Elizaveta or Erzhebet Bathory of Echeda, also called Chakhtitskaya Pani or Bloody Countess, is a Hungarian countess, niece of Stefan Bathory, notorious for the massacres of young girls. During her life, she killed 650 victims, although there is no serious evidence of this, but this allowed the Countess to be declared one of the "most massive serial killers of all time" and put her record in the Guinness Book of Records.
Descended from the ancient noble family of Bathory, Elizabeth spent her childhood in Eched Castle. At the age of 11, she was betrothed to the nobleman Ferenc Nadashdi and moved to his castle near Sharvar. In 1575 in Vranov, Elizabeth married Nadashdi, who at that time had the title of caretaker of the imperial stables. The couple had 5 children: Anna, Ekaterina, Miklos, Ursula and Pavel.
In 1578, Elizabeth's husband was appointed commander of the Hungarian troops in the war against the Turks. For his manic cruelty towards prisoners, the Turks nicknamed him "Black Bey" ("Black Knight").
In 1610, rumors of the brutal murders of young girls in the castle of Elizabeth Bathory began to reach the Habsburg court. Emperor Matthew instructed the Palatine of Hungary, Count György Thurzo, to investigate the case. On December 29, 1610, Thurzo with an armed detachment burst into the castle of Elizabeth Bathory and, as they say, caught her with his henchmen right at the scene of the crime - torturing the next victims.
The exact time when Elizabeth began to kill the girls is unknown. It is believed that this happened between 1585 and 1610. According to legend, she tried to regain her youth by taking baths from the blood of young girls. They say that the countess's husband and relatives knew about this and tried to restrict her somehow. Most of the Countess's victims were local peasant women.
The Countess was locked up for some time in her own castle, ostensibly for her own safety - until she was brought to trial. However, this never happened. It is believed that the reason was the big name of the family: the Bathory clan was very famous. Elizabeth spent the rest of her life in captivity in the underground dungeon of her own Chakhtitsa castle, where she, guarded by a caring servant assigned by her daughters, lived calmly and without hardships for more than three years and died on the night of August 21, 1614.
The trial of the countess's henchmen took place on January 2, 1611 in Bitchanskiy castle - the residence of the Hungarian palatine Gyorgy Thurzo. All of the accused were sentenced to death. The maids Dorot Szentesh, Ilona Jo and Katarina Benitska were burned alive after having their fingers cut off. Servant Jan Uyvar Fitzko was beheaded.
However, procedural violations, inconsistencies and the transience of the trial over the servants made it possible to assume that Countess Bathory was in fact persecuted as the head of the Protestants in Western Hungary, and the evidence against her was fabricated with the participation of individual hierarchs of the Catholic Church and the Hungarian palatine György Thurzo, who claimed a part vast land holdings of the Bathory clan.
It is not known for certain whether Countess Bathory was a monster or a martyr who died for her faith, but it is interesting that she was a distant relative of the notorious vampire Vlad Tepes (Dracula).