Lizzie Borden took an ax,
Gave her mother forty whacks
Once she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
Most of us had heard this famous poem and know the basic story of Lizzie Borden and her murder trial. But for those who aren’t as well versed, here is a quick recap: On the morning of August 4, 1892, five people were at home in the Borden house. By noon, two would be grotesquely murdered; one would already have a mysteriously exacting alibi and Lizzie Borden would be charged with both murders.
Lizzie’s step-mother’s body was recovered upstairs with 18 gouges in her head, face and back. Her father would be found in the living room with 11 horrific wounds in his face and neck that left him unrecognizable. While the “whacks” only totaled 29, the poem captures the macabre scene and illustrates the attention the case crew along the east and in fact all of America.
Much like the made for television OJ Simpson case of 1995, Americans were riveted by daily newspaper accounts. And much like Simpson, the public had assumed Lizzie’s guilt despite the fact that she was ultimately acquitted by a jury that deliberated less than 10 minutes.
The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast offers tours but for those you with a sense of adventure you can stay overnight or participate in Ghost University. Prices range from $12.50 per person for individual tours, up to $250 for a nights stay in one of the second floor rooms.
On the limited time and monetary budget, we chose the tour which lasted 45 minutes and covers everything from the house’s history to the murder. The tour guide gives you interesting tidbits on what may have motivated Lizzie as well as alternate theories and suspects.
Visitors get to see every room of the house and since the house is reportedly haunted, some guests are lucky enough according to our tour guide to see spirits. Unfortunately, our camera didn’t catch anything out of the ordinary – as expected – but we did get a chill or two in some of the rooms – but that was more likely the window air conditioning unit.
For more information and to schedule a tour, visit the Lizzy Borden B&B here.