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Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory- Histories Killers- On 21st August 1614, a jailer in Csejte Castle climbed the stairs of one of its towers and found several plates of food, lying untouched, near a hole in a bricked up wall. The wall was built to contain one of histories most notorious figures, and the jailer used the untouched plates as an excuse to look through the hole, to get a better look at this killer.Within was the body of a woman, she had died sometime in the previous couple of days. No one could know the exact date, as she was bricked into the tower alone, and had been for the past four years.She was buried in the grounds of the Church of Csejte, but the villagers, the ones who felt the impact of her crimes the most, rebelled. Her body was dug up and taken to Ecsed, Hungary, where she had been born.It was here she was interred into her family’s crypt, surrounded by others of the Bathory family. The ‘Blood Countesses’ travel complete.Elizabeth Bathory – as she is known in western cultures – known natively as Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian, and Alžbeta Bátoriová in Slovak, was born into nobility on 7th August, 1560. Her family name was very prominent in the region, having been that of the King of Poland and several Voivods (governors/generals/princes) of Transylvania.She was married off early in a political arrangement, where she was gifted the Csejte Castle (now known as Cachtice Castle in Slovakia) by her new husband. Quite a gift for someone only fourteen years of age. Along with the castle came 17 villages and a country house.Bathory’s husband, Ferenc Nadasdy, was soon off to war, as he was the chief commander of the Hungarian army, and while he was away she would take care of the estate and business affairs. In 1585 she gave birth to her first child, a daughter, and it was at about this time that disappearances of young girls began to take place.Soon rumours began to spread of atrocities committed within Csejte Castle. It was not until a Lutheran minister officially complained to the Vienna courts that and investigation was begun. After collecting some 300 statements from witnesses, and others living in the villages surrounding the castle, a picture of the crimes began to form.Elizabeth was said to be luring young women to her castle, and other properties, in order to torture and murder them. At first the victims were the daughters of peasants who were sent for on the promise of work, and then after running out of these she began to lure those of more noble blood to her, on the pretence of learning court etiquette. It was only after several daughters of those more influential or rich went missing that something was done.It is unknown how many women were victims of Bathory’s crimes, and estimates range from the mid-thirties to over six hundred. However, what is well known are the atrocities that were played out on them – They were beaten, burned and mutilated. She would bite the flesh off their limbs and faces, and once she was done, she would either place them somewhere to freeze or starve to death.Just before new years in 1610, Elizabeth and several of her servants were arrested at the castle. During the arrest and search of the premises, several bodies were found, another girl wounded and dying, and many more locked up. Elizabeth was placed under immediate house arrest.However, the authorities had a problem. Although Bathory’s crimes could not go unpunished, they wanted to avoid a political scandal if they could. The Bathory family were essentially rulers of Transylvania, and influential members of other parts of the region. It was decided to try to secretly take her to a nunnery, to spend the remainder of her life. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, news of her atrocities reached the ears of some of the nobility whose own daughters went missing, and letting her off the hook would no longer do.Elizabeth was not allowed to defend herself at a trial (some people believe that the entire event was a conspiracy against Elizabeth and the family and none of these crimes even took place or at least not at her hands) and was immured within a tower in her castle. She was allowed several rooms, but the entrance to the tower was bricked up, with just a hole for food and provisions provided. She was imprisoned like this for four years, before she eventually died.Of the servants that were arrested with her, three were burned alive – one beheaded beforehand, while the other two had their fingers torn from their hands – the last servant was given life imprisonment.It has been argued as to why Elizabeth Bathory tortured and killed so many women. Although many suggest it was just a depraved women providing herself with sick and twisted entertainment, history has seen that a more intriguing idea has been put forward.Although no witness accounts talk of bathing in blood, it would seem this has become the more popular notion. There are several legends and versions on why she started, but they all culminate in the same thing – Elizabeth Bathory believed that the blood of young women allowed her to retain her youth. She would bleed the girls dry and apply and bathe in their blood.There is no real evidence for this but it makes for a good story.But what if it was true?Can human blood help keep a woman’s youthful appearance?Many celebrities and people of money seem to think so. A vampire or blood facial is a more recent type of beauty therapy that many women are seeking out. The process begins with the technician taking several vials of their blood, and placing it in a centrifuge where the plasma, platelets and red blood cells are separated.The technician then uses a ‘wand’, which has many fine needles to puncture your face thousands of times, before applying the platelets and plasma to your skin – the punctures help absorption.As with all beauty therapy, the belief in the process leaves the patient with a healthier, youthful appearance. Kim Kardashian and several others have undergone and speak for the therapy. Maybe Elizabeth Bathory had just been an early adopter of this process… but utilising a much more ghastly and terrible method.Ashley Hall 2013Photo: A copy of the only known portrait of Elizabeth Bathory aged 25.Inset Upper and Middle: Csejte Castle, Elizabeths Tower is the rounded one on the right.Inset Lower: A Blood/Vampire Facial.
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In the end
Photographer Translates His Nightmares Into Surreal, Haunting Photographs by 19-year-old photographer Nicolas Bruno
Photographer Translates His Nightmares Into Surreal, Haunting Photographs by 19-year-old photographer Nicolas Bruno
Photographer Translates His Nightmares Into Surreal, Haunting Photographs by 19-year-old photographer Nicolas Bruno
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