BEAST - Truth and Legend of the Blood Countess Erzsébet


Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed

Consider Countess Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet, also known as The Blood Countess or Countess Dracula.

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was born in the second half of the XVI-th century. She was a niece and a granddaughter to two voivodes of Transylvania and a niece to Stephen Báthory, the king of Poland, grand duke of Lithuania and prince of Transylvania. Her family belonged to the aristocratic elite welding immense wealth and political influence.

Báthory’s family coat of arms

Throughout her childhood, she was afflicted with multiple seizures, probably caused by epilepsy stemming from her parents’ inbreeding. At the times treatments consisted of rubbing blood of a healthy person on the lips of epileptic and feeding him or her a tincture of a healthy person's blood and pieces of skull. 

According to some sources Erzsébet was specially trained to be cruel by her family members involved with witchcraft and satanism. She was, amongst others, forced to witness horrific punishments executed by her family's guards. 

Historical accords paint a picture of a bloodthirsty murderess who took delight in torturing and cannibalizing young girls - servants, villagers and lesser nobles alike, bathing in their blood and performing elaborate and horrific experiments on their bodies. 

Servant girl claimed to have heard one of Countess court members mention a number of 650 victims but during the proceedings of the court, she was charged "only" with around 80 murders. Due to her family's high standing and ties to the throne, Erzsébet never faced an official death sentence and was instead placed in solitary confinement, bricked alive inside a set of rooms at Čachtice Castle where she died after just four years. Her body was set to rest at the Báthory family crypt at Ecsed castle.


The main tower at Cachtice Castle, Slovakia

Some historians argue that Countess Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet has fallen victim to a political conspiracy. Her extensive wealth and ownership of enormous estates in Hungary greatly increased after her husband's natural death. Such argument is consistent with historic accords that include such religious and political conflicts at these times.

So who was she? A victim stripped of her reputation, wealth, power and freedom or a mass murderess? The truth about Elizabeth Báthory is buried beneath the time but what remains to this day is a disturbing legend about a Bloody Countess and her horrific actions.

- Mateusz Witkowski, BEAST writer

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