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Word Count: 540
Countess Bathory was Hungarian by birth Records give her entry into the world as I56I As a girl she was beautiful with long fair hair and an exquisite complexion She was married off to an aristocratic soldier when she was fifteen and became mistress of the Castle of Csejthe in the Carpathians Life in the dark gloomy Csejthe Castle while her husband was away on his various military campaigns became very boring indeed She was determined to liven things up First she gathered round her a sinister band of witches sorcerers and alchemists who taught her the black arts Then armed with her special flesh- tearing silver pincers a manual of tortures her husband had used when fighting the Turks and a taste for flagellation learned from her aunt she set out to indulge herself and while away the lonely hours When her husband died in I6o4 she had reached the difficult age of 43 She longed for a new lover to replace him but her reflection in the mirror showed her that time and indulgence had not improved her looks One day she slapped the face of a servant girl and drew blood with her nails She was convinced that that part of her body where the girls blood had dripped was much fresher and younger than before It only needed the alchemists to add their opinion and she was convinced that drinking and bathing in the blood of young virgins would preserve her beauty for ever So at the dead of night the Countess and her cronies would tear about the countryside hunting for girls They would be taken back to the castle hung in chains and their blood used for the countess bath the finest saved for her to drink The terrible woman carried on like this for five years until she began to realize the blood of peasant girls had not been terribly effective In
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