Is the home of Lizzie Borden a haunted vacation spot?

Lizzie Borden

The Borden House today

CASE DETAILS

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.

Andrew Borden, Lizzie’s father

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 eleven with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

 

24 Comments

  1. Amy

    I don’t think that Lizzie did the murders, I think someone else did it and left, so everyone would think that Lizzie did it. Lizzie was eating her lunch in the barn and the house keeper was washing the outside windows when it happen. there was these physics that went there to see if could find out who killed them. one of the physics said she heard a man yelling at the father, moments before the murders happen. the man is Lizzie’s uncle. they just blame her, cause she was there.

    Reply

  2. LovesAgoodMystery

    I double checked and I’m a huge idiot and apparently can’t read. Lol! My bad! My apologies!

    Reply

  3. LovesAgoodMystery

    Just a bit of confusion. If you read the very first paragraph it states that Lizzie was “Andrew’s spinster SISTER,” which would have made Abby and Lizzie sisters-in-law. But the photograph of Abby states she was Lizzie’s STEP-MOTHER. Just wanted to make sure you were aware.

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    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.
    https://jl10ll.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/lizzie-borden-was-guilty-with-good-reason/

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    Apparently she hated her mother who became stepmother the day before she died and she had to kill her father because otherwise he would suspect that she killed her (stepmother)

    Reply

  6. Liz Swiezy

    I’ve always believed it was Lizzie who killed her father and stepmother! The “setup” was too perfect: Emma was conveniently out of town when the murders took place, Bridget was conveniently cleaning (outside) windows. Emma HAD to know something about it or she wouldn’t have “left town”at just the right time! Bridget was simply following orders or she would’ve been considered an accomplice too. Lizzie Andrew Borden was years ahead of her time with forensic knowledge and she was consumed with a bitter resentment for BOTH victims! It was a perfect, premeditated murder! Kudos to Lizzie for her cunning ability in 1894? I’m fairly certain that she and her victims still roam the halls of this home!!! I’d love to spend some time in that home (during daylight hours) and see for myself. I’ve always been fascinated by this story *smile*

    Reply

  7. Johnny

    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.

    Reply

  8. anoyamous

    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

    Reply

  9. Brenna Rini

    this article is idiotic and false!

    Reply

  10. Mark

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

    Reply

    • Susan

      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!

      Reply

  11. Johnny

    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.

    Reply

  12. Patricia

    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.

    Reply

  13. Lisa

    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.

    Reply

  14. Sabrina

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

    Reply

  15. jada harris

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

    Reply

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3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.