*Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak, Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family. Although in modern times she has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history, evidence of her alleged crimes is scant and her guilt is debated. She is nevertheless remembered as the “Blood Countess” or “Bloody Lady of Čachtice”, after the castle near Trenčín in Slovakia (formerly the Kingdom of Hungary) where she spent most of her adult life.
After her husband’s death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and young women, with one witness attributing to them over 600 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80.1 Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted. In 1610, however, she was imprisoned in the Čachtice Castle, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms until her death four years later.
Later writings about the case have led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins in order to retain her youth and subsequently also to comparisons with Vlad III the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and to modern nicknames of the Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.