The Blood Countess We Should Remember

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AUGUST 21st 1614 the assumed last breath of Erzsebet (aka Elizabeth) Bathory 1560 -1614.
Countess Erzsébet Báthory was considered the most beautiful, intelligent and politically savvy woman in Europe. She was born at an estate near the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania, into one of the most powerful families in Europe. She grew up living the privileged life of nobility. Her uncle Stephan was crowned king of Poland in 1575, and his brother Christopher was the prince of Transylvania. Another cousin was the Prime Minister of Hungary. She even had an ancestor that helped Vlad Dracula when he claimed the throne. Her ancestors and relatives included several cases of insanity and general cruel behaviors. It is clear that her “family” had been genetically polluted by incest, alcoholism, murderers, sadists, politicians, and Satanists. Erzsebet seems to have learned from them all.
Erzsébet was a difficult child, and there were reports that she may have suffered from “fits,” or seizures. She definitely had uncontrolled rages and a serious case of impulse control. She was referred to as promiscuous, maybe because her first baby was born when she was just 14. After the birth, The family immediately betrothed her to Count Ferencz Nadasdy de Nadasd of Fogarasfold, a great soldier, and politician known as the“Black Hero of Hungary.” It seems this was a match made in politics-both families had certified histories of madness and the bride and groom were both known for their cruelty. Erz had shown signs of her inclinations since childhood, and The Count’s influence seems to have fine-tuned the propensity. He movedhis bride to Castle Csejthe, in Hungary, where portions of the castle still stand. Ferencz was often gone for extended periods of war, leaving Erz to run the place.
After fathering four children with Erzsebet, the Count fell ill in 1601 and died in 1604, leaving her a widow at the age of 44. There is some suggestion that she poisoned him (poisoned, murdered, stabbed, put him in a dumpster, as gossip becomes history.) Of her children, some were “shipped off,” and one son was lucky enough to hang around the castle with mom. No assumptions can be made here, we haven’t found his memoir.
There is a story about a young servant girl brushing Erzebet’s hair, and in some disciplinary action by Erz the chambermaid began to bleed from her nose. When the blood landed on Erzsebet, she believed that it made her own skin look fresh, almost as peachy as the young bleeder. Her trusted employees were called, and they bled the young wench to death, filling a tub with her blood for Erz. This is what seems to have kicked off her full-blown perversion, and she developed a torture toolbox containing: needles, pins, branding irons, whips, pokers, scissors, freezing temperatures, starvation, water and cooperative employees to assist her. The surrounding community feared what could happen if they complained, but when she started bringing in the lower nobility, they gathered up rakes and torches. The King arranged for an intervention, lead by her cousin Count Thurso on Christmas in 1610.
The group of men crept into her castle to investigate the complaints about missing young women and children. It is hard to tell exactly what they found, as it was deemed too monstrous to be put on her permanent record. Wemust all remember that Erzsebet was part of the ruling family and personally very powerful. It is certain, however, that they found over fifty young women dead and dying, apparently tortured and drained of blood.
After further investigation, it was clear that this bloodlust had been going on for some time, maybe as long as 10 years. There was no report on how Erzsebet looked. The records of the court proceedings indicate she was charged with killing 80 people, but her own diary outlines around 650. The members of her staff practically knocked each other over to testify hoping for a plea agreement. They told tales of degradation and horror and made suggestions of devil worship, sorcery, and a rigorous beauty regime.
The servants alleged that she bathed in the blood of virgins to make her skin more beautiful. She had actually eliminated almost all of the “common” girls who had no rights, but when she overstepped into the young nobility promising etiquette lessons but no graduations, that forced the scales of justice. There was a trial, but Erz was never convicted of any crime. She was placed under house arrest and sealed into her suite in the castle. She was passed food through a small slot in the door, and when she quit taking it, they sealed the slot and called it good. Her employees did not fare as well, they were burned at the stake for the murders. If you have ever questioned if privilege had its benefits, remember this terrifying “lady,” – one of the few documented women of history to be associated with such monstrous actions. Her story changes the Dracula shadow on the drapes into something curvier and twice as scary.

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