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Elizabeth Bathory a decade of evil

Elizabeth BathoryCountess Erzebet (Elizabeth) Bathory is one of the most infamous tyrants to ever have walked on the face of the earth. She was born in Hungary in 1560 to George and Anna Bathory who belonged to one of the oldest and wealthiest families in the country. She also had some very influential relatives as her cousin was the Hungarian Prime Minister, another relative was Cardinal and her uncle Stephan later became King of Poland. Prince Steven Bathory, one of her ancestors, was even a commanding officer who helped Vlad Dracula in 1546. But the Bathory-family, beside being 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 mentally insane and perverted.

Elizabeth was an educated woman who could read and write in four languages. Initially, although she was given to the occasional temper tantrum, she exhibited no suggestion of the homicidal tendencies she was to become infamous for.

Elizabeth was 15 when she married Ferencz Nadasdy aged 25 in the spring of 1575. They resided at Castle Csejthe a mountaintop fortress overlooking the village of Csejthe, located in the north-western part of Hungary. The Count had a passion for war and throughout all of their 25 years of marriage Elizabeth was left to her own devises. She spent hours admiring her own beauty in the mirror and took many lovers. She even ran off with one young man, but returned home and the Count forgave her.

During this time Elizabeth used to pay frequent visits to her aunt Countess Klara Bathory, an open bisexual. At this time she also began to develop an interest in the occult aided by a real witch named Dorothea Szentes, also called Dorka, who instructed her in the ways of witchcraft and Black Magic. Together they began the task of disciplining the female servants and torturing them in an underground chamber. Elizabeth’s old nurse Iloona Joo, her manservant Johannes Ujvary and a maid named Anna Darvula, who is also alledged to have been her lover assisted in her terrible atroscities.

It was after the death of her husband in 1600 that her real reign of terror began. She was now 40 and her looks were deteriorating quickly. It is said that she bathed in her victim’s blood to try and recapture her youthful beauty.

Ten years of terror followed as Elizabeth Bathory and her evil trusted helpers provided her with beautiful young girls, from some of the neighbouring villages. Under the pretence of hiring them as servants the young girls would be mutilated and killed, so the Countess could continue with her blood baths. She would also drink their blood, to gain some sort of inner beauty. However, Elizabeth began to realise that the blood of simple peasant girls, was having little effect on the quality of her skin. She now required better blood and girls from some of the surrounding lower nobility were chosen and ultimately became her victims. These noble girls were tortured in exactly the same horrific fashion as the peasant girls who preceded them. They were lured to the castle with promises of money or employment, then imprisoned and tortured until Elizabeth was ready to bathe in their blood.

The disappearance of these girls was causing people who lived in the neighbouring villages to talk. These atrocious rumours reached the Hungarian Emperor and he ordered Elizabeth’s cousin, the Count Cuyorgy Thurzo, who was governor of the province, to raid the castle.

On the night of December 30, 1610, a band of soldiers raided Castle Csejthe and were horrified by the terrible sights they found. 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, several girls in prison cells, some of whose bodies had been tortured. Below the castle, they found the bodies of around 50 dead girls.

The horrific tortures the girls were subjected to during their imprisonment included being cut with scissors, pricked with pins, and impaled on sharp spikes in a cage that hung from the ceiling. This enabled the countess to shower in their blood.

During the trial in 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”. Acomplete 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.

Elizabeth herself, could not be put to death because she was of noble blood. However, she received her punishment, for she was condemned to lifelong imprisonment in her own castle. The windows and the door to the bedchamber were walled up with only a small opening for food to be passed to her. Here she would spend the remaining days of her life.

In 1614, four years later 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.

Elizabeth did not utter even a single word of regret, or remorse.

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