On August 7, 1560 a beautiful
little girl was born to one of the wealthiest families in Hungary; a family whose members were part of the nobility of Transylvania
and Poland. Her father’s brother and her mother’s brother, were both princes of Transylvania.
Her uncle, on her father's side, became king of Poland. The family was also known, more favorably, for having
defended Hungary against the Ottomans.
was this stunning girl who would become one of the most notorious figures in history? It was Elizabeth
Bathory, born to Gyorgy and Anna Bathory. This girl with the ethereal beauty would become known as the
Blood Countess. Was she insane, or was she just plain evil? Obviously we would want
to believe she had something wrong with her mind; after all, we tell ourselves, only a person with some kind of mental illness
could have committed such atrocities. But many believe in ultimate evil. Perhaps Elizabeth
was born evil.
It is known she suffered great
trauma as a child, having witnessed both her sisters raped, tortured, and hanged. Also, she suffered severe
seizures that would leave her unconscious for several hours. Records show there was a family history of
mental illness. But Elizabeth was also around family members who were known to be lascivious, and who participated
in satanic blood rituals. She witnessed the murder and torture of the man who killed her sisters; we must
remember she was not hiding in some dark hallway, watching without the knowledge of her parents. No, she
was actually invited and expected to be present. What kind of scars do these experiences leave on the psyche of
At the tender age
of 15 she was forced to marry Count Ferencz Nadasdy. An arranged marriage that had been planned since Elizabeth
was 11 years old. She was taken away to live at castle Cachtice, which was to the north-west in Hungary,
far from her parents. Since Ferencz was constantly off to war, fighting against the Turks, Elizabeth was
left alone to run the castle. Now, we must note that Elizabeth was not an ignorant girl. She
was brought up with the best education reserved only for men at that time. She spoke several languages
and knew about many subjects including math and science.
Growing up, Elizabeth’s beauty became legend. Everyone always told her how beautiful
she was and so she grew to be quite vain. Living alone for most of the time, she admired herself in the
mirrors in the castle more and more each day, believing herself to be eternally youthful. Slowly, as time
passed, she did begin to notice signs of aging. Elizabeth took on young lovers to feel wanted and vibrant. You
begin to wonder if in her mind her reflection spoke to her, telling her what she must do to regain her youthful vigor.
Elizabeth’s aunt, Klara Bathory,
who was known to be bisexual and was also known to be sadistic with her own servants, was said to invite Elizabeth often to
her castle for long visits. It is said Elizabeth learned much of her cruelty from this aunt.
Klara was said to have killed two of her husbands and many of the servants in her castle, but karma is karma and eventually
Klara was beaten and raped by a Turkish garrison before being stabbed to death.
Thorko, one of Elizabeth’s trusted servants, a young man who she seemed to have
lusted after, began to teach her the ways of black magic and was said to have encouraged her in her sadistic practice.
After all, she was the mistress of the castle, high ruling figure, so why should she not do as she pleased?
And so we must ask ourselves, what of Ferencz? Well, while he was home, he too would torture the
servants. Apparently he was a sicko too.
What started all this, and what was the motive behind it? No one knows for sure and I know we can get
into a complicated psychological profile here, but that is not my intention with this article. What is
believed from witness testimony during her trial is that she had accomplices at the castle that would help her with the torture
and murders of these young women. It is also reported that Elizabeth would drain her victims of their life’s
blood and bathe in it. I would say there was more to it than that because she tortured her victims and
enjoyed watching their suffering.
about the blood baths (literally), was one occasion when Elizabeth struck a young servant girl so hard the blood that spurted
from the blow fell on Elizabeth’s hand. Fascinated, she rubbed the blood into her skin and believed
it made her hand look more youthful. Being the vain person she was, she decided she wanted to eternally
preserve her beauty, and so began draining these young servant women of their blood. Did she actually drink
it, nobody really knows. There are rumors of course. There are also rumors she made
others eat the flesh of these girls.
is one story that recounts the evening when she ordered her brute servant Thorko to bring a young blond servant girl into
her quarters. The girl was held in place, standing before Elizabeth’s bed. Elizabeth
stood atop her bed, coming close to the girl who had apparently been stripped naked. In one vicious animalistic
move she lunged at the girl and bit her cheek. The she bit her neck, and then moved to the shoulders and
breasts. With every bite she tore away part of the girl’s flesh.
Eventually Elizabeth became so bold, she began to kidnap and torture young girls
from Hungary, making the great mistake of picking one girl of the nobility. The king had to send in
her cousin, with a brigade of soldiers to arrest Elizabeth and her accomplices. They were all put on trial.
The servants were found guilty and were ordered to have their fingers ripped from their hands with hot tongs and then
thrown, alive, into a burning pit. It seems Elizabeth got away without a true official conviction.
She was ordered sealed up in her own tower with only a small space near the door for food to be slipped through.
Three years after her trial, Elizabeth died in that tower.
Her legend lives on and the stories surrounding her have grown over
the centuries. Bram Stoker is said to have based his novel, Dracula, loosely on the legends of Elizabeth
(the blood drinking, blood letting rituals), and the infamous Transylvanian prince Vlad Dracula better known as Vlad the Impaler.
Now, don’t send me any emails. I didn’t say it was exactly true, I’m just saying
that is what is believed by many because Elizabeth was a Hungarian countess who drained the blood from innocent servant girls,
as did Dracula, the character created by Bram Stoker. I believe Dracula was a combination of both Vlad
The records of her life and trial were
sealed for over one hundred years and her name was forbidden to be mentioned in Hungarian society. Even to this day,
those who are related to her are at times ashamed to admit it. What scares me most about her story is that
it shows the depravity a human being can sink to.