VAMPIRES — VINDICATION AND VENDETTA
Scherz stated (p. 29) that Countess Bathory bathed in the blood of her victims presumably to keep herself young.
(Reply to the article Werewolf and Vampire
by W. Scherz in Investigator No. 29)
Lana De Winter
(Investigator 30, 1993 May)
Not only is this the stuff of myths it is in itself a myth.
traced the beginning of this legend to 1720 when it first appeared in a
history (in Latin) of Hungary written over a century after the death of
the Blood Countess. From there it found its way into a German
collection of articles on "philosophical anthropology" published in the
late eighteenth century and thence into Western folklore.
The theory falls
flat however because the complete records of both the investigation of
Elizabeth Bathory and her accomplices are extant and although her
cruelty is adequately documented therein there is no mention whatsoever
of bathing in blood or as the later version of the legend would have it
the blood of virgins. Bathing in blood (especially that of virgins) has
a certain romance to it and, no doubt, it has been done somewhere or
other over the years but in the case of Elizabeth Bathory it is but a
legendary addition to a story that requires no embellishment to
accentuate its innate horror.
clearly illustrated that, although the name "Dracula" is derived from
the sobriquet given to VIad Tepes (who is incidentally a Romanian
national hero) the Dracula of recent fame is based to a large degree on
Elizabeth Bathory. Reading of Stokers book Dracula (1897) gives a
wealth of historical and genealogical detail that shows the Count is
modelled on Countess Bathory and not on Vlad the Impaler. This has led,
in 1993, to a libel suit with a difference.
renders it virtually impossible to libel one who is dead but the French
civil code has provision for protecting family honour — a concept
unknown to the Anglo-American Common law tradition.
Not having taken
this into account Francis Ford Coppola has recently produced a film
titled "Bram Stoker's Dracula" which is supposedly the most accurate
rendition of Stoker's book yet made. This it certainly is not for the
prologue to the film makes it emphatically clear that Count Dracula is
none other than Vlad Tepes.
This film has
been a commercial success but has fallen foul of Princess Alexandria
Caradja who is the closest surviving relative of Vlad Tepes. A member
of the Romani¬an nobility who lives in exile in Paris the Princess
has enjoyed many Dracula films — but not the only one that has defamed
her illustrious ancestor. And so she has launched a major legal action
in the French jurisdiction against Coppola.
A wealthy woman
in her own right anything she obtains as a settlement will be donated
to an orphanage in Bucharest that she is involved in building — a
worthy aim in itself. For a concept that is alien to Anglo-American law
it is impossible to foresee the outcome of the case but the family that
once impaled Turkish prisoners on wooden stakes is quite prepared to
impale American film producers on the law.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), March 1993, "Dracula Bites Back"
Encyclopaedia Britannica (1988) Volume 3, "Defama¬tion", Volume 28, "Torts"
McNally, Raymond T. (1983) Dracula Was a Woman
Scherz, W. (1993) "Werewolf and Vampire" Investigator No. 29
Stoker, Bram (1897) Dracula