Monday, October 17, 2016

Scary October: The Lizzie Borden House

It's October, which means I'm sharing spooky stories every week this month. Today's post is about a particularly evil woman, assuming she did what she's accused of doing. Recognize her?

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

The Lizzie Borden saga goes farther back than people realize. In 1848, a man named Lawdwick Borden was forced to deal with the tragedy of his wife dropping their three children in a well before taking her own life. A few decades later, Lawdwick's nephew, Andrew Borden, moved into the house next door to where all that happened. With him were with his wife, Abby, and his daughters, Lizzie and Emma.

Their home in Fall River, Massachusetts was not a happy one, though. Lizzie called her stepmother "Mrs. Borden" and there were reportedly numerous family battles, especially in the days leading up to the murders.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Abby Borden was making the bed in their home's guest bedroom when she was suddenly struck on the side of her head with a hatchet. She fell to the ground, only to be struck 17-18 more times on the back of her head.

Andrew Borden arrived home around 11 a.m., unaware his wife was dead upstairs. He lay down for a nap on the sofa on the first floor, where he was struck in the face with a hatchet 10-11 times. This is the sofa.

Lizzie was tried for the murder but acquitted. She and her sister inherited the entire estate, worth $265,000. Seeking privacy, Lizzie and Emma moved to a home they named "Maplecroft." Emma moved out in 1905 after an argument, but Lizzie stayed there until she died.

Today, the home where Andrew and Abby were killed is a bed and breakfast. Yep--not only can you take a tour, but you can sleep in the room where Abby Borden was murdered.

Visitors report hearing doors opening and closing and smelling the faint scent of perfume. Guests often leave the bed and breakfast in the middle of the night, too afraid to stay until morning.

Check out last week's post on the Winchester Mystery House. And be sure to come back next week for the next stop on my ghost tour: