I Was a Ghost at Lizzie Borden’s in Fall River, MA

The Borden House. Image by Jennifer Billock.

The Borden House. Image by Jennifer Billock.

In March, I was a ghost. It was an accident, really. My mom and I were staying at the Lizzie Borden House Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts. You heard me right—Lizzie Borden’s house, the (alleged) axe-wielding murderess who slaughtered her parents in their home, in the middle of the day, on the busiest street in town. That house is now a period-designed bed and breakfast and a much celebrated haunted location in the paranormal world.

But back to my story.

We stayed two nights. With each night at the B&B, guests go on a tour of the house and hear stories of its terrifying past. We were stuck in a blizzard on the way there, so we missed the tour. We threw our stuff in the room we were staying in that night (the Lizzie and Emma Suite, formerly the girls’ two bedrooms) and headed back down to join the rest of the crew for chatting in the parlor. After some particularly odd conversation about tattoos, medical-grade needles, and someone losing his teeth at the LA bus station, the other guests headed to bed. We were exhausted from our drive but still too amped up to sleep, so we sat downstairs alone, relaxing for a while.

Eventually we went up. The Lizzie and Emma Suite is at the top of the front stairs, across the hall from the bathroom and 90 degrees away from the sewing room where Abby Borden was found. The girls staying in the sewing room had left their door open when they fell asleep. A mild irritation, but they didn’t know anyone was staying in our room since we had arrived so late.

I couldn’t sleep. I spent the night pacing around the room, looking at all the knick-knacks in the cabinets (there was even one of Lizzie’s books from her library, with her initials written inside the cover). Every time I tried to sleep, I would wake back up, turning toward the door in the back of the room that joined Lizzie’s room to her parents’ old room. I had the distinct feeling someone was watching me sleep, standing in that corner, and it was unnerving.

Lizzie's room. Image by Jennifer Billock.

Lizzie’s room. Image by Jennifer Billock.

At 3 a.m., I’d had enough. I left my room, quietly walked past the open sewing room door, stepped into the bathroom to splash water on my face, then headed back into my room because I was too spooked to go downstairs alone. I eventually fell asleep.

Breakfast the next morning was delicious. Pancakes, eggs, garlic potatoes. We all sat around the table exchanging stories from the night. Someone heard a child’s voice. Someone felt a cold spot. I didn’t say anything about my sleep-watcher. Then the two girls from the sewing room lifted themselves with deep breaths and spilled their story.

“About 3 a.m., we were sleeping. We both woke up suddenly, and the room felt strange. And then we heard it: footsteps outside our door. We heard them for a second and then they stopped, but they came back a couple minutes later. It was a ghost, we know it!”

Of course, I knew it was just me, unable to sleep and going to the bathroom. But I didn’t want to say anything. They were excited about the idea of this ghost encounter, and who was I to take that away from them? Of course, the next night I suffered the consequences of my little omission.

Mom and I had moved rooms, to the Andrew and Abby Suite, the parents’ room. Again, about 3 a.m., someone woke up thinking there was a ghost—but this time, it was me. A chill took over the air, at least a 20-degree difference that woke both my mom and me. She fell back asleep almost instantly but I was up. And then, goosebumps everywhere. What kept me awake was the sound of two women, arguing in a whisper, right in the doorway where no one stood. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but it was definitely something serious.

Guests at the house often leave offerings for the lost souls. Image by Jennifer Billock.

Guests at the house often leave offerings for the lost souls. Image by Jennifer Billock.

The next morning, I again chose not to relay my tale. But the new guests that arrived the night before had stories of their own. At 3 a.m., on the floor above me, someone heard footsteps running across the floor. Someone else, at the same time, heard and saw their doorknob jiggle.

I wondered if another guest was the cause, but I doubt it. Three different incidents, all at the same time, on two different floors? Pretty spooky.

Jennifer Billock

About Jennifer Billock

Jen the Managing Editor here at the Buzz, and you can also check out her Milwaukee travel blog at MetroMilwaukeeGuide.com. She is a wanderlustful travel writer, always looking for unique destinations to play in. She’s interested in traveling to the strangest and most far-flung locales, and living to write about it!