For this year's Halloween, instead of a contest, I searched for the the Queen of evil. She is not a character of fiction, she is history's greatest female killer of all time. Here is a run down from Wikipedia:
Elizabeth BáthoryThe native form of this personal name is Ecsedi Báthory Erzsébet. This article uses Western name order when mentioning individuals
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Hungarian: Báthory Erzsébet, pronounced [ˈbaːtori ˈɛrʒeːbɛt]; Slovak: Alžbeta Bátoriová ; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a Hungarian noblewoman from the noble family of Báthory, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary (now Hungary, Slovakia and Romania).
Báthory has been labeled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young girls and women between 1590 and 1610. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650. However, this number comes from the claim by a servant girl named Susannah that Jakab Szilvássy, Báthory's court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory's private books. The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Báthory, her family's importance kept her from facing execution. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Castle of Csejte, in Upper Hungary (now Slovakia).
The stories of Báthory's sadistic serial murders are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest. Stories describing Báthory's vampiric tendencies, such as the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth, were generally recorded years after her death, and are considered unreliable. Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day. Some insist she inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), though there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. Nicknames and literary epithets attributed to her include The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.
Between 1602 and 1604, after rumors of Báthory's atrocities had spread through the kingdom, Lutheran minister István Magyari made complaints against her, both publicly and at the court in Vienna. The Hungarian authorities took some time to respond to Magyari's complaints. Finally, in 1610, King Matthias II assigned Thurzó, the Palatine of Hungary, to investigate. Thurzó ordered two notaries, András Keresztúry and Mózes Cziráky, to collect evidence in March 1610. By October 1610 they collected 52 witness statements. By 1611, the notaries collected testimony from more than 300 witnesses.
According to the testimonies, Báthory's first victims were girls aged 10 to 14 years. Later, Báthory is said to have begun killing daughters of the lesser gentry, who were sent to her gynaeceum by their parents to learn courtly etiquette. Abductions were said to have occurred as well. The atrocities described most consistently included severe beatings; burning or mutilation of hands; biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other body parts; freezing or starving to death. The use of needles was also mentioned by the collaborators in court. There were many suspected forms of torture carried out by Báthory. According to the Budapest City Archives, the girls were burned with hot tongs and then placed in freezing cold water. They were also covered in honey and live ants. Báthory was also suspected of cannibalism.
Some witnesses named relatives who died while at the gynaeceum. Others reported having seen traces of torture on dead bodies, some of which were buried in graveyards, and others in unmarked locations. Two court officials (Benedek Deseő and Jakab Szilvássy) claimed to have personally witnessed the Countess torture and kill young servant girls.
The case of Elizabeth Báthory inspired numerous stories during the 18th and 19th centuries. The most common motif of these works was that of the countess bathing in her victims' blood to retain beauty or youth. This legend appeared in print for the first time in 1729, in the Jesuit scholar László Turóczi's Tragica Historia, the first written account of the Báthory case. The story came into question in 1817 when the witness accounts (which had surfaced in 1765) were published for the first time. They included no references to blood baths. In his book Hungary and Transylvania, published in 1850, John Paget describes the supposed origins of Báthory's blood-bathing, although his tale seems to be a fictionalized recitation of oral history from the area. It is difficult to know how accurate his account of events is. Sadistic pleasure is considered a far more plausible motive for Elizabeth Báthory's crimes.