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

LIZZIE BORDEN

Murder | Ghosts

A two family home was built in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1845. It remained two family until Andrew Borden, Lizzie’s father, moved in. Then in 1860, little Lizzie Borden was born.

3 years later her biological mother is dead, and 3 years after that Andrew Borden remarries.

Together they lived in that house, just Andrew, his new wife Abby, Emma and Lizzie.

Family strife - -
Emma and Lizzie Borden hated their stepmom, referring to her as “Mrs. Borden”, and avoiding her company.

Not eating meals with their parents and creating a serious air, stern, lacking of love.

Lizzie Borden felt neglected and rebelled. She shoplifted at local stores, forcing Andrew to talk with owners. He took care of it, keeping young Lizzie out of trouble.

We know Lizzie respected her father, but probably didn’t love him.

Part of the strife was suspicion Emma and Lizzie had for their stepmother Abby. The Borden sisters knew she was only with Andrew for his money. They were angry, jealous of the lavish gifts their father showered on Abby.

Andrew & Abby Die

The Borden family was sick only days leading up to that infamous Thursday in August of 1892.

The girl’s uncle had stayed overnight to help. Just before 10:30am, Abby was up in a guest room making the bed. She heard a noise and turned to see her killer, standing there, a sharp hatchet raised in the air.

Over and over the killer swung the weapon across her head as Abby turned and fell to the floor. The killer swung it more, driving the sharp edge into the back of her head 19 more times before Abby finally died.

Andrew Borden returned from his morning walk. He tried to unlock the front door but the key didn’t work. He knocked as the maid came and noticed someone had jammed something into the lock.

She tried pulling open the door, but stops. Someone was standing at the top of the stairs. The maid couldn’t see them, but heard the soft laughing of a girl. She didn’t think much of it at the time, not knowing Abby laid murdered upstairs.

Andrew finally popped the door open, came inside as the maid went about her duties. She went up the back stairs to the 3rd floor to clean.

She was up there only a short time when Lizzie yelled up, “Father’s dead…” “Someone came in and killed him”.

The police would find Andrew Borden lying on the couch, his legs resting on the floor. Someone had swung a “hatchet like weapon” 11 times down on his face.

They said he was sleeping when murdered. One closed eyelid was split perfectly in two.

Tried but not Convicted

Lizzie Borden was the only suspect.

The trail became a detailed affair long before forensics. Every part of the case carefully examined.

The maid testified, but swore she never saw the murders. Hearing the girl at the top of the stairs laughing was creepy, but not evidence.

Lizzie told the police she was in the barn when Andrew was murdered. That someone must have come in from the street, murdered her father, and ran out.

They asked for the dress Lizzie was wearing that day. “I burned it”, claiming paint spilled down the front.

The police found a perfectly cleaned hatchet head in the basement, minus the handle. Prosecution argued Lizzie Borden removed the blood stained handle, but strangely the jury though it farfetched.

In desperation the prosecution stooped low. They wanted to expose Lizzie’s emotions, to show how little she cared for her dead parents. They put out two large cases on the table, near the jury and in eyesight of Lizzie, opening it to reveal the fully stripped, bashed-in skulls of Andrew and Abby Borden.

They thought Lizzie Borden would be cold, showing her guilt. She swooned and fainted for all to see.

The jury came back… not guilty and Lizzie Borden was free.

Lizzie Borden was deemed innocent by the court but not the people.

She was considered a murderer. Local residents of Fall River were upset when Lizzie and Emma inherited the estate. The sisters lived there for years, then splitting apart in 1905.

It’s unclear why Emma moved out, but rumour spread she finally found the truth of her sister’s guilt.

In 1927 Lizzie Borden died of pneumonia in Fall River. She’s buried with her family, including Andrew and Abby in the local Oak Grove Cemetery.

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.

Dark tourism at its best.

The ghost of Abby - -
An older woman wanders the house, believed to be Abby Borden going about her tasks. Seen in the second floor hallway by guests.

And inside that former guest room where she met her end, sleeping visitors will feel covers tighten around them. Sometimes hands run along the bed covers and over their bodies. Abby is still making the bed just like on that terrible morning.

The ghost of Lizzie - -
The guest room beside Lizzie’s bedroom will wake late at night to the sound of a woman weeping through the walls.

And on one random night, the current owner fell asleep in the parlour after a long day.

She woke at 3am, looking into the foyer to see movement. A shadow pressed against the wall by the stairs. She was frozen, staring as the shadow slid upwards as if cast by a person climbing the stairs.

Believed to be Lizzie Borden, her residual energy left from the tragic Thursday morning when she climbed those stairs, moments before seeing her stepmother one final time.

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Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, MA, United States of America