Čachtice Castle, also known as Elizabeth Bathory’s castle, now lies in ruins. It is rumored that in 1611, Countess Elizabeth Bathory was accused of killing over 600 women within the castle and that she did this so she could bathe in their blood in hope of gaining eternal beauty and youth. These are just rumors but it is certain that she was a real Hungarian countess and died in the castle, which dates back to 1276. Countess Bathory moved into the castle in 1604 and was later imprisoned there, walled in a tower. She remained there until her death four years later in 1614.
According to the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’, her murders of over 600 women in Slovakia is a world record. We visited the castle by trekking from the car. Eventually reaching its crumbling walls was something of a pilgrimage for myself as I share the blood countess’s surname and I was excited to see her castle. Whether the legends were true or not, she was an incredibly interesting person and seeing the castle made the stories come alive inside my mind.