The Bloody Countess
|Elizabeth Bathory - Source: bathory.org|
The most prolific vampire in the pre-modern age is Countess Elizabeth Bathory, or the Bloody Countess. She was thought to have killed over 650 victims but only 80 of these were persecuted in court. Having renowned as a great beauty in her youth, she was motivated to maintain her appearance in spite of her age. She accidentally discovered her 'answer' when she slapped a servant girl who had committed a mistake drawing blood. To her amazement, her skin that came into contact with the wounded girl's blood had supposedly gained vitality. From then on, she began using girls, preferably virgins', blood in her bath, lotions and even beverages.
To lure girls into her castle, she opened a school that would teach peasant girls the mannerisms of the nobility. In hopes of social mobility, many young girls were drawn to her castle and few survived to tell the horrific tales of the countess' bloodthirstiness. Her victims were not killed for their blood also gruesomely tortured for her entertainment. Yet, despite the missing girls and even the finding of some their corpses, the Bloody Countess was not persecuted as she was an important Hungarian noblewoman.
|Csejte Castle, home of Elizabeth Bathory - Source: vampirelegends|
This changed when she began killing girls of noble birth under the advice of Erzi Majorova which would supposedly be even more beneficial to her skin because of their blue blood. The outrage of the nobles could not even be quelled by the Blood Countess' statue in the nobility. The king was then informed of her crimes and he appointed Gyorgy Thurzo to collect evidence for her case. In the end, she was convicted of 80 cases and was sentenced to a life of solitary confinement (nobility is rarely executed is Eastern Europe). Her accomplices were executed by burning arnd beheading respectively (after significant torture befitting of their crimes). The Bloody Countess died 4 years later at the age of 54. Her infamy lives on today in numerous articles and films depicting her.
|Movie poster for the film Bathory - Source: comivine|
|Movie still from The Countess - Source: iCelebZ|
Contemporary Real Vampires:
Richard Chase (1950 - 1980), the Vampire of Sacramento:
Chase was an American serial killer, vampire, necrophile and cannibal who suffered from schizophrenia and hypochondria. Like many serial killers, he had abusive upbringing and a tendency towards animal cruelty. He first demonstrated in his infatuation with blood on January 13th, 1978 when killed Teresa Wallin in her home, had sex with her corpse and bathed in her blood. Two weeks later, he killed Evelyn Miroth in her home as well as her friend Danny Meredith, her son Jason and her nephew David. Afterwards, he engaged in necrophilia and cannibalism with Miroth's corpse in her home; when interrupted by a girl at the door, he took David's body with him eating parts of David and drinking his blood. After being convicted of 6 counts of 1st degree murder (he killed 1 person before Wallin but did not consume/mutilate/rape the corpse in anyway), Chase committed suicide in 1980.
Roderick Ferrell (born 1980)
After playing a vampire-based role playing game called Vampire Masquerade, Roderick "Rod" Ferrell began to believe he was a 500 year old vampire named Vesago. Upon hearing complaints of his girlfriend towards her parents, he went to their home to confront them in 1996. There he murdered both her father and step mother Scott Wendroff & Naoma Ruth with a crowbar and drank their blood. He proceeded to journey to New Orleans where he believed was a vampire mecca but was apprehended by the police after an accomplice's errant phone call to her mother. After his arrest, it was discovered that he suffered from autism and had only the emotional age of 3. Despite this, he was sentenced to death (later commuted to a life sentence) after pleading guilty to two counts of murder. His accomplices received prison terms ranging from 10.5 years to a life sentence.
So here it is, real vampires who lived and killed for food. While none would ever reach the body count of the Bloody Countess, the problem still plagues us to this day. While most of the us enjoy the films and movies and books and so on, certain individuals believe in acting out their macabre fantasies in malevolent ways. So be careful the next time you stare at Robert Pattinson's glittering skin on Twilight or Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley fighting over Nina Dobrev on Vampire Diaries; there just be a person next door who is thirsting for your blood.
Disclaimer: I personally support J.S. Mill's Harm Principle and respect the right for anyone to do as they please as long as they don't kill, maim or injure another person in way. Hence, for those certain groups who practice voluntary vampirism, both involving blood or otherwise, I mean no disrespect or offense.
Last note: This article will be posted on historum as well but without photos.