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

Updated February 21, 2019 158.4k views12 items
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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 slayed more than 100 servants during the 18th century. Saltykova enjoyed tormenting and mistreating the serfs on her estate, especially women and young girls – some as young as 10 years old. Saltykova is the Russian Elizabeth Bathory, who carried out similar horrors in 16th-century Hungary.

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 acts she would commit later in life; however, when a relationship turned sour, she took out her anger on the females who worked on her estate. A blood countess in her own right, Saltykova eliminated 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.

  • She Was Eventually Chained In A Dungeon For Her Crimes 

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

  • She Tortured Children And Pregnant Women

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

    After she was spurned by her lover, Nikolay Tyutchev, Saltykova turned her anger upon her female serfs. Perceiving them as rivals, she victimized over one hundred women, including pregnant mothers and young children. She tortured them in various ways, including breaking their bones, pushing them outside in the winter while naked, and pouring boiling water over them.

  • She Tried To Kill Her Lover After He Ran Away With A Younger Woman

    Photo: скан / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Following her husband's death, Saltykova started seeing a man named Nikolay Tyutchev, whose grandfather was the famous Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev. Saltykova was enraged when she discovered that her lover had wed a younger woman. At one point, she attempted to kill him, leading Tyutchev and his bride to flee Moscow.

  • She Was Allegedly A Sadist

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Saltykova frequently beat and abused her servants. For example, if once of her servants failed to complete a task to her satisfaction, she would throw objects at her until the task was completed. At times, she would aggressively whip and beat her female serfs to the point of death. Some hypothesize that Saltykova was a sadist who found pleasure and even sexual gratification from humiliating her servants and causing them pain.