(Originally published October 6, 2011. See related posts at bottom.)
The reputation of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum being haunted has escalated over the years due to its exposure from the many television paranormal “entertainment” shows. Unlike the made-for-t.v.documentaries that focus on Lizzie herself, the town of Fall River, her sister Emma and Uncle John, these ghostly presentations are served up in abundance.
Spin-off and copy cat shows recycle, repackage and replicate attempting to satisfy the masses who can’t seem to get enough. The popular Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures are only two of the many paranormal/investigative sub genre. But let us not forget these programs are pure theater They ARE entertainment. They ARE produced, programmed and broadcast by companies that are in business – and the purpose of ANY business is to make a profit. Some productions are better than others, but most are like Howdy Doody on steroids.
Before the crush of competitive paranormal and ghost hunting shows there were the lesser known features. This early one, featuring my long time friend Martha McGinn is one I particularly like because it has many of the original employees of the B&B. Eleanor Thibault, who tells of the “smoke” holds the distinction of having the record for the longest, continuous employee. She is the wife of Ed Thibault who has been featured in so many documentaries playing Andrew Borden.
So now we have autumn and the Halloween season upon us. Expect to see repackaged repeats of the haunted Lizzie Borden House. Yech. Is it haunted? I don’t think so. But if you sell it, they will come. And they have; both production companies and those seeking the paranormal experience.
Oh, Lizzie. You never really liked that house, but you wouldn’t believe it now.
Happy Halloween, darlin’. And try not to let those treading footfalls around your headstone disturb you too much. Pretend it’s Princess Summerfallwinterspring come to play Magda. Or maybe it’s just Clarabell the Clown – wearing a hockey mask.