The Curse of Lizzie Borden (2021) Review: Whacky

The Curse of Lizzie Borden is a crime/supernatural Shock Docs special. The 84-minutes long movie features paranormal investigators Dave Schrader with Luann Joy, Sam Baltrusis, and Chris Fleming.

Discovery+ describes the documentary as:

Dave Schrader assembles a team of paranormal experts to investigate whether a dark family curse led to the most infamous axe murders of all time.

– The Curse of Lizzie Borden has mild spoilers –

The Lizzie Borden case has been an infamous one, and her house even more so. I am sure you’ve heard the famous rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
she gave her father forty-one.

No, Lizzie’s parents weren’t hacked that many times, that’s just for the sake of the rhyme.

The Curse of Lizzie Borden takes a look at the Borden case to see if there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Like, you know, demonic possessions, black magic and the like. The documentary takes a very, VERY serious look at the case. Rife with reenactments, if you’re unaware of the story, you might enjoy it. To be honest, the re-enactments mesh well with the crime-scene photos. They almost look creepy.

However, the point of The Curse of Lizzie Borden, or of presenter Dave Schrader, is to not solve the crime since there still are many questions about it. It’s more to see whether the Borden family was cursed. And the documentary really dives deep into that thought. We don’t miss a beat to immediately jump into witchcraft and dark forces.

The re-enactments are, honestly, gnarly. The sepia tones go well with the subject matter and although the crime can be mostly answered by logic because there are multiple ways that it could’ve gone down, Schrader really isn’t interested. Before long we have multiple people converge to the Borden house to talk to spirits. They are gonna have a séance, yes.

Now, I don’t really believe in spirits and neither do I believe in seances. I like logic and science and follow them thoroughly. Thus, when the GoPros and night-vision cameras come out, you know this is going to be something. Unfortunately, the EVP’s “I’m here really isn’t believable for me.” It’s like watching Buzzfeed Unsolved Supernatural but without the wit and humour. There are talks of the house reeking like rotting flesh and seeing little girls on the stairs.

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Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any of that in The Curse of Lizzie Borden and barely hear any of it. Thus, their seriousness and surety almost feel silly and comical. The participants go “wow!” or wide-eyed at the drop of a hat.

I don’t want to be a party-pooper though. I really mean it when I say that I thoroughly enjoy supernatural stuff. Any kind of horror movie is my favourite and documentaries are awesome. But this isn’t something that is presented with a touch of humour. It take itself so seriously that it just feels unbelievable.

However, that, of course, depends on you. If you’re someone who believes seances and talking to spirits and the devil making Lizzie murder her family, then you’re really going to enjoy this. It’s really well-made.

Summing up: The Curse of Lizzie Borden

Shock Docs’s The Curse of Lizzie Borden is a fun documentary to watch if you’re in the mood for something spooky. However, the fact that it reminds the audience that “this is serious!” every 5 minutes is annoying. The EVPs and “I saw a little girl of the stairs” have already become quite old at this point. So, if you’re planning on watching this, you know what you’re getting into.

The Curse of Lizzie Borden is streaming on Discovery+.

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The Curse of Lizzie Borden is goofy and a bit unbelievable, but makes for a fun and spooky watch.


  1. The show may be goofy and perhaps over-acted, so to speak; I haven’t watched. But, I listened to Baltrusis’ pod cast about the show and he said that it was completed shortly before the co-owner of the house, Lee-ann Wilber, died at the age of 50.

    She was found unresponsive in her quarters on the property just a few days after the sale of the property had been finalized. Lee-ann had lived there in quarters over the barn for about 25 years and managed the property and B&B.

    It’s well-known to the “LIzzie community”, paranormal and true crime, that she passed away under unexpected and sudden circumstances, including being put on life-support on June 1, 2021, the anniversary of Lizbeth Borden’s death. Her friends have said in different places that she had experiences there that she could not process and needed help to understand and to stop. At one time, her office was in the basement area and she slept in the house until she couldn’t and wouldn’t stay in the house anymore. She was present in interviews and she would come over to see how paranormal investigations were going, but she did not participate. She said something to the effect of “I live it”. It was very sad. You can see lots of tributes to her online from the folks who know that house.

  2. FYI, Lizzie was acquitted at trial. They didn’t have the evidence against her and never produced another suspect- so the saying “if not Lizzie, then who?” isn’t enough to convict either.

    • I know. I was absolutely fascinated with this story. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring forth that intrigue in this documentary.

  3. Literally 12 seconds in..”I 1st heard of the “curse of Lizzie Borden in the Winter of 2021”. ITS STILL SUMMER 2021!.. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER DISCOVERY! IDIOTS!

  4. leeanne didnt die on the property,she went unresponsive at her mothers house,she died at kent county hospital. it wasnt on the anniversary of lizzies death either,fact check before you make grandstand claims

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The Curse of Lizzie Borden is goofy and a bit unbelievable, but makes for a fun and spooky watch.The Curse of Lizzie Borden (2021) Review: Whacky