Monday, July 16, 2012

Think you could stay the night??

Oh my Heavens it's hot outside! And yes, heat is relative. I've learned that from my husband-- who used to live in Kuwait. According to him the hot and humid weather we've been recently experiencing in New York-- anywhere from 85 to 95 degrees; is cool!  I just roll my eyes and crank the fan higher...
( My hubby says I am very good at giving him "the look" which I gave him just after he uttered that word; "cool". I just smiled and replied " I've had lots of practice")

I wanted to share some of the photos we took on our mini vacation to Hartford Connecticut and Fall River Massachusetts. Well...actually I didn't take any pictures of Hartford. I've been there so often now that every building is inscribed into my memory. But we took an unexpected excursion into Fall River Mass. Does the name Fall River ring any bells with anyone , especially my American co-patriots? ---Disclaimer: Apologies to those of a sensitive  nature. If you don't like being scared or murder mysteries feel free to skip this post.----

This name should jog your memory but if not here's a hint:

 "Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one."

Just a few years after London England reeled from the rampage of a crazed serial killer-- by the moniker of Jack the Ripper-- a small New England town was in the throes of the chaotic trial  of a young, well-to-do axe-wielding, Church-going Victorian woman  accused of murdering her parents. If you aren't familiar with the story, or need a refresher, you can read the whole story here

Yes, we went to the notorious site of those brutal murders committed over 100 years ago. Believe it or not the house where The Borden's lived has been turned into a museum, gift store and an expensive Bed and Breakfast. Just how expensive?  Well... check it out here.

This is the house is unassuming. It's really quite small on the inside. The rooms are tiny and while they are tastefully appointed there is nothing extravagant. The current owners have tried to recreate the way the Borden's decorated, based on photos that were taken during the time period.  Actually, it looks rather out of place on the street. All around it there are large city buildings and offices. This is the only house nearby. It gives the appearance that this is the only small part of the city where time has stood still.

 This is me and my wonderful hubby Kal. When this photo was snapped we had just completed out tour of the house and enjoying some fresh air. With all the fellow tourists the house was very cramped!  I can't imagine that four people--The Borden's: that included Abby, Andrew, Emma and Lizzie; lived in that house with the stifling heat that occurred the summer of the murders. No wonder someone snapped....
 And in case you thought I was neglecting my love of needlework in this is a stitchery piece that reads "What is a home without a father?" I can certainly attest the the current owners' sense of dark humor and irony!

 And yes, I am sharing pictures of the rooms where the murders occurred. This is the room where Lizzie's step-mother Abby was killed in.  While she was making the bed someone slipped behind her and gave her 18 blows with an axe.
And this is the sitting room where Andrew Borden breathed his last. Of course, the sofa is a reproduction and not the actual scene of the crime, although it does look like the one in the original crime scene photograph...hmmmmm....

Despite the macabre nature of the excursion it was quite a memorable trip. I've always had a fascination with the Lizzie Borden case, partly because my mother taught me the famous rhyme that she and her friends would recite when they played skip rope as youngsters--but also because I remember seeing my idol Elizabeth Montgomery (from the TV show Bewitched fame) playing Lizzie in a movie in the 70's. Coincidentally, Lizzie and Elizabeth were actually cousins. How weird is that?

Additionally I love the Victorian time period and enjoy reading the history of the era. For instance the tour guide mentioned that the section the Borden's lived in was predominately Irish. The Irish at that time were considered thugs, criminals and unsavory company for the refined sensibilities of a wealthy English family like the Bordens. Apparently, back then it was considered ill form for the English and the Irish to  mingle--even in the "New World". In fact, the Borden sisters never married because they could not fraternize with the Irish lads that comprised the majority of the neighborhood. In order to find appropriate suitors, Mr. Borden would have needed to move the family to the "fashionable" English side of town--which he refused to do because he was allegedly too miserly.

And to address your question--since I know your anxious to know: would I ever stay overnight at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast?  I will reply in a quick and resounding: "No"!!!!! The house was creepy and gave off an oppressive feeling. It looked beautiful but I felt anxious in the house and couldn't wait to get out. Although I know the history of the house alone could jump start my active imagination I did not get the feeling that was the only cause of my unease. I have never witnessed a ghost nor experienced anything that could be construed as paranormal..but I remain open minded. Just because I haven't experienced something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. However, I won't truly believe until I have actually experienced something tangible. I'm perfectly happy to remain unconvinced.


  1. Neat post! I don't think I could stay there either...

  2. Hey, we could always get 20 friends together and have the run of the entire house for a mere $1500.00. I say we book it for this coming Halloween!

  3. This was the most interesting post you've ever posted!!!

    I wonder if you did feel any strange feelings or energy stream in the house?

    The cutest part of the post is your picture with your husband... I am pleased to see you together!

    Thank you for such interesting sharing with us...

    With my warm regards,

    1. Hi Nurdan!
      Thank you for the wonderful comments! Yes, a good murder mystery is always interesting. Lizzie was never convicted for the crime. Although, going through the house and listening to all the information provided, I'm convinced that she did do it. But her life after the trial was pretty calm and sedate. She was also, by accounts, a very generous person with her money. She gave to various charities and also bought her servants many gifts!

      Brightest blessings!


  4. Thanks for sharing Beth, lovely photo of you and hubby.
    Don't think I could have stayed long in the house. hugs.

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog! Yeah, it did not give off a very warm or homey feeling! I could never stay the night at that B&B. Normally I love B&B's and have stayed at quite a few in the New England area. This particular one does not appeal to me. Additionally it's way too hyped and commercialized. The owners are clearly trying to bank on the notoriety. You can now subscribe to an online webcam that is accessible at night to do your own ghost hunting! People continue to find novel ways to make money!

      Brightest Blessings!
      Beth B.