She Bathed in the Blood of Virgins To Retain Her Youth
Elizabeth Báthory (1560–1614) was considered one of Europe’s most beautiful ladies by her contemporaries. Still, her character and conduct were less appealing.
A wealthy and well-educated Hungarian countess regarded as history’s most prolific serial murderer, having claimed the lives of nearly 600 Young girls. Elizabeth felt that bathing in young girls’ blood and drinking blood kept her young, and she was accused of doing both frequently.
On August 7, 1560, Elizabeth was born Erzsébet Báthory (her unified name was Elizabeth). She was born into a well-to-do family in Nyrbátor, Hungary’s northeastern region. George and Anna Báthory, her parents, were influential people in Transylvania.
Elizabeth’s early life is mostly unknown, although historians have uncovered a few things. A Calvinist education was provided by her mother’s family, who were early supporters of the Reformation among the Hungarian aristocracy. Elizabeth, who inherited her father’s epilepsy gene, began having severe seizures as a young child.
On top of that, she was prone to fits of rage and migraines. According to the researchers, inbreeding, frequent in aristocratic families, may have caused these “defects.”
In 1575, Countess Elizabeth Báthory married Ferenc Nádasdy. The newlyweds settled into Castle C̆achtice — a wedding gift from his family for their support during the ceremony- after moving there in 1585 and raising four kids with him until 1604, when he died.
Rumors about her cruelty started circulating soon afterward. Still, by then, it was too late: She’d been branded “the Bloody Baroness” due to these rumors, as well as others, claiming she poisoned any who got on her wrong side or killed innocent children so that they could watch them die before claiming another.
How She Became the Bloody Baroness
Nádady himself spent a lot of time away from home during the Ottoman invasion in 1578 when he was the leader of the Hungarian army. Elizabeth was probably bored as a result of this.
From 1585 she and five others — three old court servants, a certain Anna Durvolya (who later became Elizabeth’s lover) and a young man named János Újváry, alias Fickó — began to torture and murder young court personnel and young girls from the area.
On the other hand, Elizabeth had a dangerous preoccupation with the idea of “everlasting youth.” She reasoned that blood from young females had a critical function to play in slowing down the aging process. Elizabeth was convinced that she might stay youthful indefinitely if she drank or bathed in the blood of virgin girls.
Around 1585, a young girl from the court (whether or not this is a tale) mistakenly brushed Elizabeth’s hair too forcefully, loosening a tuft. As Elizabeth viciously slapped the maid, her face and fingers were covered in blood. Elizabeth noticed right away that her complexion seemed to be more youthful.
As a result of her mental state, she ordered the girl to be slashed open, and her blood gathered in a bathtub. After that, she sat down in the ‘blood bath,’ believing that it would keep her youthful indefinitely.
Elizabeth inherited a large portion of central Romania when her husband died of an infected wound in 1604. After her husband’s death, the first thing she did was send her estranged mother-in-law Ursula into exile. Elizabeth’s killing squad would continue to murder young girls for another five years. Then the club fell through.
Anna Durvolya, Elizabeth’s longtime lover, had passed away in 1609. Erszi Majorova stepped in to fill the void, offering Elizabeth the misguided advice of murdering not just maids and peasant daughters but even aristocrats. Speculations about Báthory’s involvement in a rising number of disappearances, including nobles, grew swiftly.
Caught By Hungarian King Matthias II
By command of Hungarian King Matthias II (1557–1619), Count György Thurzó (1567–1616) made a surprise visit to Elizabeth’s cache Castle on December 26, 1609 (Not exactly, but the date is unknown).
He arrived at the perfect time: Elizabeth had just finished torturing a group of teenage girls. About 50 corpses were discovered throughout the castle, in addition to the injured and half-dead females.
After Elizabeth Báthory’s arrest in January 1611, she was tried with her co-conspirators. More than 300 people came forward to describe what they saw. As a result of everything being documented, we know what Báthory was up to throughout this time.
Elizabeth was spared the death sentence due to her aristocratic background and the influence of influential family members. The authorities imprisoned her for the rest of her days in a fortress of her own making. They bricked up the exits, leaving only a tiny opening so she could get food and drink.
Three of Báthory’s accomplices were tortured and killed, while a fourth was sentenced to life in jail. Elizabeth’s assets were divided among her family members.
Elizabeth Báthory passed away on August 21, 1614, only a few weeks after completing her testament. In the church of Csejte, she was laid to rest.
However, rumors have it that her body was removed from the grave quite shortly. No one wanted this murderous lady buried in their holy land. After that, her relatives received the body and reinterred it in an undisclosed place.