"Its as if the witch tormented her victims with her own beauty before killing them."
Prince Vajda

Asa Vajda was a fictional witch and the primary antagonsit in the 1960 giallo film Black Sunday, directed by Mario Bava. She was played by actress Barbara Steele.

Biography Edit

Asa Vajda was a princess of Moldavia who lived during the first half of the 17th century. Asa was a witch in service to Satan and she practiced her art along with a colleague named Igor Javutich. Asa's own brother, Kriavi Vajda was the head of the Holy Inquisition. Capturing Asa and Igor, he tried them for witchcraft outside the family estate. Before her sentence was carried out, Asa placed a curse on her brother's family line, shouting "It is I who repudiate you, and in the name of Satan I place a curse upon you. Go ahead, tie me down to the stake, but you will never escape my hunger, nor that of Satan!" The inquisitor had his men nail the Mask of Satan upon both Asa and Igor's faces and their bodies were burned at the stake. At the moment of her death, a terrible storm erupted and the Inquisitors fled the scene. When the storm subsided, they placed Asa's body in the tomb of her ancestors. Her coffin was outfitted with a glass window so that all who looked upon it would see the Mask of Satan staring back at them. A giant cross was erected upon the coffin to ward off evil.

Two centuries later, two scientists named Doctor Thomas Kruvajan and Andre Gorobec traveled by coach through Moldavia on their way to a conference in Mirgorod. Their coach suffered a broken axle near the ruins of the Vajda family chapel and while the coachman affected repairs, Kruvajan and Gorobec decided to explore the ruins. While inspecting the catacombs, they came upon Princess Asa's coffin. A large bat flew out, startling Kruvajan. In an attempt to kill the bat, he unwittingly struck the cross affixed to Princess Asa's coffin, as well as shattering the small glass window at the head of the casket. Cutting himself on a splinter of glass, Kruvajan's blood dripped down onto the Mask of Satan, mysteriously bringing Asa back to life.

Though alive once again, she was still weak and was unable to rise from her coffin. She used what little power she had regained to resurrect her lvoer Igor Javutich. She then summoned Doctor Kruvajan back to her tomb, forcing him to give her his blood, making her even stronger. Working through both Javutich and Kruvajan, she continued to wreak her vengeance against the Vajda family. The prince and his heir, Constantine Vajda, were both killed in short order, but it was the prince's daughter, Katia Vajda, that captured Asa's attention. The twenty-one year old princess was the spitting image of the witch and Asa sought to take possession of her, transferring her essence into Katia's body. Moments after completing the spell however, Kruvajan's student Andre Gorobec exposed her and the local villagers became aware that Asa was a witch. She was pulled out of the chapel ruins and bound to a wooden stake whereupon she was set on fire and burned to death. [3]

Notes & Trivia Edit

Actress Barbara Steele also played Asa Vajda's descendent Katia Vajda.

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Asa Vajda is believed to be twenty-one years old at the time of her execution.
  2. Dates are conjectural. Film critic and novelist Tim Lucas says on the Black Sunday DVD that the main story takes place "around" the year 1830 with the prologue of the film taking place exactly two-hundred years earlier.
  3. Black Sunday (1960)

Mario Bava logo
This article relates to the works of Mario Bava.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.