The Queen of Blood                  She is known as the

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The Queen of Blood She is known as the Queen of Blood and referred to as the first true vampire.

These are fitting titles for a woman so demented and bloodthirsty even for her time. She possessed all the desires of a vampire but was lacking the fangs and the fear of daylight.

Her tale is one of the most shocking throughout all of history and one that can't easily be forgotten.

Elizabeth Bathory was born a noble woman in 1560 to George and Anna Bathory.

Her family was considered one of the most powerful in Transylvania. She had the typical childhood of a noblewoman and was engaged to nobleman, Ferencz Nadasady, at age eleven. The engagement was arranged by Ferencz's mother Ursula. Before their marriage Elizabeth became pregnant from an affair with a peasant. She was isolated to a remote castle until her daughter was born. It is not known what became of her daughter.

She was most likely killed, but it is possible that she was raised by someone else. In either case, she was never a part of Elizabeth's life after her birth.

Elizabeth finally married Ferencz Nadasady on May 8, 1575. She overtook all the household affairs at Castle Sarvar, the Nadasady family estate. Ferencz became a soldier shortly after, and began making victories against the Turks in 1578. He later was given the nickname "Black Knight of Hungary." The couples first child was born in 1585, she was named Anna. At this point in her life, Elizabeth, had become terrified of growing old and losing her beauty. Never the less she gave birth to three more children Ursula, Katherina, and in 1595 her only son, Paul.

Ferencz Nadasady passed away on January 4, 1604. Elizabeth left Castle Sarvar and unexpectedly moved to Vienna only four weeks later, shocking the royal court. By this point in her life Elizabeth had already begun to toy in sorcery, including rituals of sacrificing horses and other animals. Over the years she had also become more and more obsessed with remaining youthful. She had many servants in her new castle, but other than that she lived there alone.

Elizabeth's obsession with blood started unintentionally after a servant girl didn't perform to Elizabeth's standards. Elizabeth struck the young servant girl in the face with a pair of scissors. The servant girls blood sprayed across Elizabeth's hand. When she went to wash the blood off she thought her skin felt smoother and looked younger than it had since she was a girl. From this point on Elizabeth Bathory was convinced that blood, especially that of young girls, was the secret to eternal youth and beauty. She began to plot scheme after scheme to get blood, and get the youth that she so desperately desired.

During her reign of blood more than six hundred young girls were killed. Many of the girls were noble woman themselves that Elizabeth had persuaded to come work for her.

The murders weren't ever simple, Elizabeth didn't like simplicities in her murders such as slitting the girls throats. Most of the girls were tortured for weeks or even months before they would finally die entirely. Elizabeth was infatuated with torturing the servant girls and had an endless number of methods. She would have cold water poured over naked girls while they were outside in the snow, until they froze to death. Or, in the same manner use honey, while it was warm outside, until the girls were practically eaten alive by insects. She would cut off their fingers using dull scissors. She had several methods of pricking, freezing, burning, and cutting the girls. But possibly the most disturbing of all the forms of torture she enjoyed using has to be biting and ripping out the flesh of the innocent girls. She also had torture devices such as a ball shaped cage attached to a pulley. It was too short to stand in, but too narrow to sit in. There were dozens of spikes jutting into the cage. The cage swung back and forth so that the girl inside would be torn to pieces providing Elizabeth with a blood shower.

Not even a noblewoman could commit these types of crimes indefinitely without suspicions being aroused. Elizabeth Bathory was finally arrested on December 30, 1610.

There were two trials held in January of 1611. The first was held on January 2 and only Elizabeth's accomplices were brought to trial. These included somewhere between five and ten other women, one being Helena Jo, who was the nurse of Elizabeth's children.

All but one of the accomplices were found guilty. They were put to death by different methods depending upon the roles that they'd played in the crimes. Helena Jo had her fingers torn out by red-hot pinchers and was thrown into a fire alive. Another method used for the accomplices death sentences was decapitation followed by burning.

The second trial was held on January 7, 1611. Although Elizabeth wished to appear in court to defend herself; her family would not allow it so as not to disgrace the Bathory name. Due to her nobility Elizabeth, by law, couldn't be sentenced to death.

Instead, she was sentenced to a life of imprisonment at the top of her own castle, Castle Cachtice. Her tiny room had no windows or doors, and only a small opening in the wall to allow food to be passed through. There were a few slits for air, and that was all the contact she had with the outside world. Elizabeth was found lying face down on the floor of her room, dead, by one of her guards in August of 1614.

Her reputation as being a vampire grew not only from her desire to stay young with the blood of youth, but also from rumors that surfaced during the trial. The rumors stated that she bit the young servant girls and drank their blood. This, however, is just speculation because evidence is hard to come by. The court documents were sealed after the trial because of their scandalous nature. Elizabeth's reputation as a vampire has been remembered through several modern books and films. No matter what the reason for her insanity it remains absolutely appalling what she accomplished during her reign of terror.

And it is something that is virtually impossible to forget.