So yeah, it’s 4am and my sleeping schedule is all jacked up. I think that I should start a new set of posts that I’ll entitle “Historic Horrors” for you guys! For research, I’m watching a movie called “The Countess.” This movie is about Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, commonly known as Elizabeth Bathory in modern times. Elizabeth is known as the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the “Blood Countess” and “The Bloody Lady of Čachtice.” It is known that she was convicted of 80 murders, but suspected of over 650.
Elizabeth started out as a normal woman though. She married Ferenc Nádasdy 1575 when she was 14 and a half years old. She managed most of his estate while he was away at war. She also had seven children with him before his untimely death in 1604 at the age of 47. They had been married for 29 years. Little to her husband’s knowledge though, she had already began her reign of terror that would put her as a staple in history.
Rumors had begun to spread as early as 1602. István Magyari, a Lutheran minister, complained about atrocities both publicly and with the court in Vienna. The Hungarian authorities had taken the time to investigate Magyari’s claims but it wasn’t until 1610 that King Matthias II assigned a Palatine of Hungary named György Thurzó to investigate. By 1611, notaries had collected testimonies from over 300 witnesses. Trial records show that there were four defendants, as well as thirteen witnesses. Even priests, noblemen and commoners were questioned.
Elizabeth’s victims were the young daughters of local peasants, many of whom were lured to Csejte by offers employment as maidservants in her castle. Later, she began to use the daughter’s of noble birth who were sent to her castle for proper etiquette lessons. Her horrors were said to have been severe beatings, burning or mutilation of hands, biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other body parts, freezing or starving to death and sexual abuse. The use of needles was also mentioned in court. It is said that a woman named named Anna Darvulia was to have influenced Báthory, but Darvulia was dead long before the trial and could not be questioned. It is said that Elizabeth carried on her activities from 1585 and 1610. She was arrested at the Csejte Castle on December 30th, 1610. On August 21st, 1614, Elizabeth Báthory was found dead in her castle, among many plates of uneaten food, which made it hard to pinpoint her exact day she passed.
Elizabeth has had many stories, movies, songs, and books written about her. Bands such as Cradle of Filth, Kamelot, and Ghost have taken inspiration from her which you will find in the links above. Her bloodline was also of Transylvania lineage, so that also began the folklore of her being a vampire. Her infamy will forever live in history as being one of the most sadistic female killers.