Elizabeth Bathory - Lady Dracula Or The Blood Countess
Elizabeth Bathory was born on August 7, 1560 in modern day Slovakia. She was born into a powerful and very well connected Transylvanian family. Her relatives included the governor of Transylvania, The king of Poland, and the prince of Transylvania. She had everything going for her in her life, she was rich, beautiful, and her family was well respected. Her family made sure she was well educated, she was able to speak several different languages. Elizabeth Bathory, a women who had every opportunity and advantage would become one of the worst mass murderers in history. She would become known as the blood countess.
Elizabeth Bathory's Marriage
At just 10-years-old she was promised to Ferencz Nadasdy, a professional soldier. Marrying him at 15, in 1575, she kept her last name as was the custom at the time since her family was more powerful than his. Unfortunately for her husband, her scandalous behavior had already begun before the marriage had taken place. It is thought that during their engagement she had became pregnant and delivered a child in secrecy. The infant was adopted and anyone who knew of the "situation" was paid off. The child was named Anastasia Bathory born in 1574. This was not a case of passion between two people headed towards marriage, she had not yet met the man she was promised to, and during the marriage Elizabeth took many male lovers while her husband was away, which was often.
Elizabeth Bathory's Children
The marriage produced three children, Anna Nadasdy (1585), Katalin Nadasdy (1594), and Paul Nadasdy (1598-1650). They had two other children but they did not survive infancy. It is not known what kind of mother Elizabeth was to her children so we can only guess.
Her husband's cruelty was well known to the servants. He enjoyed torturing those he felt were beneath him. Lets just say, if he was having a bad day the servants were his punching bag. He once stripped a maid naked in front of the male servants, smeared her body with honey and made her stand outside for a full day, allowing bees and other insects to sting her. Her crime, he thought her lazy. We don’t know if he knew of his wife's actions towards the servants, but from his own actions we can conclude that it might not have bothered him a bit.
We can't be sure of the reasons Elizabeth did what she did, legend says she wanted to bathe in the blood of these young women to retain her youth, others thought she was sadistic and just plain mentally unstable, and others claim that she was bisexual and despised her "unnatural" feelings towards other women and thus took her rage out on them. It is a fact that she only murdered women, she had not one male victim.
The Legend Of Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess
The story goes that a servant girl was doing her hair one day and pulled the Countess's hair too tight. Mad, Elizabeth punched the young girl in the nose which caused blood to spill out. Disgusted, Elizabeth washed her hands and soon realized that the skin touched by the girl's blood now looked younger and firmer. Feeling she had found her "fountain of youth" she ordered the girl to be killed so she could bathe the rest of herself in the servant's blood.
Rather than just murdering these girls Elizabeth enjoyed torturing her victims. Some of her favorite weapons were knives, needles, razors, hot irons, and pokers. It is even said that she designed a death machine called the "Iron Virgin" which was an iron cage filled with blades and shaped like a women.
I personally would never have wanted to work for the Bathory family. She enjoyed putting paper in between women's toes and setting the paper on fire, burning the servant. If she felt your ironing was not up to par she would hold a hot iron to your face until a nice sized scar appeared. Although most of Lady Elizabeth's punishments ended in death she also loved to humiliate her servants. She often forced young girls to strip naked in front of male company.
Elizabeth Bathory Loved Torture
Torture became her favorite pass-time, her body count totaling up to as many as 650 girls, some of these victims were as young as 12. According to official court records Elizabeth participated in cannibalism, biting off chunks of flesh oozing with blood and eating the pieces. It is not clear if the victims where alive or already dead while she did this. She also cooked the girl's flesh serving these "meals" to company.
You would think how is it possible that after so many deaths how could no one know what was happening. Well, it was no secret. The king had received many complaints about Elizabeth, but took no action until he found himself in a disagreement over a loan that Elizabeth's husband had given him. Her husband was already dead so the King didn’t feel her owed her the money any longer, Elizabeth did. After an altercation regarding this matter, the king finally decided to look into the complaints against his her.
What his men found was, for lack of a better word, disturbing. They found numerous girls locked up, girls wounded, starving, dead bodies, and one girl dying. Many of the girls had suffered tragic beatings over years, had burns on their face, arms, legs, genitals, etc. Some had chunks of flesh missing due to Elizabeth biting them then eating the pieces. All in all, it looked as if they had entered hell.
All of her accomplices were tortured and executed. She was found guilty although she fared better than her helpers, she was sealed in her room at her castle, isolated from any outside contact. She remained here until her death 3 years later. Elizabeth wasn't allowed to appear at her own trial and the king forbade anyone to speak her name in public afterwards. She however maintained that she was innocent up until the day she died.
It's really sad that such a tragedy could have went on for three decades with no one intervening for so long, but in those days peasants were considered little more than property and they had no real rights. And, Elizabeth was from one of the wealthiest families in Transylvania and counted more than one relative sitting on a throne. So you might say that the world was her playground and from birth she had probably never had the opportunity to suffer consequences from her actions so she did as she pleased whether wrong or right.
The Story Of Elizabeth Bathory
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