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“Pathetic”

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Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 2 Fall River B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2008

I had never been to or really heard of Fall River before until this. What a shame. I've been all over the world and this has to be the most HORID excuse for a city I have ever seen! The Borden house is a joke. The ridiculous girl trying to make it seem like a ghost is there is a hoax! I got so angry at this point I said out loud I could see her making the noises by moving her arms and when she told me to be quiet I asked her to keep her hands up and see what would happen. While we all laughed at her because it was so dumb, her little game ended quickly and I just left mid tour. Leaving the home made me wish I had a gun because the area this place is in is a pure LOSER HEAVEN! Junkies all over. Low low low budget - everything about it. STAY AWAY!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank RockyStart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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395 - 401 of 403 reviews

Reviewed December 5, 2007

After looking at TripAdvisor’s “America’s Spookiest Hotels” press release I was inspired to check out what other haunted hotels were laying around Massachusetts. Fortunately, we’re home to quite a few of them! Room 303 of the Boston Copley is haunted, the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem is haunted, and there is a haunted bed and breakfast in Pittsfield plus about 3 or 4 more along the cape. However, the only one that caught my eye was the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. That’s how we decided on staying there and no negative review would keep us away from experiencing a somewhat macabre and morbid experience.

The drive from Boston to Fall River is pretty boring, and Fall River itself was pretty dismal. We tried looking for things to do in Fall River during our weekend stay, but it looked like all they really had were museums, naval shipyards and a cemetery. Not quite an attractive town at all. In fact it was really depressing – narrow streets with hundred-year-old houses falling apart and not much to look at anywhere. Upon arriving we noticed the Lizzie Borden house stuck out like a sore thumb. The drab green house looked pretty ominous next to a bright yellow house and what looked to be abandoned construction across the street.

There were a handful of parking spaces behind the house including a gift shop that was then closed. Lee Ann (the manager) and Eleanor (the tour guide) greeted me and my gf at the door, after we entered Eleanor took us up to our room. I guess I didn’t do my research well enough, as I didn’t realize the ‘Lizzie Borden room’ was also attached to the ‘Emma Borden room’, which meant we got two beds for the price of one, but no bathroom. The bathroom was shared with the ‘John V. Morse room’. The only reason we ended up with the room was because of a cancellation, so be sure to make your reservations well in advance to get a room. However, if you have the option definitely book the Andrew Borden room, it has it’s own private bath.

Eleanor was very nice and told us our options on food in the area, also she let us know about the house tour and that we were welcome to sit in on the ‘entertainment’ of a séance or personal reading by a medium that stops by on the weekends. Because the tour takes the guests through each room of the house, we didn’t feel like spreading out our things all over the bed – knowing that everyone would be peeking in later.

The two rooms were decorated very nicely except for the over abundance of photos of Lizzie (who looks quite mad) staring out at you from all corners of the room. Either I was out of shape from the flight of stairs up to the room or the air was thick with ghosts – but the room had a stuffy feeling to it. I felt like I was at my grandma’s – if my grandma had never updated her house in over 80 years. There was a dress in the room on a mannequin, a blue hat that my gf kept trying on and bedpans in each room. I thought they were just nicely decorated pots – but my gf insisted they were bed pans – and then later I found out why there would be bed pans in a house that existed when bathrooms and electricity were fairly common.

After returning from our dinner, we arrived just in time for the tour. There were about 12 of us plus Eleanor sitting in one of the downstairs sitting rooms. A cheap chandelier hung above us and a small LCD TV was sitting in front of an organ. We all introduced ourselves and there was a large group of 6 that were back on the account that they had such a great time the last time they stayed. From what we learned later, they have a high return rate and some couples/groups have come back many, many, many times. I could immediately tell that the group of 6 was very interested in the paranormal and maybe the rest of us were just there for a macabre romp with historical murder mysteries. Either way, everyone was smiling with anticipation for Eleanor’s tour.

Eleanor is probably the nicest and most knowledgeable tour guide I have ever met. She dutifully weaved the story of the events of that fateful night when the murder was committed. She took us on a tour through the whole house (room to room) and detailed neat mini-stories and sewed them back into the main murder mystery. She claimed she could talk for over 5 hours on the subject, and I really believe her because I think we went over hour 1.5-hour tour – and I still had some questions to ask after the tour was over. She even told us about the eerie things that have happened to her and the others that work in the house. Ectoplasm, hands without bodies, words floating into their heads, shadows of ghosts, a dead cat calling from the grave, small ghost children hiding in the attic and blood still visible in the house’s wood floor.

I thought it was all very interesting and the group of six kept saying ghosts had manhandled them earlier that night and names were popping into their heads as if ghosts were whispering in their ears. One of them – a spiritualist minister – kept watching everything and was especially jumpy. He jumped when a woman walked behind him - he must have thought she Lizzie. He also saw a shadow when we were coming back out of the basement. One lady had a ghostly policeman grab her arm (she demonstrated this to the group by grabbing mine) and show her a ghost child hiding in the corner. Interesting.

Eleanor’s tour unfortunately consisted of wide range of speculative “information.” Most of this had come from the séance’s and was practically considered truth. I think some of the group sighed with relief now that they had finally discovered what “really” happened. The sad story is that Lizzie is being abused by her dad because she looks like her dead mother and then she goes in with her sister and uncle to hire a pig butcher to come and do the dirty deed. The pig butcher pulls up in a carriage with another man, hops out of the carriage hacks everyone up in the house, wraps up his overalls in a bunch and goes off on his way. The glaring problem with the story is the lack of historical evidence and the question of why a butcher would hack at two people so many times – you’d think a butcher would know how to kill something with one nice chop. The other problem with the story is that it was derived out of multiple séance’s of knocking once for no and twice for yes on a rickety old table!

That brings us to the séance. It was $10 per person and my gf really wanted to do it so we did. We had to split into two groups because the table we had to sit at was so small. The first group consisted of the 6 who came together, Liz the medium, and the owner’s daughter (who unfortunately turned the séance into a rated G experience). The first round went something like this with Liz dictating what Mr. Borden only told her: “Mr. Borden is swearing, he’s saying the B word, yes the B word.” Sometimes the table would produce a creek and the medium would clarify “That was two knocks, he means yes, he’s mad at Eleanor” then the table would rock around and point at Eleanor who walked into the room during the séance. I was pretty restless and I accidentally knocked my foot against the couch I was sitting on. This produced a loud noise, which was immediately interpreted at the dead trying to invade the room. I had to explain twice that loud noises were coming from me and not the dead.

When it was our turn to come to the table the medium wanted to see if we could coerce Mr. Borden to levitate the table, so we wall put two fingers under the table and – guess what – the table “levitated.” The ironic thing is it could only levitate when we all were touching the table. So if there are 7 people with four fingers each holding up the table, it would be pretty light to hold the table up in the air – and indeed it was. Unfortunately – the table couldn’t do anything on it’s own, and the ghosts couldn’t move anything else in the room, produce sound anywhere else in the room, or really do anything but speak into the medium’s head. The table also moved around in circles a great deal, mostly because Mr. Borden was mad at someone or something or he was agitated or he thought people in the room were stealing his money. For being dead, Mr. Borden must not have been that bright when he was alive.

So now the time is well past midnight and I am pretty exhausted (contrary to popular belief pushing a table back and forth for an hour wasn’t the reason some of us was tired). My gf and I go up to our room and find the room is void of any ghosts floating around and also void of a comfortable bed. The only looming presence in the room (I guess besides the portraits of Lizzie) is the fact we have to get up before 8am to eat breakfast! Not only do the dead get no sleep in the house, the living don’t get any either!! Fortunately, we were promised a great meal of Johnnie cakes, eggs, and other breakfast type things. The Johnny cakes (corn bread pancakes) were served the morning of the murder and the morning we stayed there (a ghostly coincidence? You decide!) – they were actually really tasty with some syrup and butter.

After cleaning up a bit we went to the sitting room where Lee Ann was and we talked about the house, the “entertainment”, the décor, and the Lizzie Borden movie. Lee Ann popped in the movie as my gf and I had never heard of it – or seen it before. Please, don’t ever watch that movie. It was terrible. We stopped watching it, got our stuff and headed out.

We paid for our stay in the nifty little gift shop and picked up a map that detailed the house where Lizzie moved to after she violently hacked up her parents with a hatchet (in a violent rage – later showing no remorse for it). We drove by the cemetery and noticed that everyone who had stayed at the house had congregated around the tombstones - probably giving them blessings (but I doubt they were thanking them for a good night sleep).

Overall I think the stay was very interesting – but was not good for a relaxing or luxurious night stay. The house has a lot of entertainment value, but I think that’s as far as its charm goes. The living were definitely just as entertaining as the dead, so hopefully if you go you’ll be surrounded by a group as interesting as the group that was there when we stayed. Oh – and the walls are very thin – you can hear every room all the time. Don’t steal my idea, but try whispering into the vents and see what the table talk the next morning is. =)

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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13  Thank Aaron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2007

Ok....my husband and I decided to shell out $250 to say in the Andrew and Abby suite for an evening. The house tour guide, Eleanor, is very knowledgable about the history of the house. Everything else....a big hoax. Each member of the staff tries to convince you that the house is haunted. They invite a psychic to do a scence. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She makes the table creak and move ( I sat next to her and watched her every move). It's just lame and disappointing.

By the end, there were a room full of us making fun of the place. It's a great time if you like to sit around and determine who is placed in the house to watch over the group after Eleanor leaves for the evening.

If they tell you that two girls from Alabama are back to stay another night, just know that they are placed there to watch over the house. Oh yeah, TAPS never found anything in this house either.....it's definitely not haunted. Sorry to ruin it for you if you thought it was!

Alos, the face in the basement is also just a painting on the wall. I wouldn't go back to this place, but I did enjoy making fun of it for hours afterward.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
15  Thank Kelly D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2007

My husband and I stayed here along with his sister and her BF this past Saturday. If you've never been to Fall River before let me tell you the town is a dump. It is an old mill town that is really run down (although there have some been some improvements). There is not much to do in the area unless you drive to Newport or Providence. The house itself was in very nice condition, replica furniture and the staff was friendly. The private guided tour we were given as guests was also interesting.

At about 10PM a 'psychic' came by to do a séance for the group (the house was packed that night so she did two separate group séances). It was a complete joke and waste of my $10! Up until that point the evening was going well and we were all hopeful that something might happen, but after that séance we were all just disappointed at how bad it was. We were not the only ones. There were others at the séance who also thought it was a complete joke. Firstly, the 'psychic' had us sit at an old rickety table on wheels. You could see her arm muscles moving the table and making it creak. Amazingly, every now and then she would lift her arms off the table to wipe her brow and there would be no 'taps' or creaking coming from the table. I myself was able to shift the table so it sounded like it was tapping twice for yes or on time for no. I couldn't believe it when the 'psychic' started to make up stories about the Borden family. Saying that the father was molesting Lizzie, that Lizzie didn't actually kill her father and step mother but it was a plan devised by 4 people (including Lizzie, Uncle John, I think Emma and the actual murderer). Just a bunch of crap she was saying w/no evidence to back it up. All of us at the séance (7 total) knew the 'psychic' was full of herself. At one point when one woman asked Mr. Borden to do something other than move the table; to blow out a candle, move a cup or something. At that point the 'psychic' told us our time was up and we had to leave. We were all so disappointed after that, it really ruined the rest of the experience.

I would suggest that if you want to go to the Lizzie Borden house just do a tour during th day, you'll get to hear the stories and see all the rooms and take pictures, don't waste your $$ spending the night. If you really must stay over then go during the off season time and get a good rate.

Stayed: July 2007
5  Thank bogden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2005

We stayed at the Lizzie Borden home on the anniversary of the murders. The staff, house and program were terrific. We weren't as versed as others were on the subject, but learned quickly! The house was very comfortable and it all was accessible to us. We will do again!

10  Thank Magmomsal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Niantic,Ct
19
Reviewed April 16, 2005

Things really do go bump in the night !!! This was the best time my daughter
and I have had on vacation yet! We were in the John Morse room strange
things happened there this B & B is awsome everything about it. The staff
are the sweetest people make your stay well worth it.We are going back for two nights next time, If you scare easy you won't like it, Iam a true
believer now thats for sure we also have the wildest pics you ever scene
images that you cant explain away ! you must go its the best I could go on and on but just go there!!!!!! ask for the John Morse room you wont forget it
thats for sure! Diane and Teah Sheehan Niantic,CT

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
southgate, michigan
112
Reviewed April 13, 2004

the lizzie borden b&b was so much fun i would do it again. the house was beautiful and the staff was WONDERFUL and made you feel at home. the tour was awesome too it was worth the money and i cannot wait to go again. i also got some pictures of orbs on the staircase so i didnt leave empty handed...

12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast

Address: 230 2nd St, (#92 is the Historical Address), Fall River, MA 02721-2006
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Fall River
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Fall River
Price Range: $150 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Lizzie Borden b&b
Lizzie Borden Hotel Fall River

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