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Countess Elizabeth Bathory Mercilessly Killed 650 Girls

According to Guinness World Records, Elizabeth Bathory was the most prolific female murderer

By Dharrsheena Raja SegarranPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 months ago 8 min read
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Elizabeth Bathory (Image from Royalty Now)

Countess Elizabeth Bathory was a Hungarian noblewoman and serial killer who brutally tortured and killed up to 650 girls and women between the years 1590 and 1610.

She was known as ‘The Blood Countess’ and ‘Countess Dracula’ because she literally took blood baths.

Instead of filling her bathtub with water, she would drain the blood of young girls into her bathtub. She would then soak for hours in their blood.

Image from Pinterest

So, let's get into the story of one of the richest and most prolific serial killers who happened to be a female and a Countess.

Elizabeth Bathory was born on 7th August 1560 to one of the most powerful Protestant families in Nyirbator, Kingdom of Hungary. Her parents were Baron George VI Bathory and Baroness Anna Bathory.

Elizabeth’s parents were cousins and this is very pertinent to this story. This inbreeding affected Elizabeth’s physical and mental health.

Elizabeth had a lot of issues that resulted from inbreeding such as epilepsy. Ever since she was a child, she had intense and frequent seizures.

Epilepsy is very common among children of inbreeding. I don’t mean that whoever has epilepsy is a product of inbreeding but what I’m saying is, that epilepsy is more common in terms of inbreeding.

Back in the 1560s, there weren’t a lot of medications or treatments, especially for epilepsy. The most renowned doctors of Hungary suggested getting the blood of a non-epileptic person and letting Elizabeth drink it.

As a child, Elizabeth was exposed to a lot of violence and brutality.

There was once she witnessed a peasant being punished. A dying horse’s stomach was cut and the peasant was stuffed inside and sewn up.

They would leave the peasant without any food or water. So when the horse dies, the maggots would eat the peasant alive.

The scene of sewing the peasant into the horse’s stomach brought a lot of joy to 5-year-old Elizabeth and she would stand there watching and giggling.

Apart from this, she also witnessed multiple brutal executions and found it to be so exhilarating. It is safe to conclude that these were the root cause of her sadistic nature.

Copy of the lost 1585 original portrait of Elizabeth Báthory
Image from Wikipedia

So throughout all of this, the only good redeeming quality about Elizabeth is that she had an amazing education, which was rare at that time, even at her status. Her family's only modern way of thinking is that girls should be as educated as boys.

She was fluent in Hungarian, Greek, German, Latin, and Slavic. She was very educated and incredibly smart. She was into Science such as Biology and Astronomy. She was also very fascinated by black magic and witchcraft.

She was considered to be a crazy powerful person. There were so many men in power that were terrified of Elizabeth because it was rare to see women that are highly educated, super rich, and very powerful, especially in the 16th century.

In 1573, at the age of 13, Elizabeth was engaged to 18-year-old Count Ferenc II Nadasdy.

At the age of 14, just a year before her marriage, she became pregnant. Plot twist, the father was a peasant boy.

To protect the family’s reputation, she was moved to a secret location until she delivered the baby. The baby was then given to a local woman who was threatened and bribed with money to take care of the baby. Elizabeth then never saw this baby again, not that she wanted to.

Nadasdy, Elizabeth’s fiancé, was livid. He tracked down the peasant boy and punished him by castrating him.

You would expect Elizabeth to be horrified and heartbroken when Nadasdy shared this incident with her but it was the exact opposite.

She was fascinated instead, “Whoa, that’s crazy! Was it bloody? Was it disgusting? How was his reaction?” She wanted to know all the details in a sick and twisted way.

A year later, on 8th May 1575, Nadasdy and Elizabeth got married.

Ferenc II Nadasdy and Elizabeth Bathory
Image from Pannon Pilgrim

In 1578, Nadasdy became the Chief Commander of the Hungarian troops, leading them to war against the Ottomans. This war was called the Long War and it lasted for 13 years (1593 – 1606).

He would capture people in war, kill them and dance with their dead bodies. He then would cut off their heads and kick them around like balls.

During the war, Elizabeth was left alone to run the castle and 17 villages. She was obsessed with recruiting more and more servant girls to work for her in the castle.

She would send her existing servants to recruit young peasant virgin girls. Their families would excitedly send them off in the hope of earning money because they were desperately poor.

These girls were recruited with the promise that Elizabeth would give them ‘Finishing School’, which is essentially a school for girls to learn how to be ladies. Most of these recruitments were done by Anna Darvulia, Elizabeth’s right-hand woman.

Anna is an old Croatian woman who was also known to be a witch. She was a mentor and advisor for Elizabeth in black magic. At some point, it was suspected that both of them were secret lovers.

The girls that were recruited were tortured by Elizabeth. She bit off the flesh from various parts of their bodies, forced them to cook it and to eat it! She would also burn her victims with red hot iron coins and keys.

She then would beat them up until they died. Their blood would be collected to fill her bathtub and she would store some in little bottles and use them for skincare!

The blood bath and blood skincare routine started when her servant accidentally brushed her hair too hard. She slapped her servant which resulted in the servant’s tooth falling out and her blood was splattered across Elizabeth’s face.

When she wiped the blood off her face, she realized her skin was smoother where the blood was. She concluded that blood is a youth serum and hence started this whole obsession with blood.

Image from Google

During winter, Elizabeth made the girls lie naked in the snow, poured cold water on them, and watched them freeze to death. She giggled at the thought that they would be eaten by wild animals.

During spring, she tortured the girls by stripping them naked, covering them head to toe in honey, tying them up outside, and letting insects like bees sting their bodies. This would go on to the extent of the girls dying from the pain.

Elizabeth soon became bored of these little games she played and asked Nadasdy to build her a torture chamber. A lot of horrifying torture was experienced by the peasant girls there.

If they opened their mouth to talk, Elizabeth would sew their mouth shut. Her favourite thing to do was insert things like needles under their fingernails.

All of the torture victims would be tortured until they died.

The worst part of all of this was that Elizabeth had 4 children. Now, can you even imagine a pregnant lady torturing all these peasant girls and giggling at the sight of their suffering?

Although Elizabeth only tortured and killed young virgin girls, there was once she went after an old woman whom she asked to act like a virgin girl. This old woman was a very loyal servant in the castle.

When the old woman stated that isn’t possible because she was already married, Elizabeth took this as rejection.

Image from Pinterest

Elizabeth then dragged the poor old woman by the hair into the woods. The old woman was then made to find a piece of log and forced to put a diaper on it! On a log!

Elizabeth told her that the log was the old woman’s baby and was forced to carry it around the castle. She would also violently wake the old woman up in the middle of the night to breastfeed the log and shove the log in her face non-stop.

This psychological torture was a daily affair and soon Elizabeth started physically torturing the old woman just like she did the young peasant girls.

On 4th January 1604, Elizabeth’s husband, Nadasdy, died at the age of 48. They were married for 29 years.

Nadasdy’s death had a lot of rumours around it. Since 1601, he had an unknown illness and was suffering a lot of pain. He slowly lost his ability to walk and was left permanently disabled in 1603.

Some people even speculated that Anna, Elizabeth’s right-hand woman, had used some black magic on him so she can have Elizabeth all to herself.

Elizabeth was deeply devastated by Nadasdy’s death and she became worse when her brother, Stephen Bathory, died shortly after her husband.

Stephen Bathory
Image from Wikipedia

She was so depressed and also very anxious as she had to travel back to her family castle.

This depression and anxiety drove her to torture and kill all her servant girls. There were hundreds of them!

On the way to her family castle, she would have the carriage stopped many times to bury those servant girls in different locations as her huge castle didn’t have any more space to hide the corpses.

Now, this is where Elizabeth’s undoing began. Her castle was filled with dead bodies. There were corpses shoved into and up the chimneys, buried in the backyard, buried around the castle land, and full in a room in the basement.

Elizabeth was killing them faster than she could get rid of their dead bodies!

At this point, rumours were going around about Elizabeth torturing and killing young girls. King Matthias, the King of Hungary wanted to investigate this not because he loved his people but to find some dirt on Elizabeth.

Elizabeth had lent him a lot of money. To get out of returning it, he wanted to find something on her that he could use against her.

Those who King Matthias sent to investigate Elizabeth and her castle were tripping on dead bodies all over the castle.

On 30th December 1610, Elizabeth and 4 of her accomplices were arrested and convicted for the murder of at least 80 girls but it was speculated to be 650.

Elizabeth’s diary was found some time after that. Inside it, she has written all the names of the girls she had tortured, how they were tortured and how they died! There were close to 650 names.

Anna, Elizabeth’s right-hand woman died right before the trial. The 4 accomplices were executed except for Elizabeth. She wasn’t even tried because she was a noble family member!

Elizabeth was given a punishment instead. It was confinement (house arrest) till death. She turned very quiet during this time. She roamed around the castle including her torture chamber.

On 21st August 1614, two weeks after her 54th birthday, she died in her sleep. I know, it’s so unfair for a monster to have such a peaceful death.

Elizabeth Bathory is the sole purpose and reason that to this day, there is such a weird connection between blood and youth.

This article is a summary I made of the same case in the True Crime Podcast, Rotten Mango by Stephanie Soo. She dives deep into each of the cases that she covers. Linked below is the episode of this case. This case starts around 55:00 minutes so you can skip forward.

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About the Creator

Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

My mental health decline brought about a lot of darkness and I embraced it. It now flows out mostly as Dark Stories and Poetry.

❤️ Erythrophile ❤️
✨️Glitteringly Savage✨️
🖤 Elegantly Disturbed Mind 🖤

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Comments (26)

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  • Mika Oka15 days ago

    Such sick woman

  • Denise E Lindquist2 months ago

    I must have closed my eyes while reading this as I didn't remember reading it when I went through the list of your stories similar to the newest one. I have read it now. You are an excellent writer!!❤️

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    This was gruesome. I mean, she sounds completely mad. Such sadism.

  • Isabella Rose5 months ago

    The Blood Countess has fascinated me for years, but I had no idea that she witnessed that amount of violence at such a young age. You presented facts that I wasn't aware of. Bravo, my morbid friend. :-) Have you ever researched Marquis de Sade? He is very similar to the Countess in his actions. If you have some spare time, watch the movie "Quills."

  • Mother Combs5 months ago

    I have read about her before. An interesting tale

  • Donna Fox (HKB)11 months ago

    Ugh, the intro had me both grossed and creeped out! But I continued to read none-the-less! I like that you included a full history of the times and what was acceptable in this time period. It changed the perception with which I read this, I had more sympathy for Elizabeth as the story continued on. This became another case of her upbringing creating what she later is known for. Reading Nadasdy’s war stories, I kind of felt like he and Elizabeth were interestingly matched. Kind of like they would a good couple but also a terrifying one to know. I can’t imagine using blood as a “youth serum”, just grosses me out! I actually faint when I see too much blood or when I can smell it. So this will definitely not be a skin care routine that I adopt! Overall a very creep, gross, engaging and thrilling story! I really enjoyed the historical elements of it and the perspective you took with this story! Great work Dharrsheena!

  • L.C. Schäfer12 months ago

    What a horrible, fascinating, horrible woman. Amazing she died in her fifties, after spending her life so fixated on staying young.... she never did get to be truly old.

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a year ago

    Fact is much scarier than fiction. 👏 great job

  • Gina C.about a year ago

    Wow, I never knew all this! This was crazy interesting! You know, I've heard rumors about people in Hollywood who use blood on their faces. 😳 I never knew the reason why....great job, Dharrsheena!

  • I knew some of the Bathory detail, but this certainly was an eyeopener! GREAT writing.

  • Denise Larkin2 years ago

    She was so eerie but this was a thrilling story to read.

  • Novel Allen2 years ago

    Wow! Dhar. Well written but scary. The stuff of nightmares. Keep doing your stuff.

  • Michael Duff2 years ago

    A well researched narrative, true or not ? An interesting read !! Story telling is all about captivating an audience and Dharrsheena does that well. Looking forward to reading more of your stories.

  • A lot of evil but very interesting story. This is where you shine Dharrsheena... you are at home with this sort of story telling. Great job as always!!!

  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    What a dysfunctional woman, education certainly did not make her smart. She needed a moral education. Well written piece . Very gruesome story for sure.

  • Misty Rae2 years ago

    man, that's some creepy stuff! That said, I found this fascinating; it's amazing how twisted some people can be.

  • Ashley McGee2 years ago

    Most of the allegations here were never substantiated and it is a matter of common knowledge that while Bathory and Nadasdy were cruel to working class and servants, much of what is written of her was purposefully concocted to discredit her, as she was a woman of rank and power with powerful enemies. The same was true of Vlad III known as the Impaler, Bathory’s distant cousin. The rumors of him drinking blood were likely the result of Polish and Hungarian propaganda as the Vlad waged a political battle with the holy Roman emperor Mathias Corvinus and a territory battle with the Ottoman Turks under Mehemed III.

  • Ronna Curtis2 years ago

    It is hard to believe they could be so cruel!

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    Great article. What a monster.

  • Joe Patterson2 years ago

    Mind blowing. I had no knowledge of this woman before now and now I wanna do research on her. Very informative and very well done.

  • Well done but . . . seriously, this is so disturbing. You have provided me with nightmares for the rest of my life. I'm going to go write something about fairies and unicorns now.

  • Zari's Diary2 years ago

    I watched a documentary about Elizabeth on the history channel she was evil. Your article is very informative. Good job on the writing.

  • Sindy Leah Fitz2 years ago

    I've heard about her before. This was so interesting, I love this so much.

  • Excellent in depth article on this monstrous woman. Incidentally I just followed an Elizabeth Bathory on Twitter

  • Wow she was a monster. Great article and very interesting.

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