She gave her father forty-one. The August afternoon was unbearably hot, especially for Massachusetts. The temperature had climbed to well over degrees, even though it was not yet noon. The old man, still in his heavy morning coat, was not feeling well and he reclined on a mohair-covered sofa in the parlor, leaning back so that his boots were resting on the floor and soiling the upholstery of the couch. In a short time, he drifted off to sleep, never suspecting that he would not awaken. He also did not suspect that, above his head, his wife was bleeding on the floor of the upstairs guestroom.
And even if he knew those things by way of some macabre premonition, he might never guess that his murderer would never be brought to justice. The case of Lizzie Borden has fascinated those with an interest in American crime for well over a century. There have been few cases that have attracted as much attention as the hatchet murders of Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby. This is partly because of the gruesomeness of the crime but also because of the unexpected character of the accused. Lizzie Borden was not a slavering maniac but a demure, respectable, spinster Sunday School teacher.
Because of this, the entire town was shocked when she was charged with the murder of her parents. The fact that she was found to be not guilty of the murders, leaving the case to be forever unresolved, only adds to the mystique and fans the flames of our continuing obsession with the mystery. From Left to Right: Andrew Jackson Borden was one of the leading citizens of Fall River, Massachusetts, a prosperous mill town and seaport. The Borden family had strong roots to the community and had been among the most influential citizens of the region for decades.
At the age of 70, Borden was certainly one of the richest men in the city. He was a director on the board of several banks and a commercial landlord with considerable holdings. He was a tall, thin and dour man and while he was known for this thrift and admired for his business abilities, he was not well-known for his humor, nor was he particularly likable. Borden lived with his second wife, Abby Durfee Gray and his daughters from his first marriage, Emma and Lizzie, in a two-and-a-half story frame house.
It was located in an unfashionable part of town, but was close to his business interests. Both daughters felt the house was beneath their station in life and begged their father to move to a nicer place. In spite of this, and his conservative daily life, Borden was said to be moderately generous with both of his daughters. The events that would lead to tragedy began on Thursday, August 4, The Borden household was up early that morning as usual.
He traveled from Dartmouth, Massachusetts several times each year to visit the family and conduct business in town. The first person awake in the house that morning was Bridget Sullivan, the maid. At the time of the murders, Bridget was 26 years old and had been in the Borden household since There is nothing to say that she was anything but an exemplary young woman, who had come to America from Ireland in She did not stay in the house during the night following the murders, but did come back on Friday night to her third-floor room.
On Saturday, she left the house, never to return. Bridget came downstairs from her attic room around 6: An hour later, John Morse and Mr. Borden came down to eat and they lingered in conversation around the table for nearly an hour. Lizzie slept late and did not join them for the meal. The Borden's maid, Bridget Sullivan. At a little before 8: It was a peculiar custom in the house to always keep doors locked. Even the doors between certain rooms upstairs were usually locked.
She had coffee and a cookie but nothing else.
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Bridget later stated that she felt the need to go outside and throw up some time after breakfast. Two days before, Mr. Borden had been ill during the night and had both vomited several times.
It has been assumed that this may have been food poisoning as no one else in the family was affected. It may have been the onset of the flu -- or something far more sinister. At a quarter past nine, Andrew Borden left the house and went downtown. Abby Borden went upstairs to make the bed in the guestroom that Morse was staying in. She asked Bridget to wash the windows. Bridget went about her daily chores and started on the window washing, retrieving pails and water from the barn.
She also paused for a few minutes to chat over the fence with the hired girl next door. She finished the outside of the windows at about Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Bridget let him in and Lizzie came downstairs. She told her father that "Mrs. Borden has gone out - she had a note from someone who was sick. Borden" and recently, the relationship between them, especially with Lizzie, was strained. Borden took the key to his bedroom off a shelf and went up the back stairs. Borden stayed upstairs for only a few minutes before coming back down and settling onto the sofa in the sitting room. Lizzie began to heat up an iron to press some handkerchiefs.
Bridget replied that she was not. The heat of the morning, combined with the window washing and her touch of stomach ailment, had left her feeling poorly and she went up the back stairs to her attic room for a nap. This was a few minutes before She was awakened a few minutes later by a cry from downstairs.
Bridget replied in a flustered voice, asking what was wrong. Somebody's come in and killed him! As Bridget hurried from the staircase, she found Lizzie standing at the back door. Her face was pale and taut. She stopped the young maid from going into the sitting room and ordered her to go and fetch a doctor.
The doctor was out, but Bridget told Mrs. Borden had been killed. She ran directly back to the house. Bowen asked Lizzie where she had been when the murder occurred and she said she was out in the yard, heard a groan and came inside. This was the first version she would give of her movements that morning — various others would follow. Lizzie sent Bridget to summon a friend of the Borden sisters, Alice Russell, who lived a few blocks away and by now, neighbors were starting to gather on the lawn and someone had called for the police.
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Adelaide Churchill, the next door neighbor, came over to Lizzie, who was at the back entrance to the house and asked if anything was wrong. Lizzie responded by saying, "Oh, Mrs. Churchill, someone has killed Father! She explained that her father was in the sitting room and asked where she was when he was killed, she stated that she had been in the barn, getting a piece of iron.
Father must have an enemy, for we have all been sick, and we think the milk has been poisoned. Andrew Borden's bloody corpse was discovered on his favorite downstairs sofa. Abby Borden's body was found upstairs. She was struck from behind, likely while on her knees making the bed. By this time, Dr. Bowen examined the body and asked for a sheet to cover it. One eye had been cut in half and his nose had been severed. The majority of the blows had been struck within the area that extended from the eyes and nose to the ears.
Blood was still seeping from the wounds and had been splashed onto the wall above the sofa, the floor and on a picture hanging on the wall. It looked as though Borden had been attacked from above and behind as he slept. Several minutes passed before anyone thought of going upstairs to see if Abby Borden had come home.
Lizzie, who previously was sure that Abby was out of the house, now stated that she thought she heard her come inside. She ordered Bridget to go upstairs and check, but the maid refused to go alone. Churchill offered to go with her. They went up the staircase together but Mrs. Churchill was the first to see Abby lying on the floor of the guestroom. She had fallen in a pool of blood and Mrs. Churchill later said that she had been so savagely attacked that she only "looked like the form of a person.
People/Characters: Lizzie Borden
Bowen found that Mrs. Borden had been struck more than a dozen times, from the back. The autopsy later revealed that there had been nineteen blows to her head, probably from the same hatchet that had killed Mr. The blood on Mrs. Borden's body was dark and congealed, leading him to believe that she had been killed before her husband.
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Full text of "The Lizzie Borden quarterly"
Movie lovers, save this date: The House That Ghosts Built. When Eastern State opened more that years ago, it changed the world. Easter State Penitentiary was a place of total isolation: Many of them were driven insane by the solitude. Punishments for breaking the rules were extreme and suicides became common.
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His time in Eastern State was spent in relative luxury. His cell on the Park Avenue Block had fine furniture, oriental rugs, and a cabinet radio. In Sutton, along with 11 other prisoners, escaped from Eastern State in an inmate dug tunnel that went almost feet underground.
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Sutton was recaptured just minutes later. Female inmates were part of the landscape at Eastern State for almost years, and Freda Frost was the last of them. Frost had been serving a 20 year sentence for murder she had poisoned her husband. By the s Easter State Penitentiary was falling apart. It was officially closed by the State of Pennsylvania in Over the course of its years, the penitentiary held some 75, inmates.
Today, the decaying penitentiary offers ghost tours and a museum. Ghost stories and paranormal encounters have become commonplace. Through tales of spectacular escapes, official corruption, reformation and retribution, Kahan chronicles the tensions that plagued Eastern State since the arrival of its first prisoners. Initially used as a military prison, The Rock began housing civilian prisoners on August 11, At Alcatraz , a prisoner had four rights: Everything else was a privilege that had to be earned. Today, visiting Alcatraz is definitely an amazing experience!
Befriended by some prisoners, their first-person narratives and original poetry are memorialized. Constructed between and , the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is the second largest in the world, originally designed to house up to patients before it reached its peak in the s when more than 2, people were crammed into the facility. As the result of bizarre experimental treatments and severe neglect, thousands of people died here over the years.
The physical deterioration of the building coupled with changes in the treatment of mental illness resulted in the closure of the asylum in Two decades since the asylum closed, the staff who work there claim that ghosts continue to roam the halls. The manager states that she once saw 40 doors suddenly slam shut simultaneously, whilst other visitors have witnessed a ghost boy stood in the corner of a room.
As well as sightings, whispers of forgotten patients have also been reported, on top of unusual smells, the sound of squeaking gurneys and screams coming from the electroshock room. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by , they housed more than a half million patients. The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendant Thomas Story Kirkbride: Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness.
But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings — and the patients who lived in them — neglected and abandoned. Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. This eerie location retains the memories and emotions of its former patients and staff. Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing, places of birth, and places of hope.
But with all of the varying highs and lows that are experienced in these buildings, is it any wonder when echoes linger indefinitely? Journey inside the history of these macabre settings and learn about the horrors from the past that live on in these frighteningly eerie tales from Canada, the United States, and around the world. The Shame of Pennsylvania. The facility was often accused of dehumanization and was reported to provide no help for the mentally challenged before finally being shut down in , following several allegations of abuse by residents.
There are plenty haunted asylum stories emanating from this foreboding building. Several reputable ghost hunter groups have visited Pennhurst Asylum, where they documented spooky audio recordings, sudden changes in temperature and the unexplained movement of objects throughout the grounds. Spine-chilling recordings of voices exclaiming: For nearly 80 years, Pennhurst State School and Hospital was a reminder of how society viewed and treated people with intellectual disabilities.
Over its existence, Pennhurst was home to more than 10, people. Many spent decades there, working to keep the institution running by performing various jobs. While some enjoyed the lives they had fashioned for themselves at Pennhurst, for many others, life there was crushing. Pennhurst also played a central role in the lives of its employees and in the rural Pennsylvania community where it was located. Controversy plagued the institution for its entire existence, and it is remembered primarily as a place where bad things happened.
However, it was much more than that. This book provides a window into that separate world, reminding those who were part of it of what they saw and did there and giving those who know only what they have heard or seen a different picture of what Pennhurst truly was. Lee in what became the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.
To believers in the paranormal, this might be considered startling proof of the existence of ghosts. Taking a scientific approach to ghost hunting is nothing new. In , famed inventor Thomas Edison turned his genius toward trying to produce a device with which he believed he would be able to communicate with the dead.
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His efforts continued until his death in at which moment, it was reported, the clocks in his house and workshops suddenly stopped. While an Edison spirit communicator would have been a handy tool, modern ghost hunters still have some effective instruments at their disposal.
The human body functions as the result of chemical and electromagnetic energy. While chemical reactions cease at death, it has been theorized that electromagnetic energy can exist in some form outside of the body. Religions may refer to this energy as the soul or spirit, but regardless of what it is called, if it exists, it should be able to be measured. EMF meters are legitimate instruments used to detect such things as faulty wiring or leaks in microwave ovens.
However, paranormal researchers have found that inexplicable EM fields often accompany ghostly activity, and these fields may account for the numerous reports of flickering lights, malfunctioning appliances and other strange electrical phenomena.