‘The most prolific female serial killer in history’
Elizabeth Bathory was born in 1560, into one of the oldest and wealthiest families inHungary, being the niece of Stefan Bathory, the King of Poland. Around the age of 5, Bathory began to have violent seizures which were caused by an unknown neurological disorder, which may have led to her gruesome behaviour later in life. As a child, she always had servants and peasants around her to fulfil her every whim, which gave her a feeling of power and control. As a teenagerElizabethwas very intelligent, and quickly became fluent in Hungarian, Latin and German.
Elizabeth married in 1575, aged 15, to Count Ferenc, and lived with him Castle Csejthe inHungary. Count Ferenc was a soldier, and would often be away for months at a time, and as a result, would often have affairs with some of the male peasants at the castle.Elizabethwas dissatisfied. Despite being surrounded by servants and being of the highest nobility in the land, she began to seek other ways to spend her time. Elizabeth and her old nurse began to find ways of torturing the servant girls in the castle grounds.
In 1600, Count Ferenc died, which was whenElizabeth’s true atrocities began. When a young servant girl was brushingElizabeth’s hair, she pulled the brush a little too hard, and in a blind rageElizabethsmacked her across the face so hard she drew blood. After washing her hand,Elizabethin her insanity believed that the patch of skin where the blood was looked whiter and creamier than the rest of her hand, and in her anxiety of losing her beauty, she believed she had found the secret to eternal youth.
Elizabeth began to hire maids and henchmen who would go about and abduct young girls to become servants at her castle. She would then kill the girls, and drain their blood into a vat, which she would bathe in daily. This went on for ten whole years, and it is believed that the castle was never searched in the time as people were intimidated by her level of nobility and her wealth. When the castle was finally raided in 1610, the governor found over 50 bodies in the castle alone, and another 30 in a cavern nearby where the vat of blood was kept. The death toll as a result ofElizabeth’s insanity and monstrous actions exceeded 650 girls. Elizabethwas locked up in a bricked-off section of her castle, and eventually died in 1614.
– by Charlie Mackie, 11ENG