Bloody Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
Hungary – is a country of mysteries and mystical secrets. Probably because the believes in vampires spread from neighbouring Rumania through a narrow spring. However, the most of Hungarian believes are not associated with languishing biting beauties, but with other ugly creatures – nosferatu. According to Hungarian legends, bastard turned into such kinds of vampires. To be detailed such creatures were not just children born out of marriage, but illegitimate sons and daughters of their illegitimately born parents.
In addition to that there were strong believes in witches in Hungary. For example, one of the most important places of interest in the capital city is Gellert-hegy. People believe that pagans used to put Christian Geller in a barrel, having pierced it with tacked beforehand, and threw his down the top of the mountain. It is that very Gellert-hegy that attracts monsters rom all around at Sabbath nights.
Famous bridge Erzsebet is located near the statue of martyr Geller; the bridge was called in honor of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was considered to be a real witch. It was unknown what exactly turned a noble beauty into a wicked fury. Probably the reason was in the distant childhood, probably it was a family curse that was put on one of the bravest and richest clan of Hungary.. But there was one fact known for sure: in the middle of XVI century Bathory family broke into two branches: Somlyo and Ecsed. As for Ecsed, they moved and settled in Slovakia mountains, while Somlyo moved to well-known Transylvania. Because of the extreme pride and believe in self-exclusiveness, Bathory considered it to be beneath their dignity to marry people out of high bloodб that was the reason they often married cousins. Of course such kind of incest could do nothing but bring hereditary diseases: mental disorder and epilepsy. The marriage of George Bathory from Ecsed bruch and Anna Bathory-Somlyo brought the couple a child, who would remain in history as “bloody countess”.
By the time when Elizabeth Bathory was born, Bathory family came to the conclusion that having high blood was good, but money and connections were better. So, the young girl was engaged with a son of Hungarian count, Ferenc Nadasdy, since her childhood. Being a sickly girl with cruel inclinations and bad inheritance (the girl’s aunt was suspected in killing heк two husbands), Elizabeth couldn’t have a corner in her husband’s and his mother’s hearts. Partially, that was the reason he spent most of years of their marriage in military campaigns and died from fever a few years after. Elizabeth, being left alone, used to change lovers, men and later women, but never forgot about the most important woman in her life – herself.
People kept telling the young countess that she was very beautiful since her childhood. The languishing paleness, unhealthy thin features, big dark eyes and beautiful black hair – Elizabeth’s beauty was a fact. But passing time started to kill the beauty. The first fine lines, which the countess could notice, made her shocked and panicky.
Of course Elizabeth was eager to turn time back. According to the words of Turoczi, a Hungarian historian, the “bloody countess’ came to the idea of rejuvenation with the help of blood absolutely by chance. Combing Elizabeth’s dark hair, a maid was careless, and the countess punished her with a hit. The hit was so strong that the maid’s blood spurted to the countess’s face. Washing her face, Elizabeth decided that the skin zone stained with blood became more beautiful and thinner, so bloody ablution became a skincare routine pretty soon.
There’s also another version. Seeking for endless youth Elizabeth (just the same as many women before and after her) appealed for dark powers. There was nothing unusual about that because Elizabeth was brought up among stories about magic, charms and devildome. The countess not only not only believed in legends, moreover, she read books about magic and spells and even recommender her husband using magical power against his enemies. So, according to the countess order, witch Darvula was conveyed to Cachtice castle. The witch didn’t try to offer the countess anything new and introduced her to the simple and the most effective, as she said, method – bathing in virgin blood.
That was how streams of blood started to flow to Catchice castle. Virgins were taken away from the nearby villages, after that they were killed for their blood to fill Elizabeth’s bath. Two maids assisted the countess in her bloody routine. There was also a humpback among maids, who had been taken by Elizabeth for bringing up. Being angry with the whole world and beautiful (normal) people, the humpback assisted at the countess’s execution with great pleasure.
People say that once a person steps on the way of dark powers, he or she will gradually fall into the abyss of cruelty and spite. Countess Elizabeth didn’t make an exception. She became greedier for blood and the tendency was worsened with her heredity and inclination to mental illness, while Catchice castle gradually became a real place of torture. Bloody baths were not enough for Elizabeth anymore and she started to torment her victims. The favorite entertainment of Elizabeth became a peculiar torture “steel virgin”: a virgin was placed into a narrow cage full of sharp steel spikes, after that she was hanged up under the ceiling while the countess enjoyed the view of blood dribbling. Being in rage, the countess tortured the victims herself, whipping the poor ones with a lash, shredding with scissors and burning with red-hot rods.
As time passed, neither tormenting, nor bloody baths made the countess younger. She found more and more signs of withering, so soon her sight shifted to Darvula. The scared witch made up a frightful excuse to save herself: she said that for real rejuvenation the countess needed blood of noble virgins instead of humble women. There was nothing to stop Elizabeth. Pretty soon twenty virgins from noble families, which went poor, were captured in torturing rooms of Catchice castle, a few days after none of the girls lived (in the beginning they were invited to the castle to stay find good husbands). However, the new victims appeared to be useless again: the beauty didn’t comу back. After that the bloody countess decided to sacrifice the witch. Imagining what kind of torture she was to face, the witch took poison.
However, the sky began to gray above Elizabeth. The priest, who took care of young women’s bodies, finally summoned up his courage and wrote to Gyorgy Thurzo who was Elizabeth’s relative. The letter could be left with no answer, but the priest chose the right addressee, because there was a long-term arguing between Bathory and Thurzo because of inheritance. In addition to that the countess was known for her failed attempt to poison Thurzo. Being interesting in his relative’s death, Gyorgy initiated investigation of her crimes. When Thurzo, together with royal soldiers entered Catchice castle, they found torturing tools and bloody vats in its basement.. But the main evidence was Elizabeth’s diary bbok in which her described murders of 610 young girls in details.
In January 1611 they started a trial for Elizabeth and her assistants. The two maids, who helped Elizabeth, were sentenced to burning at the stake as witches, the humpback, adopted by the countess was beheaded and thrown to the stake. Elizabeth Bathory’s life was saved; however, she was put to an awful torture detention in the family vault of Bathory family in Catchice castle where she was deprived of both communication with people and sunlight. She was given meals through a small entry in the door. Elizabeth had no more opportunity to watch her beauty. During the three years spent in the vault, she was not able to have a bath, neither a bloody, nor a usual one. After death the countess skin lost its former smoothness, there nothing remaining of a beautiful woman in the wrinkled mummy.
In spite of the fact that Elizabeth died many years ago, people say that they still can hear her whipping in Catchice castle. Elizabeth’s ghost doesn’t let people sleep well in the outskirts of the castle.