Elizabeth Bathory, the Bloody Lady of Cachtice

The Infamous Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory

December 9 2007 Categorized Under: True Horror Stories 15 Commented

Elizabeth Báthory is known as Bloody Lady of Cachtice, the most infamous serial killer in Hungarian and Slovak history. She was an educated woman who could read and write in four languages. The Báthory family was one of the wealthiest in Central Europe. The rivalry they had with the Habsburgs is considered a potential reason for conspiracy against her.

Painting of Bathory
Oil Painting of the Countess, believed to be a realistic portrait

In 1610 and 1611, testimonies were collected from more than 300 witness accounts, which suggest that Báthory killed many local peasant girls. The descriptions of torture that emerged during the trials were often based on hearsay. They included:

  • severe beatings over extended periods of time
  • burning or mutilation of hands, faces, and genitalia
  • biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts
  • freezing or starving victims to death

In 1610, she was imprisoned in Cachtice Castle, where she remained in her room until her death four years later.

If you watched Hostel – Part II, you saw a woman (Monika Malacova) bathing in the blood draining out of a hanging victim. Eli Roth called her Mrs. Bathory. This is in reference to the legend that Elizabeth Báthory bathed in the blood of her victims so that she may retain her youth and beauty. This legend was spread in the 1700s by men like László Turóczi and Matthias Bel. However, there is no proof that this ever happened.

Mrs. Bathory
Scene from Hostel: Part Eww

The emergence of the bloodbath myth coincided with the vampire scares that haunted Europe in the early 18th century. The connection between the two myths would later be made in the 1970s. Some have tried to establish the myth surrounding Elizabeth Báthory as a source of influence for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. This theory is strongly disputed, however.

Countess Dracula
Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula, a Hammer horror film from 1971 based on Elizabeth Báthory

There’s a movie called Bathory that was created by Slovak filmmaker Juraj Jakubisko and released in 2008. The plot deals with the life of Elizabeth Báthory and takes place in what is now Slovakia (at the time it was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary). Said Jakubisko about the film:

�Countess Elizabeth Bathory is the most famous Austro-Hungarian aristocrat that lived in what is Slovakia today. She supposedly murdered 650 people during her lifetime. I think this theory is absurd and thought of creating my own legend, which would show her in a completely different light, very tender, and tenderness is related to art� What is interesting about this story is that it doesn�t even lack humour and it is also a kind of crime story as there are two monks investigating what is actually going on with Bathory. But there is also political intrigue, and the drama of an intelligent woman too weak to face all the odds she had to face� It is the story of a woman, Elizabeth Bathory, who, in short, was unfortunate to have been born at the wrong time in history��

15 Responses to “Elizabeth Bathory, the Bloody Lady of Cachtice”

  1. Crystal says:

    I thought Monika did an amazing job playing Elizabeth Bathory!, her eyes scare you shitless, she is very beautiful, and she really brought so much to the character even though all she did was kill Heather Mazzarato’s character Lorna…

  2. borgduck says:

    Bathory ……. bath?!

  3. jean says:


  4. Marion says:

    I love the story of Elizabeth Bathory…I really want to see he movie…

  5. Sib says:

    If your interested in this subject, watch the movie ‘stay alive’. It’s about Elizabeth basically ‘coming back’. It’s interesting enough :)

  6. alexis says:

    dude how can someone do that ok the movie stay alive which has the story of Elizabeth Bathory killing people but how could she?

  7. Christina Graff says:

    If you’re interested in the true story, read the new book, “Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsebet Bathory,” by Kimberly Craft. It has new and complete translations of all of the original documents. Fascinating, terrifying and unbelievable to find out what really happened. It’s on Amazon right now and I heard in bookstores by spring.

  8. William Anderson says:

    Unfortunately, while engaging, these movies aren’t very accurate, historically. If you want more truth than fiction, check out Tony Thorn’s book and Kimberly Craft’s “Infamous Lady” book on Countess Bathory.

  9. Magis Tan says:

    I agree with Christian and William. “Infamous Lady” is probably the best book available right now on Lady Bathory. If you’re tired of fictional crap, get ready for the real thing: it is graphic and intense, and the legal authorities of her time spared no expense describing the horrors of what she did.

  10. Gottfried Reuter says:

    Bathory got away with her killings and abuse as long as she tormented peasants. The authorities went after her only when she turned her sights on girls from the nobility. (I agree. “Infamous Lady” was a great read.)

  11. Mina says:


    • samara says:

      That is well-said..most of us play puppets to a false sense of self-righteousness in a land bound by law…these same people given more power would indulge in an abundance of crimes, promiscuity and lust.

      How is it wrong to accept all of this for what they are? how was lady Bathory wrong? and how do we know that the countless victims who go missing in the 21st century are not used up for serving the pleasures of the members of plutocracy?..

      I totally fail to understand, which religion, if there ever was one could deny pleasure to our lustful souls?..what is society anyways..if not men & women longing for being primeval in their real selves in their secret closet lives?…

  12. Bad-juju says:

    While I agree, ‘Infamous Lady’ is a great read, once more these documents are mainly written by the men who had much to gain from Bathory’s conviction. Which brings to question: how truthful are these documents? I know we will probably never know the real truth, but in my mind, Erzsebet Bathory was not a serial killer by any extreme. I feel it is quite an insult to point a finger in this direction. She was not evil by any means, she was simply a woman of her time, she treated her servants no different then any other noble of this period, be it male or female. It all boiled down to greed, she was a widow, a woman and had absolute power in her domain. This could not be tolerated, plus it also helped her conviction released the King from his debt to her family.

  13. Damn Quilty says:

    Elizabeth Bathory…a great real horror story that sadly has inspired lame movies… even gore…but lame. I meant it really has potential… Wish she could have her Robert Bloch.

  14. STUFU says:

    LOL Why do people keep on recommending the movie “stay alive” when it is a film full of bull crap. How would you know the character of Erzsebet Bathory through that movie if the movie is about the countess haunting stupid teenagers through video games LMAO!! if you want a good movie inspired of Erzsebet, try “Bathory” or “The Countess” although both movies are mixed with fictitious add ons, like in “Bathory” where Erzsebet had an affair with the Italian painter Merisi Carvaggio. But at least it’s better than finding her character through a movie wherein she haunts through a video game. WTF I would recommend “Bathory.”

Leave a Reply