Elizabeth Báthory

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Elizabeth Báthory
Copy of the lost 1585 original portrait of Elizabeth Báthory
Background information
Birth name Erzsébet Báthory
Also known as The Blood Countess
The Bloody Lady of Csejte
The Tigress of Csejte
Born (1560-08-07)7 August 1560
Nyírbátor, Kingdom of Hungary
Died 21 August 1614(1614-08-21) (aged 54)
Csejte, Kingdom of Hungary (today Čachtice, Slovakia)
Penalty Confinement until death
Spouse(s) Ferenc Nádasdy
Killings
Number of victims Purported over 650 [1]
Span of killings 1590–1609
Country Kingdom of Hungary
Date apprehended 29 December 1610

Elizabeth Bathory (1560–1614) was a countess who lived in Transylvania, then a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.[2] She was from a very important family that included kings, cardinals, knights, and judges.[2] Her family ruled Transylvania as an independent region within the Hungarian kingdom.[3] She was well-educated, beautiful and wealthy. She was also virtually untouchable as a member of the Bathory family.

She may have been a vicious female serial killer.[3] It is impossible to know what part of her story is fact and what part is fiction.[3] Her gruesome legend has become a part of folklore.[4] She is the central character in a number of books, plays and movies.[4] As the "blood countess", she has often been compared to another fictional character, Count Dracula.[4] Some scholars now argue that Báthory was not a murderer but instead may have been the victim of a political betrayal.[4]

According to her legend, she was supposed to have tortured and killed over 650 servant girls.[5] It also claimed she bathed in human blood.[5] That, after hearing of all the deaths and tortures going on in her castle, the countess and her servants were put on trial.[5] Her servants were said to have been executed.[5] Báthory herself was walled up in a room in her own castle.[5] There were only slits for air and food. She was found dead three and a half years later. After her death, the story of the evil countess began.[5]

In 2008 a movie was made about her called Bathory starring Anna Friel.[6] The movie suggested she did not spend her time bathing in blood.[7] It was a rumor spread by those who were after her wealth.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Countess Elizabeth Bathory – The Blood Countess." The Crime Library.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "1610 Bathory's torturous escapades are exposed". This Day in History. A&E Television Networks, LLC. December 26, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Richard Cavendish (August 8, 2014). "Death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory". History Today Ltd. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 April Holloway (September 3, 2014). "Elizabeth Bathory – 16th century deranged serial killer or victim of betrayal?". Ancient Origins. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "The Legend of Elizabeth Báthory: The Blood Countess". Medical Bag. Haymarket Media, Inc. November 06, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2017.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. "Bathory (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gwladys Fouché (5 August 2008). "We all like some Euro pudding". Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 

Other websites[change | change source]