How the new owners of the Lizzie Borden House are keeping the mystery alive

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — If you’ve never visited the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, the property’s new owner hopes now you will.

The infamous house is now part of U.S. Ghost Adventures which offers tours in dozens of cities across the country.

Thousands of people from across the world over the years have toured the Lizzie Borden House Museum and some even stay overnight. It’s partially because inside, it’s been preserved to how it might have been in the 1890s when Abby and Andrew Borden were killed on Aug. 4.

Everyone knows the rhyme, “Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks… when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41. Andrew Borden is now dead, Lizzie hit him on the head, up in heaven he will sing, on the gallows she will swing.”’

The rhyme is the result of the double homicide in which young Lizzie Borden was accused of. Both her father and stepmother were attacked inside the home with a hatchet.

But the question remains whether it was actually Lizzie Borden at fault and if an axe was actually used to kill Abby and Andrew. The murders and trials received widespread publicity and the mystery haunts the city of Fall River 129 years later.

“I think there’s just a natural appeal to this. I think people have always cared about this case. They’ve always been interested in this. I think it’s never going to go away because no matter how deep you dive into this, you end up with more questions. And anything like that is going to be appealing,” New manager Jaren Robinson said.

Tour guides detail out the moments before, during, and after the murders in a way that leaves you questioning who actually did it — especially if you’re one of the many who claim to have been visited by spirits while staying an hour or two overnight in the house.

Guests say they have captured photos of strange anomalies floating by their beds, noises coming from inside wardrobes, footsteps, laughter, (like that of Lizzie’s, the morning of the murders) and some have even reported being touched by an unseen hand while they slept, according to Ghost Adventures.

“A lot I stay here. I don’t sleep. I like to stay up and listen and hear. I do the ghost hunts also. It’s a lot of fun. Interesting. We get a lot of activity. Sometimes the doors will close, you’ll hear whispering, but you can’t make out what somebody is saying. You’re wondering what it is,” Carrie Strollo said.

For years guests have been able to stay the night in the bedrooms of Abby, Andrew, Lizzie, her sister, or the maid. Now, Ghost Tours has extended the stay to outside the house.

“It’s about a mile walk, it’s going to bring you through some of the mill fires that have happened,” Robinson said. “This city has been plagued with tragic fires throughout its long history.”

According to Robinson, they offer ghost hunts three times a week and would even like to have dinner parties or movie nights.

“We’re trying to put Fall River on the map again,” he explained. “I don’t know many other places in this area that are getting this kind of interest.”

A testament to the interest around the world is the map put up in the gift shop about a month ago.

“Just about every continent is represented,” Robinson said. “Almost every single state in the United States is here. If anyone is watching from North Dakota, South Dakota, please visit.”

Wednesday marks the 129th anniversary of those infamous murders at the Lizzie Borden House.

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