Elizabeth Bathory is one of history’s most notorious killers. Supposedly, the Bloody Countess (as she is sometimes called) murdered an unknown number of young girls in a variety of way, ranging from stabbing, to burning, to exposure to cold. One detail of the story is that Bathory also bathed in the blood of her victims to preserve her youth and vitality, but that is almost certainly an embellishment added years after the fact. Still, Bathory’s appetite for murder has made her a popular figure of horror, and she has been the inspiration for movies, video games, and at least one metal band.
Nowadays, there is some doubt about whether or not Elizabeth Bathory really was the excessive and cruel killer that she was made out to be. There is no evidence that she ever bathed in the blood of her victims (for instance) and most of the evidence obtained against her was gathered under torture, a notoriously unreliable method for getting to the truth. Nevertheless, even if the stories about Elizabeth Bathory were completely fabricated, her life still has the makings of a chilling horror story.