Might Want to Axe These Vacation Plans

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Charles C. Trafton

On 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts lies an innocent enough looking home.  The Victorian style home was built in 1845 by Charles C. Trafton.  Currently being used as a bed and breakfast and museum, guests are able to stay in a three story, eight roomed home, complete with antique furnishings from the nineteenth century.  Guests enjoy air conditioning and free internet access.  They also have access to a Victorian themed breakfast, served in an old world style dining room and complimentary house tours.

(images:masstravel/flickr)

(images:masstravel/flickr)

Popular spots on the tour include bedrooms, sitting rooms, and dining rooms.  What makes this tour different from other homes of its kind is that the site was home to the gruesome slaying and deaths of Andrew and Abby Borden.  The couple was axed to death in their home while they lived there from 1874 to 1892.  Their murders occurred on August 4, 1892 and remain (mostly) unsolved.

Andrew Borden was a high society man who lived in the home with his second wife and his two daughters.  In 1982, he was napping on a settee in the sitting room when he was axed to death by ten or eleven blows with a hatchet.  Guests on the Lizzie Borden House tour are welcomed to lay on the settee in the very spot Andrew was violently killed.  Close by, graphic crime scene photos are displayed with a note for guests to “watch your head.”

Abby Borden was murdered the same day in the guest room of the home.  Her crime scene spot is one of the most requested rooms at the bed and breakfast.  Abby was struck in the side of the head with an axe and after falling face down, she was struck an additional nineteen times on the back of her head.  People are able to replicate her final pose with a marked out spot on the guest room floor.

(images:masstravel/flickr)

(images:masstravel/flickr)

Andrew’s daughter Lizzie, Abby’s stepdaughter, was tried but acquitted of the murderous charges.  Because no weapon could be recovered definitively for the trials, and there was no blood or witnesses tying Lizzie to the crime, she was never sentenced.  Many people have no doubt that she is to blame for the grisly deaths.  She and her sister Emma never returned to the home, but inherited a great sum of money after the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Borden.

Every room of the home has had some report of paranormal activity according to Lee-Ann Wilbur, proprietor.  She is accustomed to house guests running out after not making it through the night.  People are able to sleep in the master bedroom shared by Mr. and Mrs. Borden, the guest bedroom where Abby was found, the room that Lizzie and Emma shared, and attic rooms accessible by back servant stairs.  They are also able to explore the dining room which houses the autopsy table and the model skulls used in Lizzie’s trial to show the violence inflicted that fateful evening.

(images:yalelawlibrary/flickr)

(images:yalelawlibrary/flickr)

People are cautioned to leave money on the table to keep Andrew Borden’s ghost at bay, and toys in the bedrooms to keep the children from disrupting sleep.  Floors creak, doors open and close, lights turn on and off, shadows appear without a source, feelings of cold permeate the room, and the curious smell of a floral perfume leave guests sleepless night after night.  People describe feelings a dark, oppressive energy upon entering the home and report feelings of being touched or tugs.  They hear whispers or laughing and have even heard the piano play on occasion.  Encouraging guests to utilize a Ouija board, it seems this vacation is definitely not for those seeking a little R&R.

 

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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