The Lizzie Borden house is the most widely known haunted house in the world. Her home was the scene of grisly unsolved murders. The truly horrific hatchet killings took the life of 70-year-old Mr. Andrew Borden and his second wife, 64-year-old Abby Borden; the cause of all the hauntings in the house.
The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is an 1845 Greek Revival Victorian home filled with creepiness and restless spirits. Andrew Borden’s first wife, Sarah, died and he was left with two small daughters, Lizzie and Emma. His second wife was 36-year-old Abby. Their home life was a miserable one. He was stern and often ruled the house showing very little love toward anyone under his roof. The girls also strongly disliked their new stepmother. Some believe this is what led to the horrific events that unfolded that awful August night.
Here is how the murders unfolded according extensive research by historians:
Around 9:00 am on the morning of August 4th, Abby, their maid, Maggie, and Lizzie were in the home. Mr. Borden had gone to the bank. Maggie was downstairs washing the windows. Abby went up to the guest bedroom on the second floor to straighten the room, for they had a guest the night before, the late Sarah’s brother, John Morse, another odd person, with peculiar reactions. Sometime between 9 and 10, in the guest bedroom, Abby’s killer pulled the window shade, and lunged at Abby, who whirled around to face her killer. The hatchet landed in her forehead, and she crumbled face down on the floor, next to the bed. Her killer finishes her off by either straddling her body, or sitting on her back, to deliver the other 19 blows.
“Meanwhile, Maggie supposedly went up to the third floor to rest. Mr. Borden came home for lunch a bit earlier because he didn’t fell well. He laid down on the couch. His killer slipped through the dining room, and attacked him with the hatchet from behind. Mr. Borden didn’t see it coming. The hacking stopped after 11 blows, after the hatchet handle broke off because the blade was caught in his skull. What was thought to be the murder weapon was found downstairs in the basement. It fit perfectly into the cuts made in Andrew’s skull. Years later, forensics experts were able to determine that this same hatchet blade made the rips in Abby’s headscarf.
“The number of hatchet strikes on the bodies suggest that these murders were a crime of passion and hate; pointing to a family member with built up anger and rage, or perhaps an unbalanced person, ready to vent their emotions through murder. Most think that Lizzie did it, though some say that Lizzie and William were in cahoots, and planned it out together. What a pair! Speculating, perhaps Lizzie killed her step-mother, while William did in who he thought was his birth father, Andrew Borden. William didn’t handle rejection well. Or, another theory is that William did both murders, though most of the evidence points to Lizzie.
“Supposedly, Lizzie found her father, dead on the couch. She said that she told Maggie that father is hurt, and sent her to fetch the doctor and a neighbor.
“Her demeanor in front of the police was calm, unemotional, despite finding her father and stepmother dead; a big red flag to the police. When they asked her,”Where is your mother?” She coldly replied, “She isn’t my mother; she’s my step-mother!!
“She was arrested days later when her story about what happened kept changing. Lizzie was charged with 3 first degree murder counts: for her father, her step-mother and another murder charge added for killing both of Andrew and Abby. After a 10 day circus trial, Lizzie was found not guilty because of a lack of hard evidence, tying her to the crimes, and no witnesses cam forward to link her. The jury was not willing to send her to the death house on what was presented in court.
“The circumstantial evidence wasn’t enough to convince this jury of 12 men that the timid, demure, obedient woman, Lizzie Borden, was capable of these vicious killings. Hindsight expressed by the Monday morning quarter-backing people in our era, have come to the general consensus that the police investigation, police practices and the prosecution dropped the ball in this infamous case; in gathering evidence, questioning witnesses, and paying attention to details.”
Hauntings: The ghost of Mr. Andrew Borden is seen throughout the house observing activities. He has also been heard on several evp sessions. Bridget, “Maggie” Sullivan, the maid, is still in the residence as well. The John Morse Room, which used to be a guest bedroom, is where the apparition of Mrs. Abby Borden can be felt and seen. Cries are heard from this room as well. Another woman with gray hairs has been seen moving about the home.
The apparition of the infamous killer, Lizzie Borden, is seen around the basement looking around. Some believe she is still trying to hide the evidence.
The entity of Maggie’s cat is also heard throughout the second and third floor bedrooms. A disembodied cat meow is heard.
Other occurrences include the lights turning off and on and foot steps heard on the second and third floors when no one is there.
The owners say shadow people have been seen, especially on the staircase going down to the main hallway, and walking into the other parts of the house.
Guests and staff feel people brushing up against them on the stairs and various parts of the home.
Disembodied voices are heard everywhere. Owner, Leanne Wilbur, felt a cold finger run down her back but when she turned around, no one was there.
The story of the Lizzie Borden home is an extensive one. Countless experiences with the paranormal have been reported here. For more information about more hauntings, check out the link here. (h/t hauntedhouses)