During the early seventeenth century, the village of Trencin– located in present-day Slovakia– fell victim to countless unexplainable crimes.
All of a sudden, peasant girls who had been searching for work in the Csejte Castle began vanishing one by one without a trace. Then, rumors of torture and murder began to swirl throughout the region.
However, it did not take long for villagers to accuse the strong-willed “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory of being the evil mastermind behind it all.
Elizabeth hailed from an extremely powerful Hungarian family after being the daughter of inbreeding between Baron George Bathory and Baroness Anna Bathory. Then, as a young woman, she went on to marry Ferenc Nádasdy, a war hero, who gifted her the lavish Csejte Castle.
But, in 1578, Ferenc was forced to travel on a military campaign against the encroaching Ottoman Empire. After all, he had become the Hungarian arm’s chief commander and needed to lead his troops.
In turn, Elizabeth was left alone at the castle and in charge of managing his numerous estates. On top of that, she was also expected to rule over the villagers.
And at the beginning of her solo reign, Elizabeth appeared to be leading her populace just fine. But then, out of nowhere, wild rumors that the Countess had been torturing her servants became commonplace.
However, it was not until Ferenc died in 1604 that these rumors seemingly multiplied overnight. It was not long until Elizabeth would be accused of far worse acts than torture– murder.
In fact, the murder of hundreds of peasant women and girls who even just set foot in her castle.
Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; pictured above is a painting of Elizabeth