Shades of Countess Bathory

Elizabeth, Countess Bathory

Elizabeth, Countess Bathory

I confess.  I don’t know how to begin tonight’s article.  It is just so weird that it boggles the mind.

If you are a fan of horror, you may know of Elizabeth, Countess Bathory, the infamous “Blood Countess” and the subject of many books and at least 2-3 movies.   I happen to have a modicum of knowledge about the Countess, because some time back I researched her for a short story for which I am now trying to find a publisher.  The Countess is alleged to have killed perhaps as many as 600 young women in what is now the Czech Republic from about 1604-1610 just to bathe in their blood in order to preserve her beauty.  If you are not familiar with her, just Google “Elizabeth Bathory”.  There are a lot of good articles on her and the one in Wikipedia is a good synopsis of her life.

Fast forward to 2012.

I am sitting at my desk, surfing the net while talking to my mom on the phone, and I come across an article on Yahoo News about Kim Kardashian having a blood facial!

Let me be the first to note that the major difference between the Countess’s and Kim’s blood treatments is that Kim uses her own blood (let me repeat that for the benefit of any unscrupulous lawyers looking for a case:  the Yahoo article states that Kim Kardashian uses her own blood) and not the blood of innocents like the Countess is alleged to have done.

What more can I say?  I could probably write an extensive article just on whether bathing in blood has any actual value as a beauty treatment or whether the charges of bathing in blood put forth by her accusers and detractors have any merit or if it was just a form of black magic practiced by the Countess, but, as fascinating a subject as it is, I unfortunately don’t have the time to pursue it.  Please feel free to conduct your own research though.  I found out some fascinating things during my own and put as many as I could into the aforementioned story.   If and when it is published, I will announce it in this blog.

By the way, one thing I found out about the Countess is that while many people believe the worst about her, there are many who believe that she was innocent. Their opinion tends to be that the vicious stories about her were simply inventions of her enemies to justify their seizing of her land or they were written by gullible historians believing local legends a hundred or more years after her death.  Usually I find the truth of any issue is somewhere between the two extremes of viewpoints.

If you would like an alternate view on the Countess, I would like to recommend a movie entitled “Bathory”, which stars Anna Friel and Karel Roden.  I believe it is a Czech production.  It gives a good, plausible alternative to the legends about the Countess, and in my humble opinion, is probably much closer to the truth than the usual blood-soaked splatterfests you may find.

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