Elizabeth Bathory was a countess and a serial killer from the Bathory noble family in Hungary and is renown for killing hundreds of women by torture, particularly peasant girls. Bathory is considered as one of the iconic figures in many vampire media and is considered as one of the most evil women in history.
She is oftentimes compared to the Romanian tyrant Vlad the Impaler, the person where Count Dracula was based from & has been nicknamed "The Blood Countess" & "Countess Dracula".
Legends surrounding the real Bathory
(Note: since this wiki deals with fiction we will try not to go in-depth on the real Bathory, however the following are a sample of (in)famous stories surrounding Bathory & her crimes)
Elizabeth Bathory is heavily rumored to be a vampire by many, due to her obsession with youth. It was said that she got the idea of killing young girls after she had an argument with her maid and out of fury, she slapped her so hard that her blood dripped to her face. Seeing how her maid's blood made the skin on her palm look younger again, she becomes fascinated with youth & the unfortunate maid was killed for her blood.
Another story mentions how she was accustomed to watching her sadistic father mutilate and dismember his servants, thus she grew accustomed to torture. She also saw her father disembowel a calf and force a servant to enter the stomach, then sew it up again, thus starving the poor man to death.
She then began collecting young women, most likely peasants to avoid suspicions, by sending her servants to the town to "hire" them. Many young girls were tempted by this and agreed to take the job. Once hired as servants, they were tortured and killed. Many young peasant girls went missing and were never seen or heard of again. Her reign of terror came to an end when she started attacking the daughters of lesser nobles, by inviting them for learn courtly etiquette from her, due to the shortage of the town's young peasant girls. Her reign of terror came to an end when she was arrested by the court on her castle but due to her family's influence, she was instead bricked on her room where she died 4 years later.
One of the most popular & infamous her about her is that she is a vampire, as it is said that she bathed on the blood of her victims. She had many forms of torture including severe beatings over extended periods of time, sexual abuse, burning or mutilating of hands (sometimes even the face & genitalia), biting off the flesh on any body parts as well as eating their bellybuttons and even death by freezing or starvation. One rumor also said is that she let her victims get stung alive by a swarm of bees.
Elizabeth Bathory have become a popular figure in many vampire media, most commonly seen as one of the most iconic villains ever known. She has inspired many various forms of fiction from books to movies & even video games. She is always seen being associated with Count Dracula or even Vlad the Impaler.
- Bathory is portrayed as the true main antagonist of the novel "Dracula the Un-Dead", written by the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker. In this novel, she is revealed to be the one truly responsible for the events the Dracula novel, revealing her as "Jack the Ripper" and the one truly responsible for transforming Lucy Westerna into a vampire. Count Dracula in turn is portrayed as the false main antagonist & is actually her antiheroic cousin who embarks on a quest to hunt her down.
- Bathory appeared in the fantasy history novels This Rough Magic & Much Fall of Blood by Eric Flint, Dave Fleer and Mercedes Lackey as the major antagonist. Unlike most portrayals of her, she is portrayed in the series as a sorceress and a Satanist.
- She also serves as one of the antagonist of films based on her including Countess Dracula and a film sharing her name.
- In the sequel of the remake of Fright Night, Gerri Dandridge, the sister of Jerry Dandridge, is revealed to be Elizabeth Bathory.
Characters Inspired by Bathory
Several characters in fiction have been inspired by Bathory's obsession with immortality.
- Lady Bellina from David Eddings' novel Elenium.
- The Evil Queen from Snow White and some of her adaptations, particularly the Mirror Queen and Queen Raveena.
- Mary Brady from Stephen King's Sleepwalkers, because she is obsessed with remaining young and beautiful, and she is a very seductive young vampire who seeks to drink other people's blood.
- Eva Silver from Seikon no Qwaser.
- Elizabeth Bartley from Castlevania.
- Elizabet from Ninja Gaiden 2.
- Erzebet Ondrushko from Hellboy: Blood and Iron.