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Lizzie Borden

Is the home of Lizzie Borden a haunted vacation spot?

Lizzie Borden

The Borden House today


Andrew Borden, Lizzie’s father

On August 4, 1892, wealthy businessman Andrew Borden, and his wife, Abby, were brutally hacked to death in their home.  Andrew's 32-year-old spinster daughter, Lizzie, was arrested for the double murder.  Over a century later, the scene of one of the most gruesome unsolved mysteries in U.S. history is open for business.  The Borden home is now the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. 

Visitors can enjoy an informative chat about the sadistic murders while eating a breakfast of johnnycakes and mutton broth—the same meal Abby and Andrew Borden ate on their final day.  Then after a long day of sightseeing, they can sleep in the same bedroom where Abby Borden's body was discovered, lifeless on the floor.

Not surprisingly, most people do not sleep easily.  According to owner Martha McGinn, many guests have reported that the inn is haunted:

“I think the apparitions and all the activity that has been happening in the house, it's a possibility that the spirits are trying to communicate through myself, my staff, or my guests of who really committed the murders so they can rest in peace, put the story to sleep once and for all.”

Lizzie Borden was never convicted of the brutal murders.  Nobody knows who committed the savage crime… Nobody, except the victims themselves, all of whom are long since dead.  Or are they?

Abby Borden, Lizzie’s stepmother

In 1968, Martha McGinn moved into the Borden house, which had been purchased by her grandparents 43 years earlier. According to Martha, she soon became aware of an unsettling presence lurking in the shadows of the aging building:

“When I was about 16 years old, I was in my bedroom reading a book, and above my room I could distinctly hear footsteps and the sound of, like marbles being played and it almost sounded like little children's laughter.”

Later, Martha witnessed another strange phenomenon, this one far more disturbing than the last:

“ I went up the stairway, and the window at the end of the second-floor corridor just began opening and slamming shut.  It was just violently going up and down.  I got the creepy crawlers that time.”

Martha became convinced that a ghost was prowling her home, tormenting her at every opportunity. But who? And why?  The answer to that question may have come when Martha made the mistake of entering the basement alone: 

“A shadow, sort of like a silhouette, floated maybe four inches above the floor. I could tell it was a woman.  I could tell it was Victorian clothes.  I just turned around and ran back up the stairs.  That experience really did frighten me. That actually did make my hair stand on end.”

Did a ghost sleep in this bed?

In 1994, Martha inherited the Borden house and decided to capitalize on its infamous reputation by turning it into a very unusual bed and breakfast:

“When we first opened, I had hired my staff.  Most of them, at the time, did not believe in ghosts or apparitions or anything like that.  And then odd things started happening to them.”

Kerri Roderick was one of the first employees to be hired:

“I arrived at work to start cleaning the house, and I was on my last room, and I had made the bed and cleaned, dusted, and everything.  And then I turned around, and there was the perfect impression of somebody laying on the bed. The indent in the pillow, in the bed.  I looked at it for, like, a couple of seconds, and then I booked it out of the room.  I had to leave. I was just—it scared me.  'Cause I'd never seen anything like that before in my life.”

But the most frequent sightings occurred in the downstairs parlor, the very location where Andrew Borden was killed.  Eleanor Thimbault, the night manager at the bed and breakfast, recalled one such sighting:

“I was sitting in the parlor, and on the phone, and this strange feeling came over me, a very eerie feeling.  When I looked up to the kitchen door, I saw what I thought was all this smoke coming out of the kitchen, like a foggy smoke.  And I thought to myself, well, that's strange. There isn't anybody in the kitchen cooking.  Why would all this smoke be coming out?  The way it traveled, very slow, until it got to the sofa—where Mr. Borden was hacked to death—and it just dissipated.  I know I saw something that was out of this world.  It wasn't from this world, that's for sure.”

Actual crime scene photo

Author and ghost-hunter, Katherine Ramsland, believed that Andrew and Abby Borden were trying to tell the employees who killed them.  In an attempt to document the paranormal activity, Ramsland went into the basement of the bed and breakfast armed with a voice-activated recorder:

“It was very dark. And I just simply said, is anybody here? And we could see that the recorder was activated.  But we could hear nothing. It was absolute silence, and yet it was clear something was being recorded.  So I decided, instead of asking any more questions, I would just see what we had gotten.  We shot up the steps... 'Cause we weren't staying down there with that, whatever it was.”

A noise from the dead or static electricity?  No one knows for sure.  Katherine Ramsland believes the recording is the first solid evidence that Abby and Andrew Borden are ready to share the chilling circumstances of their bloody end.  And she hopes that maybe, someday, one of them will tell us what really happened on August 4, 1892.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Dennis Farina and coming soon with Robert Stack. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina.



jada harris's picture

what was the point of her killing her dad and stepmother.

Thomas's picture

ghosts of dead people live forever. Her dad and stepmother could still be there

sue's picture

she wanted some money from her father and he would not give it to her

 Anonymous's picture

It is belived it was because she hated her stepmother, and hated her father for marrying her stepmother. And it does not say that she DID, kill her father and stepmother.

Laquisha's picture

i be likin this fuggin mystery cause it be helpin me wit da project

steph's picture

huh????? wtf????

Judy's picture

Can you speak English?

Sabrina's picture

Lizzie was the one that did it not hard to figure out who gave her mother 40 whacks and her father 41

Anonymous's picture

Abby Bordon was only hit 19 times and Andrew only 11. The 40 and 41 whacks was made up to go into the twisted nursery rhyme

Xzavier's picture

No who knows someone could have broke into there house while Lizzie was at the store she could have found her parents like that

Lisa's picture

Lizzie did it! I think because of lack of evidence analysis she got away with this heinous crime but I am sure that she has paid for her consequences in the eyes of God.

Corey's picture

For starters, the idea of LIzzie's stepmother being hacked 40 times and her father receiving 41 is taken from a children's rhyme of that era. Abby Borden was struck 19 times and Andrew Borden was hit 10 to 11 times. If, in fact, Lizzie was responsible (there are a number of plausible theories that she might not have been), there's a long list of reasons why she did it that have nothing to do with her father's money. Andrew Borden was a tight-fisted (he refused to have running water or electricity in the house), cold, emotionally-detached man that made his daughters lives a living hell while he was alive. There is also some very valid evidence that both Lizzie and her sister, Emma, were being sexually abused by their father and had been since their childhood.

Patricia's picture

My husband and I are psychics. We each have a unique gift through communication with those who are already passed. I strongly agree that that the murded victims are trying to communicate.

georg's picture

you are satans daughter my and i are psyics

Johnny's picture

They could have solved the Lizzie Borden case nowadays. The interviewer would have separated Lizzie and her sister comparing their accounts. Might have been able to get the other sister to talk. The personalization of the crime suggests severe hatred or anger towards these parents. Such a brutal crime. I think there was a belief that a young lady could not commit a killing of this nature. One of the greatest mysteries of all time.

Mark's picture

I think a lot of people at the time too had a hard time believing that a woman would commit such an act.

Susan's picture

What about the noise? Someone must have heard something! The fact nobody admits to, suggests someone is lying! This suggests a conspiracy - ie more than one perp. Re gender, statistically a violent crime is more likely a man than a woman. That doesn't mean a woman couldn't do it - but I struggle with the fact that she could do it in that violent manner twice without someone hearing the screams! Others helped!

Leigh's picture

It does seem unbelievable that no one would hear anything from murders that violent, however, it has happened many times in the past. You might be interested in the story of the Villisca Axe Murders of 1912, which occurred in Iowa. An entire family-father, mother, three kids, and two visiting children were all murdered violently, by axe, one right after the other. None of them awakened before death, despite sharing rooms, and in some cases, beds. Fascinating story that has haunted me for years now.

Brenna Rini's picture

this article is idiotic and false!

anoyamous's picture

it had to be lizzie i read the story in a book and it said she was in jail they saw an axe it had blood and found lizzies mom's clothes in the chimany

Johnny's picture

The Lizzie Borden case one of those great mysteries that continues to fascinate 120+ years later. My guess Lizzie axed Abby & Andrew standing naked or she would have been splattered with blood and her clothes would've been saturated. A quick cleanup of face and body. Emma the other sister underrated. What did she see? What did she know?
The blows to head show a deep anger and hatred for Abby & Andrew. Overkill! That would point towards Lizzie as the perpetrator. Wonder if they have any of the bloody clothes of the deceased or any other photo evidence. Maybe, they could test it somehow. There's no doubt Lizzie would be a prime suspect in 2017. The Prosecution would have to prove that Lizzie committed the crime. No saying what a jury would decide in today's climate. Fascinating case to be sure.

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