The Blood Countess – Elizabeth Báthory

darksouls1 (CC0), Pixabay

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a famous countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary (she was however from present day Slovakia). She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history and she is still know today for the number of her victims, which is still debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610, for her least to say vampire needs. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory’s trial was 650.

However, this number comes from the claim by a woman named Susannah, that Jacob Szilvássy, Countess Báthory’s court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory’s private books where she listed her own victims.

The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Elizabeth, her noble family’s influence kept her from facing trial making the whole thing even worse. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Csejte Castle in Slovakia, where she remained immured in a set of rooms until her death four years later, due to less blood intake? who knows!

The stories of her serial murders and brutality are verified by numerous testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest inside her castle. Stories which ascribe to her vampire-like tendencies (most famously 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, however they became the modern myth.

Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day. She is often compared with Vlad III the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and has been nicknamed The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.

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