Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian noblewoman who belonged to one of the most influential families of the 16th century. However, listening to her life story might bring a wriggling chill down your spine. She has been called many names like the ‘original serial killer’ but the most used is ‘Blood Countess’. Elizabeth was born on 7 August 1560 in Nyírbátor, Kingdom of Hungary. She belonged to one of the most powerful families in Hungary. She grew up in Ecsed Castle where she was given an expensive education. Elizabeth was taught Hungarian, Slovak, Greek, Latin, and German. Further, she was raised as a Calvinist Protestant.
Elizabeth’s parents – George VI and Anna Báthory – were first cousins. Therefore, Elizabeth was a sickly child. According to historians, she had epilepsy leading to violent seizures and headaches. Growing up, she witnessed gruesome medieval tortures that churn one’s stomach. Moreover, Elizabeth was drawn to these violent punishments. She delighted in the whipping of her servants and peasants. Soon Elizabeth was married to Ferenc Nadasky a Hungarian count and thence started the murderous spree of Elizabeth Báthory that counts up to a shocking number of six hundred.
Why Did Elizabeth Báthory Go On A Killing Spree?
Elizabeth Báthory and her warrior husband bonded over their fondness for torture. Ferenc was a brutal soldier who earned the name of ‘Black Knight of Hungary’. He taught his wife how to inflict pain on her young servant girls. They became the primary target of the countess. In the Castle of Csejte, gifted to her by her husband, Elizabeth. A servant girl would be stabbed by the needles multiple times if she missed a stitch. Elizabeth would roll up pieces of oiled paper and stick them between servants’ toes and light them on fire. She is even rumored to bite the flesh of one girl’s face.
The villagers did not question the disappearances of their family members. The financial and political power of the Báthory-Nadasky family suppressed all concerns. During the Ottoman attack, they lent money to the Hapsburg Empire to save it from insolvency. Elizabeth is the epitome example of how gruesome and inhuman a woman could get. She formed a horrid torturing accomplice of five and the closest to her was Anna Darvolya. Together they would take girls to their torture room and later they would make the tortured servants clean the blood off the floors of the room.
Blood Countess: Conviction And Confinement
Elizabeth Báthory grew more sadist and cold after her husband died and all her five children were married. Moreover, she found the burden of handling a vast estate difficult. The young girls of the village were running out. And the blood countess found herself out of victims. Therefore, Elizabeth opened a finishing school a perfect source of prey. She continued with her torture and killing parties. However, this time she would not get away with it. Girls attending the school were from noble families. And under pressure, the King, Matthais II, was compelled to take action.
Gyorgy Thurzo was put in charge of the official royal investigation against Elizabeth. Elizabeth made excuses to the parents that their daughters’ had gone feral and killed before taking their lives. Gyorgy found innumerable pieces of evidence against Elizabeth. However, Elizabeth belonged to an influential family. Moreover, the investigator was a friend of Ferenc from the war. Therefore, it was decided by royalty that Elizabeth would be straight away arrested. She would not be put to trial so as to avoid a bad name for the Báthory-Nadasky family. She would be imprisoned and confined to the Castle of Csejte till death. Elizabeth died on 20 August 1614.