The ruins of Čachtice, in the county of Trenčin, are as awe-inspiring as they come. There is however much more to this castle than meets the eye. For legend has it that the stones of Čachtice are steeped in the blood of young virgins, as its late 16th and early 17th century resident, Countess Elizabeth Báthory (1560-1614), presumably had 650 young maidens murdered and drained of their blood. Báthory figured out that bathing in the blood of virgins keeps you young and fresh, hence her successful effort to become the Guinness World Record most prolific female serial killer.

If the legend isn’t incentive enough to take the 45 minute walk from the village of Čachtice to the ruins on the hill-top, consider the below pictures as a poke in the right direction.