Category Archives: Spooky Southcoast

“What Is That Thing?” A Lizzie Borden Querry

Who knows what this is?

It is still inside the closet in “Bridget Sullivan’s bedroom” at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum.

Tim Weisberg‘s  Spooky Southcoast podcast episode entitled: “The Real Lizzie Borden” was broadcast shortly after the publishing of  Parallel Lives.  The featured guests on that episode were Michael Martins and Dennis Binette (curator and assistant curator of the Fall River Historical Society).  They help identify just what this is.

Advance to 46.10 to the relevant call in.

Here’s the link.



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The Three Lizzie Bordens

Spooky Southcoast Radio with Tim Weisberg, Matt Costa and Matt Moniz did a special show just prior to the 118th anniversary of the Borden murders and again invited me to be a guest.   This was their teaser for the show: CLICK

In this July 31, 2010 broadcast I talk about the three Lizzie Bordens.  The first is the Lizzie from her birth to 1890 – the one often described as odd and sulky, the one who quit high school her junior year.   The second is the post Grand Tour Lizzie Borden who came back  after 19 weeks abroad a changed woman, steeled in her reserve to get more, i.e., the things her father’s money could buy.  The third Lizzie is the post acquittal Lizzie who lived the entire second half of her life up on the “Hill” in a home she named “Maplecroft”.  This is the Lizzie shunned by most in her society that knew Lizzie 1 and Lizzie 2 , but whose loyal friends (including servants and travel companions)  would  all speak of or document her kind and gentle nature.  They only knew the third Lizzie.

I also reveal for the first time some documented proof concerning a theory of motive.

You can listen to the program immediately by clicking HERE.


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Monster Quest Does the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast

Post Airing Follow-up:

Another paranormal investigation into the “haunted” Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. I’m sure most viewers out there found it fascinating and there’ll be another spike in bookings from this airing. Not only will it draw more visitors to “the Borden house”, but it serves to ensure its standing for yet another, and another, and another future series episode on spirits, ghosts, and haunted happenings.

It’s not about the Borden murder case – its about the residual paranormal aspect that is “entertainment-worthy” within this genre. So case scholars, experts, purists or just plain enthusiastic case followers will always be disappointed and annoyed by the dismissive manner regarding actual facts of the case. Program producers and directors want to hear from people who have actually had experiences, not people who know the relationship of Lizzie’s second cousin to Franklin Roosevelt, or what role John Morse played in the sequence of events.

I chuckle at the notion of those that are well read scholars on the case who contact program and series producers offering up their services, free or otherwise, to consult on the project as to accuracy of case facts. It’s not about that. It’s about ENTERTAINMENT. In fact, the presentation of not one, but three locations, i.e., Gettysburg, a gas station, and the Lizzie Borden house, going back and forth, is to keep the viewership for the full hour – otherwise, one would only watch the segment they were especially interested in.

They brought up Michael, who lived in the Knowlton Room for a few months having engendered himself to Martha McGinn’s mother, Sally (who worked for Martha as house manager). But Michael died in a fire in Connecticut. Why would his spirit be hanging out at 92 Second Street in Fall River?

I believe there’s SOMETHING ACTIVE in that House. But it’s not Michael. I believe there is SOMETHING otherworldly that manifests itself and has been seen and/or felt by others, myself included – one time and one time only on August 4, 2007. Whether it be moved furniture, a severe and sudden drop in temperature, mist, fingers down the back or across the face, a wisp of wind when there is no wind, children’s laughter when there are no children, a heavy foreboding feeling as if an angry entity were present, or the voice of Andrew himself. There is SOMETHING. And I would not have believed it myself until 2 years ago, when I had my own experience. But it made a believer out of me.

This Monster Quest episode segment also hoped to pick up Lizzie’s voice. So the invesigator asked the question: “Lizzie, who killed your father?”. First of all, Lizzie hated that house and it’s the last place she – under free will – would hang out, dead or alive. Secondly, if she would never admit to stealing two paintings on porcelain in 1897, she sure ain’t gonna cop out to chopping up Andrew and Abby back in 1892. Entertainment T.V. or not!

We purists will just have to wait for the Ken Burns documentary airing on PBS. (sigh)….. Meanwhile, we’ll take these “entertainment” segments any way we get them. 🙂

*******Original Post Below*************

You understand TV programming doncha? First you do a spinoff of the hit series, then repackage the content but dress it differently. Then you sell the box DVD’s, re-program or sell to syndicated sister channels, tweak the title within the same genre, re-circulate the same episodes, utilize the same featured players and authorities, then box those DVD sets again, merchandise, syndicate and so it goes. Great formula.

Particular success with this formula can be found in the paranormal genre. The explosion of interest in the occult and paranormal, not to mention a growing appetite of the public to occupy the same space in a different time at famous and infamous locales where haunted happenings took place – locations such as 92 Second Street, Fall River, MA, home of the infamous Lizzie Borden, has force fed this type of programming until a number of channels are cluttered with them weekly.

Andrew Jackson Borden and what’s left of his face.

Abby Borden and what’s left of her hair.

It was inevitable then that The World’s Creepiest Places, The Most Haunted, and Places That Go Boo in the Night, would morph into a quest for monsters, namely Monster Quest, through packaging geniuses, The History Channel. And this, only one of their many genres. Anyway………

My pals Tim and Matt will be on Monster Quest next Wednesday night, June 11th, which features the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast.

I first met these guys last August 4th when we did a Spooky Southcoast episode. Here’s the podcast if you want to hear my interview and my own paranormal experiences at the scene of America’s most enigmatic murders.

And if you can’t figure out the connection between this 116 year old unsolved hatchet murder and the title of this new series….well, my phriend…..look at those images of Andrew and Abby again. Wouldn’t you agree only a monster could do such a thing?


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Spooky Southcoast

I’m off to an 8(a) seminar at Raytheon in Andover, MA to be held Monday and Tuesday (yea, business) but will also be dug in for a while at one of my favorite places in Boston for Borden research: The Boston Public Library.

Planning to slide down to Fall River if timing and events allow.

Meanwhile, enjoy this interview I did in the cellar of 92 Second Street on August 4th. It was going on midnight after a long and hectic day, so I apologize for the few flubs which Lizzie scholars will catch. After the interview, at the start of the second segment, Tim Weisberg describes what happened afterwards with Andrea Capulet, Colleen Johnson, Matt Moniz, Tim and myself. Surprised even me. Here’s the direct link:

Spooky Southcoast Radio (corrected link – thank you Jeri)

You’ll get the significance of these “Oak Grove Notables” once you hear the broadcast.

Son of Colonel Richard Borden

Richard B. Borden and The “Greater” Bordens

The other Emma Borden who died in 1927.

Lizzie’s cousin and cabinmate on the 19-week Grand Tour