Why Is Countess Elizabeth Bathory Known As the Blood Countess?


Quick Answer

Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary was called the Blood Countess because she reputedly killed hundreds of young peasant and servant women in the 16th and 17th centuries. She allegedly bathed in their blood in order to remain youthful and beautiful.

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Full Answer

In 1610, her servants confessed to helping Bathory torture and murder about 80 women though she was accused of up to 650 murders. The servants were executed, and Bathory was walled up in her own castle, where she died four years later.

There is some evidence that Bathory was innocent. She was one of the wealthiest women in Hungary at the time, rivaling even the Hapsburg rulers in power and influence during a period of conflict and chaos. Some scholars argue that she was framed to be eliminated as a potential rival for the crown.

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