B1 Intermediate 7 Folder Collection
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Let's imagine you were around in the late 16th in the Kingdom of Hungary.
You're not exactly from a family with wealth and so when your parents receive a letter
from a grand noblewoman by the name of Elizabeth Báthory they feel extremely honored.
What could such a well-respected and rich woman want from your peasant family your parents
wonder at first, and then on reading the letter they discover that Elizabeth is looking out
for the poor and just wants to teach you, their son, some etiquette.
Overjoyed by this incredible offer, your parents send you off to the great Čachtice Castle.
What you and your parents don't know is that they've just sent you to a castle we
can rightly call one of the most evil places in the world.
Čachtice Castle After hearing what happened there you might
think nothing tops it in the realms of evil, but we can assure you that there have been
worse places.
Elizabeth Báthory didn't have a very nice childhood and when she was young she was around
a lot of violence.
Another matter that made her life hard was the fact she had seizures.
Back then no one knew anything about neurons misfiring in the brain, so epileptic fits
were a bit of mystery.
During the days of witch hunts if a person had a seizure some holy people might have
put it down to the devil being inside them, but Elizabeth- being nobility and all- did
not suffer the terrible burden of experiencing a witch trial.
One thing doctors back then sometimes did to try and cure seizures was giving sufferers
a dose of a healthy person's blood to drink, and if that happened to Elizabeth as a child,
it might account for her utterly depraved behavior as an adult.
We're not going to recount everything that woman did in her castle, but let's just
say that if you'd have accepted that invite you wouldn't have been taking any lessons
on good manners.
You'd have been tortured in the most despicable ways, perhaps burned, frozen, or even covered
in honey and live ants.
You might also have lost some body parts before your death, and that's why Elizabeth eventually
got the nicknames “The Blood Countess” and “Countess Dracula.”
What happened in the castle stayed in the castle for quite some time, but a lot of people
working for the noblewoman knew what was going on.
In fact, some of her staff helped her to find the people that would become her victims.
Elizabeth was eventually arrested and charged, but unbelievably she wasn't handed a death
Her punishment was that she had to stay confined in the castle, her actual home.
You could say she got off lightly considering that she had killed hundreds of young people.
The exact figure is not known, but some historians put the number at 650.
That alone is mind-blowing, but if you care to research what she actually did to those
victims you will no doubt agree that the castle in her hands became an evil place.
The reason we're not going to tell you what happened is it's just too gory…and…err…YouTube
doesn't like that kind of thing.
Camp 22 We're now going to talk about the gruesome
topic of human experimentation.
Here at the Infographics Show we always like to give you something new.
While Japan's horrific wartime human experimentation at its “Unit 731” is nothing short of
horrific, and all the ghastly things Nazi doctor Josef Mengele did can bring tears to
your eyes, we're going to talk about a place we haven't featured much.
Camp 22 was a place in North Korea where someone might have ended up if they'd been accused
of the crime of “wrong-thought.”
They might also have committed any number of crimes.
We only know about the prison camp because defectors who'd spent some time there let
the cat out of the bag, so to speak.
Conditions in the prison camp were bad enough without human experimentation.
One defector said when he was in the camp around 25 percent of the prison population
died each year from starvation.
The place was reportedly closed in 2012, but in the 1990s something like 50,000 people
were sent there.
It was always a life sentence, and so no one ever left the camp alive.
Former guards and prisoners have said that the guards tortured the prisoners to the extent
of inmates missing eyes or other parts, with some of them looking like living skeletons.
The human rights violations that happened there could fill a book, so we'll concentrate
on the medical experiments only.
One former prisoner named Lee Soon-ok said at one point the camp wanted to test a new
poison to see just how effective it was, and the officers at the camp didn't bother with
animal trials and went straight to human trials.
Lee said this involved 50 women, most of whom were at Camp 22 for merely criticizing the
They were told to eat some cabbage and were also told it contained poison.
If they didn't eat it, those women were told their families on the outside would suffer.
Lee said soon after the women ate the stuff they started vomiting and all of them died
within 20 minutes.
Other experiments included using gas chambers, and sometimes the people that entered those
chambers were entire families.
The outcome was of course the death of everyone.
A scientist who defected in 2015 said chemical weapons were also tested on subjects.
On other occasions prisoners would be rounded up and sent for surgery, surgery they didn't
need of course, and the awful procedures would be done without any kind of anesthesia.
What's really scary is that when prisoners were chosen for such experiments, they would
first see a van driving around the prison complex.
That van would take them to their certain death.
The vehicle was nicknamed “the crow” and it would turn up once or twice a month where
the prisoners lived.
The Raft of Medusa Here's the story of the raft of Medusa.
In June 1816, a French ship called the Méduse left France for Africa.
The short story is it didn't get there, and that's because it hit a sand bank.
There were around 400 people on board, and many of those folks managed to get on to small
The people left were in quite a fix, so some of them quickly built a raft.
151 men and one woman got onto that raft, and the French officers in the boats said
they would tow it….
They didn't.
That's the first evil part of this story.
After a few miles they just cut the raft loose and all those people were left floating in
the ocean.
Between them they had a bag of biscuits that they hastily ate on the first day, and they
had about six casks of wine.
They had some fresh water, too, but much of that was lost overboard when the men fought
over it.
As you can probably tell already, things then went from bad to worse.
With no food and no water what happened next was a survival of the fittest.
On the first night alone, some 20 people were dead from either fighting or being washed
Some accounts say that some people were just thrown overboard.
By day four, of the 152 people only 67 of them were left.
Many had died in fights, some had died from dehydration, and some had taken their own
Seeing what was going on they just threw themselves off the raft.
This is how one survivor later explained that scene:
“Two young sailors and one baker were not afraid to jump into the sea, thereby bringing
their lives to an end.
This was after bidding farewell to their friends.”
By day eight, some of those that were weak or wounded were killed, but since the fittest
of the bunch were literally starving, they ate their victims.
This is how that survivor described one of those nights:
“The unfortunates who had been spared by death during that terrible night fell upon
the bodies that covered the raft, cut them into pieces or devoured them as they were.”
He said some men refused to eat the dead at first, and instead feasted on fabric from
clothes and hats.
But when they saw how much better the men looked who had eaten the dead, they joined
in, if not somewhat less inhibited by the wine they had drunk.
It was by sheer luck on the 13th day that a ship called the Argus saw the raft floating
in the ocean.
We say by luck, because the French authorities hadn't even sent out a search party.
Let's remember that those who were left on the raft at the start were deemed less
important people.
That's why this story is even more horrific.
As one historian once wrote, “It actually exposed things as they were – you save the
elite, and too bad if there is no more room for the others.”
That's not to say there weren't many good people on the raft.
Some ate their dead friends, some men were buried in the sea, and it was only out of
sheer desperation that they turned to cannibalism.
On the other hand, when they saw that some men were pretty much half dead, rather than
share meat or wine with them or eat them, they just threw them overboard.
For years after, a lot of people criticized the men not for eating the dead, but for throwing
the dying into the sea.
When they were finally rescued there were 15 men still alive, although five of them
would die shortly after being picked up by the Argus.
What the men had been through has become one of the most talked about horrors in the history
of mankind.
We'll give you a happy-ish ending, though.
This is how one of the survivors described the feeling on the raft when the men saw the
approaching rescue ship: “We embraced one another and rejoiced in
a manner bordering on insanity.
Tears of happiness rolled down our dried up cheeks.”
You can call this event a tragedy more than an evil, but sometimes human desperation can
be an evil in itself.
The Papacy under Pope John XII Ok, so there have been more evil places and
people, but if you're a religious person then you might argue that the evilest you
could get would be if you were a degenerate religious leader.
There have been quite a few 'bad popes' but perhaps the worst of them all was the
man that headed the Christian church from 955 until his death in 964.
It's not a question of what Pope John XII did, but what he didn't do.
He didn't do any good things that's for sure, and he committed a long list of crimes.
This leader of the church it's said shocked even the worst offenders of immorality in
Rome, a man whose total depravity seemed to know no end.
He surrounded himself with women and turned his holy house into a kind of house of ill-repute.
He took his many lovers, some not exactly willing to go with him, and fornicated with
them at holy sites and also in the papal palace.
That pope has been accused of defiling the tombs of saints, of borrowing money from pilgrims
to finance his bad gambling habit, and has even been accused of blinding someone he didn't
On one occasion it's said he tortured and murdered a cardinal.
If that's not bad enough, this man who should have been a devout Christian, was said to
have tried to call upon demons.
One historian wrote that “he had toasted to the devil with wine.”
If you're religious, you can't really get more evil than that.
Another historian wrote that John XII was, “a robber, a murderer, and incestuous person,
unworthy to represent Christ upon the pontifical throne.
This abominable priest soiled the chair of St. Peter for nine entire years and deserved
to be called the most wicked of popes.”
We should note that some people that wrote bad things about this man might have had a
reason to dislike him, or even dislike Catholicism, but Catholics themselves have criticized this
man and so have many other historians.
Wherever witch hunts took place There were many witch hunts around Europe
in the 16th and 17th centuries, and many innocent women were tortured and executed.
Those witch hunts, supposedly in the name of goodness, are up there with the most shameful
things humans have ever done to each other.
There were lots of witch hunters, but we'll look at a person named Matthew Hopkins
He came from East Anglia in England and had the title of Witchfinder General.
We certainly don't want to upset our viewers from East Anglia, and we are not saying your
wonderful part of England is evil, but back in the day some pretty awful things went down
As many as 300 alleged witches were executed in East Anglia and close by after being investigated
by Hopkins from 1644 to 1646.
How did he know they were witches you might ask?
Well, sometimes the women might have been accused of being abnormal by someone who just
didn't like them.
It was as simple as that at times, but often they might have had a mental illness or neurological
condition that wasn't understood at the time.
As we already said, seizures to some crazy folks were the work of the devil.
There was a famous book called Malleus Maleficarum, which translates from Latin as “The Hammer
of the Witches”, and after the printing press was invented that sold a lot of copies
and had 30 editions printed over the course of a century.
Hopkins no doubt had his own copy of this book.
His investigations would often include hurting the women and trying to make them confess.
Sometimes he'd deprive them of sleep until they confessed.
Other times he tied them to a chair and threw them into a river.
If they floated that meant they were witches, since if they had been baptized they'd have
The problem then of course was trying to pull the innocent woman out of the water before
she drowned.
Then he had the “devil's spot” test, which meant pricking the woman with a pointed
object at various points on her body.
Of course that hurt, but if one point on the body seemed less painful to the woman, that
meant the devil had entered her body at that point.
If the woman bled and an animal licked that blood, her witchiness was to the interrogator
a certainty.
There was also the tear test.
This involved telling the accused the story of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.
If she didn't break down in tears, she was in league with the devil.
Again, we should tell you that some women who were accused of being witches were mentally
ill, or suffered from mental retardation.
That story might not have meant much to those women.
Human evil has perhaps never been so personified than in the face of Matthew Hopkins and others
like him.
They spread like a plague all over Europe, North America and the rest of the world, and
we at the Infographics Show are going to say they were absolutely evil, if indeed evil
Sources don't always agree on how many women were persecuted, but it could have been as
many as one million.
We must apologize to you for revealing those depressing facts, but we'll leave you with
some words of the Spanish writer and philosopher George Santayana, “Those who do not learn
history are doomed to repeat it.”
If we can think of any two shows that you need to watch after this, these are the ones,
“What Is Hell Really Like?” and “The Origin Of Evil: The Devil.”
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Most Evil Places in The World

7 Folder Collection
Summer published on August 1, 2020
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