The Real-life Countess Dracula Who Murdered Over 600 Girls

Noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory is the most prolific female murderer in history

Anita Durairaj
5 min readJan 13, 2021


Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Image Source:

Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory tortured and killed as many as 650 young girls in Transylvania in the 1600s. Her family was distinguished, high-ranking, and wealthy making her untouchable and allowing her to continue her brutal killings without any retribution.

According to the History Channel, Bathory’s methods of killing were legendary in the area.

Bathory’s torture included jamming pins and needles under the fingernails of her servant girls, and tying them down, smearing them with honey, and leaving them to be attacked by bees and ants.

Her sadistic nature and vampiric tendencies earned her the nickname — the Countess Dracula. She is also the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

According to the Guiness Book of World Records, she is the most prolific female serial killer in history.

A Life of Cruelty

Elizabeth Bathory was born to Hungarian nobility in 1560. Her father was a baron and she was the niece of the King of Poland. She was highly privileged and had looks, wealth, education, and a title. However, inbreeding ran in the family and Bathory suffered from fits, outbursts of rage, and epilepsy.

It is thought that she learned about cruelty from a young age because of the treatments she had to undergo for epilepsy and the training she received from her family.

The treatment for epilepsy in that time period often involved obtaining the blood of a non-epileptic person. This could explain Bathory’s predilection for blood.

In addition, Bathory was exposed to her father’s officers torturing the peasants who lived in the area. She grew up in an environment of violence and her parents condoned it. It is also reported that her family members were involved in witchcraft and satanism. Her uncle taught her about satanism and her aunt instructed her on sadomasochism.

Bathory married Count Ferenc Nadasdy at the age of 15. They lived in the Castle of Csejte. According to some sources, she convinced her husband to build a torture…