Saturday, 9 November 2013

Aristocratic Privilege: Murder, Blood Drinking, Cannibalism and Sacrifice

The most prolific psychopathic female serial killer in history was a lady of the nobility. In later years she would become known as 'Countess Dracula', however, in her heyday of aristocratic murder and sacrifice she was known as Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed. A blood drinking aristocrat who left a legacy of murder and horror in the Kingdom of Hungary between 1560 and 1614. During her lifetime, her reputation caused her to become known as the 'Blood Countess'. 

At first, her victims tended to be local peasant girls, and from this she began killing servants and maids of the court. She is also accused of murdering daughters of rival and less prestigious nobility. During the investigation into her activities, it as revealed that there existed a secret network from Vienna to Belgrade which captured and supplied her with young girls. Witnesses stated in her posthumous trial, that the victims bodies were generally buried in local graveyards.

Following the death of her husband, the countess and several royal collaborators began amassing victims which by some estimates reached over 6,000 young girls and women. She was never formally charged, tried nor convicted for her horrific crimes during her lifetime. However, she did remain under house arrest for the last four years of her life. A proper investigation into her crimes was not conducted until long after her death and some of the testimonies and accusations are unfathomable in terms of their sheer depravity. Which included taking baths in the blood of virgins she and her collaborators had kidnapped and murdered. In Hungary and Slovakia for centuries afterwards Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed's presence loomed large in the collective folklore. 

There is also speculation that the extent of her horrors could have been 'sex-up' - to use a modern term - as part of a Reformation propaganda war, but even if the numbers of murders are exaggerated (and bear in mind they could be accurate too), she was by all accounts, a vicious serial killer nonetheless. 

Of course, Royalty and Nobility's taste for human flesh is hardly restricted to Eastern Europe. British Royalty for centuries dined on human flesh and used everything from powdered human skulls (at one time human skulls for consumption were one of Ireland's biggest exports to England)  to the organs of executed prisoners being ingested for alleged medical, sexual and life-enhancing benefits. Dr Richard Sugg's book Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires is an excellent insight into the cannibalistic dietary practises of Darwin's 'Favoured Races'.

1 comment:

  1. that's a beautiful painting, but it's not The Bloody Countess.

    probably another bloodsucking gentry member, but not her.

    I find the whole subject fascinating. that she killed people seems to be undeniable, but that all of that other stuff happened is likely rumour, mass hysteria and so forth.

    it is claimed that she not only owned and controlled a crap-ton of land but that another rich aristo owed her a heavy debt. that whole region is riven with Machiavellian politics. they'll use you to win a war one day and chew you up and bury you alive the next (just see the actual history of Vlad Tepes.

    it is highly likely that she was cruel to her servants, but no more cruel than any other aristo of the time (then OR now). they racked her up to get control of the dosh and avoid paying their bills to her.

    a woman standing alone in history with that much power and money usually does not stand for long. just look at Cleopatra, for one. then again, neither do the men! money/power positions are not usually ones where you live a long, peaceful life and die in your sleep, it seems.