Fall River, Massachusetts
You’ve probably heard the rhyme:
Lizzie Borden took an axe
Gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done
Gave her father forty-one!
It has never been proven that Lizzie Borden (sometimes Lizzy Borden) committed the gruesome murders that took place at 92nd. Street in Fall River, MA. On August 4, 1892 around 11:00 a.m., Lizzie found the body of her father, Andrew Borden, laying on the sofa he often napped on. She called up to the Borden’s maid, Bridget Sullivan, who was supposedly napping in her room. She asked the maid to run get help. While Lizzie was being tended by neighbors, Bridget found the body of Abby, Lizzie’s stepmother, on the floor of the guest bedroom upstairs. Both had been brutally murdered with an axe. Andrew suffering 11 blows to the head while Abby had been hit between 18-20 times.
Lizzie’s mental state was questioned at the time as some said the woman had 2 personalities. A sweet nurturing one, then suddenly mean and vindictive. She had once decapitated Bridget’s aunt’s cat in her basement with a hatchet. Shortly before the murders took place Lizziebody of Abby Borden had tried to purchase Prussic Acid from a drug store and was turned away. She told the drug store clerk that she needed the acid to clean a stain off of a seal skin cloak. Not long after this incident, the entire Borden family became violently ill. Abby thought they were being poisoned, however, no traces of poison were found.
Lizzie was arrested August 11, 1892. Police found a hatchet with a broken handle in the basement which they believed to be the murder weapon. The hatchet was clean though and it was Andrew Borden’s skull argued that there hadn’t been enough time to clean the hatchet. The police refused to fingerprint the weapon even though finger printing was newly available at the time and the police found no blood-soaked clothing at the scene. Lizzie was caught a few days after burning a blue dress in the stove though. She had told people she had gotten paint on the dress. Despite the incriminating nature of the evidence regarding her attempting to purchase Prussic Acid from the drug store, it was ruled inadmissible in court. Lizzie was eventually acquitted of all charges because all of the evidence was circumstantial.
The Borden’s home is now a bed & breakfast and is said to be haunted. People claim to see shoes walking by themselves, to hear ghostly disembodied voices of a weeping woman. Some have experienced an older woman tucking them in at night and have witnessed their room being cleaned in front of them when no one else is there. If you are brave, you can tour the house or even stay a night… maybe you can have an experience of your own.
Did you enjoy this story? You can help support Haunting America by making a donation today