Your morning meal with a side of murder? Perhaps. A successful bed-and-breakfast with a violent past is on the market.
On Aug. 4, 1892, Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby Borden, were brutally murdered in this home. Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, was accused of committing the heinous crime with an ax, but was acquitted of the murders at a trial in 1893.
For a buyer who is not afraid of the stigma attached to homes where murders have occurred, it’s an opportunity to purchase an infamous house with a worldwide reputation.
“This is actually the house where the murders occurred. Andrew was killed in the sitting room, and her stepmother, Abby, was killed upstairs in the guest room,” explains the listing agent, Suzanne St. John, who also happens to be a tour guide at the home.
The $2 million asking price also includes everything a buyer would need to keep the business humming.
“[The sale] includes the house and the barn, where there are two more bathrooms and an upstairs owner suite,” St. John says. “And the gift shop, the online gift shop, all the intellectual property, all the trademarks, all the websites.”
The bed-and-breakfast has been in operation since the late 1990s. The current owners have owned the Borden home since 2004 and are ready to retire.
The suite where Andrew was murdered is on the second floor. It has a private bathroom and is the most requested room at the inn—despite the reports of ghosts and other unexplained phenomena that have caused guests jump out of their beds during the night.
“I will not sleep in there,” St. John says with a chuckle. “It’s exciting. It’s great to be in there. People love it.”
The other suite is the one that Lizzie and her sister, Emma, shared. It’s also on the second floor and shares a bathroom with another room.
Three other guest rooms are on the third floor and share another bathroom.
Serving guests scones isn’t the only revenue stream available for an entrepreneurial buyer. Tours of the house—which St. John sometimes leads—are also popular.
“In 2019, we had done over 18,000 daytime tours that year, and that’s not counting overnight guests. It’s a tourist destination. It’s one of the top destinations in New England,” St. John says.
The home known as Maplecroft, where Lizzie lived after she spent time in jail and up until she died, is still on the market for $890,000.
The legend of the double ax murders attracts visitors from all over the world.
“It’s one of the greatest unsolved murders, and I think it was because she was a woman of society, a woman of wealth. Her father and stepmother were murdered brutally, and there was no suspect and there was no direct evidence leading to the murderer. So it’s just one of the greatest unsolved mysteries,” St. John says.
The interest isn’t limited just to American shores. The agent added that a visiting lawyer from the Middle East told her that he had studied the case when he was in law school.
“It just really attracts all types of people from all over the world that are interested for different reasons,” she says. “Some people are interested in the history. Some people are interested in the gore, so it’s got a little something for everybody.”
St. John says the ideal buyer for the property is a people person interested in owning a successful business.
“After somebody has experienced the event of a lifetime staying here, then you’re able to sit down with the guests in the morning and just talk about their experiences as they’re eating an amazing breakfast.”