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Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast paranormal

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Location submitted by: whougonnacall on 10/12/2012
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 1247

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A bed and breakfast/museum located in Fall River, Massachusetts that is the location of the famous Borden murders.

230 2nd Street
Fall River , MA 02721
Phone: (508) 675-7333
Open to the public: Yes

Lat: 41.698882
Lon: -71.156137

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 6
History: 1
Stories: 0
Claims: 24
Evidence: 0
Resources: 11
Retrievals: 9399
Vistor Rating: 2.5
Votes: 2

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

Erected in 1845, the home was originally a two family and was later made into a single family by Andrew J. Borden.

Andrew J. Borden bought the house at 92 Second Street to be close to his bank and various downtown businesses. The Bed & Breakfast is named after Andrew J. Borden's youngest daughter, Lizzie. Although she was tried and acquitted of the murders she was ostracized by the community of Fall River.

Lizzie Borden and the murders....Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 - June 1, 1927) was a New England spinster who was the only suspect for the hatchet murders of her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. The murders, subsequent trial, and following trial by media became a cause celebre. The fame of the incident has endured in American pop culture and criminology. Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, she was at the time (and is to an extent today) widely believed to be guilty: no one else was ever arrested or tried, and she has remained notorious in American folklore. Dispute over the identity of the killer or killers continues to this day.

During the morning of August 4, 1892, Borden's father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden, were murdered in the family home. The only other people present at the residence at the time were Lizzie and the family maid, Bridget Sullivan. Emma Borden, Lizzie's sister, was away from home. The Borden sisters' uncle, John Vinnicum Morse, brother of Andrew Borden's first wife, was visiting at the time, but was also away from the house during the time of the murders.

That day, Andrew Borden had gone into town to do his usual rounds at the bank and post office. He returned home at about 10:45 a.m. About a half-hour later, Lizzie Borden found his body. According to Sullivan's testimony, she was lying down in her room on the third floor of the house shortly after 11:00 a.m. when she heard Lizzie call to her, saying someone had killed her father, whose body was found slumped on a couch in the downstairs sitting room. Andrew Borden's face was turned to the right hand side, apparently at ease as if he were asleep.

Shortly thereafter, while Lizzie Borden was being tended by neighbors and the family doctor, Sullivan discovered the body of Mrs. Borden upstairs in the guest bedroom. Mr. and Mrs. Borden had both been killed by blows from a hatchet, which in the case of Andrew Borden, not only crushed his skull but cleanly split his left eyeball.

Over a period of years after the death of the first Mrs. Borden, life at 92 Second Street had grown unpleasant in many ways, and affection between the older and younger family members had waned considerably if any was present at all. The upstairs floor of the house was divided. The front was the territory of the Borden sisters, while the rear was for Mr. and Mrs. Borden. Meals were not always eaten together. Conflict had increased between the two daughters and their father about his decision to divide valuable property among relatives before his death. Relatives of their stepmother had been given a house, and John Morse, brother to the deceased Sarah Borden (the mother of the Borden daughters), had come to visit that week. His visit was to facilitate transfer of farm property, which included what had been a summer home for the Borden daughters. Shortly before the murders, a major argument had occurred which resulted in both sisters leaving home on extended "vacations". Lizzie Borden, however, decided to end her trip and returned early.

She was refused the purchase of prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) by local druggist Eli Bence, which she claimed was for cleaning a seal skin coat.

Shortly before the murders, the entire household became violently ill. As Mr. Borden was not a popular man in town, Mrs. Borden feared they were being poisoned, but the family doctor diagnosed it as bad food.

Lizzie Borden was arrested on August 11, 1892, with her trial beginning ten months later in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her stories proved to be inconsistent, and her behavior suspect. She was tried for the murders, defended by former Massachusetts Governor George D. Robinson and Andrew V. Jennings. One of the prosecutors in the trial was William H. Moody, future United States Attorney General and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

During the police investigation, a hatchet was found in the basement and was assumed to be the murder weapon. Though it was clean, most of its handle was missing and the prosecution stated that it had been broken off because it was covered with blood. However, police officer Michael Mullaly stated that he found it next to a hatchet handle. Deputy Marshall John Fleet contradicted this testimony. Later a forensics expert said there was no time for the hatchet to be cleaned after the murder. The prosecution was hampered by the fact that the Fall River police did not put credence in the new forensic technology of fingerprinting, and refused to take prints on the hatchet.

No blood-soaked clothing was found as evidence by police. A few days after the murder, Borden tore apart and burned a light blue Bedford cord cotton dress in the kitchen stove, claiming she had brushed against fresh baseboard paint which had smeared on it.

Despite incriminating circumstances, Lizzie Borden was acquitted by a jury after an hour and a half's deliberation. The fact that no murder weapon was found and no blood evidence was noted just a few minutes after the second murder pointed to reasonable doubt. Her entire original inquest testimony was barred from the trial. Also excluded was testimony regarding her attempt to purchase prussic acid. Adding to the doubt was another axe murder in the area, perpetrated by Jose Correira, which took place shortly before the trial. While many details were similar, Correira was not in the country when the Borden murder took place.

After the trial Borden and her sister moved to a new house called Maplecroft.[5] In June 1905, the two argued over a party Lizzie gave for Nance O'Neil and a group of actors. Shortly after that, Emma moved out of the house, and Lizzie Borden began using the name "Lizbeth A. Borden".

Lizzie Borden died of pneumonia on June 1, 1927 in Fall River, Massachusetts. The funeral details were not made public and few people attended her burial. Borden was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery under the name "Lizbeth Andrew Borden", her footstone reading "Lizbeth". Her will, probated on June 25, 1927, left $30,000 to the Fall River Animal Rescue League. She also left $500 in perpetual trust for the care of her father's grave. Nine days later, her estranged sister, Emma Lenora Borden, died from a fall in Newmarket, New Hampshire, on June 10, 1927.

The house on Second Street where the murders occurred is now a bed and breakfast. Maplecroft, the mansion Borden bought after her acquittal, on then-fashionable French Street in the "highlands" is privately owned, and only occasionally available for touring.

Several theories have been presented over the years suggesting Lizzie Borden may not have committed the murders, and that other suspects may have had possible motives. One theory is that the maid, Bridget Sullivan, did it; possibly out of outrage for being asked to clean the windows, a taxing job on a hot day, just a day after having suffered from food poisoning. Another potential culprit was forwarded by Arnold R. Brown in his work, Lizzie Borden: The Legend, The Truth, The Final Chapter, in which Brown theorizes that the true culprit was an illegitimate paternal half-brother named William Borden, as a revenge killing in his failed efforts to extort money from his father.

Yet another theory is that Borden suffered petit mal epileptic seizures during her menstrual cycle, at which times she entered a dream-like state, and unknowingly committed the murders.

The book Lizzie by Evan Hunter posed the theory that Lizzie Borden had an affair with the actress Nance O'Neil, whom she met in Boston in 1904. In the early 20th century, it was still considered socially unacceptable for women to become actresses. O'Neil was a spendthrift, always in financial trouble, and Borden came from a wealthy background. The two got along, despite Borden's notoriety.

While there has never been any significant evidence that the two were intimate, the friendship was cited as the cause of Borden's final separation from her sister, Emma. O'Neil was later a character in the musical about Lizzie Borden, entitled Lizzie Borden: A Musical Tragedy in Two Axe, where she was played by Suellen Vance. Feminist Carolyn Gage refers to O'Neil as an overt lesbian, and although there are few documented details of any affairs, Gage claimed that her sexual orientation was well known in entertainment circles, despite her marriage. The trial received a tremendous amount of national publicity. It has been compared to the later trials of Bruno Hauptmann, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and O.J. Simpson as a landmark in media coverage of legal proceedings.

The case was memorialized in a popular jump-rope rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done She gave her father forty-one.

The anonymous rhyme was made up by a writer as an alluring little tune to sell newspapers even though in reality her stepmother suffered 18 or 19 blows, her father 11. Though acquitted for the crimes, Lizzie Borden was ostracized by neighbors following the trial. Lizzie Borden's name was again brought to the public forefront when she was accused of shoplifting in 1897. Genealogy Borden was distantly related to the American milk processor Gail Borden (1801-1874) and Robert Borden (1854-1937), Canada's Prime Minister during World War I.

Elizabeth Montgomery and Lizzie Borden were sixth cousins once removed, both descending from 17th-century Massachusetts resident John Luther. Rhonda McClure, the genealogist who documented the Montgomery-Borden connection, said, "I wonder how Elizabeth would have felt if she knew she was playing her own cousin.

Added by: sdonley on 01/19/2014 DB#:171


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

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Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
1720 01/19/2014 sdonley There have been areas in the house where it appears to be cold while the temperature is normal in other areas.
1721 01/19/2014 sdonley People have heard a woman crying.
1722 01/19/2014 sdonley Another woman has been seen making the beds.
1723 01/19/2014 sdonley An employee had found an indention of a body on a bed when nobody was supposed to be in the room.
1724 01/19/2014 sdonley Visitors on the tour experienced a "creepy" feeling in the parlor.
1725 01/19/2014 sdonley People have reported being pushed or kicked when they stand on the spot where Abbey was murdered.
1719 01/19/2014 sdonley Guests have heard someone walking up and down the stairs when nobody is actually there.
2301 11/29/2015 mdonley Children have been heard playing marbles (even leaving them out on the floor in the attic.)
2299 11/29/2015 mdonley Entities of two young children have been seen in various parts of the house.
2297 11/29/2015 mdonley Owner felt the cold touch of a finger run down her back. When she quickly turned around, no one was visible.
2295 11/29/2015 mdonley Disembodied voices have been heard throughout the building.
2293 11/29/2015 mdonley Sometimes staff and guests can feel someone brush against them on the stairs. and in various parts of the home.
2291 11/29/2015 mdonley Shadow people have been seen, especially on the staircase going down to the main hallway, and walking into the other parts of the house. Owners of the home have seen shadow people move around different parts of the house.
2289 11/29/2015 mdonley When no one was upstairs on the second and third floors, the former owners and their staff would hear the doors open and close, followed by footsteps.
2287 11/29/2015 mdonley The lights turning on and off on their own.
2285 11/29/2015 mdonley A disembodied cat's meow is heard and rubs up against people it likes in the second and third floor bedrooms.
2283 11/29/2015 mdonley An apparition of a woman dressed in maid's clothes is seen doing her chores around the house.
2281 11/29/2015 mdonley Cold spots are reported in Maggie's room.
2279 11/29/2015 mdonley An evp recording, captured a horrified scream: "Ma'am come quick!!"
2277 11/29/2015 mdonley An apparition of a woman, that looks like Lizzie has been seen down in the basement, looking around the basement.
2275 11/29/2015 mdonley An older woman with gray hair has been seen happily puttering around the home, busy with her affairs.
2273 11/29/2015 mdonley Poignant cries are heard in the John Morse room.
2271 11/29/2015 mdonley In the guest bedroom, now called The John Morse Room, an indentation of a body on the room's bed was discovered by a staff member, like someone had just laid on top of it, one month after renovations and refurnishing the home was complete.
2269 11/29/2015 mdonley The entity of Mr. Andrew Borden watching the activity in the home, and has started to answer evp questions. especially in the room he was murdered in and when his murder is being discussed.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

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Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

Drowned Children
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Great Uncle Borden's drowned children information.
Borden Monument
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
The Borden Monument order and other information.
Drowned Children Claims
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Claims about the drowned kids: I also heard that they haunt 92 Second Street, and had experiences that I think were them, from someone "small" sitting on the edge of the bed, and my feet being tickled. Dave felt the person sitting on the bed, but didn't have his feet tickled. I have had that happen to me many times in Bridget's room (my favorite room to sleep in in the house).
Photo Claims
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Photo claims of paranormal -- Not included as evidence at this time. You be the judge.
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Timeline: The lives of Lizzie, Emma, Abby and Andrew Borden
Lizzie Arrested
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Borden Arrested - New York Times
Lizzie's Will
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Lizzie's Will and Probate
Autopsy Report
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Skull info about the Bordens - Link to Letters as well
Lizzie Borden Photos
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
These photos include family photos, hous floor plans, autopsy photos, and a copy of Lizzie's Indictment.
Dolan account of heads
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Dolan testimony about head removal and cleaning.
Lizzie Borden information
Added: 11/29/2015 By: mdonley
Look around this site. Many photos, links to articles of the crime etc.

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