I am insatiably intrigued by the Lizzie Borden story of 1892 (one in which a young woman is tried for killing her dad and stepmom with a hatchet). In 2006, I was lucky enough to plan a trip to visit the scene of the crime and follow through on my long time dream. Because I was only 21 years my mother insisted I take company. The only willing participant of all my brave family members and eccentric friends was my fifteen-year-old cousin, Alexandra.
On June 18th we arrived at our destination by taxi. The driver dropped us off in front of the original Borden house (now a Lizzie- themed bed and breakfast). After getting a tour of the three story Victorian by a “docent” named Eleanor (and hearing her ridiculous encounters with various ghosts), we wandered ’round the parlor- where Andrew Borden had been slain over 100 years prior. Not long after, we agreed to retire for the evening. Our room was that of the Borden family’s maid, Bridget. We climbed the three crooked, creaking, narrow cases of stairs tiredly. But when we made it to the final step, a loud sliding BANG! startled us to death. We booked it back down the three flights and caught our breath for some minutes. After finding courage in the fact that the house was old and we were primed for nightmares by ol’ Eleanor, we returned up the stairs and prepared for bed.
As we snuggled in for the night, we still felt a bit spooked. Regardless, I turned off the bedside lamp and we attempted to sleep. Five minutes later, a loud buzzing stirred us both. Each checking our cell phones for a message, we did not address the sound with each other. Instead, we continued to lie awake. Ten or so minutes later, another loud buzz buzzed again. We addressed it this time. Neither’s phone being on, we felt a bit more uneasy. Still, we lay back down. Maybe half an hour later, the buzz interrupted our rest again- this time the sound was inconsistent and prolonged. We jumped up, pulled the bed back, searched the room, and found nothing. The rest of the night went about the same. Periodic buzzings, Alexandra whimpering beside me, and nothing but the darkness to comfort us.
Finally, at about 2 a.m., Alexandra could not longer stand her fear. She was convulsing and crying and truly worrying me. I called the B&B’s owner on her cell phone. She answered promptly, to my surprise. I explained to her our situation (we were frightened and hearing noises). She assured me that everything was okay, but to calm us, she would come up to our floor and sleep in the next room over. Before she hung up, she whispered into the receiver, “Don’t worry, they like you.”
Ten minutes later a black cat peeked into our room as we heard the owner creep by. Alexandra has never forgiven me for that night, but at least we both have this story to tell.