Infamous Places

The Dead Files – Lizzie Borden House – S02E01

I’m by no means a fan of this show, (I had such high hopes when it first came on) but I’m intrigued by the location. So when Amy and Steve got a call from the owner asking them to investigate strange occurrences in the now Bed and Breakfast, I thought it was worth a look.

We’ll skip over Amy’s flailing arms and the multitude of silly faces she makes and get to the heart of the matter. She basically makes the claim that the murders took place due to sexual abuse and incest. While doing her walkthrough, she gets the feeling Andrew Borden sexually abused his daughters. She continually says there was a lot of "freaky" sex things going on in the house. When talking to her assistant, she says she sees Lizzie and her sister sexually involved with each other. She also believes that Lizzie and her sister were both involved in the murder.

That is one hell of a bombshell to drop. Despite the fact there is really no true evidence to support these claims, how valid is the idea? The level of violence suggests some serious levels of rage. You don’t do that sort of damage while in the middle of stealing trinkets off the fireplace mantel. The bodies were defiled in their own way, and the sheer number of blows and weapon of choice somewhat indicate a sexual outlet.

I think it’s been said before, that due to the violence of the scene, the murderer would have been intimately familiar with the family and it wouldn’t have been a random event. The abuse would certainly make sense and shed light on the motives. But the opportunity and how it was all carried out is still unknown. Amy also makes the comment that Lizzie is mentally ill. Was she driven to madness over the events or did she succumb to disease? From everything I’ve read she was considered quite mentally sound and I haven’t seen anything that says she began to deteriorate as she got older. Is she picking up on someone else? Is she out in left field?

Another odd piece is the Ouija Board. Let me just state, I put no value in a Ouija other than it being neat to look. I don’t believe a cardboard cutout with writing on it is a direct communication device to the spirit world. If that were so, you could tune in the Bible or any other religious text like a radio. And if it is so damn easy to communicate with the dead using one, why isn’t anyone in the paranormal field using it? It makes a lot more sense than getting spirits to turn flashlights on and off or scanning through radio waves. But moving on…

There just happens to be a Ouija tossed under the couch where Mr. Borden died? Coincidence? Prop? Set up? And is Amy saying that the guests and employees have actually been able to make contact with the Borden’s and those spirits want them to stop? They’re tired of all the questions? If you’re making contact people, ask what the hell happened? That side story seemed to have some direction, but ultimately didn’t go anywhere. Have people made contact? Did they get any interaction? Seems like we may have had something there.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Ghost Hunters did an investigation of the Lizzie Borden house and concluded there was no activity there. The Ghost Adventures team investigated and felt they got plenty of evidence to support Lizzie was there. They even believe they spoke to her.

So what do we have here? Were Lizzie and her sister victims of sexual abuse and incest? Were they forced to have a relationship with each other (while the father watched)? Did the girls have a misguided love for each other that the father tried to stop and because of his interference he was punished? Did the mother stand by and let everything happen? Was the mother at the helm of the abuse and the father did nothing? Was it both of them? Did Amy uncover some new evidence or did she just heap more myth and accusations onto an already convoluted case?

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Savannah Tunnels – Underground Railroad, Yellow Fever, Secret Autopsies or Shanghai Route?

The Savannah Tunnels are another curiosity. Running under Savannah are a series of tunnels that have been associated with multiple uses. Some claim the tunnels are part of the Underground Railroad. Other say the tunnels were used to remove victims of the Yellow Fever so as not to cause a panic. Still other cite the tunnels were used to conduct unauthorized autopsies. Could the tunnels have been used for experiments the hospital knew about, possibly even to research yellow fever and other diseases without exposing other patients and hospital staff? If they were renegade autopsies, what was the purpose? Do we have any notes left behind?

The tour I went on was into the 1884 morgue tunnel under Savannah’s old Candler Hospital. I have to admit that the hospital on it’s own in it’s rather decaying state is enough to install some heebie jeebies. I only wish the tour would have gone inside the old building. But anyway, the tunnel we ventured into was just off to the side of the parking lot. It drops down about 8-10 feet via a stone staircase. The ceiling is pretty short, less than 6ft tall that’s for sure. I 5’9 and I thought for sure I was going to hit my head.

You go in about 30 or so feet and it opens up into a larger square room. It’s claimed that autopsies were performed here. There is debate on whether or not those autopsies were authorized. In the corner looks to be the remnants of an old sink, on the other wall is a filled in cutout, and on the opposite wall are two folding swing arms that look like they could hold a fair amount of weight. Although it’s covered up with concrete, the ceiling supposedly had glass insets so natural light could be used. Wouldn’t that put the class in the middle of the street or let people see what they were working on?

If autopsies were done in here, it would be cramped as hell. I suppose you would have enough room for a "subject", a nurse and a doctor. I don’t think you could add anyone else, there just isn’t space.

But if you continue forward there is another corridor that dead ends (pardon the pun). There is some piping clearly visible and another set of stairs. In the photo I have, if you look at the left wall you can clearly see the swing arms. So all totaled you have a tunnel that is around 60 feet long start to finish, with stairs at both ends. It’s mere feet away from the hospital, is in clear view of everyone and everything. What the heck’s the point? Why bother? It would hardly be a secret lair for nefarious medical deeds. I don’t think you’d be fooling anyone by taking deceased patients through this tiny chute. It doesn’t seem to have been with the intention of connecting to anything else. Quite frankly, as it sits, it doesn’t seem to have a practical use at all.

So is this some secret lair? Is it a false start to the Underground Railroad to keep people from finding the real one? Do the tunnels actually connect? Are we sure this isn’t a root cellar or some other "storage" cellar? If there’s natural light, might they be growing plants or herbs for medicinal purposes?

There are lots of claims that there is (or at least was) a continuous tunnel that connects the Pirate House to the river where drunken sailors were shanghaied and loaded onto boats. From what I can tell no such tunnel exists now and there are no "blueprints" that say there ever was. They have certainly found some interesting doors that go nowhere. Or as the case for my tunnel visit, one that starts and immediately ends. So are there really shanghai tunnels or do we have yet another neat story to attract visitors. Couldn’t it have just as likely been a tunnel to store rum? Or gunpowder? Or guns? Or to hide from authorities?

Is there really an Underground Railroad? It was hardly mentioned in anything I’ve seen, read or heard. You would think such a piece of American History would be forefront and people want to show it off as well as see it. I know I would.

So what are these things? Does anyone actually know or have some neat stories been made up about them to fill in the gaps? Is there a tunnel network under Savannah? Could Ground Penetrating Radar help answer the question? Are these simply old trenches that have been turned into something more?

It’s definitely a mystery… but what kind?


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Savannah’s Yellow Fever Tunnels

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The Kehoe House – Tragic Scene, Funeral Home, Bed and Breakfast

Another house that seems to be more haunted than its legend allows is the Kehoe house, built by William Kehoe in 1892. Kehoe was an Irishman, served in the Civil War and went to create an successful ironworks. He used his own foundry to create the iron railings, columns and window moldings. Tragedy struck when two young children were killed in the house while playing in one of the room. Apparently there was an incident with the fireplace and chimney. As you may guessed, details are a little sketchy.

It’s hard to say if there are other confirmed deaths. The death of the children is certainly sad, but the house is not rife with additional tragic events. There are reports of children’s laughter as well as the sound of footsteps. It has also been noted by one guest that she woke up in the middle of the night when she felt someone stroking her face and hair. The child vanished.

(Overactive imagination and feeling of her own hair on her face?)

The unusual part of the home’s history comes from its conversion to a funeral home. Yes indeed, it spend some years (it’s hard to say how many) tending to those past. From there it was converted into the bed and breakfast it is today. At one point it was almost destined to be a night club under the hands of Joe Namath. The citizenry didn’t take too kindly to that and the idea was scrapped. It was sold and continued it’s journey of passing through multiple owners.

As stated, it’s a bed and breakfast now and you can book rooms at your leisure. It seems room 201 and 203 have some activity going on, so if you can grab one of those you might be in for a treat.

I’m sure there is more to the place, but as far as tragic histories go, this one has barely a blip. It’s always sad when there is an accident in the home, especially when it involves children. But considering the house was built in 1892 and all the tumultuous times that have come since, it seems the house has gone rather unscathed through history. Is there more to this story? Are there other events just waiting to be uncovered? Does its foreboding nature give rise to flights of fancy? Because it’s old it has to be haunted?


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You can find out more about the Kehoe house through this Google search

You can also read more about the house and even book a room right here:

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The Most Haunted House in America? Hampton Lillibridge House


It hardly looks the part, but by many accounts this is the most haunted house in America. Depending on who you ask, it’s certainly the most haunted house in Savannah.

The Hampton Lillibridge House at 507 East St. Julian Street, which sits mere yards away from the edge of town near The Pirate House restaurant, looks incredibly unassuming and in fact rather peaceful and tranquil. If it wasn’t pointed out and you weren’t paying attention, you would walk right past and not give a second thought. It’s not made of brick. It doesn’t look all that old. It doesn’t have weathered walls. It doesn’t even have an ominous stature. So what’s the deal?

The house is a restoration project of Jim Williams, of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame, and was built in 1976. In 1964, William purchased the house and had it moved. Reports say that a worker was killed when part of the roof collapsed during the tricky procedure. Once the house was in place, workers claimed to hear footsteps, voices, laughter and the sound of moving furniture. There are also reports of multiple figures wandering around the house, singing, people dancing and lights turning on and off.

There could be some truth to all the activity as a crypt was found on the property. Some say the crypt was empty, some say remains were found. The story I heard claims bodies were found in the crypt.

Williams himself is claimed to have had experiences in the house. Reports claim he even chased a figure through the house! His attitude toward the house changed and an Episcopal bishop was brought in to perform an exorcism.

All of this took place in 1963, all within the same year of Jim Williams’ restoration efforts. So what goes on there now? Does the same activity still prevail? It’s hard to find any new evidence of the paranormal. All we have are these original reports. Sure, some odd things happened, but considering the length of time that’s passed, are these stories now larger than life? Considering Jim Williams’ ties to voodoo, was he just a superstitious man? Did he just buy an old house that had more creaks and groans than he anticipated? Did he really find a crypt and was it occupied? Is this one of those slave burial grounds that few people speak of?

The same story has been told over and over again. The details are fixed and repeatable. Has rumor turned to legend?

The house is now a private residence and is reportedly up for sale at an asking price of $2.8 million.

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You can always fine more with a search of "Hampton Lillibridge House"

You can also click here: "Savannah’s Most Haunted House"

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