Elizabeth Bathory was a Hungarian countess who lived in the 16th/ 17th century. She is famously known for the cruel and devilish torment she was said to have unleashed on young virgins and the murder of over 600 women gaining her a place in Guinness World Record as the most prolific female murderer.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (traditionally spelt as Erzsébet Báthory) was born in Nyírbátor, Hungary in 1560 into a powerful noble family. Her uncle was once the King of Poland and her nephew, the Prince of Transylvania.
At the age of 11, Elizabeth Bathory was engaged to Count Ferec Nadasdy. At the age of 15, they were married. The marriage was blessed with five children although, two of the children died in infancy.
Her husband, Nadasdy was a soldier and it is believed that he taught her most of the techniques she used. He died in January, 1604 and Elizabeth took charge of their estate.
After the death of her husband, Elizabeth ran amok. Her victims were mainly servants and young girls of noble blood who came to her for education. Some of the torture mechanisms she used include the following:
a. She covered the body of her victims in honey and left them outside to be devoured by insects.
b. She forced her victims to have ice- cold baths during the winter.
c. She cut off pieces of flesh from her victims’ shoulders, mammary glands and even the private regions.
d. She even stuck needles into the skin of her victims.
There are tales on how she ate pieces of their flesh and also bathed in their blood as an elixir of beauty.
On December 29, 1610, finally caught up with her as Count György Thurzó, who oversaw judicial matters as the lord palatine of Hungary, came to investigate the allegations and caught her in the act of tormenting a victim. She was not placed on trial, however, four of her servants were also arraigned as accomplices. Although, they did not take part in the torture or killings, they helped her to bury the corpses and confessed to their crimes. They were sentenced to death while she was imprisoned in a castle where she lived till she died 3 years later.
The story of Bathory have been depicted in many literature and art including Tosca Lee’ s book series, The Progeny.
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