Case File: The Borden House Bed And Breakfast
Location: Fall River, Massachusetts
Date: August 4, 1892
Description: The Borden House is a two story house with an attic and basement. It has no halls with access to rooms through other rooms.
History: The Borden House is one of the most famous unsolved murder locations in the United States if not the world. Today, it's a bed-and-breakfast where guests can stay and examine the fine details of the case and get scared out of their wits as the ghosts of the murder victims reach out to the living. "I think the apparitions and all the activity that has been happening in the house." Owner Martha McGinn reports. "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."
Martha had lived in the house when she was growing up, and she is well aware of the house's haunted nature. She has seen and felt several things. She has heard the sound of footsteps and marbles being played. On another occasion, she watched a window violently opening and slamming shut. She has also seen a shadowy silhouette of a woman in Victorian clothes floating four inches above the floor. Her employees have also experienced things.
"I arrived at work to start cleaning the house, and I was on my last room." Employee Kerri Roderick describes her experience. "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 a couple of seconds, and then I booked it out of the room. I had to leave. It scared me cause I'd never seen anything like that before in my life."
Most activity occurs in the downstairs parlor where Andrew Borden was killed. Eleanor Thimbault, the night manager at the bed and breakfast, recalls sitting in the parlor and talking on the phone when she had a feeling she was not alone. When she looked up to the kitchen door, she saw what looked like a foggy smoke wafting into the room. There wasn't anybody in the kitchen cooking. A minute after noticing it, it just dissipated.
Background: The Borden House was purchased by Andrew Borden around 1860. He lost his first wife, Sara, and married Abby Durfee, the two murdered by an unknown intruder on August 4, 1892. The two of them were brutally hacked to death in separate rooms in their home. Andrew's thirty-two-year-old spinster daughter, Lizzie, was arrested but found not guilty for the double murder. Over a century later, the scene is one of the most gruesome unsolved mysteries in U.S. history. In 1968, Martha McGinn moved into the Borden house, which had been purchased by her grandparents forty-three years earlier. She inherited it in 1994. The location is now the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.
Investigations: The Borden House is one of the most over-exposed haunted houses in paranormal research featured in many books and paranormal reality TV-series. Author and ghost-hunter, Katherine Ramsland, believes that Andrew and Abby Borden are trying to tell the living who killed them. In an attempt to document the paranormal activity, she once headed into the basement of the bed and breakfast armed with a voice-activated recorder which activated itself and seemed to record something, but there was nothing on the tape to play back.
- This case originally ran on the July 23, 2001 episode.
- It's also been featured on "Ghost Hunters," "Most Haunted," "Sightings," and "Monster Quest." Lizzie Borden has been documented on Deadly Women.