trial.  People talking about the murderous Lizzie Borden, and any signs of her psychopathy. 

As they reported in 2022,

“The incident was splashed across the front pages of many local news sources.  Hungry for sensational Lizzie headlines.  But the papers quickly dropped the story, maybe proving the whole thing was a mistake. Still, the bad press fueled speculation from gossipmongers who claimed that Lizzie had always been a known thief.”


Still, she wasn’t considered a perfect daughter. But even with hatred for Abby, Lizzie remained respectful to her father as a disciplinarian.  But is said to have felt little love for the man.

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Andrew Borden
Andrew Borden

Anger deepened with the sister’s suspicion of Abby’s monetary intentions.  They “knew” she was after the Andrew’s money and status.  Their father fell into the spell, buying her many lavish gifts. 

This made Lizzie and Emma jealous.

Andrew & Abby Borden Die

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

It’s nearing 10:30 am, Abby thought she was alone.  Cleaning in an upstairs guest room.  Making the bed and she heard a creak.  Turned to see the killer holding something in the air.  Light caught the corner of a small hatchet.

Later, reports deemed this a crime of passion.  Saying there was anger in each swing bashing Abby’s head into pulp.  And even after falling stone dead to the floor, the killer continued swinging.

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Abby Borden's dead body.
Abby Borden’s dead body

Meanwhile, Andrew, outside the house, came up the front steps returning from a morning walk.  He tried opening the door, but his key didn’t turn.  Knocking and yelling as the family’s maid walked over from the kitchen.  The lock didn’t turn from the inside either.  It was jammed.

She yelled through the door to Andrew.  Then stopped silent.  Someone was breathing.  Looking up the stairs, the maid heard creaking from the floorboards at the top. 

Shadows made it hard to see, but she felt someone was there, looking down at her. 

Chilling Encounter with Lizzie Borden

Then a noise.  So many moments from this day gives me chills.  But none more than this one. 

It sounded like a woman laughing softly.  Believed to be Lizzie, just after brutally murdering her stepmother. Standing up there covered in her blood, holding the hatchet down at her side.  

The maid said nothing.  Turning back to the door, and with new vigor, twisting the lock with a pop.  Andrew pushed open the door, thanked the maid and walked into the house.  Planned to go about his daily duties, completely unaware of his dead wife and murderous daughter upstairs.

I put myself in the maid’s shoes.  Wondering why she didn’t say anything to the woman at the top of the stairs or Andrew.  Nothing!

Like screaming, “Stop trying to scare me”.  Still, maybe the maid was used to the strange behaviors of rich families. 

Instead, she continued cleaning.  Heading up the back stairs and cleaning the 3rd floor.  Time passes when she hears Lizzie yelling from the 1st floor.  “Father’s dead!” … “Someone came in and killed him.”

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Andrew Borden's dead body
Andrew Borden’s dead body

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.” 

They knew he was sleeping because one closed eyelid was split in two.

Tried by Jury for Murder

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

The maid testified.  Saying she didn’t witness either murder.  Did confirm Lizzie was inside the house and mentioned the laughter from the top of the stairs. 

Timing confirms that the occurrence happened after Abby was murdered.  Everyone thought it was creepy, but not evidence against Lizzie.

Then the police report was read to the jury.  From Lizzie’s testimony given inside the house with her parents lying dead nearby. 

She told police,

“I was in the barn when father was murdered.  Someone must have come in off the street, killed him and ran out.”

Interesting fact, Lizzie was wearing a different dress!  Came from the maid’s testimony.  She changed into another dress before the police arrived. 

They demanded she bring them the other dress.  And Lizzie said,

“I burned it”.  They asked her, “Why did you burn it?”  Her answer, “Because I spilled paint on it”.

Also, while searching the house, police found a hatchet head in the basement.  All shiny and clean but missing the handle.  The prosecution argued that Lizzie removed the handle.  Because blood seeped into wood can’t be cleaned.

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Hatchet Head found in basement.
Clean hatchet head found in basement

Oddly, the jury found the reasoning far-fetched.  Giving a clue to what was about to happen with the verdict.

Suprising End to Trial

Now desperate, the Prosecution tried to expose Lizzie’s narcissistic lack of emotion.  Claiming she didn’t care about her dead parents, or anyone at all.

In dramatic fashion, they carted out two mysterious wood cases as the jury watched and Lizzie looked on with curiosity. 

Grabbing the latch, the prosecutor swung open the boxes revealing… the bashed-in skulls of Andrew and Abby Borden.

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Andrew Borden's bashed in skull
Andrew Borden’s bashed in skull

They foresaw Lizzie’s reaction as cold and unemotional to such a shocking and dark sight.  Proving her murderous intent to the jury. 

Wrong!  This may have been the moment that marked Lizzie as an innocent woman.  As she screamed, stood up and swooned, before fainting to the floor. 

Wasn’t long after the jury came back with their verdict.  “Not guilty”, and Lizzie Borden was free.  Deemed innocent by the court.  But thought guilty by everyone else.

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

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

Infamous Rhyme

The rhyme is believed to have been created by a local Fall River reporter.  It’s catchy.  Flows really nice.  But not historically accurate! 

And you know I’m a stickler for gory details.  In truth, Lizzie whacked Abby 19 times, and Andrew 11 times… allegedly.

The End of Lizzie Borden

You’d expect me to go deep into the life of Lizzie Borden after the trial.  But I’m nothing if not a mystery.  Instead, the content will match the character of the life she led.  Freakin’ boring.

Yes, residents of Fall River were upset Lizzie got off.  Even worse that her and sister Emma inherited Andrew’s house. 

They lived together for years.  Then Emma suddenly moved out in 1905.  No one knows why Emma left.  Rumors abound. 

But it’s nicely summed up by a post on the Lizzie Borden Society Forum in 2013.

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Society Forum
Society Forum worth a Read

User “nancydrew” states…

“It’s one of three reasons.  One, she caught Lizzie drinking and smoking after getting in with a local theater group.  Two, she found out Lizzie was sleeping with Nance O’Neill from the theater group.  Or three, she found out Lizzie actually killed Andrew and Abby.”

Sure, everyone wants to believe it’s because of muuurrrderrr.  Maybe. Considering Emma never spoke to Lizzie again.  She moved to New Hampshire and lived an isolated life until her death.

Sisters from afar and till the end.  Here’s a very odd coincidence.  Get this.

Lizzie died on June 1, 1927 from severe pneumonia.  And Emma died… only 9 days later, on June 10 1927, from nephritis (a kidney disease). 

Lizzie Borden House History and Ghost Stories - Lizzie in the Borden family gravesite
Lizzie in the Borden family gravesite

Both of them are buried with the family in Fall River’s Oak Grove Cemetery.  Lizzie resting not far from Andrew and Abby.

Stay the Night with Lizzie

Want to sleep in the same room as murder.  On the left side of the guest room bed, knowing Abby’s body once lay on the floor below, missing her face. 

The Lizzie Borden House is an infamous Bed and Breakfast.  You can sleep in the room where Abby was murdered and have tea where they found Andrew.  Dark tourism at its best!

Some come for the history.  But most, for the ghosts.

Abby Borden’s Ghost

Many times, an older woman is seen wandering the house.  Some guests think it’s a maid, or the host of the B&B.  Getting up to greet the woman, they find themselves alone. 

It’s Abby.  Going about her chores, just before walking into the guest room to meet up with her stepdaughter and a hatchet.

Abby’s mostly seen in the second-floor hallway and guest room.

Visitors sleeping in that room have felt the bedsheets tighten around them.  Then hear brushing, as if hands slide across the covers.  With a slight pressure against their chest and legs.  Abby meticulously straightening the fabric.  Calmly making the bed on, what was thought, a normal Thursday morning.

Lizzie Borden Ghost

But what about Lizzie?  She’s there too. 

Guests staying in the room beside hers wake at night.  It’s subtle but undeniable.  The sound of a woman crying on the other side of the wall.  Reported to the hosts many times.

The same crying around the same time of night.

And just imagine being that host.  A husband and wife always in the house, day or night. 

One evening, the wife fell asleep in the main parlor after a long day of cleaning.  She woke up confused at 3am.  Looked around the dimly lit room, realizing she was still in the house.  Through the parlor door she saw the grand staircase.  And then… movement.

Pressed against the wall was an odd shadow stretched all the way up the stairs.  It didn’t match other shadows or items blocking the lamp light. 

And it was moving.  Swaying at first before rolling up the stairs.  A figure, like a person, slowly moving up each step, disappearing at the top.

The wife thinks it was Lizzie.  Residual energy remaining from violent tragedy.  As the young murderess slowly climbed the stairs to meet her stepmother one final time.

My Experience in House

I stayed overnight in the house!  Years and years ago when taking a quick trip to Boston.

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

And it was wonderful.  They set up the night perfectly, luring you with vintage charm and snacks.  Setting up a nighttime tour of the house just before you go to bed.  Featuring general history and family lore.  Different sights, including where both Abby and Andrew were killed.  From top to bottom while sprinkling in guest ghost stories.

Thankfully the waiting list to stay there wasn’t that long.  That is, if you wanted to stay in lesser haunted rooms.  You may wait months to stay in Abby’s death room, or Lizzie’s bedroom. 

Instead, I settled for a space in the back of the house.  Not historically a bedroom, however it shared a wall with Lizzie’s room.  

I thought about the experiences before going to sleep.  How guests heard the crying or knocking from the wall.  Yes, not the most popular way to get ready for sleep.  What can I say… I’m weird. 

The Vision

And I had a vision that night.  I say vision instead of dream because most dreams are quickly forgotten.  However, visions are vivid and easy to remember.  Sticking in the mind for years and never fading.

In the vision I watched light spill in from around the corner of the L-shaped room.  I couldn’t see the door, but heard it slowly creak open.  Somebody walked in, as footsteps approached the corner.  I saw nobody, but knew they were there.  And it felt threatening. 

I woke.  Confused for a moment, before remembering where I was.  Inside a dark and empty room of the Lizzie Borden House.

And even after the experience, I’d still recommend you visit!   And I’ll hope you have as vivid occurrence too.   No… I don’t hate you.  Why would you think that?

And not to sound too dark, but you need to feel what it’s like to be in a haunted place.  Know that feeling and recognize it in your own life.

It’s important knowledge for any paranormal investigator.  To recognize when something dark enters your space, or life, just by reading the energy.

One reply on “Lizzie Borden House | Dark History & Ghost Stories”

Not many editorial’s keep me until the end with too much writers personal gobble guck but This mostly to the point and facts kept me even though your little adventurous story. Good job fyi I lived in a house in Kenner Louisiana ( half mile north of New Orleans airport) for a little more than three years knowing from the getgo something was wrong but the renter owner never told me but wouldn’t enter the house he lived in and apartment in the garage. His two boys were finning some carpenter repairs when I went to rent it and they showed it . the house had just had a murder suicide one hour apart “boyfriend killed girlfriend then himself “ I was the only person that slept in the house a month later. I don’t have time for the whole story but you get what I have been thought.

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