Monday, December 16, 2013
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak; 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the "Blood Countess," though the precise number of victims is debated. The stories of her sadistic serial murders and brutality are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest
Despite the evidence against her however, Elizabeth herself was never put on trial because of her family's influence, being instead placed under house arrest. The stories about her vampire like tendencies (being accused of bathing in blood to rejuvenate her skin etc.) are much less verifable than those of her sadism as unlike the easily verified deaths of servants and young girls, these were generally recorded some years after her death. It quickly became part of national folklore.
After her husband Ferenc Nádasdy's death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one witness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Due to her rank, Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted, but promptly imprisoned upon her arrest in December 1610 within Csejte Castle, Upper Hungary, now in Slovakia, where she remained immured in a set of rooms until her death four years later.
The case led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins to retain her youth, and subsequently also to comparisons with Vlad III the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and to modern nicknames of The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.
Despite the overwhelming evidence aginst her however, in recent years various revisonists have attempted to allege that Bathory was in fact an innocent, advancing a variety of fanciful theories ranging from a catholic conpiracy to the claim that the sadistic Bathory was in reality an abortion doctor or a naturalistic healer.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
The story of Lavinia Fisher has been made into legend since her execution in Charleston, South Carolina in 1820. Lavina is known as America's first female serial killer.
The story told for the last 120 relates like this. John and Lavinia Fisher owned a simple hotel or inn, The Six Mile Wayfarer House, on an almost deserted road outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The building was well kept and was a good stop for the out of the way but often traveled highway , but it was rumored that sometimes guests checked in and did not check out. One night a fur trader named John Peoples stopped at the inn and was warmly greeted by the Fishers. The beautiful Lavinia Fisher was overly friendly and perhaps flirtatious. Peoples thought the Fishers were being a little too odd and, suspicious of their intentions, he went turned in early.
People's suspicions grew and he could not sleep. He decided not to lie in the bed but to sit in the corner facing the door so he could see if anyone came in to rob him. His suspicions were confirmed when a trapdoor sprung, dropping the bed into the cellar where John Fisher was waiting with an axe. Peoples escaped and hurried back to Charleston to tell the sheriff. John and Lavinia were arrested and their property searched. The human remains were found, including many bodies in a lime pit in the cellar under the trap door. The Fishers were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang.
On February 4, 1820 they were taken to a gallows erected on Meeting Street just outside the city limits of Charleston. It was a public execution and everyone, including the fine ladies of Charleston, came out to see Lavinia Fisher hang.
John mounted the gallows peacefully but Lavinia had to be physically dragged to the platform where she beseeched the crowd to help her. According to one historian:
"She stamped in rage and swore with all the vehemence of her amazing vocabulary, calling down damnation on a governor who would let a woman swing. The crowd stood shocked into silence, while she cut short one curse with another and ended with a volley of shrieks." When Lavinia was quiet Reverend Furman read a letter from John Fisher in which he thanked the reverend for "explaining the mysteries of our Holy Religion." John then told the crowd he was innocent and blamed Colonel Cleary for coaching the witness who accused him.
Lavinia Fisher went to the gallows wearing her wedding dress. John Fisher pinned all the blame on his wife, but he was hanged along with her. Lavinia's ghost is said to now haunt the Old Jail on Magazine Street in Charleston as well as the Unitarian Cemetary
The legend of Lavinia Fisher had probably already started but her (true) last words to the crowd at her hanging guaranteed her immortality:
"If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me—I'll carry it."
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Ectoplasm is a phenomenon that began in the early days of Spiritism also known as Spiritualism or in its ancient term...necromancy. It is said to be a physical manifestation that happens to a medium who is channeling a deceased spirit. The substance was named as such by one Charles Richet and was further defines a an external spiritual energy. The medium who was channeling or becoming the conduit for the spirit would excrete a gauze like substance from their orifices.It could also be a plastic or vapor substance. It was said to be present to allow a spiritual as well as physical connection to the deceased person, spirit , entity.
There are next to no modern examples of ectoplasm while those who have researched the instances have speculated that there exists within some individuals a psychode or psychic force which releases a fluid in order to influence surrounding matter. It was further noted that ectoplasm was susceptible to light and therefore seances had to take place in the dark or by candlelight.
Most of the earliest cases have been debunked yet the phenomenon was quite a thing to witness for 18th century spiritualists.
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