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The Blood Countess - Elizabeth Bathory

Countess Elizabeth Bathory ( Erzsébet Báthory) was born on August 7, 1560 in Nyírbátor , Kingdom of Hungary. She was born on a family estate in Nyírbátor, and spent her childhood at Ecsed Castle.

As a young woman she learned Latin , German , and Greek. At the age of ten years old Elizabeth became engaged to Ferenc Nádasdy, the son of the Baron Tamás Nádasdy de Nádasd et Fogarasfëld. The couple married when she was at the age 14/15 at the palace of Varannó on May 8 , 1575.

On January 4, 1604 Elizabeth's husband Ferenc Nádasdy died a the age of 48 years old. The exact nature of Ferenc's death is still unknown. Between the years 1602 and 1604 atrocious rumors had spread throughout the kingdom. A Lutheran minister Istuán Magyari made a complaint against her both in public and at the court in Vienna.

In 1610 King Matthias II assigned György Thurzö the Palatine of Hungary to investigate. Two notaries were ordered by Thurzö to collect evidence in March. The following year the notaries submitted 300 witness testimonies.

The trial records included four defendants, thirteen witnesses,  priests, noblemen, and commoners were questioned. According to all the witness testimony Bathory's initial victims were adolescent daughters of local peasants. Abductions were also said to have occurred.
The atrocities were described to have been severe beatings, burnings or mutilation of hands, and biting the flesh off the faces , arms , and other body parts.
The use of needles was also mentioned as well by Countess Elizabeth Bathory's collaborators in court.



On December 30, 1610 Thurzö went to Csejte Castle to arrest Bathory and her four servants. Her servants were charged as her accomplices: Dorotya Semtész, Ilona Jó, Katarína Benichía, and János Újuáry ("Ibis" or Fiskó).
Thurzö's men reported they found one girl dead and one dying as well as reported another woman was found wounded while others were locked up.
Because of the atrocities described at the trial and execution would have caused a public scandal, and disgraced a noble and influential family which in that time ruled Transylvania.

The trial for Countess Elizabeth Bathory's accomplices took place on January 2 , 1611 at Bytêa (Biese) presided over by the Royal Supreme Court Judge Theodosius Syrmiesis de Szulo along with 20 associate judges. All but one servant testified against Bathory.

Besides the witness testimony the court also examined the skeletons and cadaver parts that were found. The exact number of victims is unknown. Even contemporary estimates differ greatly.

One female witness by the name of Susannah spoke at the trial of a book that Countess Elizabeth Bathory kept. Within this book she had a list of 650 names of victims.
This number has since passed into legend.

Although the 650 victims could not be proven. The official count remained at 80 victims.

Officially the location of where the diaries are unknown. But 32 of her letters are stored in the Hungarian State Archives in Budapest.

Countess Elizabeth Bathory was imprisoned in Cachtice Castle where she was placed in solitary confinement. She remained there for four years until her death on August 21, 1614.

On November 25 she was buried in the church of Cachtice. According to some sources because of an uproar from the villagers. The authorities decided to move Bathory's body to her birthplace at Ecsed where her body was interred at the Báthory family crypt.

The location of Countess Elizabeth Bathory's body in unknown. It is very well known that Bram Stoker used Bathory's lust for blood and viciousness to create his vampiric Count.