Bottommost of the deepest seas of cruelty.

The Gloria Sirens

Copy of lost 1585 original portrait of Elizabeth Bathory.

Few women are more infamous than the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a famous noble from the Kingdom of Hungary who lived from the mid-16th century to the early 17th century. Labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history, she is known as the “Bloody Countess,” whose lust for violence has been attributed to sadistic sexual pleasure and craving for eternal youth. Cruelty, barbarism, and creative torture are often seen as the province of men, but the Bloody Countess is an Absolute of Evil if the tales about her are to be believed.

Tales about Elizabeth Bathory require a trigger warning for gore, graphic descriptions, and disturbing situations. I’ve adapted excerpts from stories translated by Alejandra Pizarnik, the Argentinian poet, whose source was the work of the French poet Valentine Penrose, whose work was loosely based on transcripts of Bathory’s…

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