Many myths surround the legend of Lavinia Fisher, a 19th century Charleston woman convicted for highway robbery and hung just off Meeting Street. Some claim she was America’s first female serial killer, based on speculation that she and her husband would lure travelers to their inn, slip poison in their tea, steal their belongings, and carry their bodies out back. However, her and her husband actually belonged to a band of highway thieves, and was never accused of serial murder. Still, the details surrounding her death are chilling. Believing that she would be pardoned up until the moment she was hung, Lavinia, according to legend, used her last breath to scream, “If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me, and I’ll carry it!” Her ghost still haunts the Old Charleston Jail House, and tourists still claim sightings of her ghostly apparition.
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