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Elizabeth Bathory was born in Hungary in 1560, approximately a hundred years after Vlad the Impaler died. One of her ancestors Prince Steven Bathory, was even a commanding officer who helped Vlad Dracula In 1546, when he claim the throne in Wallachia back again.
At the time Elizabeth was born, her parents George and Anna Bathory belonged to one of the oldest and wealthiest families in the country. Her cousin was the prime minister in Hungary, another relative was cardinal, and her uncle Stephan later became King of Poland. But the Bathory-family, beside the very rich and famous, also contained some very strange relatives. One uncle was known to be a devil-worshipper, and other members of the family were mental insane and perverted.
In the spring 1575, at the age of 15, Elizabeth was married to Count Ferencz Nadasdy, who was 25. The Count added her surname to his, so Elizabeth could keep her family name Bathory. After the marriage they moved to Castle Csejthe a mountaintop fortress overlooking the village of Csejthe, which lies in the north-western part of Hungary. Count Ferencz spent a great deal of time away from home, often fighting against the Turks. He was a very brave and daring soldier on the battlefield, and later in life he earned a reputation as the "Black Hero of Hungary".
While her husband was pursuing his passion for war, throughout all the 25 years they were married, Elizabeth was often left to herself, and her life became more and more boring. To kill some time, beside admiring her own beauty in the mirror for hours, she took on young men as lovers, and onetime she even ran of with one, but she soon returned home and the Count forgave her. Another thing Elizabeth did to amuse herself while home alone, was to pay visits to her aunt Countess Klara Bathory, an open bisexual. She presumably enjoyed herself with her aunt Klara, since she visited her aunt's estate frequently.
It was also then she began to develop an interest in the occult. An old maid named Dorothea Szentes, also called Dorka, who was a real witch, instructed her in the ways of witchcraft and Black Magic. Later Dorka became Bathory's helping hand, when she was encouraging Elizabeth's sadistic tendencies, like the inflicting of pain upon people. Together with Dorka, Elizabeth began the task of disciplining the female servants, and torture them in an underground chamber. In the Countess's service, as helpers in the macabre punishments of the servants, was her old nurse Iloona Joo, her manservant Johannes Ujvary and a maid named Anna Darvula, who alleged also was Elizabeth's lover.
With the aid of this crew, Elizabeth made Castle Csejthe to a place of pure evil. She would always find excuses to inflict punishment and torture, upon her young servant girls. She preferred to having the victim stripped naked and then whip the girl on the front of her nude body rather than the back not only for the increased damage this would do, but so that she then could watch their faces contort in horror at their most grim and burning fate. Another favorite was when she would stick pins, in various sensitive places on the victims body, such as under fingernails.
In 1600 Ferencz died and Elizabeth's period of real terror began. First of, she sent her hated mother-in-law away. Secondly, she would have peace to enjoy a new kind of bath, that nobody was to known of. Short before her husband died something happened, that changed Elizabeth's life. She was now close to 40 and time, had taken it's toll on her appearance. Elizabeth tried to conceal the wrinkles through cosmetics. But this could not cover the fact, that she was getting old and close to losing her beauty. Then one day it happened
Then one day it happened. A young chambermaid accidentally pulled Elizabeth Bathory's hair while combing it. The infuriated Countess slapped the girl's head so hard, that blood spurted from her nose, which splashed upon her own hand. Where the blood had touched her skin, Elizabeth immediately though it took on the freshness of her young chambermaid's skin. She then got hold of Johannes Ujvary and Dorka to undress the young girl, upon holding her arms over a big vat, then they cut her arteries. After the young girl was dead Elizabeth then stepped into the vat, and took a bath in her chambermaid's blood. She was now sure, she had found the secret of eternal youth through this vampirism. She had discovered that blood is life.
Over the next ten years, Elizabeth Bathory's evil trusted helpers provided her with beautiful young girls, from some neighboring villages, upon the cover of hiring them as servants to Castle Csejthe. Back in the castle, the young girls would be mutilated and killed, so the Countess could take her blood baths. Sometimes, she would even drink their blood, to gain some sort of inner beauty. But soon Elizabeth began to realize that the blood of simple peasant girls, was having little effect on the quality of her skin. Better blood was now required. Elizabeth then started picking girls from some of the surrounding lower nobility. These noble girls were consumed in exactly the same beastly fashion as the peasant girls who preceded them.
However, with the disappearance of girls of noble birth, Elizabeth was now becoming very careless in her actions. People who lived in the neighboring villages, had already begun to talk. And soon the rumor about the horror in Castle Csejthe reached the Hungarian Emperor. The Emperor then ordered Elizabeth's own cousin, the Count Cuyorgy Thurzo, who was governor of the province to raid the castle.
On December 30, 1610. A band of soldiers led by Elizabeth's own cousin, raided Castle Csejthe at night. They were horrified by the terrible sights in the castle. A dead girl was lying in the main hall, drained of blood, another girl, who had her body pierced, was still alive. In the dungeon they later discovered, were several girls waiting in prison cells, some of whose bodies had been tortured. Below the castle, they found the bodies of some 50 dead girls.
During the trial 1611, a register with the names of around 650 victims, was found in the Countess's living quarters. But the trial was largely just for show and to make the occasion "official". A complete transcript of the trial was made at the time, and it still remains today in Hungary. All of Elizabeth's four accomplices were sentenced to death. Only Elizabeth was not brought before a court and tried. She remained confined in her castle while her four sadistic accomplices were tried for their crimes.
But she got her punishment, when the Hungarian Emperor demanded her condemn to lifelong imprisonment in her own castle. Stonemasons were brought to her Castle Csejthe, to wall up the windows and the door to the bedchamber with the Countess still inside. Here she would spend the remaining days of her life, with only a small opening for food to be passed to her.
In 1614, four years after she was walled in, one of the Countess's jailers found her food untouched. After peeking through the small opening in Elizabeth's walled-up cell, he saw her lying face down on the floor. Elizabeth Bathory the "Blood Countess" was dead at the age of fifty-four.
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey
Sep/14/2007, 2:55 am
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