Elizabeth Bathory

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Countess Elizabeth Bathory was born in 1560 to George and Anna Bathory. As a child, she grew up near what is now Slovak Republic, and most of her adult-life was spent at Castle Cachtice, near the town of Vishine.

As a child, Bathory suffered seizures, intense rage, and uncontrollable behavior.

In 1574, she became pregnant as a result of a brief affair with a peasant man. When the pregnancy became noticeable, she was sequestered until the baby was born because she was engaged to marry Count Ferenc Nadasdy.

In May 1575, the marrage took place, and Bathory assumed the duties of managing the affairs at Castle Sarvar, which was the Nadasdy estate. It was here, where her career of evil begins.

Bathory held a high level of cruelty toward the servants. She not only punished infringements on her rules, but she found excuses to inflict punishments and delighted in torturing her victims. She would stick pins in sensitive body part, such as under fingernails; she would even douse victims in water while they stood naked in the snow.

In some cases, Bathory’s husband would take part in the sadistic behaviors and even taught his wife new tricks and new forms of punishment. He should her a summer-time form of her winter punishment- covering her victims in honey and leaving them outside to be bitten by the insects.

When Count Nadasdy died in 1604, Elizabeth moved to Vienna after the burial. She even found a new cohort in crime- Anna Darvulia. When Anna died in 1609, Bathory turned to Erzsi Majorova, the widow of a local tennant farmer, who seems to be the woman most responsible for Bathory’s downfall.

Throughout the years, Elizabeth Bathory’s punishments became more severe. She began procuring young servant girls and draining them of their blood. Some accounts claim that she felt the blood of virgin girls was most pure and would help her maintain youth. She would perform surgeries on the victims, slit their throats, and bite them on their faces, arms, or other body parts.

There are even tales of Bathory bathing in the blood of these girls.

But, when rumors began to spread across the villages and Bathory had a hard tom procuring village girls, Erzsi Majorova suggested the girls of noble birth. In 1609, she killed a young noble woman, but covered it by charges of suicide.

As early as the summer of 1610, inquiries began floating about Bathory’s crimes, as it seemed the number of disappearances were ever increasing.

She was arrested on December 29, 1610.

A few days later, Bathory was placed on tried, but as noted in the trial, it was only to obtain a conviction and to confiscate her land. A week after the first trial, a second trial was convened on January 7, 1611, where a register of 650 names was produced as evidence. The list was found in her quarters and written in her handwriting.

Her accomplices were sentenced to be executed, but Elizabeth Bathory was only sentenced to life imprisonment in solitary confinement within a room of her castle at Cachtice without windows or doors. There was only a small opening where food would be pushed through and slits for air.

Bathory was never convicted as guilty, but she lived in this room for three years until she died on August 21, 1614.