What Happened To Elizabeth Bathory In Real Life? Lady Gaga’s ‘AHS: Hotel’ Character Has A Fittingly Brutal Inspiration
Of course we all want to know secrets from the new season of American Horror Story: Hotel , but true to form Ryan Murphy is keeping as tight-lipped as possible. So far we've gotten some snippets into who the actors will be playing via names and short descriptions of their situation in relation to the hotel. For example, Murphy revealed at a press tour that Lady Gaga will be playing a character named Countess Elizabeth, a "wealthy social doyenne who is consumed with art, fashion, and people." But could Lady Gaga's character actually be playing Countess Elizabeth Bathory? And, if so, what happened to Elizabeth Bathory in real life that could help us find out what might happen on AHS: Hotel?
For those who may not know the more morbid side of history, you might not be familiar with the name Elizabeth Bathory. She was a countess from a Hungarian royal family, but her claim to fame was as a serial killer. In fact, she has been ranked in the Guinness World Records as the "most prolific female murderer." A famous figure from the 15th century, Bathory would not only kill people but would actually practice vampirism, especially on young girls and women. Allegedly she killed more than 600 women to bathe in and drink their blood, possibly as a way to keep her youth. She's been called The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula over the years.
According to many history books and biographies on Bathory, the countess was engaged at the age of 10, likely as a part of some political dealings. She was married at around 14 years old and managed the estates of her husband while he went off to war. Allegedly Bathory's victims were younger women from lesser social classes, sometimes she would allegedly abduct them and then torture them before death in various ways including beatings, mutilating and burning their hands, jamming needles in their fingernails, biting off their flesh, and allowing some to starve to death. It's also been said that the Count joined in on some of the Countess' activities, but when he died she grew even more gruesome.
In 1610, the Countess was finally arrested after multiple complaints against her and an investigation was launched. Her crimes had been largely ignored by the King thanks to her and the Count's running of the local government, but once she began torturing and killing daughters of the nobility, she had to go. The Countess was placed under house arrest and put on trial where most of her servants testified against her and bodies were found as evidence. Bathory was eventually imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement until she died in 1614, but clearly not without leaving one of the most infamous and brutal histories to date. If Lady Gaga is playing Elizabeth Bathory, that's quite a frightening role to take on, but she's the right woman for the job. I know I'm intrigued to see just how bloody AHS: Hotel is going to get.
Image: Frank Ockenfels/FX