‘Shock Docs: The Curse of Lizzie Borden’ Investigates a ‘Dark Entity’

Alice Oscura, Paranormal Investigations Head Writer

Warning: Article contains a graphic description of crimes and mature content

“Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”

– Anonymous

Backstory: Immortalised by the above famous rhyme, Lizzie Borden’s name became synonymous with the most infamous ax murders of all time. On the morning of the fourth of August 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, Andrew and Abigail Borden, Lizzie’s father and stepmother , were brutally murdered. Their bodies had been hacked several times by a hatchet. At the time that their bodies were discovered blood was still dripping from their corpses. Police found out that only Lizzie and the housemaid Bridget Sullivan were at home. The two immediately became suspects of the crime however only Lizzie was arrested and stood trial. Although she was acquitted, Borden remained the main suspect and became ostracised by other residents.

Review: The Curse of Lizzie Borden (not to be confused with the 2006 slasher of the same name) is Shock Docs’ latest addition to their ongoing series. This time paranormal investigator Dave Schrader helms a team that investigates the theory that the Borden bloodline was cursed by a dark force. He is accompanied by renowned psychic medium Chris Fleming, paranormal expert Luann Jolly, and Sam Baltrusis, lecturer and author of several paranormal books. Baltrusis also happens to be a descendant of the Borden bloodline on his mother’s side.

The Borden murder house has been a source of interest to many paranormal investigators who have managed to collect a wealth of evidence at the location. However, many questions still exist to this day about the murders as previous judgment remains unclear. The object of the Shock Docs investigation was not to solve a centuries-old criminal case, but to understand if there was a dark force at work that fed on the bloodline.

Lizzie Borden murder house. Photo courtesy Fall River Herald News

Local paranormal investigator Luann Jolly has had her fair share of paranormal experiences in the Borden house. In this particular visit, Jolly was able to capture one of the clearest EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) that I’ve ever heard. She was in Lizzie’s bedroom with psychic medium Chris Flemming trying to contact the ghost of Lizzie Borden herself. What she captured was a chilling recording of a woman who sounded like she was in emotional anguish, saying “I’m a good daughter!” She played the recording for a very astonished Shrader the next day but surprised everyone further when she played the same recording backward. This time another female voice clear as day blurted out “My daughter was raped!” Speculation led to the second voice being that of Lizzie’s biological mother Sarah Borden, who passed away when her daughters were very young. Over time, there were claims that Lizzie may have acted out after years of being sexually abused by her father Andrew while her stepmother just stood by. Seems like a good motive, no?

However, things do take a rather sinister turn during the investigation a few times. Remember I mentioned Sam Baltrusis above? Well, he has a couple of moments of connection with one of the Borden relatives, Lizzie’s aunt to be precise. Eliza Darling Borden coincidently lived right next door to the murder house. Eliza’s claim to infamy arose out of the fact that she murdered two of her three children by throwing them down the property’s cellar cistern and leaving them to drown. She then proceeded to cut her own throat using her husband’s straight razor. Eliza was known to suffer severely from post-partum depression. This, combined with her husband’s infidelity, could have led to a mental breakdown, but mental health was not explored in those days as a contributing factor.

During the investigation, Eliza was able to communicate through Baltrusis (her bloodline) to make an intensely emotional plea to keep “the monster” away from her children. The monster is the dark entity said to have plagued the Bordens for so many years. In a deeply moving session, Baltrusis informed fellow investigators that he could feel the mother’s love for her children in wanting to protect them even in death. Now you may ask, “Why? Wasn’t she responsible for their deaths?” But here’s where the object of the investigation becomes the highlight. The investigators theorise that maybe both Lizzie and Eliza were victims of this evil entity because they were more vulnerable. They were therefore easy prey and were not in control of their actions at the times that these terrible murders took place.

The main highlight of the special are the strange events that take place during a high-risk séance. Each person became affected during the investigation in one way or another. It was obvious that the Borden murder house was an extreme challenge for the team and this episode was undoubtedly one of the most emotionally charged of their series so far. It is hard not to be curious about the events that took place centuries ago and wonder what could have motivated such a violent outcome.

Some curious news—the house has reportedly been acquired by US Ghost Adventures owned by Lance Zaal. It is a company that’s responsible for over 30 ghost tour experiences in the United States. The house has now become a bed and breakfast and museum despite the knowledge of its tragic history and tortured souls.

Alice’s Score: 7 out of 10

So do you think a dark entity was responsible for the Borden murders? And you can check out more paranormal investigations content below:

SHOCK DOCS: THE EXORCISM OF ROLAND DOE UNCOVERS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND 1973’S ‘THE EXORCIST’
THE SLEEPLESS UNREST: THE REAL CONJURING HOME IS A BIG FAIL
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Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More