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Terrifying Séances



On Friday, June 13, 1997, Alfred T. was invited to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum by Martha McGinn, owner of the inn, located in Fall River, Massachusetts. On that night, a psychic was going to be filming a documentary and at the same time conducting a séance. A reporter from The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper was going to be there to cover the exclusive event. Alfred worked for a local radio station and had covered the opening of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum before, so the owners invited him to cover this event as well.

For those who don’t know, Lizzie was the Fall River girl who was acquitted of murdering her father, Andrew J. Borden, and her stepmother, Abby with an ax. (Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.)

Besides covering the event, Alfred and friend Terrie were spending the night there as well. “When we started,” Alfred recalls, “there were thirteen of us joined hand-in-hand, eyes closed, and seated in a séance circle. It was a weird, cool feeling and the lady hosting it – Jane Doherty of South Plainfield, New Jersey – sat right across from me and asked me if I had lost a family member recently. I told her yes and she said that my mom wants me to stop paying money for repairs on my car and to put it toward a new truck! Which is what my mom and I always use to talk about. Well, by now you could tell how I felt.”

When the séance was over, the invited guests stayed to chat. Alfred noticed that they all stayed pretty close to one another; no one wanted to be left alone. When it was time for bed, Alfred and Terrie were given the bedroom once occupied by Emma Borden, Lizzie's sister. “I had taken my portable audiocassette recorder and placed it on the nightstand to the right of the bed between the bed and the wall,” Alfred says. “I remember Terrie and me lying down about 5:00 a.m., when it was starting to get light out. I pressed record on my recorder and tried to get some sleep.

“In the morning, we had breakfast and went off to the cemetery to see the graves. What happened the next day was unexplainable! I listened to the audio tape that I recorded the morning before on my way to and from work. At first I could hear Terrie and me talking, then silence. Then the silence turned to me snoring. I heard plenty of that. Then, about 35 minutes into the 45-minute tape, I heard what gave me the creeps and made me rewind it over and over again to make sure I heard what I heard!

“I heard my snoring, then as I'm snoring I could hear a female voice giggling. I played that audio tape on the air at two different radio stations and it definitely gave everyone the creeps. I called Jane Doherty at home and told her what I recorded that night. She told me that what I had heard and what I recorded was the laugh of Emma Borden.”


“A family I know lived happily until they came to know that the mother of the family had cancer,” says Erica. She died on October 14, 1999. Erica was very good friends with her daughter, so she went to her house that night to comfort her.

A few weeks later, Erica and her friend Danielle slept over the daughter's house. Her father wasn't home and neither was her brother, so the girls decided to have a séance. “We sat on her bed with candles, which were the color lavender – her mother's favorite color,” Erica says. “We put the candles in front of pictures of her mom. There was one picture with the mother and daughter.”

When the daughter started trying to contact her mother, the candle started to flicker excitedly. All of a sudden, the flame rose about five inches high and started to flicker even more frantically. Then her dog stared barking while looking at the candle. “We were so astonished,” Erica says. “Then out of nowhere we saw an image. It was a female-shaped body. We figured it was her mom. I got up and blew out the candle and we just sat there in awe.”

Next page: The Violent Séance

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