Our first bizarre moisturizing treatment comes all the way from early 17th century Hungary, from one of the most infamous serial killers in history: Elizabeth Bathory.
There are several versions of the tale of Countess Bathory. One story claims that a witch convinced her that the secret to eternal youth and beauty could be found by bathing in human blood. Another story claims that it was all a coincidence -- after striking one of her servants she noticed that the splattered blood made her skin looked rejuvenated. If so, the effort might have been all for naught. Although improving blood circulation inside our body is beneficial to the skin and can help reduce the appearance of aging, little research has shown that anything in human blood does much good for your skin.
Whatever the real story, history tells us that Bathory and several accomplices ran wild with the idea, to the great misfortune of many young Hungarian women. Bathory and her friends were said to have tortured and killed hundreds of women (some say young virgins) in order to use their blood as a beauty treatment by bathing in it [source: Stevenson].
But the countess didn't get away with her alleged mad beauty routine -- the authorities eventually uncovered the bodies of dozens of her victims, and she was imprisoned inside her home for the rest of her life (which ended up being only about four more years). Bathory's supposed moisturizing regimen has earned her several nicknames throughout history, including the Bloody Countess and Lady Dracula.