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The Notorious Lavinia Fisher

Updated on October 31, 2015

Creepy ghostly apparitions of Lavinia's face and many criminals of the un-dead and long departed who were hanged in the gallows of the courtyard float around in the courtyard and outside were the gallows were at the Old Charleston, South Carolina Jail. Apparitions of a woman in a white wedding gown could also be seen roaming around in the old jail behind the bars of the cell where Lavinia spent her last hours. The apparitions began swiftly after her hanging death of the woman in the wedding dress and Lavinia's face appearing in the jail.

Rattles and voices in the night, and scores of different entities could be seen inside the walls of the jail and making noises; although many of the noises are of an unknown source that only come to life at night in the old jail where it still stands like it was just yesterday. It is in the back of the jail courtyard in the gallows that a number of people were hanged in the courtyard gallows in the 1700 to 1800's.

The Fishers were hanged in back of the Old Jail on February 18, 1820. Lavinia Fisher was hanged in her wedding dress as part of her last wishes. Lavinia Fisher was only a young and wicked 27 years old.

One of the infamous dead serial killers to appear in and out of the old jail is Lavinia Fisher, she and her husband, John Fisher, ran a hotel nearby that was called the "Six Mile Wayfarer" in Charleston, South Carolina. It was here that Lavinia and her husband killed many travelers that stayed and disappeared from their hotel. Although Lavinia was a rough and tumble kind of woman she was beautiful and friendly to people who approached her. Many suspected that this couple killed and murdered the travelers (mostly men) because it was where many men were last seen and disappeared and were murdered at the hands of Lavinia Fisher and her husband, John Fisher. Although Lavinia and her husband John were not tried initially for the murders and disappearances because the courts could not prove or had enough evidence to convince the court beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were the suspected murderers of the traveling men.

Many of the traveling men who were robbed and killed heard many noises at night and if they had the misfortune of lying in bed, they became part of the many who were killed at the Six Mile Wayfarer.

A genetleman who started an investigation because he felt compelled to find out the truth was David Ross who went to the hotel as a vigilante investigator to find out the truth. All said and done words were exchanged and there is no proof of the exchange and what was said, but, two men attacked Mr. Ross and then proceeded to drag him in front of other men and Lavinia Fisher. Unprovoked and Angry did Lavinia Fisher take the man by the hair, choked him, and through his head through a window. Although Mr. Ross narrowly escaped he was able to escape and alert authorities of what transpired on the street and outside of the hotel.

Fortunately or Unfortunately at the same time, another man by the name of John Peeples who was in some strange way being flirted with by Lavinia and she was so charming that she boldly invited him for a cup of tea and he agreed. But during there tea break something even stranger occurred when Lavinia's husband John joined them and began staring Mr. Peeples down very oddly and so much so Mr. Peeples wondered about this very odd and weird encounter. Oddly enough at first they said they had no room available and then just as suddenly they told Mr. Peeple a room became available. Although very uncomfortable and answering as many questions as he could to his hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, he began to worry if he said to much and worried he may be robbed because of the disclosures. John Peeples went to his room but felt so uncomfortable he did not sleep in the bed instead he knodded off in a chair next to the window. Just as strange he was awaken by some thumps and banging and weird and eery enough was the site of seeing the bed in the room disappear in the floor. John stared in shock at the site of the bed disappearing then jumped outside the window and ran off to inform the authorities of what transpired.

After reporting the two incidents above to authorities a full flege investigation occurred where they looked and dug up many areas of the hotel grounds and found many passages to and from many rooms and chambers. Evidence gathered at the site and the passages had objects and personal property belonging to the travelers who were reported missing, and in addition to the items they found an herb that was mixed with tea to induce sleep for the person who ingested it. The hole that was made under the floor boards of the bed showed a mechanism that was triggered to open and close the door beneath the floor boards to lower the bed. In the basement of the Six Mile Wayfarer Hotel they found the remains of many travelers who had the dumb luck and misfortune of staying at the hotel and being murdered.

Some of these traveling men would go to sleep in a deep slumber and would not wake from it because they were killed during their sleep.

After jailed the pair even had the audacity to try and escape plotting and planning. But the attempt failed and John Fisher was so distraught that he returned to the jail because he did not want to leave the cruel Lavinia Fisher behind.

During the execution John made pleas with the minister but Lavinia was not so docile and screamed at the people they were the reason she was in there at the gallows and the people in the crowd at the gallows could not believe there ears when she screamed until she dangled from the noose around her neck. The glares and snears that Lavinia sent chills up the spines of onlookers at the gallows. they had never seen anyone so wicked and evil.

The notorious ghosts of criminals past on to the other side still haunt the old Charleston jail where a number of notorious criminals were hanged in the courtyard gallows. Among one of them is the first female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher, who killed somewhere around 19 people who are known to have been killed by Lavina Fisher. Although it was never proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they murdered the traveling men and two bodies were dug up on the property nothing could tie it to the Fishers who killed the travelers but they were hanged for robbery and theft and were somehow convicted of murders. Highway robbery was a hanging offense at the time and that was the primary reason they were both hanged.



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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Aida, I hope this doesn't come over as a nasty comment. I am trying to offer constructive criticism, and if you want more comments and followers here you will need to work on. The content of this hub is very interesting, but you need to work on your sentence structure, spelling, etc. You repeat the same terms too often within the same sentence and some are too long and should be broken up.

      It becomes difficult to understand and what should be an exciting read is actually rather tedious. The fact that you have 148 hubs and only 29 followers should be a concern, for instance I have 255 hubs and 600 followers. Please don't be discouraged and keep practicing your writing. You have a lot higher academic qualifications than I do but as someone who has been writing here for six years I feel it is my role to offer advice.