Official accounts of the crimes committed by Countess Erzsebet Bathory contain many horrors. An accomplice of Bathory told authorities that girls were lured to the castle with promises of a better life for themselves and their families. The girls came willingly, and if they didn’t they were beaten into unconsciousness and taken. Some of the girls were used sexually and tortured or killed if they reacted in a way that displeased the Countess, others were simply used to satisfy the Countess’ blood lust. Girls would be tied up with Viennese cord and beaten to death. The accomplice claimed one girl survived over 200 blows before finally dying. The girls would be cut, stabbed, beaten, and bitten all simply for the Countess’ enjoyment. After Countess Erzsebet Bathory’s capture, a book containing the names of more than 650 girls was found written in her handwriting. It was assumed by many that these were the names of all her victims but because there was no proof her official victim count stayed at 80.
One thing that is not contained in any official accounts is the Countess’ legendary blood baths in the blood of virgins. The idea appears to come from a 1795 writing which told tales of the Countess getting servant girls’ blood on her during punishments and seeing her skin become younger. There is no proof of this actually happening and no mention of it prior to this writing. While Erzsebet may have collected blood for use in magic, it is unlikely she actually collected it for bathing.
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