Bathing with Girls

A soulless shell…
             In her huge castle of broken mirrors,  
            Old skin renewed in the bloody baths.
                         650 died to engorge youthful powers
            Surrounded by bloody madness…

                        - from “The Blood Countess,” by Goth Marionette and T. James Becker

My third May Monster Madness entry unwelcomes Erzsébet Báthory, a character who I find more frightening than a babe birthed by Melisandre and nurtured by Drusilla.

When I first read about the Blood Countess, I thought it was fiction. Only horror novels would portray a woman torturing girls, eating flesh, and bathing in blood to preserve her beauty, right?  
Further reading proved my initial beliefs to be wrong. It also got me very, very, very interested in the Blood Countess. After a while, I was more fascinated by how her story blurred the lines between fiction and reality. For today, no one really knows what actually happen. This fact, makes basing fictional characters on not so dear Erzsébet a deliciously interesting journey…

Hm... Can you imagine a dinner between Erzsébet Báthory and Dr. Hannibal Lecter?  

44 comments:

  1. She is scary. I first got to know about her from the movie Stay Alive. A horrible woman, but yes, her story would never be known to us completely. Great entry for the May Monster Madness!

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    1. Horribly interesting, indeed.

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  2. I think he'd find her a boor!

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    1. I totally agree. Hannibal is too classy of a cannibal to put up with her nonsense. Who bathes in blood anyway? Insufferable "boor"!

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  3. There is a theory (and a British TV series) that explores the idea that much of this was rumors started and perpetuated by everyone who was unhappy with her reign (and there were many, including powerful nobility).

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    1. What is the name of the series? I would love to see it. People can be really rotten when they don't get their way, so it might be so...

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  4. She sounds terrifically disturbed!
    Thanks for the post!
    Here's my day V MMM at Design du Jour.

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    1. "terrifically disturbed!" I LIKE. I bet she'd grin wickedly at those words.

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  5. Oh my, she sounds delightful!
    Have you written her story yet? I'd be all over the the minute I finished reading about her! ;)
    Stopping by with my MMM'S Carmen Jenner Author and Book Me!
    Happy Hopping! =D

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    1. I might have had her in mind when I created a character for Pre-Chaos one of my works in progress. The tale should be finished by the end of the summer ;-)

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  6. She seems like great entertainment. Just don't get on her bad side. Eesh!

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  7. The Bloody Countess really is one to inspire horror writers everywhere isn't she. A woman who literally bathed in blood.
    Tasha's Thinkings

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  8. She's just misunderstood =]

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    1. If she enjoyed bathing in her own piss and people said that made her evil, then I would agree that he was misunderstood. But when a person peels the skin of girls, cuts their throats, bleeds them and then bathes in their fluids, I would say she is perfectly understood as a freaking murderous psychopath!

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  9. She is totally frightening and utterly fascinating! Once in awhile I Google odd things when I'm bored such as Sasquatch, alien abductions, cannibals, and mass murderers. She came up in a search one time. It's a good thing I don't have nightmares often.

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    1. Hm... now I want to search Sasquatch and cannibals lol

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  10. In New Orleans during the 1830's there was Madame Lalaurie, who tortured and killed slaves with her sociopathic physician husband in a room behind a metal door. A fire broke out their kitchen in their lavish home in the French Quarter, and their terrible secret was exposed. They soon disappeared. In my THE RIVAL, I "reveal" the truth of their disappearance -- and the fire.

    The Blood Countess has always fascinated me, too. :-)

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    1. Are you trying to seduce me with The Rival, Señor Yeomans? I believe you are, and after mentioning Madame LaLaurie I don't know if I can resist ;-D

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  11. Haha, a dinner between Báthory and Lecter would probably end in both eating each other :D

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    1. I have the feeling that there would be some flesh eating, indeed ;-D

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  12. Great post. I came across her when I was doing research for my vampire series. She was a very interesting person.

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    1. Research can be the sweetest bit of fiction writing ;-)

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  13. Oh! How utterly disgusting - what a witch!

    Although, that image of a blood bath you've posted, does look inviting.

    A dinner with Ms. Bathory and Mr. Lecter would definitely consist of liver, fava beans and a nice Chianti!

    My latest MMM post - The Ghoul

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    1. She was certainly disgusting, but I don't see how that makes her a "witch."

      I think the Dr. might eat a steak out of her or something, but he might find her too uncivilized to share his good Chianti with lol

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  14. She is a great inspiration! I remember looking on the wikipedia page about her and seeing that the number of movies, books, poems and paintings/pictures about her numbered in the hundreds.

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    1. You know, I've read some of the books and poetry, and certainly seen many paintings, but I've never seen any of the movies. I think I need to check them out ;-D

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  15. Sheesh! I thought my creepy black eyed kids were freaky. They have nothing on this chick! *shivers*

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    1. Your creepy black-eyed kids might send the bloody chick *grins* running for the hills. They have something dark going on behind those pupils!

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  16. She really is one of histories most interesting characters. The phrase, "Truth is stranger than fiction" comes to mind.

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  17. Erzsébet Báthory and Dr. Hannibal Lecter do indeed seem like a match made in... um... heaven?! Hehe.

    Yes, the Blood Countess proves that women are just as capable of unimaginable evil as men... perhaps more. They do say that the female of the species is more deadly than the male. ;)

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    1. I think women can imagine truly terrifying things. And we all know we, as a gender, have made holding a grudge into an art.

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  18. The legend of Bathory is something to inspire many a horror story, truly twisted. Since she was a very educated woman, I think Lecter would find her scintillating dinner company. I think they would dine on the unthinkable, but spend the evening in polite conversation about literature and art :)

    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles

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    1. She was educated and wealthy, but I have a feeling that Dr. Lecter won't think much about someone who preyed on people who didn't quite offer a challenge. If she had outsmarted her victims one on one, maybe... but her girls were collected like cattle for her enjoyment. Dr. Lecter seems insane enough to believe that his killings are honorable...

      I think that there would be dinner, and conversation, but in the end... he would gabble her up.

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  19. She is pretty ruthless... wouldn't want to cross paths with her...:)

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    1. Thank goodness for the gift of time ;-D

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  20. Wow, now I'm very, very interested as well! Thank you for sharing this!!

    Here is my MMM Day 6

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    1. Psychotic serial killers have that effect on people ;-D

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  21. Very scary and disturbing! Gives me the shivers!!!

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    1. She gives me the creeps, too. The idea of someone who can do half of the things she did... ouch.

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  22. I spent a week a while back talking about Bathory. Scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.

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    1. I bet you had delicious dreams ;-D

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