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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 annals of Massachusetts’ crime certainly contain their share of the ominous, the eerie, and the depraved; including one of America’s most notorious and haunting incidents, the murders of Abby and Andrew Borden, which took place on 04 August 1892.
Speculation over who committed these two grisly murders continues to this day with the count of Lizzie Borden YouTube videos slicing through 33,000. Goddesses only know how many ‘views’ that might amount to.
In my blog today I don’t plan to add to the speculation of who committed the murders; except to say that I do NOT believe that Lizzie Borden murdered her evil stepmother, Abby; or her treacherous and stingy father, Andrew. [hint: blue dress, no blood stains – according to Bridgette Sullivan’s court testimony.]
I am much more keenly fascinated over what TYPE of hauntings take place at 451 Rock Street – where the murders occurred. One can find literally hundreds of claims that the hauntings at the Borden residence manifest from the interactive ghost of Lizzie Borden herself, who has the ability to proclaim her innocence to television’s parade of paranormal investigators.
Let’s see about that!
Last year the Borden murders came to my attention when I came across a YouTube video produced by ‘Spooky South Coast’ radio personality Tim Weisberg. In the YouTube production Weisberg purported being able to provoke Lizzie Borden into speaking to him (provoke being the operative word here). Although the video has been removed from YouTube, accountings of the assertions that Weisberg makes about his exchange with Miss Borden are still available on the net, [Jason Perry’s account notably]. In his video Weisberg recorded a belligerent rant at The Spirits – basically calling Miss Borden out, in a ‘Did you do it? Are you guilty of murder? Now is the time to proclaim your innocence,’ sort of way. The EVP recording definitely picked up a response. It was, ‘But I’m a good daughter,’ which Weisberg took as a direct response to his query into her innocence.
‘But I’m a good daughter.’ In the mind of Weisberg – and others – that was the proclamation of innocence that was somehow missing from Miss Borden during the fifteen-day trial, held in the Bedford, Massachusetts courthouse.
Something stuck in my mind about that EVP – specifically the words – the exact words.
But. I’m. A. Good. Daughter.
Would, in any logical fashion, that be the direct response to a question akin to ‘Did you kill your stepmother and father?’ I decided that it probably was not.
I had two curiosities after concluding that ‘But I’m a good daughter’ was not spoken in an interactive exchange:
1) what would compel a ghost to proclaim their ‘goodness’; and
2) how COULD one explain an EVP in which those particular words were stated?
Step back and give me an opportunity to highlight TWO of the six major categories of Hauntings [taken from my eBook, ‘Dictionary of Everyday Terms Relating to Spirits and Ghouls’ ].
Interactive Ghosts: Ghosts that act (and react) with seeming awareness of what is going on around them. E.g.: An interactive ghost might, among other things, scratch, bite, pull, or write notes to those on THIS side of The Grave.
Residual Hauntings: The energy vibration that continues following a traumatic event, such as after a grisly murder has occurred.
I don’t believe that ‘But I’m a good daughter’ is an intelligent response to the query, ‘Did you kill your stepmother and your father?’ And I discount claims of any paranormal investigator who claims to have spoken – or communed – with Lizzie Borden. [Her father, however, is a different matter – for a later blog.]
It is a documented fact that the Borden household was a seething cauldron of hatred, suspicion, ostracization, and miserliness to the point of cruelty. Andrew Borden was said to have cheated and betrayed (in business deals) his partners, his creditors, and most notably (the week of the murders) his handyman. The community newspapers regaled the community with tales of screaming matches, fights, and stony silences among Borden family members. There were charges of cash and jewelry coming up missing; supposedly an early-inheritance ‘grab’ by Lizzie as the valuables stolen were those of her stepmother – whom she referred to as Mrs. Borden. Have I left any depravity out? Oh, Yes! One! Steve Goldman, writing for historybuff.com noted ‘A recent article suggested that Lizzie was a victim of incest.’ Andrew is charged, post-mortem, with molesting Lizzie – or perhaps both Emma and Lizzie?
Was the brutal energy from the tension, emotional (and/or physical) violence in the Borden household stored? And if so, how? According to the website ‘The Shadowlands.net’, ‘Certain building materials (such as . . . iron nails used in many older buildings) have properties similar to that of [recording] tapes. When a traumatic event occurs [during] a time of heightened emotions, these materials record the event for future playback.’
Iron nails were used in the construction of homes, such as the Borden home, during the 1890s. Did the iron in the nails used to build the wood-frame home of the Borden family actually record the heightened emotional energy of Lizzie Borden screaming at her stepmother, or father, ‘But I’m a good daughter!’ as they lay charge after charge against her in abusive tirades that would not be tolerated today?
I think that the possibility of a residual haunting in which the emotional tragedy of a fractured family is stored as energy recordings is far more likely than the ghost of Lizzie Borden coming back to proclaim an innocence that was awarded by a jury over 120 years ago.
Verdict: Residual Haunting, not Interactive Haunting.
But, what do YOU think?
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