“True” History Tuesday – Lizzie Borden was Bewitched
118 years ago yesterday, Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the brutal murders of her father and stepmother. What “true” history shows is that she actually was the murderer. This happened as a result of the spinster being bewitched by overindulgence in the licking of cane toads. The 1890s in Fall River, Massachusetts just weren’t all that exciting. Borden was bored and licked a cane toad to pass the time. She began having unusual hallucinations. In her mind, she was no longer a spinster, but married to Darrin Stephens. Stephens was an ad executive and had an overbearing boss named Larry Tate. Oddly, her husband sometimes looked like a completely different person. Her name was no longer Lizzie, but Samantha. And strangest of all, she was a witch. She could wiggle her nose and make things happen. Her husband was not a witch, but a mortal. The psychoactive effects of the cane toad licking set up this zany scenario in her head and hilarity ensued…hatcheting of father and stepmother aside, of course.
Lizzie eventually became addicted to the cane toad licking and the mock reality she had created in her head. She liked being a witch pretending to be a mortal. What annoyed her though was her nosy neighbor, Gladys Kravitz. Gladys was going to blow her cover and let other mortals know she was a witch. Thank the stars, Gladys’ husband Abner thought his wife was cracker jacks. Another sense of comfort was Dr. Bombay. Bombay was a warlock who specialized in emergency situations. Even though he thought her husband was a bit of a square, she still called on him for assistance when needed. She also had her nutty maid, Esmeralda. This was really helpful since cleaning of any kind made her mad enough to swing an ax.
The problems began with Lizzie/Samantha’s mother Endora. Endora had no use for Samantha’s mortal life. She could not stand Darrin, who she referred to as “Durwood” or “Dum-Dum.” Additionally, Samantha’s kooky cousin, Serena was a source of frustration. Samantha and Serena always had to appear on split screen when they were in the same room. This was confusing, but quite innovative for television in 1892. Serena also hated Darrin and Samantha’s fake mortal life. Too frequent toad licking made the visions of Endora and Serena more violent and convoluted. Ultimately, in an effort to receive a daytime Emmy, Endora and Serena convinced Samantha to take an ax and destroy her mortal life. Lizzie awoke one day to find she had given her father and stepmother 40 whacks. She was obviously horrified by what she had done while high on the viscous milky-white venom of the cane toad. She knew it was time to leave her betwitched world. When she was unbelievably acquitted for the murders, she vowed to never touch another cane toad or ax and she also swore off nose wiggling of any kind.