Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Blood Countess


Much has been written about the Blood Countess, Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory of Hungary. Reviled as the World's Worst Female Serial Killer, Countess Báthory is said to have bathed in the blood of the 650 servant girls she tortured and murdered. Upon her arrest, she was condemned to life imprisonment and walled up in a tower of her castle. Reputed to be a vampire, lesbian, and witch, her shocking story inspired the Brothers Grimm, Bram Stoker, and gothic horror fans around the world for the past four hundred years.

Countess Elizabeth Báthory
 Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610. 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. The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Elizabeth, her family's influence kept her from facing trial. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Csejte Castle, Upper Hungary, now in Slovakia, where she remained immured in a set of rooms until her death four years later.

The stories of her serial murders and brutality are verified by the 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. 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. 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.

 Let the bloodbath begin! Celebrate Halloween all October long
with a new vampire post every day! Who's your favorite?