December 5, 2013

Elizabeth Bathory The Blood Countess of Transylvania

As with Vlad Tepes/Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory's life story contains some details that may have gotten confused in with the legend. The difference between the legends of Dracula and the Blood Countess is that the legend of the Blood Countess is still mostly based in fact, whereas the legend of Dracula is a mixture of little fact and lots of fiction. Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess, is one of the most famous serial killers in history. She is a woman that history will not soon forget. Her legend doesn’t exaggerate facts as much as some people believe it does. I have found a few details that people believe but have confused, or are false altogether. Let's look at some of the details that some people may get confused.
Foremost, Elizabeth did not drink the blood of maidens. She did kill a lot of maidens from the surrounding villages, bleed out the maidens and then bathe in their blood. Elizabeth believed that bathing in a maiden’s blood had the power to restore one's youthful appearance. She first started believing this when a drop of a servant’s blood hit her hand after she had beaten the servant. Elizabeth believed that the part of her skin that absorbed the blood appeared rejuvenated, and this is why she bathed in the blood instead of drink it. She believed that her skin was absorbing the blood while she bathed, and she believed this was her key to immortality.
I believe that the story of Elizabeth Bathory has been used as a kind of bogey monster with young girls. For example, a mother might say, “Make your bed, or Countess Bathory will take you in the night.” But Elizabeth was a noblewoman. She didn’t tend to much on her own, and she never went into villages to kidnap the maidens that she would eventually kill; she actually had them sent up to her at Cachtice Castle. She decided to start a finishing school for the maidens in the surrounding villages. The parents of the maidens sent the young girls to Elizabeth at Cachtice Castle for schooling. I find really odd and interesting that the body count reached 600 before Elizabeth was caught.
            Some people that I have spoken with didn’t believe that Elizabeth Bathory was a real woman. Apparently they don’t believe that a woman of medieval nobility would ever commit such a cruel act. In conversation with one of my friends, I told the story, but I left out Elizabeth's name and the fact that she was a woman. My friend still did not believe me. My friend thought that no one would be able to kill 100 people, let alone 600 people. When I tried to explain that she got away with it for so long because she was a woman of nobility, he joined the first group, not believing a woman of nobility would commit these acts. How my friends reacted made me think of how people reacted more recently to Lizzy Borden. She was able to kill both of her parents but never answered for her crime.
            Women can be just as lethal and conniving as men. The gender of a serial killer doesn’t matter. The main thing is that they tend to think differently. They think differently in order to justify to themselves and live with what they do.

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