It’s always empowering to hear about women who fly past barriers and prove that no glass ceiling can hold them down. Every day, there are more and more role models for young girls to look up to, like Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, Aung San Suu Kyi, or Malala Yousafzai.
However, with all of these positive role models, there are always some people who use their newfound power over others to accomplish their own markedly less positive goals. Here are some women throughout history who overcame barriers only to choose the negative path.
Although the story of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary is very interesting, it’s difficult to pick out the actual facts from the legend. Since her death in 1614, wild rumors have swirled about her: that she was a witch, or a vampire, or both. One myth was that she sought out young virgins specifically to bathe in their blood, but this was proved false.
What we do know is that Countess Bathory was probably the most prolific female serial killer of all time — the Guinness Book of World Records numbers her victims at 650. More than 300 witnesses testified against her at her trial, and they claimed that she enjoyed torturing young girls, whom she lured to her castle with the promise of well-paying jobs.