Who Was Elizabeth Báthory?
Elizabeth Báthory, (born August 7, 1560, Nyírbátor, Hungary—died August 21, 1614, Castle C̆achtice, C̆achtice, Hungary now in Slovakia), was an Hungarian countess who purportedly tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries.
While historical documents seem to support the accusations against her, modern research indicates that Báthory, a powerful woman, might have been the target of politically motivated slander that allowed relatives to appropriate her lands.
Why did Elizabeth Bathory bathed in blood? Stories describing Báthory’s vampiric tendencies, such as the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth, were generally recorded years after her death, and are considered unreliable.
Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day. After all, legend has it that she bathed in the blood of at least 650 servant girls she had tortured and killed. She was said to be so evil that villagers kept their daughters in hiding for fear that Elizabeth would take them.
How did Elizabeth Bathory kill? Bathory’s torture included jamming pins and needles under the fingernails of her servant girls, and tying them down, smearing them with honey, and leaving them to be attacked by bees and ants. She often bit chunks of flesh from her victims, and one unfortunate girl was even forced to cook and eat her own flesh.
In December 1610, Bathory was arrested along with three of her servants, who were tortured and burned at the stake. She wasn’t put on trial but walled-in at Cachtice Castle, where she died on August 21, 1614.