Elizabeth Bathory, also known by “Blood Countess”, was a historical vampire who tortured and killed between 100 and 650 girls between 1590-1610. Hungarian noblewoman and serial killer is well-known. She may have had a role in her family’s childhood. Some myths are a result of her actions. Although it is impossible to tell where truth ends from fiction in Elizabeth Bathory’s tale, the legend of Elizabeth Bathory continues.
Elizabeth Bathory was the daughter of a powerful Protestant family, which was one Hungary’s most influential families at the time. She was born August 7, 1560. Baron George Bathory was her father and Baroness Anna Bathory was her mother. It is possible that Elizabeth’s seizures, loss-of-control, and fits rage stemmed from her early years. As a young child, she was subject to brutal punishments by her family’s estate officers. One account describes how a gypsy accused with theft was left to die after being sewn in the stomach a dying horse. Some of her relatives were disturbing too, such as her uncle who taught her Satanism and her aunt who taught sadomasochism to her. (Medical Bag) Bathory was just 11 years old when Ferenc was born to another Hungarian noble family. They married at Csejthe Castle when she was 15. Ferenc reportedly showed Bathory his methods of punishing servants. He built a torture chamber for her to please him. Elizabeth was a caring mother who loved her children and was kind to her servants. Ferenc and Elizabeth believed in discipline. Hungarians were not afraid to punish maids who broke the law or had misbehaved. However, it became difficult to distinguish between torture and discipline at some point. (Britannica). Star kicking was a common method of discipline that Elizabeth learned from Ferenc. A maid would get tied up and oil-soaked paper placed between her toes. The papers would then go on fire. Star kicking was the servant’s favorite pastime. (History footage.) Elizabeth’s evil deeds were not revealed until her husband’s death in the 1600’s. (Medical bag)
In order to aid her torture, she moved to Cachtice, a castle in northwest Hungary. Legend has it that Elizabeth was being brushed by an attendant girl when she pulled on her hair too hard. The countess became angry and jumped up to strike the girl with her back. The strike was so intense that it made Elizabeth bleed. Elizabeth noticed later that her skin where the blood was left looked younger than it had in many years. This led her to believe that if so little blood can make her hand look young, then she could have more to restore her youthfulness. This is where the madness started and Elizabeth began to bathe in blood from virgin girls. (Medical bag)
Villages far and near began to see young women and children disappearing. They were lured by the castle and promised work. But they were never seen again. They were put in a basement while they waited to be tortured when they arrived. Elizabeth was often the one who carried out the torture and beat the girls to their deaths. Sometimes she would force girls to eat their own flesh, or even sew their mouths shut. (Rejected princesses) Elizabeth would command her servants that a girl be brought up to her quarters by her servants. She would then bite their faces and shoulders. Other times, she would place needles under the fingertips of the girl and then cut off fingers who attempted to remove them. (History) Elizabeth quickly ran out young women. She had either taken them before or the villagers started hiding their daughters to protect them from her. This was when Elizabeth began to look for noble girls. It would be her final act of defiance. The authorities finally took action after Elizabeth attempted to commit suicide by attempting to murder one noble girl in 1609.
Officials raided the castle at night and found the bodies of several young girls. Some had no arms or eyes. One of the bodies was still inside the fireplace. Elizabeth was brought before the jury and witnesses included her servants, survivors, and others. (CNN] One of the servants stated that the girls were tied up to death and had their skin torn and battered. One girl was subject to 200 beatings before she died. One servant confessed that she had used red-hot pokers to shovel red-hot pokers into the mouths of one girl. She stated that she put her fingers into the mouth of one girl and pulled until both sides cracked open.
Elizabeth and her servants were convicted for 80 murder counts, but evidence indicated that up to 650 female victims may have been killed. (CNN). Elizabeth was sentenced to life imprisonment in a room within her castle, which was boarded and secured with tiny air and food slits. Elizabeth lived three and a half more years before being found face down on the ground. (History footage). Countess Elizabeth Bathory was killed in a car accident.