Weird History This Russian "Blood Countess" Was Addicted To Torture And Killed Over 130 People  

Noelle Talmon
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Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova embodied the axiom "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Nicknamed Saltychikha, she was a noblewoman from Moscow, Russia, who murdered more than 100 servants during the 18th century. Saltykova enjoyed torturing and abusing the serfs on her estate and zeroed in on women and young girls in particular -- some as young as 10 years old. Saltykova is the Russian Elizabeth Bathory, who carried out similar atrocities in Hungary in the 16th century.

In outward appearance, Saltykova seemed to be a well-adjusted individual. She did not exhibit odd behavior as a child or young adult that would foreshadow the disturbing killings she would commit later in life. However, when a relationship turned sour, she lost control and took out her anger on the females who worked on her estate. A blood countess in her own right, Saltykova murdered women and children without consequence for many years. She became a female serial killer who couldn't be stopped, until two men who worked for her took matters in their own hands...

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After Pleading Guilty To Murdering 138 Serfs, She Was Beaten & Chained In A Dungeon


Saltykova was sentenced to life in prison in 1768 following a public beating in Red Square in Moscow. She was chained to a platform and was forced to wear a sign around her neck that said: "This woman has tortured and murdered." Saltykova was sent to serve her time in the Ivanovski Convent in Moscow after pleading guilty to killing 138 serfs. She was kept in what today's equivalent would be a maximum-security prison. Saltykova was chained up in the monastery's dungeon and kept in the dark for 11 years.

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Photo: P.Kurdyumov, Ivan Sytin/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

She Tortured Children, Pregnant Women & Other Serfs By Breaking Their Bones & Pouring Boiling Water On Their Bodies


After she was spurned by her lover, Nikolay Tyutchev, Saltykova turned her anger towards her female serfs. The younger the servant, the more vengeful Saltykova became. Even children and pregnant women couldn't escape her beatings. In her twisted mind, Saltykova viewed them as rivals. She tortured them in various ways, including breaking their bones, pushing them outside in the winter when they were naked, and pouring boiling water on them.

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Photo:  Fran├žois-Hubert Drouais/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Her Lover Ran Away With A Younger Woman & She Tried To Kill Him


Following her husband's death, Saltykova started dating a man named Nikolay Tyutchev, whose grandfather was a famous Russian poet (Fyodor Tyutchev). The affair made Saltykova feel youthful, so when she discovered that her lover secretly wed a younger woman, she became enraged. Saltykova was so angry with Tyutchev that she tried to kill him. Tyutchev and his bride ran away from Moscow to escape her wrath. Little did they know what Saltykova would do next.

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She Was A Sadist Who Got Pleasure From Beating Her Servants


Saltykova often beat and abused her servants for no reason at all. Initially, she would throw objects at serf girls if they didn't properly do tasks such as clean up the house. But soon Saltykova's behavior escalated into something much worse. She would whip and beat her female serfs so badly that many would die. It's believed that Saltykova was a sadist who found pleasure, and even sexual gratification, from humiliating her servants and causing them pain.