Elizabeth Báthory: The Blood Countess 
The Controversial Case of Countess Bathory - Facts and Popular Culture

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Elizabeth Bathory Facts

  • A trial was never held properly. Bathory was never sentenced for the murders.
  • Although she was never sentenced, some supposed accomplices of her were sentenced to death after being tortured.
  • According to documents of the time, the supposed accomplices said they witnessed Elizabeth torture and kill people, stating that 30-35 persons were killed.
  • The human blood coagulates rapidly. Clotting time is estimated to be around 5 and 8 minutes, thus having a bath in blood is not easily achievable.
  • Elizabeth Bathory was indeed interested in occultism, although this was much more common in the 17th century than it is today.
  • The countess was a rough and disciplinarian person.
  • The first written account of the case was made 119 years after her death, in 1729.
  • In the witness accounts there was no reference to any bloodbath. Most probably the bloodbath part arose orally as part of the local folklore.
  • Elizabeth was protestant and her family wasn’t in a good relation with the Habsburgs.
  • Moreover the estates she owned were very valuable.
  • Although most people in her time were barely literate she spoke and wrote in Hungarian, Latin and German.
  • Hungarian king Mathias II owed large sums of money to Elizabeth’s deceased husband Ferenc Nadasdy. Elizabeth tried to make Mathias II pay back the debt, however, because she was confined in the castle, this never occurred.


Elizabeth Bathory