1560: Elizabeth Bathory is born into one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Transylvania. Her family had many powerful relatives -- a cardinal, princes, and a cousin who was prime minister of Hungary are among these relatives. The most famous relative was Istvan (ISHT-vahn) Bathory (1533-86). Istvan was prince of Transylvania and king of poland from 1575-86. It has been said that At aroundthe age of 4 or 5, Elizabeth had violent seizures. These may have been caused by epilepsy or another neurological disorder and may have something to do with her "psychotic" behavior later in life.
1575: Age 15, Elizabeth married Count Ferenc (pronounced FAIR-entz) Nadasdy (NAW-dawzhd with silent y). The Count was 26 years of age. The count took Elizabeth's surname so that she could keep her name.They lived together in Castle Cséjthe (which in hungarian is pronounced CHAY-tuh). In Slovak this Castle is named Cachtice (pronounced CHAKH-teet-suh). [To this day there is rivalry between the Hungarians and the Slovak's and you will get a blank expression if you refer to the "wrong" name.] The count spent a great deal of time away from home fighting in wars and for this he was nicknamed "TheBlack Hero of Hungary". While her husband was away Elizabeth's manservant Thorko introduced her to the occult. For a brief time Elizabeth eloped with a "dark stranger". Upon her return to Castle Cachtice the count did forgive her for her leaving. Back at the castle, Elizabeth couldn't tolerate her domineering mother-in-law. With the help of her old nurse Ilona Joo, she began to torture the servantgirls. Her other accomplices included the major-domo János Ujvary (pronounced YAH-nosh OOEE-vahr-yuh), Thorko, a forest witch named Darvula and a witch Dorottya Szentes. The first ten years of their marriage, Elizabeth bore no children because she and Ferenc shared so little time together as he pursued his "career." Then around 1585, Elizabeth bore a girl whom she named Anna, and over the followingnine years gave birth to two more girls, Ursula and Katherina, and in 1598 bore her first and only son, Paul. Judging from letters she wrote to relatives, she was a good wife and protective mother, which was not surprising since nobles usually treated immediate family very differently from the lower servants and peasant classes.
1600: At age 51, Count Ferenc died in battle and thus beganElizabeth's period of atrocities. First, she sent her hated mother-in-law away from the Castle. By this time it is thought that she had dabbled into some forms of sorcery, attending rituals that included the sacrificing of horses and other animals. Elizabeth, now 40 years old, grew increasingly vain and she feared the thought of aging as she may lose her beauty. One day a servant girl accidentially pulledher hair while combing it. Elizabeth slapped the girl's hand so hard she drew blood. The girls blood fell into ELizabeth's hand and she immediately thought that her skin took on the freshness of her young maid. She believed that she had found the secret of eternal youth. Elizabeth had her major-domo and Thorko strip the maid and then cut her and drain her blood into a huge vat. Elizabeth bathedin it to beautify her entire body.
1600 - 1610: Elizabeth's henchmen continued to provided Elizabeth with new girls for the blood-draining ritual and her blood baths. Elizabeth went out of her way to see to it that the dead girls were given proper Christian burials by the local Protestant pastor, at least initially. As the body count rose, the pastor refused to perform his duties in this respect,because there were too many girls coming to him from Elizabeth who had died of "unknown and mysterious causes." She then threatened him in order to keep him from spreading the news of her "hobby" and continued to have the bodies buried secretly. Near the end, many bodies were disposed of in haphazard and dangerously conspicuous locations (like nearby fields, wheat silos, the stream running behind...
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