In 1845 a two family home was built in Fall River, Massachusetts. It remained two family until Andrew Borden moved in.
Lizzie Borden was born in 1860. 3 years later her biological mother was dead. 3 years after that Andrew Borden remarried a woman named Abby who Lizzie hated. They all lived in that house until an infamous afternoon in August of 1892.
Family strife – –
Emma and Lizzie Borden hated their stepmother Abby. Called her “Mrs. Borden” and avoided her company. They also refused to eat meals with their parents creating a stern and loveless home.
Lizzie felt neglected. She rebelled. Shoplifted at local stores, forcing her father Andrew to “fix things”. Keeping young Lizzie out of jail. She respected her father but might not have loved him.
Much strife came from Emma and Lizzie’s suspicion of their stepmother. They were sure she was after the family’s money. It made them jealous of the lavish gifts Andrew showered on Abby.
Andrew & Abby Borden Die
The Borden family was sick just days before the infamous Thursday in August of 1892.
The girl’s uncle stayed overnight to help. Just before 10:30am Abby was up in a guest room making the bed. Heard a noise and turned to see someone holding a sharp hatchet.
Over and over this person swung, across Abby’s head. She turned and fell to the floor. The killer swung more, driving the sharp edge into the back of her head 19 times before she died.
Andrew returned from his morning walk. Tried the front door but his key didn’t work. He knocked as a maid ran up and noticed the lock was jammed from the inside.
CREEPY :: Laughing from upstairs
The maid yelled to Andrew and tried pulling at the handle. She stopped as a soft noise drifted from up the stairs. A light laughing, like from a little girl. The maid couldn’t see anyone and said nothing. She had no idea Abby lay dead upstairs.
The jam removed and Andrew popped open the door. The maid went about her duties up a back staircase to clean the 3rd floor. A few minutes later Lizzie yelled up,
The police found Andrew Borden on the couch with his legs resting on the floor. Someone had swung a “hatchet like weapon” on his face 11 times. They said he was sleeping because a closed eyelid was split in two.
Tried but not Convicted
Lizzie Borden was the only suspect. The trail was long. Every details carefully examined.
The maid testified. She didn’t see the murders, just the laughter and Lizzie being in the house. All creepy but not considered evidence.
Lizzie told the police…
They asked for the dress Lizzie was wearing that day. “I burned it”, she said, claiming paint spilled down the front.
The police found a perfectly cleaned hatchet head without a handle in the basement. Prosecution argued Lizzie Borden removed the blood stained handle. Strangely the jury thought it far-fetched.
INTERESTING FACT :: Lawyer shows Lizzie her parent’s skulls
In desperation the prosecution tried to expose Lizzie’s lack of emotion, wanting to show how little she cared for her dead parents.
They put out two large cases on the table, near the jury and in eyesight of Lizzie Borden. Slowly opening it, they revealed the fully stripped and bashed-in skulls of Andrew and Abby Borden.
They thought Lizzie would be cold. She swooned and fainted for all to see.
That was it. The jury came back “not guilty” and Lizzie Borden was free.
Deemed innocent by the court, but not the people.
She became legend, as shown in the famous rhyme…
And gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father 41”
The rhyme believed to be created at a local newspaper for marketing. But the number is inaccurate. Lizzie whacked Abby 19 times and Andrew 11 times.
She was considered a murderer. Residents of Fall River upset the sisters inherited the Borden house. Living there for years.
Then Emma moved out in 1905. Nobody sure why, but rumor said she found out the truth about Lizzie.
In 1927 Lizzie Borden died of pneumonia. She’s buried with her family, including Andrew and Abby in the local Oak Grove Cemetery.
A Night’s Stay
You can stay in the Lizzie Borden House. Sleep in the room where Abby was murdered. Have tea where they found Andrew Borden.
Dark tourism at its best.
The ghost of Abby – –
An older woman wanders the house. Believed to be Abby Borden going about her chores. Mostly seen in the second floor hallway by guests.
And inside that guest room where Abby was killed, sleeping visitors will feel covers tighten around them. Hands run along the bed covers and over their bodies.
Said to be Abby making the bed. Just like on that Thursday morning.
The ghost of Lizzie – –
Guests in the room beside Lizzie’s bedroom will wake late at night to sounds coming through the wall. Like a woman quietly crying.
Also on one random night… the house’s owner fell asleep in the main parlour after a long day. At 3am she woke and saw movement from the foyer.
Pressed against the wall was a shadow slowly stretching up the stairs. Staying quiet as the shadow moved. Looked like somebody was walking upstairs. It moved to the top and disappeared.
Believed to be Lizzie Borden. Residual energy remaining from that tragic Thursday when she slowly climbed the stairs and met with her stepmother one final time.