There are many such stories and secret burials in the layers of history, if you come to know, you will be scared. There was one such queen. We’re going to talk about one of the most prolific female serial killers of all time.
Perhaps you’re aware that she holds the dubious honor of being the most prolific female murderer, as dictated by “Guinness World Records”, or maybe you’ve heard mention of her as a key influence for a little novel called Dracula. Even if you are unfamiliar with the name, then chances are you have heard the stories about her legendary sadism.
This is the story of one of the deadliest and most feared female killers in history, Elizabeth or “Erzsebet Bathory”. Elizabeth was a vampire, a torturer, Human beyond thinking who bathed in the blood of innocents to maintain her looks. Elizabeth was known as “Countess Elizabeth Bathory De Ecsed”.
Early Life and Marriage:
Elizabeth Báthory was born on 7th August 1560 into a family of the Protestant nobility in Hungary. Her family controlled the territory of Transylvania and her uncle, Stefan Báthory, was king of Poland.
She was well-educated, beautiful and wealthy. She was also virtually untouchable as a member of the Bathory family. She was born into one of the most prominent families in Central Europe. As a result, she was lavished with the very best education and classic upbringing. During her formative years she learned to speak Hungarian, Slovak, Greek, Latin and German.
She grew up in the family castle in Ecséd, Hungary. Speaking of family, due to inbreeding in marriages within it, some of the members suffered from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, epilepsy, and other disorders. Elizabeth also seemed to show signs of imbalance from an early age, suddenly passing from joy to anger (perhaps today we could talk about bipolarism).
At the age of 15, in 1575, Elizabeth married Count “Ferencz Nádasdy”, a member of another powerful Hungarian family, and later moved to “C̆achtice Castle”, a wedding gift from the Nádasdy family. Count Ferencz was part of a group of swordsmen called the Terrible Quintet. And indeed there were some terrible practices particularly loved by the count, such as torturing the servants by sprinkling them with honey and then leaving them tied up near his hives.
*During Bathory’s 29 year marriage to Nádasdy, they had five children – three daughters, and two sons.*
During her husband’s numerous absences, Elizabeth Báthory visited an aunt to participate in orgies organized by the latter. Around the same time she came into contact with “Dorothea Szentes”, an expert in black magic. Dorothea, known as Dorka, and her servant Thorko introduced Elizabeth Báthory to the secrets and practices of witchcraft.
A special room was inside the castle, built by Nádasdy expressly for the purpose of torturing his servants. Elizabeth began to use this room herself, experimenting on the servants how to cause pain in different ways, often joined by her husband, who taught her the “ways of torture”.
It all intensified considerably when Nádasdy died in 1604 after contracting a mysterious disease that left him debilitated and unable to walk. This would have proved unfortunate for the servants because, although he was a tyrant, he was practically a saint compared to his wife. In fact Elizabeth Báthory possessed a ruthless evil force that pulsed within her and urged her to do wickedness.
One of Elizabeth’s favorite activities was forcing the servants out into the snow naked in the middle of winter, bathing them in cold water and watching them freeze like ice statues. Or she would place the servants in spiked cages hung from the ceiling, torture them with needles or hot irons, sprinkle them with honey, and release bees or other insects (which she learned from her husband). Or she would hit them with hot irons or cut their fingers. Once she forced a waitress to open her mouth wide to the point of having it lacerated.
One day Elizabeth Báthory slapped a lady servant for badly combing her hair. The girl spilled blood from her lip and splashed on the Elizabeth face. Her friend Dorka told her that she looked younger thanks to that blood, and that episode then became a beauty ritual.
Word was beginning to spread about her sadistic activities. It was said that she enjoyed torturing and killing young girls. At first they were servants at her castles, daughters of the local peasants, but later they included girls sent to her by local gentry families to learn good manners. A ritual that, at a certain point, required women of higher lineage, because the blood of the servants was not of superior quality.She believed that drinking the blood of young girls would preserve her youthfulness and her looks. Witnesses told of her victims, biting their hands and faces cutting them with sciss.
A Lutheran minister went to the Hungarian authorities, who eventually began an investigation in 1610. In December of that year Elizabeth was arrested and so were four of her favourite servants and intimates, who were accused of being her accomplices. They were tried and found guilty. Three of them were executed and the fourth was sentenced to life imprisonment.
During the trial, the Countess Elizabeth was never allowed to speak for herself and this favor was not granted to anyone else. After the torture and interrogation, all but one of Elizabeth’s personal servants were executed.
Elizabeth Báthory’s trial became public and saw over 300 witnesses and survivors speak out against her, telling a story of suffering and death that made the court shiver. Obviously this became a serious scandal.
The body of a 54-year-old Elizabeth Bathory was found on August 21, 1614, in Castle Čachtice (located in present-day Slovakia), where she’d been imprisoned since 1610. She was initially buried in the crypt on her estate, but her body was likely moved afterward.