October 26, 1440 — Gilles de Rais is executed for his crimes

Gilles de Rais first came to prominence as a wealthy nobleman who was one of Jeann D’Arc’s greatest allies, fighting alongside her in battle and helping her politically. But after her burning at the stake, he seems to have lost his way. He spent much of his fortune on self-indulgence and dissipation, and his early high moral standing was slowly but surely tarnished. In particular, he became interested in occultism and did not conceal his contempt for the Church – and that was an enemy he could ill-afford to make.

In 1440, he was arrested and charged with many crimes, including the murder of numerous children belonging to his subjects. De Rais confessed to many of the charges, and witnesses gave lurid testimony. He was hanged above a fire, although his corpse was cut down for burial before it was consumed in the flames.

Gilles de Rais’s trial and execution have been the subject of considerable speculation over the years. His guilt and the veracity of his confession have both been questioned, particularly in light of the fact that there was little evidence other than testimony that is similarly questionable, and the fact that his prosecutors were the Church (of which he was a known critic) and the nobleman who stood to inherit de Rais’ property. Event today, whether as a serial killer or a victim of the Church, he remains a puzzling enigma.

August 21, 1614 — Countess Elizabeth Báthory dies

The heroine and role model of every goth woman who ever aspired to the title of Queen Bitch, Countess Elisabet Báthory was a Hungarian noblewoman most famous for bathing in the blood of virgins in order to preserve her youthful appearance.

It’s unlikely that Bathory ever actually bathed so, but it is certain that she numbers among the most prolific serial killers of all time, and is possibly the most prolific of female serial killers known to history. Most of her victims were indeed young women (although their virginity or otherwise is a question unlikely ever to be answered).

In 1610, she was arrested along with four of her servants. Three of the servants were later convicted and executed, with the fourth being sentenced to life imprisonment. Bathory herself was never convicted, but remained under the house arrest that had been instituted from the first. Four years later, it appears that she starved herself to death.

Elizabeth Bathory Portrait.jpg
By Unknown[1]; Copy of an old portrait, Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

Elizabeth — Ghost
Elizabeth — Kamelot
Bathe in Blood — Evile
Elizabeth — XIII. stoleti
Rose of Pain — X Japan
Countess Bathory — Venom
Buried Dreams — Clock DVA
Elisabeth Bathory — Tormentor
Elisabeth Bathori — Dissection
Beauty Through Order — Slayer
Sweet Elizabeth — Valley Lodge
Venus in Fear — Cradle of Filth
Villa Vampiria — God Dethroned
Torquemada 71 — Electric Wizard
Woman of Dark Desires — Bathory
Bathory’s Sainthood — Boy Sets Fire
Once Upon Atrocity — Cradle of Filth
Countess Erzsebet Nadasdy — Barathrum
An Execution — Siouxsie and the Banshees
Blood Countess — The Fiendish Phantoms
The Twisted Nails of Faith — Cradle of Filth
Desire in Violent Overture — Cradle of Filth
Beneath The Howling Stars — Cradle of Filth
Portrait of the Dead Countess — Cradle of Filth
Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids — Cradle of Filth
Thirteen Autumns and a Widow — Cradle of Filth
Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber) — Death Grips
Lustmord and Wargasm (The Lick of Carnivorous Winds) — Cradle of Filth