Friday, April 10, 2009

Countess Elizabeth Báthory




Countess Elizabeth Báthory (1560-1614) is known as the "Blood Countess" and is the female counterpart to Vlad the Impaler (subject of a future post, possibly tomorrow). The castle in the photo is where she committed most of her crimes; her youth in the portrait is what she was striving to maintain. Born into nobility in Hungary, Báthory moved into Čachtice Castle in Slovakia when she married Ferenc Nádasdy in 1572. After his death in 1604, rumors began to spread about atrocities occurring in the castle. With the complicity of four of her servants, the countess was in fact torturing and killing young women: local peasant girls lured with the promise of well-paid work, daughters of the local gentry brought to Báthory to learn etiquette, and abducted women. She beat them, bit them, burned them, mutilated them, froze them, starved them, sexually abused them, and bathed in their blood. Testimony of witnesses was taken, but a formal trial was never held - a public execution would have disgraced her family, which at that time ruled Transylvania. Instead, Báthory was placed under house arrest and walled up in a set of rooms in her castle until her death 4 years later. She had been accused of 80 murders, but the actual number of her victims is estimated to be as many as 650.

1 comment:

  1. wow that was was some solid info

    ReplyDelete

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