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Countess Elizabeth Báthory (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, Alžbeta Bátoriová(-Nádašdy) in Slovak), August 7?, 1560 – August 21, 1614), the Bloody Lady of Čachtice, was a Hungarian countess who lived in the Čachtice Castle near Trenčín, in present-day Slovakia.She is considered the most famous serial killer in Slovak and Hungarian history. She spent most of her life at the Čachtice Castle, and dabbled in the occult. After her husband's death, she and her four alleged collaborators were accused of torturing and killing between 600 and 700 girls and young women. In 1611, she was imprisoned in solitary confinement, where she stayed until her death three years later. Her nobility allowed her to avoid an immediate execution. However, three of her four alleged collaborators were put to death.The Bathory case inspired many stories, featuring the Countess bathing in her victims' blood in order to retain her youth. This inspired another nickname, the "Blood Countess".
Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Ţepeş in common Romanian reference; also known as Vlad Dracula or Vlad Drăculea and Kazıklı Voyvoda in Turkish; November or December, 1431 – December 1476) was voivode (prince) of Wallachia, now part of Romania. His three reigns were in 1448, in 1456-1462, and in 1476.His Romanian surname Draculea (transliterated as Dracula in foreign languages of the historical documents where his name is mentioned) seems to come from his father's surname Dracul (see Vlad II Dracul); the latter was a member of the Order of the Dragon created by Emperor Sigismund. Vlad's family had two factions, the Drăculeşti and the Dăneşti.His post-mortem moniker of Ţepeş (Impaler) originated in his preferred method for executing his opponents, impalement - as popularized by medieval Transylvanian pamphlets. In Turkish, he was known as Kazıklı Bey (Impaler Prince). Vlad was referred to as Dracula in a number of documents of his times, mainly the Transylvanian Saxon pamphlets and The Annals of Jan Długosz.Outside Wallachia he was known by the exaggerated tales of atrocities (many of which stem from records of debatable authenticity) and even more so — the title of vampire, and it has been suggested that his surname Dracula was the source of inspiration for the name of the main character of Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel, Dracula.
Nowadays, some people argue that vampire stories might have been influenced by a rare illness called porphyria. The disease disrupts the production of heme. People with extreme but rare cases of this hereditary disease can be so sensitive to sunlight that they can get a sunburn through heavy cloud cover, causing them to avoid sunlight — although it should be noted that the idea that vampires are harmed by sunlight is largely from modern fiction and not the original beliefs. Certain forms of porphyria are also associated with neurological symptoms, which can create psychiatric disorders. However, the hypotheses that porphyria sufferers crave the heme in human blood, or that the consumption of blood might ease the symptoms of porphyria, are based on a severe misunderstanding of the disease. There is no real evidence to suggest that porphyria had anything to do with the development of the original folklore, as the hypothesis is mainly based off the characteristics of the modern vampire in any case. Others argue that there might be a relationship between vampirism and rabies, since people suffering from this disease would avoid sunlight and looking into mirrors and would froth at the mouth. This froth could sometimes look like blood, being red in colour. However, like porphyria, there is little evidence to prove any links between vampires and rabies.