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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Blood Countess-- Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614)

Elizabeth Bathory was a countess from a prestigious noble family in Hungary. Bathory was well educatede and able to read and write in four languages, and due to her social rank she was an important person who was well known in vienna and surrounding countryside. It was because of her noble blood and influential husband that her heinious crimes went unpunished so long. Bathony's husband died in 1604, the whispers from local villagers could no longer be ignored by the authorities. Rumours circulated that young girls and women kept disappering in and around countess' many castles. Most of the victims were peasants and servants who Bathony assumed would not be missed, but toward the end of her reign of terror she made the mistake of kidnapping the daughters of leser nobility, which is how was she eventually caught and tried for murder. Bathony's trial lated for several weeks and had hundreds of witnesses testifying. Most of the witnesses were the family members of missing girls, there were also women who had managed to escape the clutches of Bathory and who told sordid tales of what they had endured. Eventually Basthory confessed and she and four collaborators were convicted of torturing and killing hundreds of girls. Oe witness claimed that Bsathory and her cohorts had killed over six hundred and fifty girls, however they could only prove that she had murdered eighty. Bathory is called " The Blood Countess", because she is rumoured to have bathed in blood of her virginal victims, thinking that doing so will help preserve her youthful appearance. Afer Bathory was convicted of her crimes, she was sentenced to lifetime house arrest. She was bricked into series of small rooms in her castle, with just small slits for passing food and oxygen, where she remained for four years until her death in 1614.

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