Christopher Moon and Haunted University will be returning to the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum for this weekend, giving classes in how to set up paranormal-detecting equipment, and monitoring the house for “activity”. With a full moon on the rise for Saturday night- this should be a good tune-up for Halloween!
The weather was perfect for trick or treaters and this year there was quite a crowd. One little boy, about 18 months old decided he wanted to stay at #92 and had to be picked up by Dad to continue the trick or treating around the neighborhood. The diningroom was alive with rodents and wormy apples, vultures and other creepy things, including a coffin on the table. Only one plastic hatchet was stolen from the jack o’ lantern pumpkinhead on the doorsteps( whose name is always Charles after original house owner Charles Trafton). Guests enjoyed a seance well into the wee hours. Neither Houdini nor Andrew Borden showed up! The group photo was the only photo of the night which came out rather eerily on the camera. Already the house is booking for NEXT Halloween!
Ghosts have pretty much been a year round phenomenon at #92 but never more so than the month of October when the Borden house is packed to the rafters every weekend with people toting EVP capturing machines, magnetic field detectors, thermographs, night vision cameras, and other high priced gizmos for capturing the perfect orb, groan, sigh, shadow- anything out of the ordinary. There is a seance on Saturday night in the sittingroom in front of the black sofa, with hopeful participants waiting for a message or the levitating of a small round table used in the proceedings. The guestbook is filled with comments of things both heard and seen by guests which run the gamut from ghostly encounters of the Third Kind to bumps and screams in the night. All good fun- and nobody has ever been the worse for the experiences, real or imagined!
Recently an August 4th guest has published the experiences of her visit with her boyfriend. The couple had won an Ebay auction for the Morse guestroom, the most requested room where Mrs. Borden had been murdered. An account of Ms. Zorn’s visit has appeared on many blogs and sites including this one today http://greglefever.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-halloween-haunted-lizzie-borden.html.
The couple had enjoyed a quiet evening, including the usual tour of the house and had retired to their room afterward. The rest of the guests were sitting in the parlor chatting and having coffee when two piercing screams were heard. After a time, the two screamers came downstairs declaring the light had been switched off overhead, a smaller lamp switched on, there was something “funny” about the mirror – and they both had decided to leave, suitcase in hand. It was nearly midnight. Another guest freely admitted to having turned off the overhead light and turning on the small lamp to conserve energy. An offer was made to cover the mirror. All to no avail. The couple was convinced they had to go. They did, however return in broad daylight the following day for breakfast. If you are determined to scare yourself to death at #92, you will probably succeed!
The month of October has always been an especially busy one at the Borden House, with Halloween night selling out nearly a year in advance. The following blog has has some great photos of an overnight stay in 2007 by a newly-wed couple, Hans and Rebecca, who managed to “meet” most of the Borden family and capture some orbs and other curious things before their check out the following day.
Senior editor of Haunted Times magazine, Chris Moon, and a paranormal investigation team will be returning to the Borden house this weekend for a two day session of learning to use special equipment to capture ghosts on film, EVPs and other paranormal tools-all accompanied by great food and conversation and real ghost-hunting onsite. Haunted University has made several weekend visits to the Borden House over the past 2 years. For more on Haunted Times Magazine and Haunted University future projects visit http://www.hauntedtimes.com/ghosthunteruniversity.html
There was great excitement last weekend when a guest at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast continued to get a pale reflection in a mirror while using a digital camera in Emma Borden’s room on the second floor. The little room had once been Lizzie’s from age 12-30 before Emma changed rooms with her younger sister. It certainly seemed as if something supernatural was trying to “come through the veil”.
After trying several digital cameras and obtaining the same eerie effect, someone suggested taking the shot without the flash. No ghostly image appeared! The flash was apparently bouncing off the framed oval portrait of Emma over the bed and reflecting it into the mirror. But it was fun for a few moments!
As June 11th approaches, more press on the involvement of locals is featured in area nespapers and publications. http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080604/NEWS/806040356
The episode, filmed at the Borden house last winter, will air this Wednesday at 9 p.m.
Selling like hotcakes off the shelves of Phantom Book Shop in Ventura is Richard and Deb Senate’s latest excusion into the psychic world – a solution to the Borden case. Deb has the gift of picking up impressions from holding objects from a crime scene. The couple is now tackling England’s own Lizzie Borden- Jack the Ripper. For ordering information and more on this title, visit their website at
Plans are being made to install a 24 hour webcam at the scenes of the crimes in the sitting room and guest bedroom at the Borden house on Second Street. Interested viewers at home could then check in at leisure to see what was transpiring at any time of day or night in the sitting room, and the guest bedroom when not occupied by overnight guests. Followers of the paranormal are particularly excited by this prospect. The date when this experiment goes into effect has not yet been announced.
A production crew from the popular History Channel program, Monster Quest has been filming at the Borden house for the past three days and wrapped the shoot tonight. The show is due to air either this summer or as late as the autumn. House owner, LeeAnn Wilber took charge of the hatchet as Lizzie Borden with veteran Ed Thibaut reprising his role as Andrew. Samantha Carey did duty as Bridget while Mrs. Borden was played by Shelley Dziedzic. The program focused on paranormal possibilities at #92.
Guests visiting the bed and breakfast at #92 who stay in the Abby and Andrew Borden room get a thrill finding the hidden cat face and skull in the headboard. The antique Renaissance Revival walnut bed with the high headboard features burled insets where these strange figures can be seen. Most recently a guest spied a skull at the base of the cat face. Can you spot it?
and the skull at the base of the cat face
This much-requested room receives a good many comments from overnight guests of meowing, “something jumping on the foot of the bed”, purring and other feline sounds. The story goes that Lizzie may have killed Abby Borden’s cat by decapitation or chloroform. In any event, the stuffed kitty on the bed is said to move around in the night and has made such an impression, visitors now bring it toys.
A recent trip to the New Bedford courthouse where Lizzie was acquitted in June of 1893 revealed the old court room to be much the same as it was during her famous trial there. Tables, benches, light fixtures remain the same, and just perhaps Lizzie herself still walks up and down the wooden staircase where she once tread with anxiety and trepidation! A digital photo of the prisoner’s staircase to the second floor of the building where the court room is located revealed a very large pale orb floating up the staircase. To the left of the judge’s bench is a handsome portrait of the prosecutor, Hosea Knowlton who seems destined to haunt the place, even if Lizzie does make a return trip from time to time!
Lizzie in court in June 1893
Lizzie 101 UMASS tours the Borden cellar
It was a mild evening for the trick or treaters. The temps were in the low 60’s, a balmy breeze, with puffy white clouds scudding across a dark grey sky furnished the ideal backdrop to a perfect Halloween. At Second Street the table in the diningroom (where once Mr. and Mrs. Borden were laid out on undertakers’ boards for two and a half days) was now the scene for a table decorated in festive holiday style. Crows and bats, skulls and rats, cupcakes with mummy faces, popcorn balls and cookies, spider cakes and candy corn, cider and other treats awaited the ten guests planning to try to stay the whole night.
Vampires and cats, the Bride of Frankenstein and Frankie too called at the house as well as pirates, super heroes, witches, ghosties, and one very tired little 3 year old pumpkin dared to cross the threshold in search of treats. It had been an exciting day with segments on both the Today Show and the Montel Williams Show about the Borden house. Dr. Betty Mitchell also brought her class from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth for a special tour of the house by author and historian, Leonard Rebello. The class was all freshman girls – with lots of questions to ask. Dr. Mitchell teaches a class in “Lizzie 101” and is a well-respected authority often seen in documentaries about the case.
Guests from Ohio, Vermont, Connecticut, Michigan, and New Jersey enjoyed a tour of the house at 8 p.m. followed by a midnight seance in the sitting room in front of the sofa where Mr. Borden met his untimely end. Next to August 4th, the anniversary of the Borden crime, Halloween is the most popular time of year to come to visit the scene of the crime.
On Friday, October 19th, a film crew arrived to shoot interior footage of the Borden house and interview staff for a special Halloween “Spooky Places” segment for the Montel Williams Show. The show will feature an appearance by reknown psychic Sylvia Browne and the co-owner of Second Street, LeeAnn Wilber. The episode may be aired either Wednesday, October 24 or October 31st. The date will be announced as soon as it is finalized.
Apparently this black cat is not afraid of hatchets or chloroform. As the legend goes, Lizzie may have tried either on Abby Borden’s kitten. Max, the sleek jet black kitty who lives in Dr. Kelly’s house next door, makes frequent trips to visit the Borden barn and welcomes visitors and overnight guests at the house. From time to time Max startles the staff by creeping stealthily into the cellar and meowing plaintively.
They are in the guest room, in the parlor, in the Borden’s room, in the kitchen and gift shop. The “Phantom Kitty” has taken on a life of its own as guests in Abby and Andrew’s bedroom swear they hear a cat meowing plaintively in the walls or jumping up at dawn on the foot of the old Renaissance Revival bed and “treading” and purring loudly. When unnerved guests dare to have a look- there is nothing there! Some guests even leave catnip mice or balls for the Phantom Feline in hopes of being favored with a nocturnal visit.
All of this seems to stem from the story that Lizzie had either chloroformed or decapitated Abby’s kitten many years ago. Naturally black cats are unlucky as the legend goes, so Abby’s cat has now become the black kitten. True or false? Hard to know, except that Lizzie loved animals and left a great deal of money for their care in her will. Still- it makes a great Halloween story!