COUNTESS DRACULA … BLOODBATHING ARISTOCRATIC PSYCHOPATH ELIZABETH BATHORY

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While her behavior toward servants is legendary today, it was not uncommon among aristocrats to exercise their power in brutal beatings and even death for those they considered lesser beings. Elizabeth enjoyed power and had a vicious impulsiveness that only strengthened in an environment with no accountability for aristocrats.

By many accounts, she was also a petty and vain narcissist. She changed her clothing five or six times a day and spent hours admiring her legendary beauty in mirrors. She used all manner of oils and unguents to preserve and whiten her skin. No one denied her whatever she wanted and she demanded continuous praise. No one knows what she might have become had she not teamed up with her husband, but there is no doubt that she was fertile ground for his sadistic encouragement.

Pretty young women began to disappear from villages near and far, as well as children. The families did not know what to do. Speaking out against the nobility could get them into trouble, so they went to their priests but otherwise held their tongues. They saw the carriage, drawn by black horses, go by at night with girls inside who never came back. Year after year, it was the same. No one could challenge it. They had not yet forgotten that in 1524 the nobles had met a peasant uprising with extreme punishment, and no one was willing to risk that again. It was their lot to endure whatever the lords and ladies meted out.

German anthropologist Michael Wagener points out that Elizabeth continued to use torture after her husbands death, and even refined her methods. The unhappy girls who were lured to the castle, under the plea that they were to be taken into service there, were locked up in a cellar. Here they were beaten till their bodies were swollen. Elizabeth not infrequently tortured the victims herself; often she changed their clothes which dripped with blood, and then renewed her cruelties. The swollen bodies were then cut up with razors. Occasionally she had the girls burned, and then cut up, but the great majority of them were beaten to death. Many accounts say that she was psychotic, and that her mental illness grew worse with age. Many details came out during legal hearings.

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