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“Interesting tour but overpriced and unprofessional” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Lizzie Borden House

Lizzie Borden House
230 Second Street, Fall River, MA
508-675-7333
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Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Fall River
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Attraction details
Newport, Rhode Island
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
59 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Interesting tour but overpriced and unprofessional”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

The Lizzie Borden House as a building is handsome and appealing on the outside, but because the immediate area is largely commercial and the modest grounds of the house are entirely paved for parking, it's a challenge to imagine what it might have been like in the late 19th century when the notorious murders took place. Inside is a different story. Although no original furnishings remain, the structure, odd floorplan, and the character of the place have been well preserved. That, coupled with a generous display of artifacts, explicit crime scene photos, and a lot of truly fascinating stories about the people and events at the time, contribute to a surprisingly interesting and mildly creepy experience.

That said, the most bothersome element of the tour was the unprofessional tour guide. She knew her stuff (maybe too well, as she repeated several memorized paragraphs verbatim) but also made certain to tell us her own opinion of what probably happened, or whether she believed a certain alibi or not, as if her point of view was the most important thing we needed to hear. She was also dressed like she had been working in a garage and nursed a bottle of root beer through the whole tour. She wasn't unbearable, but she was an annoying distraction.

For $15 the hour tour is overpriced, though a better tour guide could easily enhance the value. Behind the house is a gift shop where you also purchase tickets. There is also an alternative paranormal tour, but I expect the regular tour is probably sufficient for most. And since this is also a bed and breakfast, you can actually sleep under a gruesome crime scene photo that was taken in the very same room.

Bottom line: This is interesting and probably worthwhile for the curious, but only if you are in or passing through the area. Don't make a special trip just for this. People who appreciate or are serious about historical or cultural events could be turned off by the amateurish and unprofessional presentation.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Granby, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Very interesting visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

This visit exceeded my expectations. The tour guide revealed a very interesting and complicated story about Lizzie Borden and her family. His sense of humor and knowledge was key to making the visit enjoyable.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“How about some politics and a large Dunkin' Donuts coffee with that tour?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

When I arrived at the Lizzie Borden House, I went to the small gift shop in the rear of the house. There was no one about. I could have cleaned the place out and be half-way home to Boston before anyone noticed I had even been there. When I walked from the gift shop, someone called from a second story window. I was able to purchase a ticket and join the tour already in progress.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the house was the large DUNKIN' DONUTS cup on the table. Now, I love my coffee as much as the next person does. But would it have killed you to pour the coffee into a more historically accurate container? The tour guide's costume was interesting, though I do not know how authentic it was.

The tour itself felt very rushed (even before the tour guide told us so at the end). I suspect that this was due to the tour guide's insistence of interjecting his politics into the presentation. I really don't care how you feel about Wal-mart and the mythical wage gap. And, yes, Fox News is evil (while all the other news outlets are the soul of integrity). I'm rather tired of hearing this tripe everywhere I go.

The historical tidbits that found their way into this political screed were interesting, but the tour guide -- quel surprise! -- tried to force the narrative to jibe with his own thoughts about the murder. The more he tried to convince us that Lizzie did it, the more I was convinced that she did not. (At this point, I found it hard to believe anything he said.)

TIP: Do go to the local cemetery and visit the Borden gravesite. The people at the Lizzie Borden House will give you a printout of the directions. it's fairly easy to find.

The tour costs $15, which is overpriced. I certainly would not make a special trip to see this, but it might be an interesting stop on a trip through Fall RIver. I'm sure it will play very well with a crowd from Cambridge or Berkeley.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Can't wait to book a stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013 via mobile

I knew I had to visit while in the area. So worth it. Very informative... Great tour....I'll be back for a stay!

Visited October 2013
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North Haven, ct
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
82 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“very interesting tour!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

So glad we stopped here and did the tour. It was very interesting and informative. A lot of the furnishings in this house were made to look EXACTLY like the furnishings in the house during the time of the murders...unbelievable how they were able to replicate it almost to the last detail. Some of the stuff was also original..including the kitchen and clothing. Our tour guide was friendly, but i hafta be honest, i think he was a crack head....sweating profusely during tour, very shakey and fidgity also....BUT we tried to ignore that and just enjoy what he was telling us. Glad we stopped here on our way to cape cod.....we may even go back some day

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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