Countless stories have circulated about the horrific acts of violence allegedly committed by Elizabeth Bathory which resulted in her earning her infamous moniker the "Blood Countess." She is rumored to have tortured and killed 650 victims consisting of girls and young women during the period between 1590 and 1610.
Born to nobility in 1560, Elizabeth Bathory called Csejte Castle in Hungary home. Per reports, she suffered seizures as a child and the treatments at that time included rubbing the lips of the patient with a non sufferer's blood as well as giving them a mixture of the non sufferer's blood and a piece of skull once the seizure ended.
Her life as a vicious serial killer is said to have begun after her husband, Ferenc Nádasdy, a war hero who went off to fight the Ottoman Empire leaving her in charge of vast estates as this excerpt explains: "By 1578, Nádasdy had become the chief commander of the Hungarian army and embarked on a military campaign against the Ottoman Empire, leaving his wife in charge of his vast estates and the governing of the local populace. At first, all appeared to have been well under Bathory’s leadership. But as time went on, rumors that Bathory tortured her servants began to spread. And when Bathory’s husband died in 1604, these views became much more widespread — and dramatic."
It is alleged that Elizabeth Bathory had young girls kidnapped to be tortured and when that did not satisfy her, she started to target women of noble birth. The rumors of unspeakable acts committed by her against young women of the gentry reached the ears of the King of Hungary who then sent his representative to investigate the accusations.
The most infamous accusation against Elizabeth Bathory was that she bathed in the blood of her young victims in order to maintain a youthful appearance as this excerpt explains: "The most infamous accusation — the one that inspired her nickname, the Blood Countess — claimed that Elizabeth Bathory bathed in the blood of her young victims in an attempt to maintain a youthful appearance. But although this story is by far the most memorable, it’s also extremely unlikely to have been true. According to SyFy, this claim didn’t even appear in print until after she’d been dead for more than a century."
Elizabeth Bathory was found guilty of murdering 80 girls. While the nurse of her children was charged as an accomplice and burned at the stake, Elizabeth was spared on account of her status as a noblewoman. However, she was sentenced to be walled up and isolated in her castle where she died in 1614.
According to reports, some claim that she was wrongfully accused because of the power she wielded as a rich landowner: "Several authors such as László Nagy and Dr. Irma Szádeczky-Kardoss have argued that Elizabeth Báthory was a victim of a conspiracy. Nagy argued that the proceedings against Báthory were largely politically motivated, possibly due to her extensive wealth and ownership of large areas of land in Hungary, escalating after the death of her husband."