Ep 147: Blood Báthory Part 1


“I hesitate to bring the horrible crime to light, for I hardly believe that anyone will credit what I have uncovered, not only because it bloodily besmirches and brings disgrace upon the princely Báthorys who are deserving of the best from the Christians of this country, but because, moreover, the barbarity of it is so enormous, it will be a cause of eternal horror.”

– Jesuit Priest László Turóczi, as quoted by author Tony Thorne in his book, Countess Dracula



Countess Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian noblewoman and one of the most wealthy and powerful aristocrats in eastern Europe during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Together with her husband Ferenc Nádasdy, a military hero known as the Black Knight of Hungary, Báthory held numerous estates, lands, and villages. She also currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the most prolific female serial killer and most prolific murderer of the western world. Báthory had been accused in the testimonies of over 300 witnesses and survivors of some of the most horrific tortures and murders imaginable before she was arrested, even by medieval standards. Her victims were her maidservants and lesser noble protégés, all girls, with some as young as ten years old. Years after her death, a legend had formed that Báthory had even routinely bathed in and possibly drank the blood of her virginal victims, believing that the pureblood had retained her beauty. Some claim that Báthory's story became the partial inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula, along with her more famous sanguinary neighbor, Vlad the Impaler. But were any of the accusations against Báthory true? Was she merely a victim herself of a political and gender-biased conspiracy aimed at confiscating her riches and properties? As we'll learn once again, the truth behind our legends is often shrouded in a fog of conjecture misting through a forest of unknowns. Join us tonight as we examine the case of Elizabeth Báthory who, regardless of her actual guilt or innocence, will be forever known as, "The Blood Countess."



Čachtice Castle (pronounced Chack-teet-seh or Chack-teet-ski in Slovak) where Elizabeth Báthory lived and carried out most of her alleged crimes, until she was reportedly bricked up in a few of its rooms until her death in 1614. First built in the mid-13th century, the castle had undergone several periods of transformation and renovation until it was captured in 1708 in an uprising against the Habsburgs by the Hungarian rebels of Francis II Rákóczi , theorized to be the father of The Count of St. Germain. Today, the castle ruins are a tourist attraction in present-day Slovakia.


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Episode 147: Blood Báthory Part 1.  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees Wendel; Sound Design by Ryan McCullough; Tess Pfeifle, Producer and Lead Researcher; Research Support from the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2019 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.