From crime scene to bed & breakfast


By Nicole Belair, Staff Writer

For anyone interested in unsolved crime and haunted houses, the perfect October activity for you would be a tour of the Lizzie Borden Museum in Fall River.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, Lizzie Borden was an American woman who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother.

Lizzie’s father married a woman named Abby Durfee Gray three years after her mother passed away.

During the investigation, Lizzie explained that she believed Abby was only after her father’s money, and they did not have a pleasant relationship.

Tensions began rising in the family for several months before the murders, even causing Lizzie and her sister to take extended vacations to New Bedford.

Lizzie eventually returned to Fall River, and several days later, Abby and Andrew were murdered in their home on Thursday, August 4, 1892.

Investigators concluded that Abby was struck on the side of the head with a hatchet, and it was determined that she was murdered between 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Her killer is then assumed to have sat on her back delivering 19 direct hits to the back of her head.

Andrew was murdered shortly after, between 10:30 and 11:10 that morning. He was found slumped on a couch in the living room, having been struck 10 or 11 times with a hatchet-like weapon.

One of his eyeballs had been split cleanly in two.

During the investigation, police found two hatchets, two axes, and a hatchet-head with a broken handle.

On August 6, Lizzie was informed that she was a suspect in the murders. The next morning, Emma’s friend Alice found Lizzie burning a dress in the oven.

Her excuse was that she spilled paint on it, but perhaps it was actually covered in blood.

Lizzie’s testimony in court was contradictory, to say the least. She changed her alibi several times, and was ultimately served with an arrest warrant and jailed.

Despite all of the evidence against Lizzie, she was acquitted on June 20, 1893.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts did not charge anyone else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden, so speculation about the crimes still continues.

Following her release from the prison she was in during trial, she decided to remain a resident of Fall River, despite significant ostracism.

So now, if you’re thinking, “Wow, I really wish I could visit the house where the Borden’s were murdered,” you’re in luck!

The Borden house in Fall River has been turned into a Bed and Breakfast and Museum, where visitors can take tours or stay the night.

On average, it costs around $250/night to stay in one of the rooms of the Borden house, which is actually just slightly more than a hotel room in the area.

Tours of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum are every hour from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The last tour begins promptly at 3:00 p.m.

The tour is approximately 50 minutes long, and you do not need a reservation unless you have 10 or more people in a group.

The tours are offered seven days a week, 363 days a year (they are only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas).

The best part? College students receive a discount on tours! It is typically $18 per adult, $15 for senior citizens and college students with an ID, and $10 for children.

Many visitors have reported paranormal activity, and several famous Ghost Hunters have also declared it haunted.

If this sounds like your idea of a good time, be sure to check out the Lizzie Borden Museum this Fall!

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