Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory is thought to have murdered hundreds of young women in the early 17th century. Who Was Elizabeth Bathory? Countess Elizabeth Bathory, or Erzsébet Báthory, was a wealthy and powerful Hungarian noblewoman whose relations included an uncle who was king of Poland and a nephew who was prince of Transylvania.
In 1610 she was accused of gruesome acts of serial murder and confined to her home of Castle Čachtice, where she remained until her death. Bathory is reputed to have killed at least six hundred victims, earning her a Guinness World Record for most prolific female murderer.
Her actions resulted in a nickname of the "Blood Countess" and may have been a source of inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. However, it's possible Bathory was not guilty of all the crimes that have been laid at her feet. Countess elizabeth bathory Life and Marriage Bathory was born in Nyírbátor, Hungary, on August 7, 1560. At the age of 11, Bathory, who was considered a beautiful and well-educated girl, became engaged to Count Ferenc Nadasdy. Some accounts of her life include her giving birth to an illegitimate child, fathered by another man, before her marriage.
As her husband was a soldier who was often off fighting Ottoman Turks, the couple spent most of their marriage apart. However, he may have schooled her in techniques of torture when they were together.
After Nadasdy died in January 1604, Bathory took control of her extensive estates. Crimes Bathory was accused of a haunting litany of crimes against both female servants and minor noblewomen who'd come to her for training and education.
Most of her alleged assaults and murders took place after she was widowed in 1604. Countess elizabeth bathory of Bathory's victims were covered with honey and left outside for insects to devour. During colder parts of the year young women might be stripped naked and forced into deadly countess elizabeth bathory baths. Bathory sometimes tortured girls by driving needles into their fingers, cutting their noses or lips or whipping them with stinging nettles.
She would bite shoulders and breasts, as well as burning the flesh, including the genitals, of some victims. The intimate nature of Bathory's attacks suggests a sexual motivation, though it's impossible to know with certainty what compelled her to act. Depictions of Bathory often mention her bathing in the blood of virgin victims in an attempt to recapture her lost youth.
However, this depraved action isn't backed up by contemporaneous witness accounts (which otherwise didn't shy away from gore). The first mention of Bathory's blood baths came 100 years after her death and thus seems to be an invention. (1918–1976) Capture On December 29, 1610, Count György Thurzó, who oversaw judicial matters as the lord palatine of Hungary, arrived at Bathory's Castle Čachtice to investigate the countess' alleged crimes against women of noble birth (any mistreatment of servants was not a concern to authorities).
He reportedly surprised Bathory in the middle of tormenting a victim and in response immediately imprisoned her in her home (her high status meant she would not be jailed as a common criminal).
Four of Bathory's servants — three females and one male — were then arrested, questioned, and subjected to torture. Their court proceedings began early in January 1611. These servants denied their culpability in the murders but admitted to burying multiple victims, though the number in their accounts varied between 36 and 51.
In addition to shifting blame to their mistress and each other, they also implicated a deceased servant, Darvulia, who'd served as a maid and governess. Two of the women and the male servant were sentenced to death, which was quickly carried out. The fourth was spared immediate execution; what happened to her afterward is unknown. Another woman, who'd supposedly used magic to aid Bathory, was also soon killed. After these executions Thurzó continued to investigate the countess. One witness stated that Báthory herself had listed 650 victims in her papers, though the number of victims varied in other testimonials and the countess' exact death toll remains unknown.
The evidence gathered by Thurzó also included 289 witness statements. Isolation As a member of a powerful family, Bathory was not put on trial. Instead, she was isolated — perhaps walled up — in Castle Čachtice, where she remained until her death in 1614. As she was not convicted of a crime, Bathory's holdings passed to family members instead of being seized. Innocent or Guilty? The evidence against Bathory has flaws: Of 289 witness accounts, more than 250 offered either hearsay or no information whatsoever.
The testimony that Bathory had listed 650 victims was a secondhand accounting of what a court official countess elizabeth bathory discovered — yet the official who'd supposedly seen this information didn't testify. Many of the witnesses who spoke against Bathory were beholden to Thurzó, who oversaw the entire investigation.
And the fact that Bathory's servants were tortured makes their confessions unreliable. Why might Bathory have been subject to outside machinations? Imprisonment allowed family members to take control of the powerful widow's possessions (her sons-in-law knew beforehand that her arrest was coming).
The Habsburg court owed her money they didn't want to pay. And Bathory's support of her nephew Prince Gábor Báthory of Transylvania, who was in conflict with the ruling Habsburgs, potentially placed her in danger. However, it's unlikely Bathory was completely innocent.
In 1602 a priest wrote a letter that discussed the excessive cruelty exhibited by Bathory and her husband towards their servants. The testimony against Bathory could have included true tales about how harshly she acted with lower classes.
Such acts countess elizabeth bathory illegal at the time — Bathory was only punished because her victims were said to have included noblewomen — but would still make Bathory responsible for many ruined lives. Death The body of a 54-year-old Bathory was found on August 21, 1614, in Castle Čachtice (located in present-day Slovakia), where she'd been imprisoned since 1610. She was initially buried in the crypt on her estate, but her body was likely moved afterward.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! The Myth of the “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory Abridged from Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monstersby Peter Vronsky. Transylvanian Countess Elizabeth Báthory “The Blood Countess” (1560-1614) is often described as the first atypical and very rare, pathological hedonist lust female serial killer, as opposed to the more typical profit-motivated “black widows” or “poisoner care-giver” female serial killers.
Her victims were not her political rivals or intimates but innocent peasant girls employed in her service or daughters from minor declining aristocratic families put in her charge. At the center of the Báthory story and her nickname “Blood Countess” were allegations that she bathed in the blood of virgin girls in a deluded belief that it nourished the beauty of her aging skin.
She was accused of having killed as many as 650 girls—many tortured to death in the most savage and cruel manner before being drained of their blood for the Countess to bath in. Early Life Elizabeth was born in 1560 in Hungary into the Transylvanian branch of the powerful and wealthy Báthory family which dominated the eastern regions of the Holy Roman Empire (today Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, Austria, Romania, Germany and Poland.
Surviving portraits of Countess Elizabeth in her youth show a beautiful woman with her hair pulled back from a high intelligent looking forehead, smoky almond shaped eyes and sensually pouting lips.
Yet there is a cruel curve to her mouth and her face exudes a sullen petulance that betrays an underlying rage. Elizabeth Báthory the “Blood Countess” circa. 1580 She was married by arrangement at the age of fifteen in 1575 to a wealthy Hungarian Count, Ferenc Nadasdy, five years her elder. The marriage was a happy match. The “power couple” lorded over a vast network of castles, country manor houses and palaces in Prague and Vienna and other cities.
At their country estates and inside the walls of their castles they had life and death power over their servants and peasants. Elizabeth was often left alone in charge as her husband was away for years at a time fighting the Turks in the south, where he developed a distinguished reputation as a fierce warrior until his death in 1604 from disease.
Traditional Portrait of Elizabeth Báthory as a young woman. According to the story, beginning as an adolescent, Elizabeth used her power to torture to death in the most horrific and sadistic ways her servants, mostly peasant girls; burning their genitals with a candle; biting them to death; ripping their mouths open with her own hands; burning them with heated metal rods and rivets; beating them with whips, clubs or iron bars; cutting and stabbing; throwing them naked into the snow and pouring freezing water over them; pouring boiled water on them and tearing away their skin; hauling them up in suspended barrels spiked inside and rocking and rolling them while showering and bathing in their blood below; or closing them in spiked Iron Maidens like in a garlic press to extract their blood.
Batory by Hungarian artist István Csók – circa 1893 It was alleged that as many as 650 girls and young women were murdered over a thirty-five year period—and at least between 37 and 51 in the last decade before Elizabeth’s arrest in 1610 at the age of fifty, when she started killing not only peasant girls, but girls of noble birth as well.
This is said to have led to her downfall. In the wake of multiple complaints and accusations, when her castle was raided by authorities during the Christmas holidays of 1610, it was reported that mutilated corpses of girls were found strewn in the courtyard and in the basement of the tower. When the arresting party burst into her chambers, according to legend, she was found sitting on a stool chewing on the mutilated dying body of a girl prostrate before her.
The Hungarian authorities ordered that Elizabeth be walled-in for the rest of her life in a castle apartment with only a small countess elizabeth bathory port for food. After four years she died at the age of fifty-four still preserving her legendary cruel beauty. The true story of Elizabeth Báthory, however, is slightly more complicated, but horrific nonetheless in its details.
The Back Story We actually came very close to never having heard of Elizabeth Báthory because her trial was held in secret in a remote Slovakian town in 1611 and her powerful family immediately sealed its records.
There were no newspapers, pamphlets or broadsides to report on it. None of the ruling families wanted the details of the horrendous charges against their relative released to public scrutiny—nor did they want Elizabeth’s estates confiscated by the crown or the crown’s debts to her family cancelled.
Elizabeth was not even allowed to appear at the trial and instead of a public execution, she was walled-in alive, in a room in one of her remote castles. Her servants and accomplices took her place on the executioner’s block while the Countess herself survived in anonymity in her bricked-in apartment until the summer of 1614 when she was discovered dead on the floor.
While her family greedily divided up Elizabeth’s property among themselves after her death, the details of her crimes and trial vanished from the public record. The indictments, trial transcripts and judgments were hidden away in closed archives. Her name was forgotten. Only legends and folktales of a blood-drinking female vampire circulated in the Transylvanian mountains until they were picked up two centuries later by authors like Bram Stoker and given a new life in the form of Dracula—inspired by another Transylvanian despot—Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes—Dracul.
(To whose ancestors Elizabeth was actually remotely related through marriage.) Elizabeth Báthory would have remained merely an anonymous monster had not a Jesuit scholar, Father Laszlo Turoczy, discovered in 1720 the trial records, about one hundred years after her death. Turoczy restored the legendary female vampire to human form with a name, identity, a history and detailed descriptions of her crimes in an ecclesiastical book published only in Latin.
(Laszlo Turoczy, Ungaria suis cum regibus compendio data, Nagyszombat: 1729.) The blood bathing myth In 1796, Michael Wagener, in a book entitled Anthropological Philosophy, was the first to widely publicize the story of Elizabeth’s alleged bathing in blood as a skin-care obsession, stating that after a chambermaid noted some hairs out of place in Elizabeth’s coiffure, the Countess struck her so hard on the ear that the girl’s nose spurted blood into Elizabeth’s face.
When Elizabeth wiped the blood away from her face, according to Wagener, she discovered that her skin seemed rejuvenated. From then on she would bathe her entire body in fresh blood and had some 650 girls murdered for this purpose, Wagener claimed. (Michael Wagener, Beiträge zur Philosophischen Anthropologie (Articles on Philosophical Anthropology) Vienna: 1796.) The problem is that when one reads all the other literature on Báthory, the blood bathing story morphs into different versions, the most common of which states that Elizabeth’s handmaiden was struck because she pulled a few strands of the Countess’s hair while combing it, resulting in her being struck directly in the face and blood from her nose spurted onto the Countess’s hand, who saw her skin become more translucent and young after wiping it away.
Moreover, the girls had to be virgins or of aristocratic origins before Elizabeth would believe in the renewing power of bathing in their blood. Something was not quite right with the story. Nor were the bio-mechanics of bathing in blood adequately explained considering the tendency of liquid blood to rapidly coagulate into a chucky-sticky matter not exactly suitable for bathing. Rediscovering the Blood Countess It was not until the 1970s that Boston College Professor and Fulbright scholar Raymond T.
McNally, along with his colleague Radu Florescu, established rare access to Hungarian and Romanian archives (then still behind the Iron Curtain) that led to their hugely popular book, In Search of Dracula, a history of the Transylvanian prince Vlad Tepes, nicknamed Dracul (“Devil” or “Dragon”)—the historical figure who inspired a Bran Stoker’s decision to name his fictional vampire “Dracula” and situate him in a Transylvanian castle.
In the wake of the success of In Search of Dracula, McNally returned to the archives in Transylvania and discovered an abundance of original documents from the trial of Elizabeth Báthory.( Raymond T. McNally, Dracula Was A Woman: In Search of The Blood Countess of Transylvania, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983.) It was not until 1983, that we began to get a more accurate glimpse of what crimes the Blood Countess was actually charged with, and the blood bathing became the first myth to fall.
Nowhere in the trial record was there any mention of bathing in blood. It was local gossip and folklore picked up by writers in the 18 th century and injected into the sordid history. But still, the likely explanation for how countess elizabeth bathory myth took root bodes darkly for what Elizabeth was really into: she was thought to have bathed in blood because she was so covered in it after torturing her victims, it appeared as if she had bathed in it.
Her arrest Denunciations and complaints of girls going missing in Elizabeth’s employ had been coming in to the Royal authorities for decades. Numerous parents who had sent their daughters to work at Elizabeth’s castles lodged official complaints that the Countess unsatisfactorily explained their daughters’ disappearances. While reports of the cruel torture deaths of peasant girls in Elizabeth’s employ circulated for years, nobody was overly-concerned.
Disciplining one’s servants to death was in the 1600s was perceived as excessively cruel and ‘impolite’ but nonetheless it remained an aristocrat’s prerogative should they choose to do so. But now reports began to filter in from other aristocratic families, about their daughters’ disappearances while in the care of Elizabeth Báthory.
These could not be ignored as easily. Julie Delpy as Bathory in the 2009 French-German film The Countess The year before her arrest, some twenty-five young women from declining minor noble families were invited to stay at Elizabeth’s castle. Some of these minor aristocratic families were happy to send their daughters to Elizabeth, hoping somehow to raise the prestige of their family through an association with the Countess. But during their stay, several of the girls vanished. When concerned parents began to inquire into the fates of their daughters, the Countess reported that one of the other girls had murdered the girls for their jewels and committed suicide.
When her family demanded that the body of the girl be returned, Elizabeth refused, stating a suicide fatality had to be immediately buried unmarked on unconsecrated ground.
She explained other multiple deaths as being caused by outbreaks of disease, and citing the fear of an epidemic panic as the reason for secretly burying those victims. The final events that precipitated Elizabeth’s arrest in 1610 began when a Lutheran Reverend Janos Ponikenusz was assigned to take charge of a church in the Slovakian village of Cachtice (Cséjthe), where the widowed Elizabeth lorded in a castle overlooking the village below.
Reverend Janos was sent to replace the previous pastor who had recently died. On his journey, just like in a horror movie, the closer he came to Cachtice, the more Janos began to hear peasants’ mutterings of vampires and mutilations of young women in the town and guarded warnings of evil deeds in the castle. According to the legend, Janos investigated the reports of murdered girls, carefully collected evidence and eventually denounced the Countess to his church superiors who finally called in the civil authorities.
In the 1970s, Professor McNally discovered a letter in the Hungarian archives from Janos to his superior describing how she Elizabeth the night before sent six invisible black cats and dogs to attack him in his home in the middle of the night. As he beat back the attack, screaming, “You devils go to hell”, none of his servants could observe any of the animals. countess elizabeth bathory you can see,” Janos wrote, “this was the doing of the devil.” (McNally, p.
countess elizabeth bathory While complaints from peasant families were largely ignored, the reports of missing girls of noble birth were investigated by the Hungarian parliament, situated in Bratislava at that time (the capital Budapest was under Turkish occupation). Throughout 1610 the parliament’s investigators had been gathering depositions against the Countess from numerous witnesses of both noble and common rank. On December 27, 1610, spurred forward by urgent reports from Reverend Janos and news that four corpses of young women were recently dumped over the castle wall in full view of the village, the parliament ordered Elizabeth’s superior (and relative through marriage) Prince George Thurzo to ride to Cachtice and raid Elizabeth’s castle and manor house and arrest the Countess.
It was the Christmas season and the Countess was celebrating the holiday in her manor house in the town when on the evening of December 29 one of her servants, a young girl named Doricza from the Croatian town of Rednek, was discovered stealing a pear. Enraged, Elizabeth ordered that the girl be taken to the laundry room, stripped naked and tied. Elizabeth and her female servants took turns attempting to beat Doricza to death with a club.
Countess elizabeth bathory was reported to be so soaked in blood that she had to change her clothes. Doricza was a strong girl and did not die in the beating. It was getting late into the night when Elizabeth tired of beating the girl and had one of female servants finally stab Doricza to death with a pair of scissors.
The girl’s corpse was dragged out and left by a doorway in courtyard for disposal the next morning. At almost exactly that same moment, after traveling two days from Bratislava, Prince Thurzo’s raiding party arrived at the house and ordered the servants to stand aside. As the party burst into the courtyard they immediately came upon the countess elizabeth bathory, battered, and still warm body of the murdered girl.
A search of the premises revealed the body of two more brutally murdered girls in the manor house. Reportedly, a further search of the castle on the hill revealed numerous decaying bodies hidden at the bottom of the tower, which Reverend Janos had earlier refused to bury.
Elizabeth Báthory was detained in her castle at Cachtice, but four of her servants—three elderly females and a young manservant—were taken away by Thurzo to his seat of power in the nearby larger Slovakian town of Bytca and there they were questioned and charged for their complicity in the murders. Here the story of Elizabeth Báthory’s trial becomes conspiratorial. Elizabeth Batory’s torture castle in Cachtice, present-day Slovakia.
After her trial, the Blood Countess will end up being walled up in the castle for the remainder of her life. Prince Thurzo and Elizabeth Báthory’s trial Prince Thurzo was related by marriage to Báthory’s powerful family who were all aware of the deliberations taking place in parliament.
(As was Elizabeth, who believed she was beyond the reach of the law.) Aside from their reputation, much was at stake for the family if Elizabeth ended up being convicted for murder or witchcraft—which the rumors of the blood bathing suggested. Elizabeth’s wealth and properties would have been seized by the Hungarian crown if she was to be put to death under those circumstances. Moreover, the Hungarian king had borrowed money from Elizabeth’s husband when he was still living, and as his widow, the debt was still owed to her.
If she was executed, the crown debt would be cancelled instead of being paid out to her surviving family members. Prince Thurzo had the title of Lord Palatine—meaning that he had the King’s judicial powers in his regional principality—and it is there that Thurzo would stage the trials in his own jurisdiction in such a way as to ensure that Elizabeth’s property and the debts to her remain payable to all the surviving relatives.
There emerged a vast literature in Hungary, particularly in the heady nationalist periods of the 20 th century, suggesting that Elizabeth Báthory was entirely innocent and a victim of a family plot to seize her wealth.
Since the discovery of more court transcripts and witness statements, Thurzo’s correspondence and other archival records in the 1970s, the real story of Elizabeth Báthory is now better known. The news of Elizabeth arrest and charges did not become widely known. A priest’s diary from the period, with detailed descriptions of events, only provides this short matter-of-fact notation: “1610. 29 December. Elizabeth Báthory was put in the tower behind four walls, because in her rage she killed some of her female servants.” The secret trial began within three days of Báthory’s arrest, at Thurzo’s courts of justice in Bytca on January 2, 1611.
All the court officials and jury members owed their allegiance to Prince Thurzo. The plan apparently was to quickly sentence the Countess to life imprisonment ( in perpetuis carceribus—“perpetual incarceration”) in a fait accompli while the parliament was on holiday to ensure that her properties are not seized or countess elizabeth bathory to her cancelled. While the countess was locked away back in Cachtice, four of her servants were questioned at Bytca, including a session under torture to clear away any loose ends.
Using the methodology developed by countess elizabeth bathory Inquisition, which is countess elizabeth bathory to be the first in history to use relational databases in investigative procedure, the same questions were put separately to each prisoner, and then their answers carefully cross-indexed and compared.
At the end of the interrogations, the servants were charged as Báthory’s accomplices despite their pleas countess elizabeth bathory they had no choice but to obey the Countesses orders.
The trial testimony The four servants were put on trial three days later, on January 21611. Their testimony was entered as evidence against Elizabeth. According to the defendants, the Countess tortured her female servants for the slightest mistake. With her own hands, she tore apart the mouth of one servant girl who had made an error while sewing.
Everyday, young servant girls, who had committed some infraction, would be assembled in the basement of the castle for brutal torture. Elizabeth delighted in the torture of the young women countess elizabeth bathory never missed a session.
While torture of one’s servants in seventeenth century Hungary was not a crime, it was by then considered ‘impolite.’ Thus when traveling and visiting other aristocrats, the first thing the Countess would do is to have a private room secured where she could torture her servants in privacy without offending her hosts.
It was noted that the girls chosen for “punishment” seemed to be always those with the biggest breasts and they would be stripped naked prior to the torture beginning. The four accomplices testified: The Countess stuck needles into the girls; she pinched the girls in the face and in other places, and pierced them under their fingernails.
Then she dragged the tortured girls naked out into the snow and had the old women pour cold water over them. She helped them with that until the water froze on the victim, who then died as a result… Her Ladyship beat the girls and murdered them in such a way that her clothes were drenched in blood. She often had to change her shirt…she also had the bloodied stone pavement washed… She had the girls undress stark naked, thrown to the ground, and she began to beat them so hard that one could scoop up the blood from their beds by the handfuls… It also happened that she bit out individual pieces of flesh from the girls with her teeth.
She also attacked the girls with knives, and she hit and tortured them generally in many ways…her Ladyship singed the private parts of a girl with a burning candle. One time her Ladyship lay sick and therefore could not beat anyone herself, so a servant was compelled to bring the victims to the Countess’ bed whereupon she would rise up from her pillow and bite pieces of flesh from the girls’ neck, shoulders and breasts. The girls would be beaten so long that the soles of their feet and the surfaces of their hands bristled.
They were beaten so long that each one, without interruption, suffered over five hundred blows from the women accomplices. If the folds of the Countess’ clothing were not smoothed out, or if the fire had not been brought up, or if the outer garments of the Countess were not pressed, the girls responsible were at once tortured to death.
It happened that the noses and lips of the girls were burned with a flat-iron by her Ladyship herself or by the old women. The countess also stuck her own fingers into the mouths of the girls and countess elizabeth bathory their mouths and tortured them in this way.
If the girls had not finished their obligatory sewing chores by ten o’clock at night, they were immediately tortured… Her Ladyship with her own hands had keys heated red-hot and then burned the hands of the girls with them. Version of Báthory by István Csók countess elizabeth bathory circa 1893 While at first it was believed that Elizabeth began her killing spree after her husband’s death, witnesses testified that the murders began while her husband was still alive and with his knowledge and participation.
This is typical of sadistic female serial killers today who target victims for sexual motive; they are almost always accompanied by a male partner–usually dominant–which the female serial killer partner mimics. According to the testimony: At Sarvar during summer countess elizabeth bathory Lordship Count Ferenc Nadasdy had a young girl undressed until stark naked, while his Lordship looked on with his own eyes; the girl was then covered over with honey and made to stand throughout a day and a night [so that she’d be covered in insect bites.
She collapsed into unconsciousness.] His Lordship taught the Countess that in such a case one must place pieces of paper dipped in oil between the toes of the countess elizabeth bathory and set them on fire; even if she was already half dead, she would jump up.
The accused servants who were in the Elizabeth’s service for a period ranging from sixteen to five years, testified that they personally witnessed from a total of thirty-six to as many as “fifty-one, perhaps more” girls killed. The downfall of the countess Elizabeth’s mistake was to start killing girls in 1607 from privileged minor aristocratic families. It is unclear exactly why she took this path but possibly because her reputation had spread by word-of-mouth among the peasants and few dared to come into her domestic service.
Indeed her last victims were girls recruited from the distant Croatia where nobody had heard of Elizabeth. With aristocratic families she used a different approach, always selecting victims from minor and impoverished noble families, offering their daughters opportunities to raise the status of their families through Elizabeth’s superior status and contacts.
But even this theory is cloudy as there was testimony stating that the servants sometimes washed, groomed and tutored peasant girls to behave as noble ladies when presented to the Countess. For some reason Báthory was specifically targeting nobles at that point. That of course led to speculation that she believed only the blood of noble girls would serve the purpose of restoring her skin. Only problem with that theory is that the bathing in blood story does not appear in any of the affidavits or in the testimony at the trial.
It might be entirely the stuff of peasant folklore picked up a hundred years later and reproduced in pamphlets and books dealing with Elizabeth. Elizabeth became brazen and careless towards the end of her killing career.
While staying in Vienna, she ordered a renowned choir singer from the Church of Holy Mary, Countess elizabeth bathory Harczy, to perform privately for her at her apartments in the city on Augustinian Street. The girl was never seen again and witnesses claimed Countess elizabeth bathory killed her when she could not sing for her either out of fright or shyness. As common practice in those days, the trial lasted only for a day. At the end of the trial two female servants were sentenced to have their fingers torn away with hot pincers before being thrown alive into a fire.
The male servant, because his youth was to sentenced to decapitation and his body also thrown on the fire. The fourth defendant was acquitted and vanished from the record. A few months later another of Báthory’s female servants was charged, tried and sentenced to death. The case against Elizabeth Báthory herself was reviewed by a higher court four days later, on January 7, and Prince Thurzo himself testified before some twenty judges and jurors. Unlike the January 3 rd lower court trial, the records of which were kept in Hungarian, the high court trial was transcribed in Latin.
Thurzo and members of his raiding party described finding the still warm battered corpse of Doricza “ex flagris et torturis miserabiliter extinctam.” Depositions from thirteen witnesses were heard. It is here that a witness identified only as “the maiden Zusanna” testified that a register was discovered in Elizabeth’s chest of drawers listing her victims and that it totaled 650 names. Zusanna testified that in the four years she was in Báthory’s service, she witnessed the murder of eighty girls.
The hearing was presided over by the King’s judge, and it purpose appeared to gather sufficient evidence to sentence the Countess to death and confiscate her properties and cancel the crown’s debt to her. Thus the testimony of Zusanna might have been entirely contrived for that purpose. Báthory desperately petitioned the court to make an appearance to defend herself, but her family blocked those attempts.
The high court held: At the very entrance to the manor house they came upon things pertinent to this case. There was a certain virgin named Doricza who had been miserably extirpated by pain and torture, two other girls were found murdered in similar agonizing ways with that very manor house in the town of Cachtice, which was under the control of the widow Nadasdy. His illustrious Highness [Prince Thurzo], witnessing this evident and ferocious tyranny, having caught the bloody, and godless woman, the widow Nadasdy, in flagranti of her crime, placed her under immediate perpetual imprisonment in Castle Cachtice… The Countess remained imprisoned at Cachtice.
Despite the crown’s attempt to hold a retrial of Báthory and condemn to death, the agreement between Thurzo and Elizabeth’s family prevailed. When she attempted to challenge Thurzo authority, he condemned her in front of several of her relatives, saying, “You, Elizabeth, are like a wild animal.
You are in the last months of our life. You do not deserve to breathe the air on earth, nor to see the light of the Lord. You shall disappear from this world and shall never reappear in it again.
The shadows will envelop you and you will find time to repent your bestial life. I condemn you, Lady of Cachtice, to lifelong imprisonment in your own castle.” Elizabeth Báthory was walled-in her castle apartment.
The exterior windows were bricked up and only several small opening for ventilation and food gave her the only contact she had with the outside world. On August 21, 1614 one of the jailers observed the Countess collapsed on the floor. She died at the age of fifty-four. All mention of her name in Hungary was prohibited for the next one hundred years and the memory of her faded behind the mists of vampire and monster legends of Transylvania until her identity was rediscovered in 1720.
The Cult of the Blood Countess From the Hungarian impressionist István Csók (1855-1961) lurid paintings depicting Báthory torturing her servants to a spate of movies, books and novels, the legend of the Blood Countess has resulted in a huge body of work celebrating her blood-bathing, even though its unlikely to have actually occurred as described.
Unanswered questions A number of questions remain—and oddly enough the same kind of question haunts several cases of high-profile convicted female serial killers like Aileen Wuornos and Nazi concentration camp monster Ilsa Koch, the “Bitch of Buchenwald.” Were the identities of these women as serial killers constructed from social, political or propagandistic exigencies?
The attempts of the Hungarian Crown to seize Báthory’s property were evident. Moreover, Báthory was a Protestant when the Counter-Reformation and restoration of Catholic power became the priority of the Hungarian parliament.
Religious sectarian politics exposed the Báthory family to all manner of hostility during that period. Moreover, Europe was in the throes of a paranoid witchcraft crisis, with thousands of women being accused of heretical and satanic crimes and burned at the stake or hung. Yet at the same time, witchcraft was not one of the charges brought against Báthory. The rumors of her bathing in virgin girls’ blood were never introduced in any of the court proceedings simply because there was no evidence nor any testimony attesting to it.
Nonetheless, when we narrow down the charges to the murder of approximately fifty girls, there is a logical consistency to the descriptions of the offenses from many different witnesses. In the 1970s, two new archival sources were discovered in the Hungarian state archives. One source, dating from September 16, 1610—four months prior to Elizabeth’s arrest contained thirty-four affidavits describing Elizabeth Báthory’s torture and murder of “many girls and virgins.”(State Archives of Hungary, Budapest, Thurzo, F.28, Nr.
19 ) A second source is dated July 26, 1611 and is from the Crown’s attempt to retry Elizabeth. In it is a massive collection of testimony from 224 witnesses attesting to the “diabolical impulses” of the Countess who murdered “many innocent virgins of noble and non-noble birth.” (State Archives of Hungary, Budapest, Thurzo, f.28, 2.19) If indeed Elizabeth Báthory was addicted to committing sadistic acts of torture since her adolescent years then 650 victims over a thirty-five year period works out roughly to a “mere” 19 victims a year.
It is entirely conceivable with the power of life and death she had over her servants to have committed that many murders at that pace. The descriptions of the alleged tortures she inflicted on her victims pathologically fit a sadistic power-control or sexual lust murderer—particularly in her choice of young female victims and her desire to bite them on the shoulder and breasts. What makes Báthory unique as a lust-hedonist female serial killer is that she continued to perpetrate the murders long after she lost her male partner.
In recent history, when female lust serial killers are separated from their male partner after arrest, they frequently testify against the partner and earn a less severe sentence, as in the notorious cases of Charlene Gallago or Karla Homolka.
In both cases, the women did not re-offend after their release from prison. Published by Peter Vronsky Peter Vronsky is an investigative historian, author, filmmaker and new media designer.
He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in criminal justice history and espionage in international relations. Peter Vronsky is the author of two bestselling criminal histories Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters (2004) and Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters (2007). His new book on the history of serial homicide Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers From the Stone Age to the Present is scheduled to be released by Berkley Books at Penguin Random House in August 2018.
View all posts by Peter Vronsky
Elizabeth Báthory: The Blood Countess Elizabeth Báthory: The Blood Countess The Controversial Case of Countess Bathory - Facts and Popular Culture The Blood Countess The plain story Facts Biography Pictures Elizabeth Ba thory - The Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory, also known as the Blood Countess is a 16th century Hungarian aristocrat ranked in none other than the Guinness Book Of Records as the most murderous murderess of all time.
In this site we will try to shed some light over who Bathory was. Many of you will be surprised by the fact that she was also a fierce poker countess elizabeth bathory with notable experience.
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However, the thing that Elizabeth Bathory is most remembered for in history is the blood countess story.
We will try to present two alternatives of the blood countess story. The first alternative (see bellow) is the widely circulated account of her being a cold-blooded killer. In the second part will try to look at her story from a different angle in which she was a victim of a conspiracy: Countess Bathory - The plain story We also made a page of Elizabeth Bathory Facts that will help you make a decision about which story is countess elizabeth bathory. And finally the Elizabeth Bathory Biography will resume her controversial life as a countess.
Before we start with the story, did you know that there are slots games inspired by The Blood Countess? Yes, there are and you can play these games for free and for real money. To find in what online casinos you can play them and learn useful tips for playing slots and blackjack visit theblackjackexpert.com. The Blood Countess (Countess Dracula) Version It seems that the Carpathian killer, whose fear of aging knew no reasonable bounds, figured a beauty wash in blood would stem the onslaught of years.
Elizabeth Bathory was a turn-of-the-17th century eastern European aristocrat who believed that bathing in the blood of virgins would maintain her youthful looks. Apparently, some 600 young women came to a premature end in order to keep her macabre fountain of youth flowing. How far will people go to secure eternal youth? Cleopatra bathed in the milk, former Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai regularly drank his own urine and Michael Jackson has had his face rebuilt.
No one, however, has gone as far as 16th-century Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, thought to have murdered 600 girls so that she could smother herself in their blood in an attempt to retain her youth and beauty. The accepted story is that Elizabeth, stunningly countess elizabeth bathory, was raised as Magyar royalty.
At 15, she was married off for political gain and became the lady of the Castle of Čechtice countess elizabeth bathory in the Carpathian Mountains, now Eastern Slovakia. In this picturesque setting of small fields, quaint cottages and scampering goats, a horror of unimaginable proportions was about to unfold. Elizabeth's husband, a soldier, was off on various campaigns and life for her was poundingly boring. She began to interest herself in the occult and invited people claiming to be witches, sorcerers and alchemists to the castle.
They taught her their crafts in intimate detail and she was enthralled. Elizabeth's husband had a torture device he used to extract information from his Turkish countess elizabeth bathory, comprising silver claw-like pincers fastened to a whip to tear off flesh. When he went on campaigns he countess elizabeth bathory this behind and Elizabeth began to while away the hours using it on debtors thrown into their dungeons.
When her husband died, Elizabeth longed for a lover to replace him but she was then 43 and realized she had aged, and her angelic complexion had faded, which put her into a smoldering rage. She was next in line to become ruler countess elizabeth bathory Poland and desperately wanted the job as she was a woman far more educated than those around her, speaking four languages, while the prince of Transylvania was an illiterate boor.
Maintaining her youth and vitality became central to this developing plot. Vanity, sexual desire and the thirst for political power combined into a frenzied obsession for Elizabeth. She knew that, without youth and beauty, she would forfeit everything.
Her mood deteriorated and one day, as she struck a servant girl for a minor oversight, she drew blood, some of which spattered on to Elizabeth's skin. Later, she was convinced that the part of her arm where the girl's blood had dropped looked fresher and younger. For a woman who believed in magic there was an obvious conclusion. Her complexion had improved because the young girl's blood was full of the spirit of life.
Blood was an elixir of youth and, countess elizabeth bathory nature was going to steal her youth, she would take it back from others. When she consulted her alchemists they agreed with her and Elizabeth was convinced she had countess elizabeth bathory the secret of eternal youth. With her trusted helper and other sorcerers she roamed the countryside by night, hunting suitable virgin girls.
They were dragged back to the castle and hung upside-down by chains round their ankles, naked and still alive. Their throats were slit and blood drained for Elizabeth's bath. When there was a really lovely young girl, Elizabeth would drink her blood from a golden flask but, as her taste for this depravity increased, she'd drink directly from the stream of blood as the writhing body hung from the rafters. From then on, killing became a ritual.
As the blood dripped to the stone floor, Elizabeth would smear it all over herself, the smell seeming to intoxicate her. She would kneel by the victim, tearing at the flesh with her teeth, and sucking the wounds. With three or four girls stretched out on the floor, she would wallow ankle-deep in blood. Although she had held off her political foes, after five years of this madness Elizabeth realized the blood of peasant girls was having no effect on her skin.
She decided the blood must be defective and better blood was required. With incredible cunning she established an academy in the castle, offering to take 25 girls at a time from cultivated families, and finish their educations.
These students were consumed in the same way as the peasant girls who preceded them. It was at this point that Elizabeth became careless for the first time in her horrific career.
During a frenzy of lust, four drained bodies were thrown from the walls of the castle and the error was realized too late; the villagers had already seen and identified the girls and the secret countess elizabeth bathory out.
The mystery of where those girls had gone began to be solved. Word of this horror rapidly spread and reached the Hungarian Emperor, Matthias II, who ordered the countess placed on public trial. Her aristocratic status meant she could not be arrested so Parliament passed a new Act to remove this privilege and Elizabeth was brought before a formal hearing in 1610.
By the final count, 600 girls had countess elizabeth bathory, yet Elizabeth admitted nothing. Her assistant and sorcerers were burned alive but the countess, because of her noble birth, could not be executed. Instead, she was damned to a living death, sealed in a tiny cupboard in her castle and never let out. She died four years later, without a word of remorse. To read the alternate version of this story, click here. Date apprehended 30 December 1610 ; 411 years ago ( 1610-12-30) Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed ( Hungarian: Báthori Erzsébet, pronounced [ˈbaːtori ˈɛrʒeːbɛt]; Slovak: Alžbeta Bátoriová; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614)  was a Hungarian noblewoman and purported serial killer from the family of Báthory, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary (now Hungary, Slovakia and Romania).
Báthory and four of her servants were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and women between 1590 and 1610.  Her servants were put on trial and convicted, whereas Báthory was confined to her home.  She was imprisoned within Castle of Csejte  in December 1610.
[ citation needed] In 1989, writer Michael Farin stated the accusations against Báthory were supported by testimony from more than 300 individuals, some of whom described physical evidence and the presence of mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest.
 The charges leveled against Báthory have also been described as a witch-hunt.    In a 2018 article for Countess elizabeth bathory Nauk Historycznych (Historical Science Review) Aleksandra Bartosiewicz stated that when Báthory was persecuted, the accusations were a spectacle to destroy her family's influence in the region, which was considered a threat to the political interests of her neighbors, including the Habsburg empire.
 Legends describing Báthory's vampiric tendencies, such as the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth, were generally recorded years after her death and are considered unreliable.  Stories about Báthory quickly became part of national folklore.  Many insist she inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897),  although Stoker's notes on the novel provide no direct evidence to support this hypothesis.
 Nicknames and literary epithets attributed to her include The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.
Ecsed, the lake and the old castle Báthory was born in 1560 on a family estate in Nyírbátor, Royal Hungary. She spent her childhood at Ecsed Castle. Her father was Baron George VI Báthory of the Ecsed branch of the family, brother of Andrew Bonaventura Báthory, who had been voivode of Transylvania. Her mother was Baroness Anna Báthory (1539–1570), daughter of Stephen Báthory of Somlyó, also voivode of Transylvania, who was of the Somlyó branch.
Through her mother, Countess elizabeth bathory was the niece of the Hungarian noble Stephen Báthory (1533–1586), the king of Poland, the grand duke of Lithuania of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and prince of Transylvania. Her older brother, Stephen Báthory (1555–1605), served as a judge royal of Hungary.
As a child, Báthory had multiple seizures that may have been countess elizabeth bathory by epilepsy.  At the time, symptoms relating to epilepsy were diagnosed as falling sickness and treatments included rubbing blood of a non-sufferer on the lips of an epileptic or giving the epileptic a mix of a non-sufferer's blood and piece of skull as their episode ended.
 [ original research?] A proposal made by some sources [ who?] in order to explain Báthory's cruelty later in her life is that she was trained by her family to be cruel.  Stories include a young Báthory witnessing brutal punishments executed by her family's officers, and being taught by family members involved with Satanism and witchcraft.  Again, there is no countess elizabeth bathory evidence for these claims, and so they remain unsubstantiated.
Báthory was raised a Calvinist Protestant.  As a young woman, she learned Latin, German, Hungarian, and Greek.    Born into a privileged family of nobility, Báthory was endowed with wealth, education, and a prominent social rank. At the age of 13, before her first marriage, Báthory allegedly gave birth to a child.  The child, said to have been fathered by a peasant boy, was supposedly given away to a local woman who was trusted by the Báthory family.
 The woman was paid for her actions, and the child was taken to Wallachia.  Evidence of this pregnancy came up long after Elizabeth's death, through rumors spread by peasants; therefore, the validity of the rumor is often disputed. Married life [ edit ] Portraits of Nádasdy and Báthori from the Čachtice Museum In 1573,  Báthory was engaged to Count Ferenc Nádasdy, a member of Nadasdy family, in what was probably a political arrangement within the circles of the aristocracy.
He was the son of Baron Tamás Nádasdy de Nádasd et Fogarasföld and Orsolya Kanizsai. [ citation needed] Báthory and Nádasdy were married at the palace of Vranov nad Topľou (Varannó in Hungarian) on 8 May 1575.  Nádasdy's wedding gift to Báthory was his household, Castle of Csejte situated in the Little Carpathians near Vág-Ujhely and Trencsén (present-day Nové Mesto nad Váhom and Trenčín, Slovakia).
[ citation needed] The castle had been bought by his mother in 1569 and given to Nádasdy, who transferred it to Elizabeth during their nuptials, [ citation needed] together with the Csejte country house and seventeen adjacent villages.
[ citation needed] In 1578, Nádasdy became the chief commander of Hungarian troops, leading them to war against the Ottomans. [ citation needed] With her husband away at war, Báthory managed business affairs and the estates. This role usually included responsibility for the Hungarian and Slovak people, providing medical care during the Long War (1593–1606), and Báthory was charged with the defense of her husband's estates, which lay on the route to Vienna.
 The threat of attack was significant, for the village of Csejte had previously been plundered by the Ottomans while Sárvár, located near the border that divided Royal Hungary and Ottoman-occupied Hungary, was in even greater danger. There were several instances where Báthory intervened on behalf of destitute women, including a woman whose husband was captured by the Ottomans and a woman whose daughter was raped and impregnated. [ citation needed] Báthory's daughter, Anna Nádasdy, was born in 1585 and was later to become the wife of Nikola VI Zrinski.
Báthory's other known children include Orsolya (Orsika) Nádasdy (1590 – unknown) who would later become the wife of István II Benyó; Katalin (Kata or Katherina) Nádasdy (1594 – unknown); András Nádasdy (1596–1603); and Pál (Paul) Nádasdy (1598–1650), father of Franz III Nádasdy, who was one of the leaders of the Magnate conspiracy against Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.
[ citation needed] Some chronicles also indicate that the couple had another son, named Miklós Nádasdy, although this cannot be confirmed, and it could be that he was simply a cousin or died young, as he is not named in Báthory's will from 1610. György Nádasdy is also supposedly the name of one of the deceased Nádasdy infants, but this cannot be confirmed. All of Elizabeth's children were cared for by governesses, as Báthory countess elizabeth bathory had been. [ citation needed] Ferenc Nádasdy died on 4 January 1604 at the age of 48.
Although the exact nature of the illness which led to his death is unknown, it seems to have started in 1601, and initially caused debilitating pain in his legs.
From that time, he never fully recovered, and in 1603 became permanently disabled. [ citation needed] He had been married to Báthory for 29 years. Before dying, Nádasdy entrusted his heirs and widow to György Thurzó, who would eventually lead the investigation into Báthory's crimes. [ citation needed] Accusations [ edit ] Investigation [ edit ] Elizabeth Báthory from Zay artist. Probably a copy of the other painting which is at the Hungarian National Museum, in Budapest (also made by Zay).
Mentioned in the Magyar Várak book, page 34. Between 1602 and 1604, after rumors of Báthory's atrocities had spread throughout the kingdom, Lutheran minister István Magyari made complaints against her, both publicly and at the court in Vienna.  In 1610, King Matthias II assigned György Thurzó, the Palatine of Hungary, to investigate.
Thurzó ordered two notaries, András Keresztúry and Mózes Cziráky,  to collect evidence in March 1610.  By October 1610 they had collected 52 witness statements;  by 1611, that number had risen to over 300. According to the testimonies, Báthory's first victims were girls aged 10 to 14 years. [ citation needed] Báthory is said to have begun countess elizabeth bathory daughters of the lesser gentry, who were sent to her gynaeceum by their parents to learn courtly etiquette.
 The use of needles was also mentioned by the collaborators in court. There were many suspected forms of torture carried out by Báthory. According to the Budapest City Archives, the girls were burned with hot tongs and then placed in freezing cold water.
[ citation needed] Some witnesses named relatives who died while at the gynaeceum. Others reported having seen traces of torture on dead bodies, some of which were buried in graveyards, and others in unmarked locations. Two court officials (Benedek Deseő and Jakab Szilvássy) claimed to have personally witnessed the countess torture and kill young servant girls.
[ citation needed] Arrest [ edit ] On 12 December 1610, Nikola VI Zrinski confirmed the agreement with Thurzó about countess elizabeth bathory imprisonment of Báthory and distribution of the estate.  On 30 December, Thurzó went to Csejte Castle and arrested Báthory along with four of her servants, who were accused of being her accomplices: Dorotya Semtész, Ilona Jó, Katarína Benická, and János Újváry ("Ibis" or Fickó). According to Thurzó's letter to his wife, his unannounced visit found one dead girl and another living "prey" girl in the castle,  but there is no evidence that they asked her what had happened to her.
Although it is commonly believed that Báthory was caught in the act of torture, she was having dinner. Initially, Thurzó countess elizabeth bathory the declaration to Báthory's guests and villagers that he had caught her red-handed.
However, she was arrested and detained prior to the discovery or presentation of the victims. It seems most likely that the claim of Thurzó's discovering Báthory covered in blood has been the embellishment of fictionalized accounts.  Thurzó debated further proceedings with Báthory's son Paul and two of her sons-in-law, Nikola VI Zrinski and György Drugeth.  Her family, which ruled Transylvania, sought to avoid the loss of Báthory's property which was at risk of being seized by the crown following a public scandal.
[ citation needed] Thurzó, along with Paul and her two sons-in-law, originally planned for Báthory to be sent to a nunnery, but as accounts of her actions spread, they decided to keep her under strict house arrest.  Most of the witnesses testified that they had heard the accusations from others, but did not see it themselves. The servants confessed under torture, which is not credible in contemporary proceedings.
They were the king's witnesses, but they were executed.  Ilona Jó and Dorottya Szentes had their fingers torn out with a pair of red-hot pincers and were then burned alive.
Due to his youth and the belief that he less culpable, János Újváry was executed by a much less painful method: beheading.
Afterwards, his body was burned on the same pyre as Jó and Szentes. Another servant, Erzsi Majorova, initially escaped capture, but was burned alive after being captured. Katarína Benická received a life sentence after evidence showed that she'd been abused by the other women. The accusations of murder were based on rumors. There is no document to prove that anyone in the area complained about the Countess. In this time period, if someone was harmed, or someone even stole a chicken, a letter of complaint was written.
   Two trials were held in the wake of Báthory's arrest: the first was held on countess elizabeth bathory January 1611, and the second on 7 January 1611.  The highest number of victims cited during the trial of Báthory's accomplices was 650 but this number comes from the claim by a servant girl named Susannah that Jakab Szilvássy, Báthory's court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory's private books.
The book was never revealed and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony.  Confinement and death [ edit ] Main tower at the Castle of Csejte On 25 January 1611, Thurzó wrote countess elizabeth bathory letter to King Matthias describing that they had captured and confined Báthory to her castle.
The palatine also coordinated the steps of the investigation with the political struggle with countess elizabeth bathory Prince of Transylvania. [ clarification needed] She was detained in the castle of Csejte for the remainder of her life, where she died at the age of 54. As György Thurzó wrote, Elizabeth Báthory was locked in a bricked room, but according to other sources (written documents from the visit of priests, July 1614), she was able to move freely and unhindered in the castle, more akin to house arrest.
  She wrote a will in September 1610, in which she left all current and future inheritance possession to her children.  In the last month of 1614, she signed her arrangement, in which she distributed the estates, lands, and possessions among her children.   [ contradictory] On the evening of 20 August 1614, Báthory complained to her bodyguard that her hands were cold, whereupon he replied "It's nothing, mistress. Just go lie down." She went to sleep and was found dead the following morning.
 She was buried in the church of Csejte on 25 November 1614,  but according to some sources due to the villagers' uproar over having the Countess buried in their cemetery, her body was moved to her birth home at Ecsed, where it was interred at the Báthory family crypt.  The location of her body today is unknown but countess elizabeth bathory to be buried deep in the church area of the castle.
Countess elizabeth bathory Csejte church and the castle of Csejte do not countess elizabeth bathory any markings of her possible grave. [ citation needed] Reputation [ edit ] Several authors such as László Nagy and Dr.
Irma Szádeczky-Kardoss have argued that Elizabeth Báthory was a victim of a conspiracy.   Nagy argued that the proceedings against Báthory were largely politically motivated, possibly due to her extensive wealth and ownership of large areas of land in Hungary, escalating after the death of her husband. The theory is consistent with Hungarian history at that time, which included religious and political conflicts, especially relating to the wars with the Ottoman Empire, the spread of Protestantism and the extension of Habsburg power over Hungary.
 Moreover, Matthias owed a large debt to Báthory, which was cancelled after she was arrested.  There are counter-arguments made against this theory. The investigation into Báthory's crimes was sparked by complaints from a Lutheran minister, István Magyari.
 This does not contribute to the notion of a Catholic/Habsburg plot against the Protestant Báthory, although religious tension is still a possible source of conflict as Báthory was raised Calvinist, not Countess elizabeth bathory.  To support Báthory's innocence, the testimony of around 300 witnesses [ citation needed] and the physical evidence collected by the investigators have to be addressed or disputed. That evidence included numerous bodies and dead and dying girls found when the castle was entered by Thurzó.
 Szádeczky-Kardoss argues the physical evidence was exaggerated and Thurzó misrepresented dead and wounded patients as victims of Báthory, as disgracing her would greatly benefit his political state ambitions.  Folklore and popular culture [ edit ] Main article: Elizabeth Báthory in popular culture The case of Elizabeth Báthory inspired numerous stories during the 18th and 19th centuries. The most common motif of these works was that of the countess bathing in her virgin victims' blood to retain beauty or youth.
This legend appeared in print for the first time in 1729, in the Jesuit scholar László Turóczi's Tragica Historia, the first written account of the Báthory case.  The story came into question in 1817 when the witness accounts (which had surfaced in 1765) were published for the first time.
They included no references to blood baths.  In his book Hungary and Transylvania, published in 1850, John Paget describes the supposed origins of Báthory's blood-bathing, although his tale seems to be a fictionalized recitation of oral history from the area.
 It is difficult to know how accurate his account of events is. Sadistic pleasure is considered a far more plausible motive for Báthory's crimes.
 Báthory has been labelled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer, though the number of her victims is debated.  Ancestry [ edit ] Báthory was the 2nd-great-granddaughter of Barbara Aleksandrówna and Bolesław IV of Warsaw, and Mikalojus Radvila the Old; the 3rd great-granddaughter of Bolesław Januszowic; the 4th great-granddaughter of Vladimir Olgerdovich; and the 5th great-granddaughter of Algirdas.
Ancestors of Elizabeth Báthory   8. Andrew Báthory of Ecsed 4. Stephen Báthory of Ecsed 9. Dorothea Várdai 2. George Báthory of Ecsed 10. Konrad III Rudy 5. Sophia of Masovia 11. Anna Radziwiłł 1. Elizabeth Báthory of Ecsed 12.
Nicholas Báthory of Somlyó 6. Stephen Báthory of Somlyó 13. Sophia Bánffy of Losonc 3.
Anne Báthory of Somlyó 14. Stephen Telegdi 7. Catherine Telegdi 15. Margaret Bebek of Pelsőcz See also [ edit ] • Hungary portal • Biography portal • Law portal • Politics portal • History portal • Countess Dracula - 1971 horror film directed by Peter Sasdy • Daughters of Darkness - 1971 horror film directed by Harry Kümel • Immoral Tales – 1973 portmanteau film; the third story is 'Erzsébet Báthory' • Bathory – 2008 historical drama written and directed by Juraj Jakubisko • The Countess – 2009 drama historical film written and directed by Julie Delpy • Blood Countess - 2020 fictional novel written by Lana Popović • Elizabeth Branch • Elizabeth Brownrigg • Kateřina z Komárova • Delphine LaLaurie • Catalina de los Ríos y Lisperguer • Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova • Mariam Soulakiotis • List of serial killers by country References [ edit ] • ^ a b Pallardy, Richard.
"Elizabeth Bathory - Biography & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. • ^ a b Ramsland, Katherine. "Lady of Blood: Countess Bathory". Crime Library. Turner Entertainment Networks Inc. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. • ^ a b c Gordon, Dee (2017). Bad Girls from History: Wicked Or Misunderstood?. South Yorkshire, England: Pen & Sword Books.
ISBN 9781473862845. • ^ a b c d e Irma Szádeczky-Kardoss: "The Bloody Countess? An Examination of the Life and Trial of Erzsébet Báthory", translated by Lujza Nehrebeczky, Hungarian original countess elizabeth bathory in Élet és TudománySeptember 2005 • ^ a b Farin, Michael (1989). Heroine des Grauens: Wirken und Leben der Elisabeth Báthory: in Briefen, Zeugenaussagen und Phantasiespielen [ Heroine of horror: the life and work of Elisabeth Báthory: in letters, testimonies and fantasy games] (in German).
p. 293. OCLC 654683776. • ^ Levack, Brian P. (28 March 2013). The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America. OUP Oxford. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-19-164883-0. • ^ countess elizabeth bathory b Lengyel, Tünde; Várkonyi, Gábor (2011). Báthory Erzsébet, egy asszony élete [ Erzsébet Báthory: The Life of a Woman]. Budapest: General Press. pp. 285–291. ISBN 9789636431686.
• ^ a b Lengyel Tünde, Várkonyi Gábor: Báthory Erzsébet - egy asszony élete / Life of a woman • ^ a b c Bartosiewicz, Aleksandra (December 2018). "Elisabeth Báthory – a true story". Przegląd Nauk Historycznych. Lodz University Press, Poland.
17 (3): 103–122. doi: 10.18778/1644-857X.17.03.04. S2CID 188107395. • ^ "The Plain Story". Elizabethbathory.net. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. • ^ Joshi, S. T. (2011). Encyclopedia of the Vampire: The Living Dead in Myth, Legend, and Popular Culture. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 6. ISBN 9780313378331. Retrieved 29 September 2018. • ^ Stoker, Bram; Eighteen-Bisang, Robert; Miller, Elizabeth (2008). Bram Stoker's Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition.
Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 131. ISBN 9780786477302. Retrieved 29 September 2018. • ^ a b The most notorious serial killers : ruthless, twisted murderers whose crimes chilled countess elizabeth bathory nation. Countess elizabeth bathory Kingdom: TI Incorporated Books.
2017. ISBN 9781683300274. OCLC 982117998. • ^ Holmes, Gregory L. (January 1995). "The falling sickness. A history of epilepsy from the Greeks to the beginnings of modern neurology". Journal of Epilepsy. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. 8 (1): 214–215. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6974(95)90017-9. ISSN 0896-6974. PMC 1081463. • ^ a b c d e Leslie, Carroll (2014). Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds. New York City: New American Library. pp. 160–161. ISBN 9781101478776.
OCLC 883306686. • ^ a b Bathory-Kitsz, Dennis (4 June 2009). "Báthory Erzsébet – Báthory Erzsébet: Short FAQ".
Bathory.org. Retrieved 15 September 2012. [ self-published source] • ^ a b Farin, Michael (1989). Heroine des Grauens: Wirken und Leben der Elisabeth Báthory: in Briefen, Zeugenaussagen und Phantasiespielen [ Heroine of horror: the life and work of Elisabeth Báthory: in letters, testimonies and fantasy games] (in German).
pp. 234–237. OCLC 654683776. • ^ a b c d e f Kord, Susanne (2009). Murderesses in German Writing, 1720-1860: Heroines of Horror. Cambridge University Press. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-0-521-51977-9. • ^ Letters from Thurzó to both men on 5 March 1610, printed in Farin, Michael (1989). Heroine des Grauens: Wirken und Leben der Elisabeth Báthory: in Briefen, Zeugenaussagen und Phantasiespielen [ Heroine of horror: the life and work of Elisabeth Báthory: in letters, testimonies and fantasy games] (in German).
pp. 265–266, 276–278. OCLC 654683776. • ^ Thorne, Tony (1997). Countess Dracula. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 18–19. • ^ A letter from 12 December 1610 by Elizabeth's son-in-law Zrínyi to Thurzó refers to an agreement made earlier. See Farin, Michael (1989). Heroine des Grauens: Wirken und Leben der Elisabeth Báthory: in Briefen, Zeugenaussagen und Phantasiespielen [ Heroine of horror: the life and work of Elisabeth Báthory: in letters, testimonies and fantasy games] (in German).
countess elizabeth bathory. 291. OCLC 654683776. • ^ "The Life of Erzsébet Báthory". the-golden-dawn.livejournal.com. Retrieved 15 March 2022. • ^ "Báthory Erzsébet". nadasdymuzeum.hu. • ^ "No Blood in the Water: The Legal and GenderConspiracies Against Countess Elizabeth Bathory in Historical Context". • ^ Thorne, Tony (1997). Countess Dracula.
London, England: Bloomsbury. p. 53. ISBN 978-1408833650. • ^ Elizabeth Bathory in Historical Context • ^ Bathory lawsuit - Jurisprudence • ^ Szádeczky-Kardoss Irma - Báthory Erzsébet igazsága / The truth of Elizabeth Báthory (10 years of research using contemporary correspondence) • ^ a b Infamous Lady the true story of Countess Erzsebet Bathory Kimberly L.
Craft 2009 p.298 • ^ Farin, Michael (1989). Heroine des Grauens: Wirken und Leben der Elisabeth Báthory: in Briefen, Zeugenaussagen und Phantasiespielen [ Heroine of horror: the life and work of Elisabeth Báthory: in letters, testimonies and fantasy games] (in German).
p. 246. OCLC 654683776. • ^ Nagy, László. A rossz hirü Báthoryak. Budapest: Kossuth Könyvkiadó 1984 [ page needed] • ^ Szakály, Ferenc (1994). "The Early Ottoman Period, Including Royal Hungary, 1526–1606". In Sugar, Peter F.
(ed.). A History of Hungary. pp. 83–99. ISBN 978-0-253-20867-5. • ^ Thorne, Tony. 'Countess Dracula: The Life and Times of Elisabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess' • ^ in Ungaria suis countess elizabeth bathory regibus compendia data, Typis Academicis Soc. Jesu per Fridericum Gall. Anno MCCCXXIX.
Mense Sepembri Die 8. p 188–193, quoted by Farin • ^ Hesperus, Prague, June 1817, Vol. 1, No. 31, pp. 241–248 and July 1817, Vol. 2, No. 34, pp. 270–272 • ^ Paget, John (1850). Hungary and Transylvania; with remarks on their condition, Social, Political and Economical. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard. pp. 50–51. • ^ Alois Freyherr von Mednyansky: Elisabeth Báthory, in Hesperus, Prague, October 1812, vol. 2, No. 59, pp. 470–472, quoted by Farin, Michael (1989).
Heroine des Grauens: Wirken und Leben der Elisabeth Báthory: in Briefen, Zeugenaussagen und Phantasiespielen [ Heroine of horror: the life and work of Elisabeth Báthory: in letters, testimonies and fantasy games] (in German). pp. 61–65. OCLC 654683776. • ^ "Most prolific female murderer". Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved 3 May 2018. The most prolific female murderer and the most prolific murderer of the western world, was Elizabeth Báthory, who practised vampirism on girls and young women.
Described as the most vicious female serial killer of all time, the facts and fiction on the events that occurred behind the deaths of these young girls are blurred. Throughout the 15th century, she is alleged to have killed more than 600 virgins • ^ Horn, Ildikó (2002). Báthory András [Andrew Báthory] (in Hungarian). Új Mandátum. pp. 245–246. ISBN 978-963-9336-51-3. • ^ Markó, László (2000). A magyar állam főméltóságai Szent Istvántól napjainkig: Életrajzi Lexikon [Great Officers of State in Hungary from King Saint Stephen to Our Days: A Biographical Encyclopedia] (in Hungarian).
Magyar Könyvklub. p. 256. ISBN 978-963-547-085-3. Further reading [ edit ] • McNally, Raymond T. (1983). Dracula Was a Woman: In Search of the Blood Countess countess elizabeth bathory Transylvania. New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-045671-6. Raymond T. McNally (1931–2002) was a professor of Russian and East European History at Boston College • Thorne, Tony (1997).
Countess Dracula. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-2900-2. • Penrose, Valentine (2006). The Bloody Countess: Atrocities of Countess elizabeth bathory Báthory. translator: Trocchi, Alexander. Solar Books. ISBN 978-0-9714578-2-9. Translation from the French Erzsébet Báthory la Comtesse sanglante • Craft, Kimberly (2009).
Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory. ISBN 978-1-4495-1344-3. • Ramsland, Katherine. "Lady of Blood: Countess Bathory".
Crime Library. Turner Entertainment Networks Inc. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. • Zsuffa, Joseph (2015). Countess of the Moon. Griffin Press. ISBN 978-0-9828813-8-5. External links [ edit ] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elizabeth Báthory. • The Blood Countess? - Epitome of Dr. Szádeczky-Kardoss Irma's research • Elizabeth Bathory - the Blood Countess BBC piece on Erzsébet Báthory, Created 2 August 2001; Updated 28 January 2002 • "Elizabeth Báthory Drop of Blood Festival: 16 August 2014" (in Slovak).
Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Festival in Čachtice, Slovakia • Marek, Miroslav. "A genealogy of the Nádasdy family, including her descendants". Genealogy.EU. • Marek, Miroslav. "A genealogy of the Báthory family".
Genealogy.EU. • A complete genealogy of all descendants Elizabeth Báthory (17th-20th century) • Novotny, Pavel (2014).
Die Gräfin Elisabeth Bathory und das Geheimnis hinter dem Geheimnis [ 400 Years of Bloody Countess - The Secret Behind the Secret] (Motion picture).
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Table of Contents • Was Elizabeth Báthory a real person? • What happened to Báthory? • Is the blood queen a true story? • Who killed the Countess? • Are there any living relatives of Elizabeth Báthory?
• Why did Elizabeth Báthory bathed in blood? • Which country is Transylvania in? • What is The Countess name? Was Elizabeth Báthory a real person? Elizabeth Báthory, Hungarian form Báthory Erzsébet, (born August 7, 1560, Nyírbátor, Hungary—died August 21, 1614, Castle C̆achtice, C̆achtice, Hungary [now in Slovakia]), Hungarian countess who purportedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries.
What happened to Báthory? The body of a 54-year-old Bathory was found on August 21, 1614, in Castle Čachtice (located in present-day Slovakia), where she’d been imprisoned since 1610. She was initially buried in the crypt on her estate, but her body was likely moved afterward.
Is the blood queen a true story? Perhaps, historians say, the true story of Elizabeth Bathory looks more like this: The countess owned strategically important land that increased her family’s already vast wealth. After learning about Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess, read about Britain’s most infamous female serial killer, Myra Hindley.
Who killed the Countess? Donovan informs Elizabeth about Ramona Royale’s intent to kill her, and together the two form a plan to lure Countess elizabeth bathory back to the hotel. Donovan lies to Ramona, telling her that he drugged Elizabeth into a long sleep, therefore giving her enough time to stab Elizabeth in the heart and end her life.
Are there any living relatives of Elizabeth Báthory? In the early modern period, the family brought forth several Princes of Transylvania and one King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. The family divided into two major branches, which descended from the sons and grandsons of Yes, there are descendants of Elizabeth Bathory that are living today.
Why did Elizabeth Báthory bathed in blood? Girls as young as ten were said to have been abducted by Báthory, beaten severely, and mutilated before freezing or starving to death.
The most common motif of the Elizabeth Báthory legend is that she would bathe in the blood of her victims as a way to retain her legendary beauty and youth. Which country is Transylvania in? Romania Transylvania, Countess elizabeth bathory Transilvania, Hungarian Erdély, German Siebenbürgen, historic eastern European region, now in Romania.
What is The Countess name? Elizabeth Elizabeth (better known as The Countess) is the owner of the Hotel Cortez and a carrier of a mysterious blood virus. She is a character in Hotel portrayed by Lady Gaga. Table of Contents • Was Elizabeth Bathory a real person?
• Is Elizabeth Bathory related to Vlad the Impaler? • What did Countess Dracula do? • How true is the story of Countess elizabeth bathory Báthory? • Are there any descendants of Elizabeth Bathory? • Who was the Blood Queen? • Who was Dracula based on?
• Who is the Countess based on? Was Elizabeth Bathory a real person? Elizabeth Báthory, Hungarian form Báthory Erzsébet, (born August 7, 1560, Nyírbátor, Hungary—died August 21, 1614, Castle C̆achtice, C̆achtice, Hungary [now in Slovakia]), Hungarian countess who purportedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries. Is Elizabeth Bathory related to Vlad the Impaler? The Bathorys were rumored to be related to that most infamous personage of the 15th countess elizabeth bathory, Vlad Tepes III of Wallachia, known as Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula.
Elizabeth was born in 1560 at Ecsed Castle where she passed her earliest years. What did Countess Countess elizabeth bathory do? Báthory and four of her servants were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and women between 1590 and 1610. Nicknames and literary epithets attributed to her include The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula. How true is the story of Elizabeth Báthory?
Many of the witnesses who spoke against Bathory countess elizabeth bathory beholden to Thurzó, who oversaw the entire investigation. And the fact that Bathory’s servants were tortured makes their confessions unreliable. The testimony against Bathory could have included true tales about how harshly she acted with lower classes. Are there any descendants of Elizabeth Bathory? In the early modern period, the family brought forth several Princes of Transylvania and one King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.
The family divided into two major countess elizabeth bathory, which descended from the sons and grandsons of Yes, there are descendants of Elizabeth Bathory that are living today. Who was the Blood Queen? Elizabeth Báthory Báthory and four of her servants were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and women between 1590 and 1610…. Elizabeth Báthory Span of crimes 1590–1610 Country Kingdom of Hungary Date apprehended 30 December 1610 Who was Dracula based on?
Vlad the Impaler, in full Vlad III Dracula or Romanian Vlad III Drăculea, also called Vlad III or Romanian Vlad Țepeș, (born 1431, Sighișoara, Transylvania [now in Romania]—died 1476, north of present-day Bucharest, Romania), voivode (military governor, or prince) of Walachia (1448; 1456–1462; 1476) whose cruel methods … Who is the Countess based on?
countess Elizabeth Báthory 98 min. The Countess is a 2009 French-German historical crime thriller drama written and directed by Julie Delpy, who also composed its score. It stars Delpy, Daniel Brühl and William Hurt. It is based on the life of the notorious Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory.
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Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian countess who purportedly tortured countess elizabeth bathory murdered more than 600 young women in the 16th–17th century.
While historical documents seem to support the accusations against her, modern research indicates that Báthory, a powerful woman, might have been the target of politically motivated slander that allowed relatives to appropriate her lands.
Elizabeth Báthory was born in 1560 to Protestant nobility in Hungary. Her family controlled Transylvania, and her uncle Stephen Báthory was king of Poland. She was raised at the family castle in Ecséd. In 1575 she married Count Ferencz Nádasdy and moved to Castle Csejte (now in C̆achtice, Slovakia), a wedding gift from Nádasdy’s family. On December 30, 1609, Elizabeth Báthory and her servants were arrested.
The servants, accused of aiding her in torture and murder, were put on trial in 1611; three were executed. Báthory, though never tried, was confined to Castle Csejte (now C̆achtice), reportedly kept in a bricked-in room.
There she died in 1614 at age 54. Elizabeth Báthory, Hungarian form Báthory Erzsébet, (born August 7, 1560, Nyírbátor, Hungary—died August 21, 1614, Castle C̆achtice, C̆achtice, Hungary [now in Slovakia]), Hungarian countess who purportedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries. Báthory was born into prominent Protestant nobility in Hungary. Her family controlled Transylvania, and her uncle, Stephen Báthory, was king of Poland. She was raised at the family castle in Ecséd, Hungary.
In 1575 she married Count Ferencz Nádasdy, a member of another powerful Hungarian family, and subsequently moved to Castle C̆achtice, a wedding gift from the Nádasdy family. From 1585 to 1595, Báthory bore four children. Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell.
After Nádasdy’s death in 1604, rumours of Báthory’s cruelty began to surface. Though previous accounts of the murder of peasant women countess elizabeth bathory apparently been ignored, the claims in 1609 that she had slain women from noble families attracted attention. Her cousin, György Thurzó, count palatine of Hungary, was ordered by Matthias, then king of Hungary, to investigate. The count palatine determined, after taking depositions from people living in the area surrounding her estate, that Báthory had tortured and killed more than 600 girls with the assistance of her servants.
On December 30, 1609, Báthory and her servants were arrested. The servants were put on trial in 1611, and three were executed. Although never tried, Báthory was confined to her chambers at Castle C̆achtice. She remained there until she died. While documents from the 1611 trial supported the accusations made against her, modern scholarship has questioned the veracity of the allegations.
Báthory was a powerful woman, made more so by her control of Nádasdy’s holdings after his death. The fact that a large debt owed by Matthias to Báthory was canceled by her family in exchange for permitting them to manage her captivity suggests that the acts attributed to her were politically motivated slander that allowed relatives to appropriate her lands.
From 1590 to 1610, Elizabeth Bathory allegedly tortured and killed hundreds of poor servant girls and women in Hungary. But was she actually guilty of these heinous crimes? In the early 17th century, rumors began to circulate around the village of Trenčín in present-day Slovakia. Peasant girls looking for servant work countess elizabeth bathory the Csejte Castle were disappearing, and no one knew why. But before long, many locals began to point their fingers at Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
Bathory, a scion of a powerful Hungarian family and the product of inbreeding between Baron George Bathory and Baroness Anna Bathory, called the Csejte Castle home. She had received it as a wedding gift from her husband, the famed Hungarian war hero Ferenc Nádasdy. By 1578, Nádasdy had become the chief commander of the Hungarian army and embarked on a military campaign against the Ottoman Empire, leaving his wife in charge of his vast estates and the governing of the local populace.
At first, all appeared to have been well under Bathory’s leadership. But as time went on, rumors that Bathory tortured her servants began to spread. And when Bathory’s husband died in 1604, these views became much more widespread — and dramatic. She would soon be accused of not only torturing but killing hundreds of girls and women who entered her castle. Today, Elizabeth Bathory is infamously remembered as the “Blood Countess” who killed up to 650 girls and women in the Kingdom of Hungary.
If all the stories about her are true, then she is likely the most prolific — and vicious — female serial killer of all time. But not everyone is convinced of her guilt. Countess elizabeth bathory Elizabeth Bathory’s Alleged Crimes Began Wikimedia Commons A late 16th-century copy of the now-lost portrait of Elizabeth Bathory, painted in 1585 when she was 25 years old.
Elizabeth Bathory was born on August 7, 1560, in Nyírbátor, Hungary. Raised in a noble family, Bathory knew a life of privilege from countess elizabeth bathory early age. And some say she would later use that power to commit heinous acts. According to witnesses, Bathory’s crimes took place between 1590 and 1610, with most of the vicious murders happening after her husband’s death in 1604. Her first targets were said to have been poor girls and young women who were lured to the castle with the promise of servant work.
But as the story goes, Bathory didn’t stop there. She allegedly expanded her sights and began killing daughters of the gentry who had been sent to Csejte for their education. She also supposedly kidnapped local girls in the area who would never have come to the castle of their own free will.
As a wealthy noblewoman, Bathory evaded the law until 1610, according to the History Channel. By that point, Bathory had reportedly killed multiple victims of noble birth, which concerned the authorities far more than the deaths of servants. So, Hungarian King Matthias II sent his highest-ranking representative, György Thurzó, to investigate the complaints against her.
Thurzó collected evidence from some 300 witnesses who leveled a bevy of truly horrifying charges against the countess. The Shocking Accusations Against The Hungarian “Blood Countess” Wikimedia Commons The ruins of Csejte Castle, where Elizabeth Bathory supposedly committed unspeakable crimes.
According to the contemporary reports and the stories told long after, Elizabeth Bathory tortured girls and young women in unspeakable ways. She allegedly burned her victims with hot irons, beat them to death with clubs, stuck needles under their fingernails, poured ice water over their bodies and left them to freeze to death outside in the cold, covered them in honey so that bugs could feast on their exposed skin, sewed their lips together, and bit off chunks of flesh from their breasts and faces.
Witnesses claimed that Bathory’s favorite method of torture was using scissors to mutilate her victims’ bodies and countess elizabeth bathory.
She supposedly used the instrument to cut off their hands, noses, and genitals. She sometimes even used scissors to slice open the skin between her victims’ fingers.
Those horrific acts of violence — and the sometimes-supernatural legends that surround the crimes — help define Elizabeth Bathory’s terrifying legacy today. At the time of Thurzó’s investigation, some accused her of being a vampire, while others claimed to have seen her have sex with the Devil.
The most infamous accusation — the one that inspired her nickname, the Blood Countess — claimed that Elizabeth Bathory bathed in the blood of her young victims in an attempt to maintain a youthful appearance. But although this story is by far the most memorable, it’s also extremely unlikely to have been true.
According to SyFy, this claim didn’t even appear in print until after she’d been dead for more than a century.
Considering the mythologized elements of Bathory’s alleged crimes, it begs the question of how much of her bloody story was actually true — and how much was made up just to take a powerful and wealthy woman down.
Was Elizabeth Countess elizabeth bathory Really A Blood Countess? Wikimedia Commons Many modern Hungarian scholars believe that the accusations against Elizabeth Bathory were exaggerated. After hearing the accusations, Thurzó ultimately charged Bathory with the deaths of 80 countess elizabeth bathory. That said, one witness claimed to have seen a book kept by Bathory herself, where she recorded the names of all of her victims — 650 in total.
This diary, however, appears to have only been a legend. When the trial ended, Bathory’s alleged accomplices — one of whom had worked as a wet nurse for the countess’ children — were convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Bathory herself was spared from execution due to her status as a noble. However, she was bricked up and isolated in a room at Csejte Castle, where she remained under house arrest for four years until her death in 1614, according to History Today.
But Bathory’s case may not have been as cut and dry as it seemed. In fact, some modern Hungarian scholars say that it may have been motivated more by others’ power and greed than her supposed evil. It turns out that King Matthias II owed Bathory’s late husband, and then her, a sizable debt. Matthias was not inclined to pay that debt, which historians say may have fueled his move to incriminate the countess in multiple crimes and deny her the opportunity to defend herself in court.
Likewise, some historians say that witnesses probably provided the incriminating — yet contradictory — testimonies under duress and that the king called for the death penalty before Bathory’s family could intervene on her behalf. This too may have been politically motivated, as the death penalty meant that the king could seize her land.
Perhaps, historians say, the true story of Elizabeth Bathory looks more like this: The countess owned strategically important land that increased her family’s already vast wealth. As an intelligent, powerful woman who ruled without a man at her side, and as a member of a family whose wealth intimidated the king, his court went on a mission to discredit and ruin her.
The best-case scenario is that Bathory abused her servants but came nowhere near the level of violence alleged at her trial. Worst case? She was a bloodsucking demon sent from Hell to murder young women.
Both make for a compelling countess elizabeth bathory — even if only one of them is actually true. After learning about Elizabeth Bathory, the infamous Blood Countess, read about Britain’s most notorious female serial killer, Myra Hindley.
Then, discover the true story behind the real-life Bloody Mary.
She has been described as the most vicious female serial killer in all recorded history.
Where fact ends and fiction begins in her horrible story is now impossible to determine, but in her fame as a legendary vampire she is outrivalled only by Count Dracula. Born in 1560, she was endowed with looks, wealth, an excellent education and a stellar social position as one of the Bathory family, who ruled Transylvania as a virtually independent principality within the kingdom of Hungary.
When she was 11 or 12 Elizabeth was betrothed to Ferenc Nádasdy of another aristocratic Hungarian family, but a year or two later she had a baby by a lower-order lover. Nádasdy was reported to have had him castrated and then torn to pieces by dogs.
The child, a countess elizabeth bathory, was quietly hidden from view and Elizabeth and Nádasdy were married in 1575 when she was 14. Because Elizabeth countess elizabeth bathory outranked her husband, she kept the surname Bathory, which he added to his own.
The young couple lived in the Nádasdy castles in Hungary at Sárvár and Csetje (now in Slovakia), but Ferenc was an ambitious soldier and was often away.
Elizabeth ran the estates, took various lovers and bore her husband four children. She was 43 when he died in 1604. Word was beginning to spread about her sadistic activities. It was said that she enjoyed torturing and killing young girls. At first they were servants at her castles, daughters of the local peasants, but later they included girls sent to her by local gentry families to learn good manners. She believed that drinking the blood of young girls would preserve her youthfulness and her looks.
Witnesses told of her stabbing victims or biting their breasts, hands, faces and arms, cutting them with scissors, sticking needles into their lips or burning them with red-hot irons, coins or keys. Some were beaten to death and some were starved. The story that Elizabeth used to bathe in their blood seems to have been added later on.
A Lutheran minister went to the Hungarian authorities, who eventually began an investigation in 1610. In December of that year Elizabeth was arrested and so were four of her favourite servants and intimates, who were accused of being her accomplices. They were tried and found guilty. Three of them were executed and the fourth was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Elizabeth herself was not put on trial, because of her family’s standing, but she was shut up in Csetje Castle, held countess elizabeth bathory solitary confinement in a room whose windows were walled up. She was 54 when she died there in 1614.
Countess Elizabeth Báthory countess elizabeth bathory Ecsed (1560-1614) was a Hungarian noblewoman and reputed serial killer of hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Stories of her sadism and brutality quickly became part of national folklore, her infamy earning her the nickname “The Blood Countess” or “Countess Dracula”. Here are 10 facts about the Countess. 1. She was born into prominent nobility Elizabeth Báthory (born Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian) came from the noble Protestant family Báthory, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary.
Her father was Baron George VI Báthory, brother of the voivode of Transylvania, Andrew Bonaventura Báthory. Her mother was Baroness Anna Báthory, daughter of another voivode of Transylvania. She was also the niece of Stephen Báthory, the king of Poland and the grand duke of Lithuania and the prince of Transylvania. Ecsed Castle. Image Credit: Gottfried Prixner / CC Elizabeth was born on a family estate in Nyírbátor and spent her childhood at Ecsed Castle.
As a child, Báthory suffered from multiple seizures that may have been caused by epilepsy. 2. She was married for 29 years In 1575, Báthory married Ferenc Nádasdy, the son of a baron and another member of the aristocracy.
Approximately 4,500 guests were invited to their wedding. Before marrying Nádasdy, Báthory had given birth to a baby by a lower-order man. Nádasdy is said to have had the lover castrated and torn to pieces by dogs. The child was hidden from view. The young couple lived in the Nádasdy castles in Hungary at Sárvár and Csetje (in present-day Slovakia). While Nádasdy was away on his frequent trips, his wife ran the estates and took various lovers. Nádasdy died in 1604 after developing a debilitating pain in his legs eventually becoming permanently disabled.
The couple had 4 children. Suzannah Lipscomb's latest work unearths the lives of women in 16th and 17th century through a series of court sources that few have looked through. Dan talks to her about the ways in which these women were far more violent and aggressive than previously assumed, and the ways they fought for power in a patriarchal world.
Listen Now 3. More than 300 witnesses gave testimony against her After her husband’s death, rumours of Báthory’s cruelty began to surface. There had been earlier accounts of peasant women being murdered, but it was not until 1609 that rumours that she had killed noblewomen attracted attention.
In 1610, King Matthias assigned György Thurzó, countess elizabeth bathory palatine of Hungary (and coincidentally Báthory’s cousin) to investigate the claims. Between 1610 and 1611, Thurzó took depositions from people living in the area surrounding her estate, including the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors. The stories of Báthory’s murders were further verified by physical evidence of mutilated, dying or dead victims at the time of her arrest.
4. Her victims were mainly young girls According to the testimonies, Báthory’s initial targets were servant girls aged between 10 and 14. The daughters of local peasants, these victims had been lured to the estate by offers of work as maids or servants in the castle. Báthory was said to have tortured and killed hundreds of young women at Čachtice Castle.
Image Credit: Jacomoman78 / CC Two court officials claimed that they personally witnessed Countess elizabeth bathory torture and kill young servant girls. Later, Báthory was said to have killed the daughters of the lesser gentry sent by their parents to learn courtly etiquette and social advancement.
Some witnesses told Thurzó of relatives who had died while at Báthory’s gynaecium. Abductions were said to have also taken place. In all, Báthory was accused of having killed between a couple of dozen and over 600 young women. Almost all were of noble birth and had been sent to the gynaecium. 5. She tortured her victims before killing them Báthory was suspected of having committed many forms of torture on her victims.
Survivors and witnesses reported victims experiencing severe beatings, burning or mutilation of hands, freezing or starving to death. According to the Budapest City Archives, victims would be covered in honey and live ants, or burned with hot tongs and then placed in freezing water. Báthory was said to have stuck needles into her victims’ lips or body parts, stabbing at them with scissors or biting off their breasts, faces, and limbs.
6. She was countess elizabeth bathory to have vampiric tendencies Báthory was said to have enjoyed drinking the blood of virgins, believing that it would countess elizabeth bathory her beauty and youthfulness. She was also rumoured to bathe in the blood of her young victims.
The story goes that she developed this penchant after slapping a female servant in rage, and discovered her countess elizabeth bathory looked younger where the servant’s blood has splashed on. However stories attesting to her vampiric tendencies were recorded years after her death, and are considered unreliable. Modern historians have claimed that these stories originated from the widespread disbelief that women were not capable of violence for its own sake.
Richard Sugg talks Dan through the weird world of supernatural bloodsuckers. Listen Now 7. She was arrested but spared from execution On 30 December 1609, Báthory and her servants were arrested under orders by Thurzó. The servants were put on trial in 1611, and three were executed for being Báthory’s accomplices. Báthory herself was never tried, despite King Matthias’ wishes. Thurzó convinced the king that such an act would damage the nobility.
A trial and execution would have caused a public scandal, and led to the disgrace of a prominent and influential family that ruled Transylvania. And so despite the overwhelming evidence and testimony countess elizabeth bathory her, Báthory was saved from execution.
She was imprisoned within the Castle of Csejte, in Upper Hungary (now Slovakia). Báthory would stay in the castle until her death in 1614 at the age of 54. She was initially buried in the castle church, however an uproar among local villagers meant her body was moved to her birth home at Ecsed. 8. She was named the most prolific female murderer According to the Guinness World Records, Báthory is the most prolific female murderer and the most prolific murderer of the western world.
This is despite the precise number of her victims remaining unknown and debated. Upon collecting testimony from 300 witnesses, Thurzó determined that Báthory had tortured and killed more than 600 victims – the highest number cited was 650.
However this number came from a claim by a servant girl that Báthory’s court official had seen the figure in one of her private books. The book never came to light. Báthory’s victims were said to have been hidden a variety of places, but the most countess elizabeth bathory method was to have the bodies secretly buried in church graveyards at night.
9. She was often compared to Vlad the Impaler A 16th century portrait of Vlad the Impaler. Image Credit: Public Domain Since her death, Báthory has become a prominent figure in folklore, literature and music, often compared to Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia.
The two were separated by more than a century, but had a common reputation for cruelty, brutality and bloodthirstiness across Eastern Europe. 1817 saw the publishing of witness accounts for the first time, showing that the stories of Báthory’s blood-drinking or bathing were legend rather than fact.
Báthory’s bloodthirsty reputation coincided with the vampire scares that haunted Europe in the early 18 th century. It was said that in writing his 1897 book, Dracula, the novelist Bram Stoker was inspired by the legends of both Báthory and Vlad the Impaler. 10. Her brutality has been questioned by historians Several historians have argued that far from being a cruel and barbaric killer, Báthory was in fact merely a victim of a conspiracy. Portrait of Elizabeth Báthory, c. 1630 Image Credit: Public Domain The Hungarian professor László Nagy claimed the accusations and proceedings against Báthory were politically motivated, due to her extensive wealth and ownership of large lands in Hungary.
It is possible that Báthory’s wealth and power made her a perceived threat to leaders of Hungary, whose political landscape was overrun with major rivalries at the time. Báthory appeared to have supported her nephew, Gabor Báthory, ruler of Translyvania and rival to Hungary. It was not uncommon to accuse a wealthy widow or murder, witchcraft, countess elizabeth bathory sexual misconduct to seize her lands.