By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Volodka22&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Volodka22 (page does not exist)">Vladimír Ruček</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
This castle was originally built in the mid-13th century as a guard post on the road to Moravia. Eventually the Stibor family took over ownership and held the castle until it was passed to the Countess Alzbeta (Elizabeth) Bathory as a wedding present on her marriage to Ferenc Nadasdy in 1575.
Elizabeth Bathory is also known as the Countess Blood and Countess Dracula and is much responsible for the vampire legend of Vlad The Impaler. After her husband died from a battlefield wound Elizabeth became obsessed with keeping her youth. Due to this obsession, she would become the most prolific female serial killer in history.
She and four accomplices would kidnap and murder as many as 650 virginal young girls so she could bathe in their blood to keep herself young. There are many legends that have been spawned from her actions including that the countess would have the girls crushed to death over her head and shower in the blood that sprayed down. She was thought to be a wamphir (vampire) but the truth may be more shocking.
It is an accepted fact that girls were kidnapped and murdered although the number may be much smaller - when her men were put to trial for the crime and convicted the number was set at 80. Strangely, Elizabeth was an intelligent and well-educated woman who not only staunchly defended her husband's estates while he was at war but also stepped in repeatedly on the side of woman's rights when her female serfs and lesser noblewomen were victimized.
A curious historical oxymoron was that Elizabeth was both an early advocate of women’s rights but probably murdered more women than anyone before or since. The question is did the countess really murder anyone or was she accused of the crimes just to prevent her from speaking up?
It was only when she began to kidnap and murder the daughters of lesser nobles that was Elizabeth accused of her crimes - apparently it was socially acceptable to murder serf girls at the time; or at least a blind eye was turned. The King Of Hungary ordered her immediate arrest when he learned of the crimes and dispatched men to complete this order. The original plan was for Elizabeth's son-in-laws to get her out of the castle and to a nearby nunnery, thus escaping punishment, but when the light of day was turned on her crimes against the lesser nobility this plan became impossible.
Elizabeth was placed under house arrest and would eventually be walled up inside a room in her own castle with only a small hole to give her food but (unlike her men) she was never put on trial. Why you ask? Politics.
Women who stand up for woman against the wishes of short dick men - who were probably having sexual fantasies about their mother - are always villified. Its not much different then today.
A trial would have been an embarrassment to her family who were then the rulers of Transylvania. Most importantly, though, was with Elizabeth walled up the debts that the King owed her, and could not afford to pay, would be not only wiped clean but also kept hidden. You see a trial might have brought these debts to light.
So, the King got what he really wanted and the family was spared embarrassment and who really cares about getting justice for the who knows how many girls who were murdered?
The only real proof of the crime was that when the posse arrived at Elizabeth's castle, they say they found one dead girl, another one being bled out and a few more imprisoned as well as the confessions of her men which were probably given under torture. So was Elizabeth Bathory really the "Bloody Countess" or just a victim of political intrigue?
In truth she was probably both.
There is proof to support both sides: 1) The largest number of girls (650) is said to have come from a book kept by the Countess herself and many witnesses came forward to say they had removed the bodies or cleaned up after the tortures and murders, 2) Elizabeth's family was Protestant and therefore seen in direct conflict with the ruling Hasburgs who were Catholic. In those days wars had been fought over less.
The four accomplices who were convicted of the crimes and put to death. As for Elizabeth; she lived for four years in her sealed cell and it was only noticed that she had died when her meals were not being eaten. The wall was torn down and her corpse was found along with plates full of uneaten food so it is unclear as to when she actually died.
Her body was originally buried in Cachtice but the villagers raised such a stink her remains were moved to Ecsed where she was buried in the Bathory family crypt.
In the 17th century the castle was completely remodeled into a Renaissance Style so the true location of Elizabeth's prison was lost forever. In 1708 the castle was taken by rebels and completely plundered; it has been left to decay ever since.
The valley containing the castle is home to many rare plants so the entire area has now become a natural preserve.
The apparition of an old woman (thought to be the countess herself) is said the walk the ruins of the castle and gaze out from its tumbled down walls. The apparition of a young girl (many people speculate that this is actually the apparitions of countless young girls) is also seen at the castle and in the underground tunnels where the countess is said to have imprisoned her victims.
Other activity: extreme feelings of unease and of being watched; light anomalies; mysterious mists; shadow figures; cold and warm spots; disembodied voices and touches from invisible presences.