Sunday, 2 June 2013

Bizarre Beauty: The Blood Countess

We humans have done some pretty strange things for the sake of beauty throughout the history of time, but some people have been so unbelievably outlandish in their pursuit of perfection that it often makes for a pretty good story. Sometimes it even becomes part of a legend. In this case, the legends about vampires. 

For centuries stories have been told about 'The Blood Countess'. The legend states that somewhere in the 16th century there lived a countess in Bulgaria. She was a beautiful woman, but also very vain. The countess alledgedly wasn't a very nice person to begin with, she seemed to have a bit of a temper. As she got older and less beautiful it got worse, and one time one of her handmaidens had really messed up. The countess became so angry that she slapped the poor girl straight across the face so hard, that her hand wound up covered with the servant's blood. Intrigued by the blood she stared at her hand and suddenly she was convinced that the girl's blood had made her skin look younger. It was as if she saw the faint wrinkles disappear from sight, which in turn gave her nefarious ideas.

From that moment on, the countess was obsessed with regaining her youth and started torturing several of her maids. Draining them of their blood and eventually killing them so that she could bathe in it. According to legend she was one of the first vampires, family of the man all vampires are based off.... Vladimir Dracula III. Also known as Vlad The Impaler of Wallachia, since he liked to impale people that had irked him so he could watch them die. Delightful chap, right?

Now, you're probably shrugging right this second. Just another vampire legend, whatevs right? But what if I told you that this woman really existed? What if I told you she was real and that the true story about her is a lot more horrific than the legend itself?

It's true, she existed, and her name was Erzsebet Bathory de Ecsed.

Elizabeth Bathory Portrait.jpg
A portret of Erzsebeth Bathory

Erzsebeth Bathory was born on the 7th of August, 1560. She came from a well-off family related to the prince of the Kingdom of Hungary. At age 11 she was engaged to Ferenc Nádasdy who was 16 at the time, a political arrangement made by both families. When she was only 13 years old Erzsebeth gave birth in secret to a child that had been conceived by one of her servants, which Ferenc had castrated and severely punished. They kept the child though, and soon after that ordeal the couple married. Ferenc took the Bathory name (probably because it was the more influentual family) and they proceeded to live in Cachtice Castle. 

All was relatively well and good until the year 1578, Ferenc went to war and Erzsebeth was left to take care of the estate. Here's where the story gets a little muddy. Some documents state that she organised orgies where girls - usually of low social standing - would be raped and tortured in the most horrible ways imaginable. Others tell the whole 'killing servants and bathing in blood' story and then several documents state that she used to torture and even take bites out of her victims until they died.

The whole 'blood is good for your skin' thing is something that still stands from this day. Kim Kardashian even had a blood facial, although she opted for the humane option of using injections of her own blood instead of killing pretty young things for it. 

The only clear facts are that Erzsebeth Bathory went on a killing spree while her husband was away for whichever reason and ended up killing over 600 young women in a timespan of several decades. Of course the people realised after a while that the girls coming to work for the countess usually ended up disappearing, there was definitely suspision. However, no one really cared enough until several ladies of high standing started to disappear without a trace as well.

When the Hungarian authorities finally decided to do something against the murders they kept it as quiet as they could, Erszebeth wasn't given a public trial but was locked up in her own castle. She spent the rest of her years locked up in a room with one little window until her guards found her dead with several plates of food untouched four years later.

It didn't take long for the people to weave tales about her life and in a matter of years, she became a legend. There were many whispers about 'The Blood Countess' that ate her victims and drained them of their blood so she could bathe in it and stay young and beautiful forever. Whether that's true or not is a different story, but the fact remains that she killed over 600 innocent girls. This makes her one of the most terrifying serial killers of all time.


  1. Ieuw creepy, I remember that episode of keeping up with the Kardashians where Kim had the vampire facial.

    1. 'If giving birth hurts this much I don't want tooo' hahaa

  2. Misschien werkt het wel... :P who knows muahaha

    1. Kan best, misschien doet ze het stiekem nog steeds...ghuhuhuhu