The time period was between 1560 to 1614.
The place: Castle Cachtice, Slovachia.
Aristocrats George and Anna Bathory enjoyed life at their large estate in what was previously Transylvania. They had but one daughter born to them, and her name was Elizabeth (pronounced Erzabet in their native tongue) Bathory, later Countess Elizabeth Bathory, nicknamed “The Blood Countess”.
She was prone to epileptic seizures and wild fits of uncontrollable rage which, at that time, there was no
diagnosis and no cure for. Although they did eventually subside as she became an adult woman, they did not fully disappear, in fact, they turned into something hideous and horrible.
She marries Count Ference Nadasdi which cements her future in the high society of wealth and prestige.
She took on the duties of managing his family estate. It was here she began honing her skills as a sadistic torturer, using her servants as unwilling playthings in her experiments of the flesh.
The Count passed away in 1604. Elizabeth began spending all her time now at the Castle Cachtice. With her were two loyal accomplices, Anna Darvulia and Erzsi Majorova. There the Blood Countess would torture and murder her servants at will. In a sealed document over 100 years old, a Jesuit preist, Laszlo Turoczy found and related stories of the Countess and her reign of blood lust. She had her two hell-hounds lure innocent maidens to her castle with the promise of proper schooling for the young and the virtuous and later, placement for the ladies with society’s elite. Then she would torture them to death,
sometimes eating their flesh, and draining their bodies of blood, which she would have poured into a large tub and she would bathe in. Elizabeth believed that drinking and bathing in their nubile blood would rejuvenate her and some how keep her young looking.
Over years she tortured and mercilessly killed over 650 women. As the rumors and gossip began to spread of her evil deeds, she was arrested in December of 1610 and subject to an inquiry. An agent of King Mathius II, a Count Thurzo, conducted her trial. The truth behind this arrest and trial was so that the king could confiscate all property and holdings owned by the deceased Count Ferenc, thereby reneging on repayment of a loan he had previously gave to the Crown. Ah, politics and skullduggery. As condemning evidence, Elizabeth’s own journal, written in blood, her own hand-writing, containing all 650 grizzly entries was submitted and read aloud, thus sealing her fate as a crazed, blood-thirsty murderess. Her two accomplices were burned alive, and she was sentenced to life in solitary confinement. For the next three years she was walled up inside a room in Castle Cachtice.
She died there of starvation and madness in 1614. Afterwards, the tales of vampires and werewolves began to rise on the heels of the Blood Countess’s exploits. Her blood-lust for eternal youth by consuming blood became Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and so a real life Countess, hungry for virgin blood, became the legend that was “Count Dracula”. Today, you can visit what’s left of the Castle of the “Blood Countess” which still stands as it was so long ago.
And many a visitor has been in the rooms and torture chambers where Elizabeth skinned and drained the many virgins to drink their blood in her quest for youth. And it has been said so many, many times that in that room with the tiny, claustrophobic cell behind the walls, that you can actually hear the screams of Elizabeth’s tortured soul, crying out against her aging, decrepit, rotting face as she becomes aware much too late, of her immortality.
sources: (The Bloody Countess by Alejandra Pizarnic)
Dracula, (1879), Bram Stoker
The Book of Werewolves, (1865), Sabine Baring Gould, Protestant Minister