- "In 1611 in an isolated castle high up in the mountains of what is now modern Slovakia a woman was about to sereve a death sentence condemned to spend the rest of her life walled up in a single room. At her trial Countess Elizabeth Bathory one of the most poweful aristocrats of her day was accused and convicted of murdering over 600 young girls. What appalled many was not just the number of deaths but the way in which these girls died. It is said they were sadistically tortured for weeks on ened sometimes forced to eat their own flesh and their corpses left to rot in her castle. According to the evidence given at her trial a picture emerged of a woman who not only had a need to inflict pain and commit murder but apparently developed an obsession with her victims blood. Elizabeth Bathory's taste for this blood would eventually give her the title for which she's till known today. "Countess Dracula""
- —Introduction to a Discovery channel documentary about Elizabeth Bathory
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. Although the number of murders is debated, she has been labeled the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the "Blood Countess."
After her husband Ferenc Nádasdy's death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one witness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted. In 1610, she was imprisoned in the Csejte Castle, now in Slovakia and known as Čachtice, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms until her death four years later.
Later writings about the case have led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins to retain her youth and subsequently also to comparisons with Vlad Tepes the Impaler, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and to modern nicknames of the Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.