Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Countess Erzsebet Bathory de Ecsed; Blood-thirsty vampire or deranged, psychotic serial killer?

I guess it depends on if you believe in vampires or not.  We know serial killers exist.

The accounts of this Hungarian noblewoman will definitely make you wonder.

So who was Elizabeth Bathory anyway?  She is the world's first documented female serial killer, and she is also known as the Blood Countess.

Born to Count Gyorgy and Anna Bathorythe in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1560.  She had a privileged life but she also had a strong family history of mental instability and derangement.

It is said as a young child, she would have extreme fits of rage which some now believe could have been due to epilepsy.  She had a nurse who was into practicing black magic which included the practice of sacrificing children for their blood and bones.  

At the age of just ten years old, she became engaged to Ferencz Nadasdy who was 16 at the time. This engagement was allegedly for political reasons.  After she and Ferencz married, he went away to war.  She was not alone though.  She was kept company by her alchemist/devil-worshiping uncle, her witchcraft-practicing aunt, and her pedophile brother.  A recipe for disaster.

Even though Elizabeth gave birth to seven children over the years, she was always preoccupied by her vicious/murderous side.  The rumors had been swirling around of Elizabeth's brutal acts for years so finally in 1610, King Matthias II ordered an investigation.  There were over 300 witness who were ordered to testify.

The exact number of Elizabeth's victims is still unknown.  It is speculated that between 1585 and 1610, there were at least 650 young girls.  Her victims were said to be local peasant girls.  They were all tortured brutally and drained of their blood.

Even as Elizabeth was being arrested at the Cachtice Castle, there was a dying girl, one dead girl, and many girls locked away.

The details of Elizabeth's acts were reportedly too gruesome to recount.

Elizabeth did not act alone.  She had three accomplices and while they received the death sentence, Elizabeth was locked away in a tower of the castle where she died four years later in 1614.

Over the years, as with most history, the retelling of this vampiric matriarch has evolved and changed, not much, but what stays the same in each retelling is the fact that Countess Dracula had an affinity for drinking blood, bathing in blood, and torturing young girls.  I think one thing is for sure no matter who tells the story.  Elizabeth Bathory was a nefarious, evil-doer, one of the worst known to mankind.

Of course the story does not end there.  The Cachtice Castle of course is haunted.  Reports of the apparition of an old woman (Elizabeth) is said to walk the ruins of the castle.  There are also apparitions of the young victims seen at the castle and in the underground tunnels where Elizabeth held them captive.  Other reports of mysterious mist, shadowy figures, light anomalies, cold spots, warm spots, voices, and having uneasy feelings of being watched.  If you are ever in Slovakia, take a tour of the castle. 

Find out more:
Things about Transylvania.

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