Note: While not a requirement, it will help if you know a little bit about the case before reading this post. I don't break everything down for you, but here is an article that will give you the low down!
On the way to Cape Cod, we stopped at the Lizzie Borden house for a tour. I wanted to do this tour for a very long time. The murders of Lizzie's father and step-mother are fascinating to me because technically, they remain unsolved. I thought visiting the crime scene would give me a better idea of who could have perpetrated the crime. The suspects?
2. Bridgette, the maid
3. Lizzie and Bridgette working together
4. Uncle John Morse (who happened to be visiting that day but has an alibi)
5. An unknown intruder
6. And unknown person Lizzie hired to do the deed
To me, Lizzie has always been the leading suspect for many reasons...
1. Motive. This crime was about money. Andrew Borden did not have a will at the time of his death. He was 69 years old. If he died before his wife Abby (Lizzie's step-mother), all of his wealth would go to Abby, not his daughters. If both Andrew and Abby died but Andrew died first, the wealth would still go to Abby's family, not Lizzie. Lizzie's motive is she wanted the money.
2. Opportunity. There were only two people in the house at the time of the murders: Lizzie and the maid, Bridgette. One could argue Bridgette could have had the opportunity, but what would her motive be? Why would she kill the people she worked for? She was treated well by the family. She wouldn't get anything out of it except she would have to look for a new job!
I had read that the Lizzie Borden house is so small and you don't really get the sense of that until you are in it. (Most people mention the small size of the house to dispute the intruder family... Where would the intruder hide for 90 minutes in between the killing of Abby and Andrew?) I actually found the house to be quite large! I could totally see Lizzie being able to kill Andrew and Abby without Bridgette knowing if Bridgette was in a different part of the house. There are other reasons I don't think it was an intruder, which I will get into later.
As we approached the house, it looked exactly like it looked online...
We parked onsite went to the barn and bought our tour tickets. This was not the original barn. The original one was dismantled in 1929. The new one was built to replicate the old one but was built 15 feet farther back from the house.
Before the tour, our guide passed around pictures of "ghosts" people snapped from inside the house. I know the pictures were bullshit but I didn't tell everyone that because I'm not an asshole.
This is the pear tree in the front of the house. I was tickled to see it because at the time Lizzie lived in the house, the back yard was filled with pear trees. In fact, Lizzie said she was eating pears in the loft of the barn at the time her father was murdered. Now the backyard is a parking lot, but at least there is still a pear tree in the front of the house.
Before the tour, I pondered whether I would take selfies or take pictures inside the home. Part of me thought I shouldn't. People were brutally murdered in the house. Should I really be taking pictures? But then I thought, well if I was actually being respectful, I wouldn't even go on the tour! So I decided the fact that I was going on the tour negated everything else. So I went all in. I took pictures. I was a looky loo.
Here is is the front door and the entry hall. Lots of locks, just like back in 1892. The Bordens locked up their house. Another reason to not suspect an intruder...
First, we were taken into the front room, which was a parlor. This was where guests would visit the Bordens. It was also the room in which authorities informed Lizzie she was officially a suspect in the murders. The whole house is recreated via pictures with actual Victorian furniture and decorations. So it looks as close as possible to the way it looked when the Bordens lived there.
This song is called You Can't Chop Your Poppa Up In Massachusetts. You can listen to it on Youtube.
Then we were led into the dining room. Here, you will see our tour guide. I will be honest... he was pretty disjointed in what he said to us on the tour. And with his thick Massachusetts accent, Paul and I would have a hard time following along if we hadn't known the story well beforehand.
He also went back and forth between just talking casually and trying to be super dramatic. It's like he couldn't choose a character he wanted to be. All I kept thinking was how I would be an AWESOME tour guide! Maybe when I retire I can work a couple hours a week at a winery and a couple hours a week giving tours here!
He told us Abby and Andrew's autopsies were done in that very dining room. The broken plates below were found when the barn was dismantled in 1929.
Paul loves me. I never thought I'd find a guy who would go on the Lizzie Borden Tour with me!
Next, the sitting room, where Andrew Borden was killed as he napped on the couch.
Notice, the clock on the mantle was stopped around the time Andrew was killed. This was not pointed out to us. I noticed it because I am LEGIT!
That picture says, "What is a home without a father".
Not the original couch. Nothing is original, but of course it's a replicate and it's at the exact spot as the original couch.
But I'm not so sure the Bordens had a Ouiji Board. I bet it's for guests who may want to try to contact the dead. Do you believe in Ouji Boards? I believe in the fact that they exist, but I don't think you can contact the dead with them.
Now it was time to go upstairs. The wooden stairs are the same exact stairs from 1892. After Andrew Borden was found dead, they realized Abby hadn't been seen for nearly an hour and a half. Where could she be? Bridgette and the neighbor went upstairs.They got to the seventh step, which is where they could see through the railings, into the guestroom, and under the bed to the other side where Abby's body laid on the floor. Of course I took a picture from the seventh step and yes, you would be able to see the body!
This is the guest room Uncle John Morse was staying in. Abby was killed while she was dusting it. Another reason I think Lizzie killed Abby was because Abby knew her killer. She was hit first in the side of the face with an ax, then she collapsed on the floor and was hit in the back of the head many more times. There was no evidence Abby tried to get away or called out. Whoever came in that room to kill her did not alarm her. SHE KNEW HER KILLER! IT WAS NOT AN INTRUDER!
Just chilling where she died...
I am quite sure this is not the original carpet.
It was in this room, sitting on a chair beside the spot Abby was killed, when I realized I would not be scared to stay here overnight. I didn't get bad vibes. It wasn't creepy. It was a beautiful room with lots of windows and sunlight pouring in. I could totally picture myself laying in bed, cruising around on reddit, and falling asleep without a care in the world.
Dress worn by Elizabeth Montgomery in a movie about Lizzie Borden
A picture from the movie
Bathroom, but at the time, there was no indoor plumbing so this would have been a dressing room.
Next, we got to see Lizzie and Emma's rooms. All the rooms are connected- no hallways. The door between Lizzie's room and Andrew and Abby's room was not only locked but furniture was up against it. The only way you could get to the front part of the second floor was the front stairway. To get to the back part of the second floor (Andrew and Abby's room) as well as the third floor (Bridgette's room), you had to use the back stairway.
That is one of Lizzie's books. She wrote her initials in the top corner.
Furniture blocking a door to the guestroom.
The next bedroom used to be Abby's dressing room.
Then we went to Andrew and Abby's room. The bathroom connected to this room would have been Andrew's office at the time.
Then we went up the narrow back staircase to check out the third floor. First was Bridgette's room.
There was another small sitting room and bedroom on the third floor, but back in the 1800s, that part was just storage.
Then we went all the way down those back stairs to the kitchen...
Still has the old stove!
Lizzie in her later years with one of her animals. She loved animals.
Lizzie's grave site.
All in all, I would say the information I learned on the tour wasn't earth shattering, but to actually BE IN THE HOME was a very unique experience!
Fun fact: The Bed and Breakfast sleeps 20 people total and you can rent the WHOLE HOUSE out for a night for $1800! That means less than $100 per person! I already have an idea of which friends I would invite for a fun night in the Lizzie Borden House! Do you think you're one of them!?
I'm not even sure what to ask about this topic... This truly has to be the weirdest blog you read, right!?