- Education and Science
The Real Blood Queen-Elizabeth Bathory
The Woman Behind The Legend
One of the most notorious and prolific serials killer in the world lived in Hungary between 1560-1614. Her name was Countess Elizabeth Bathory and she was of royal blood, traced to the Duke of Transylvania and even the King of Poland. Unlike most serial killers, she did not come from a broken home or poverty. She was plagued with epileptic fits/tantrums and anger issues at a very early age. There have been numerous books written about her and even a poorly made movie. Most gamers who play World of War Craft may have even battled her in Ice Crown Citadel, noted for her vampiric bite.
So who is this woman behind all the facts and fiction? To answer that question you must sift through secrets from the 16th century. Although she was never tried publicly, she was found guilty after over 300 people testified against her. She was found guilty of 80 murders, although a ledger she kept with names and details would suggest over 650 women.
Her Early Life
In her early life, she was reported to be a hard child, fits of anger that got worse as she aged. Some even suspect that she had a brain disease which cause this.There is also whispers of epileptic fits that were mistook for temper tantrums.
When she was fourteen, she was arranged to marry a ruthless warrior almost ten years her senior. She was married for almost 30 years before she was widowed. I have read by means of her killing him with poison or him being shot by a whore. Either statement can not be substantiated.
Her husband Black Hero, as legend calls him, was known for being ruthless.He had his own torture rooms and special made devices to use against prisoners.In his marriage, some thoughts were that he had turned Elizabeth towards torture. Testimony against her suggest she had started at 25 or earlier.
Another influence was her Aunt, who was known to practice dark magic and was no stranger to torturing her staff.As this was not an uncommon practice in those days, royalty did not have qualms in killing people that were less than them.
She remained satisfied with luring prospective servants to her house to use for her demonic desires for many years.When she was low on victims, she would pay townspeople to provide them for her or simply send serfs off to do it themselves. After years of farming the countryside of bodies, she went with a different angle by a ruse of an etiquette school. She was now using noble woman for her torturous pleasures. Going beyond mere servants and commoners were what finally stopped the madness.
She had been killing for over 30 years, maybe more.Her ledgers suggested her death toll was over 650.When investigators finally were sent there after more women of noble blood were found missing, they got as far as the main hall before the stories were confirmed.
Upon walking in, they immediately found a dead girl, drained of blood lying in the hall full of holes.A few steps further brought them upon another women in the process of death, puncture wounds throughout her body.Leaving her to go further in, the Prime Minister's men found women chained to walls in her husband's torture chambers.Girls hung to bleed into bath tubs, to be used for the Countess's bathwater later.
Something like 20 women were found dead or close to death in the torture chambers below.Cages filled to the brim with women and children bearing marks and scars of the horror they had endured.Investigators walked in on an orgy that was in progress in the Countess’s master chambers, though Elizabeth had fled when news spread of the Prime Minister’s mens arrival.
Catching her within the hour, she was remanded to her chambers until something could be decided. She was of royal blood and as law attested, could not be tried publicly, let alone executed.
A hearing was held for several weeks with upwards of 30 people testifying a day against her. The Countess never appeared or testified for her defense although she held true to her innocence. She viewed her victims as beneath her and did not show any remorse or guilt.
Elizabeth Bathory was convicted of 80 murders along with her six other collaborators. Her accomplices were beheaded, burned and tortured. Her punishment was a bit different, she was bricked into several rooms in her own castle. Small openings were made for food and water and she was left in a sort of house arrest. She would later die there less than four years later, her body found when several food trays went untouched.
Some speculate that her light punishment was due to the fact that the King owed her money and in this way he did not have to pay her back. Some would say politics and her family’s land and reputation made it thus.
So what made her so infamous, so feared, so hated? What did she do that was so bad and evil for her to warrant the nick names Blood Queen and Blood Countess? The best answer to that is the answers that were given in her private trial.
· Witnesses attested to over 300 different murders, although only 80 bodies were found in shallow graves around Csejte Castle and surrounding landscape.
· Beatings were witnessed to the point the body would be black and have taken over 200 blows.
· Mutilation of face genitalia and hands
· Biting and ripping flesh from girl’s bodies only to make them eat it while they died.
· Cannibalism was seen by the Countess herself as well as her male servants.
· Elizabeth took baths in her victim’s warm blood.
· Women were put in small cages full of spikes to be hung above her bleeding to give the Countess a blood shower.
· Human sacrifice in dark rituals, spells, potions.
· Freezing girls to death outside by pouring water over them to the point of hardening so they could not move and freeze in the winter.
· Inserting oil papers in victims and then setting them on fire.
· Honey used as an accelerant for animals and bugs to eat chained women alive over many days.
· The Countess was reported to pull on a servant's mouth so hard, that is ripped on both sides.
· She was even reported to not be able to stop even when she was bedridden with sickness. She would have girls brought to her bedside for her to bite and beat to death, then to be consumed by her male servants in front of her. Story is said that there was so much blood, cinders had to be put around her bed to soak it all up.
· Blood was her vice, she would cover herself in another’s blood so much she would have to change up to five times a day to go right back at it.
· After her husband died, this is what she did all day every day. Even when she was on vacation, there was a trail of victims in her wake.
Theories and Rumors
So big question is why? Was she just a blood thirsty sociopath? Probably, however there are a few theories.
One is that she hit a servant one day so hard it caused blood to splash upon her. After wiping the blood off of her skin, she noticed that the skin looked revitalized and younger. Convinced that she had found the secret of eternal youth, she then commenced to blood baths and all that such.
Another theory is that she ran off with a dark pale stranger after her husband’s demise, a man thought to be a vampire. She was away for months, but then came back without her new beau. Rumor is that he turned her into a vampire and her lust for blood was born. Although no proof is made of her drinking anyone’s blood, more rumors claim that she drank blood to retain beauty as well as the contact to her skin.
The last theory rests in her use of the dark arts. Many say that she retained blood in the tubs, not for bathing but to be used in various black rituals. It is even said that her and her husband were deep in magic, so much so that he would send her new black spells from war for her to use on the servants. One servant even stated in court that he had witnessed her having sex with the Devil himself.
Fun fact that I surely did not know, is that Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel and movie was based in part on the Countess. Although most know that the character was based on the Impaler, many still believe the blood sucking was purely her.
Like all serial killers, the Countess has her own calling of fans centuries later. What she did was monstrous and the worst I am sure we will never know. What would possess this noble woman of such royal breeding to turn into such? The more answers found on this historic woman, the more questions that go unanswered.