Elizabeth attempted to explain the girls’ disappearances by saying that one had killed all the other ones for jewelry. She then said that criminal had committed suicide. I really get the feeling that, by this point, Elizabeth was just not thinking statements through.
Rumor of Elizabeth’s horrifying ways reached the King of Hungary who ordered her arrest. Elizabeth’s relative, Count Thurzo, tried to capture her castle on his own terms to save her any disgrace. His army arrived on Christmas day and were horrified by what they saw - girls tied up in shrouds, barely alive but unable to move, and dead bodies everywhere.
Elizabeth’s accomplices underwent swift show trials before being executed. Testimony at the trial shocked everyone in attendance. I mean, it should. One piece of testimony ran:
“a 12-year-old girl named Pola somehow managed to escape from the castle. But Dorka, aided by Helena Jo, caught the frightened girl by surprise and brought her forcibly back to Cachtice Castle. Clad only in a long white robe, Countess Elizabeth greeted the girl upon her return. The countess was in another of her rages. She advanced on the 12-year-old child and forced her into a kind of cage. This particular cage was built like a huge ball, too narrow to sit in, too low to stand in. Once the girl was inside, the cage was suddenly hauled up by a pulley and dozens of short spikes jutted into the cage. Pola tried to avoid being caught on the spikes, but Ficzko manoeuvered the ropes so that the cage shifted from side to side. Pola’s flesh was torn to pieces.”
Elizabeth Bathory was so sick that she could not move from her bed and could not find the strength to torture her miscreant servant girls . . . She demanded that one of her female servants be brought before her. Dorothea Szentes, a burly, strong peasant woman, dragged one of Elizabeth’s girls to her bedside and held her there. Elizabeth rose up on her bed, and, like a bulldog, the Countess opened her mouth and bit the girl first on the cheek. Then she went for the girl’s shoulders where she ripped out a piece of flesh with her teeth. After that, Elizabeth proceeded to bite the girl’s breasts.’
Common consensus was that Elizabeth should be executed as well as her accomplices, but it was impossible, because she was a royal. Accordingly, she was locked up in a castle with only one window. She was found dead, facedown, with a spell calling upon 99 cats to kill and devour her enemies. I’m going to include this picture: