This week’s Folklore Friday:
Most people have heard of Lizzie Borden, a young woman accused of the brutal axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, MA in 1892. She wasn’t convicted, and the murder remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time.
However, less people have heard that the home in which the murders were committed might be haunted Martha McGinn has lived there since 1968, and has noticing weird happenings. Since she was a teenager, she’s heard strange noises, children playing games and footsteps in the empty house. One time, she walked upstairs to witness the window at the end of the corridor violently opening and closing by itself. She also has witnessed a shimmering, floating, womanly shadow in the basement, wearing Victorian clothes.
In 1994 McGinn opened the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in the old home, allowing guests to experience life in the infamous house, including eating the same meals that Abby and Andrew Borden ate on their last day.
The staff at the house largely didn’t believe in ghosts, but started to change their mind when they also noticed strange occurrences. One maid had just finished tidying a room when she turned around and saw the perfect impression of a person on the bed, indents in the pillow and all. One manager claims to have seen smoke coming out of an empty kitchen, traveling very slowly until it reached the sofa where Andrew had died. Guests as well have heard the sounds of women crying, and seen ghost maids cleaning the rooms, among countless other paranormal occurrences.
Are Abby and Andrew reaching out to try and tell what happened to them? Do they want these strangers out of their house? Or are these just stories to attract business? Like the true story of the murders, we may never find out.