This Blood Countess Killed 138 of Her Servants
Tue, April 20, 2021

This Blood Countess Killed 138 of Her Servants


History has introduced us to several upper class female serial killers such as New Orleans doyenne Delphine Lalaurie and Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory. They used their power and position to maim and murder the less fortunate. Russian aristocrat Darya Saltykova was no different from these women. 

Saltykova’s youth was simple. She would visit sacred shrines and do other things that a religious aristocrat would. At a young age, she married Gleb Saltykov, a captain in the imperial guard, whose family connections included philosophers, artists, politicians, money, land, and power. Thus, when Saltykov died in 1755, all of his land, prominence, and 600 serfs were left to his wife. Some believed that this is where the nightmare began.


Credits: All That’s Interesting


According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they saw on the news or read in history books, Saltykova’s victims belonged to the serf class, a uniquely Russian status somewhere between slave and indentured servant, who were often as young as 12 years old. These girls/women were the perfect targets for the blood countess because they existed to serve their masters. Opportunities for justice were few during that time. 


Credits: All That’s Interesting


Historical reports showed that Saltykova had stashed logs in every room with which to beat the girls to death, tossed boiling water on her victims, pushed the girls down the stairs for minor infractions, and set fires to their raw flesh. Some were also tied up and left naked in the cold. Screams and the crack of whips were also allegedly heard every night at her residence. 




But, everything came to an end when Catherine the Great ruled Russia. Although it took about 22 complaints to finally notice Saltykova’s serfs, she launched an investigation against the murdering aristocrat that lasted for two years. Ultimately, Saltykova was found guilty of murdering 38 people, sentenced to spend her life in near darkness and isolation. She was originally accused of beating some 138 of her serfs to death.




Katherine Cellona

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