MTV Castles: Elizabeth Bathory

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Reaper-castle-halloween-opera

At its best by day, Csejte Castle retains a unique majesty by night.

It is the year 1596. A hunched band of dark, hooded figures walk, ceaselessly up the muddy road to the grim Csejte Castle in what appears to be the stormiest night in Hungary's long history. In the glare of the feeble and uncertain light cast by their torches, the group can make out the dark outline of the castle and around it a deep moat lapping gently against it walls.

One who appears to be the leader of the group, steps forward and shouts towards the castle that he and his team are expected guests. Moments later, the guards comply and the creaking sound of a drawbridge being lowered is heard. Within the next few minutes, the vistors enter via the gate,through the curtain wall and eventually see the Great Hall of the castle in front of them. Finally they remove their coats and hoods, extinguish the burning pitch torches and unpack their equipment. The six men and nine women wait, silently. Minutes later, a pale, slender princess in a shimmering, white dress descends the stairs. The leader steps forward.

"Art thou Princess Elizabeth?"

The lady nods.

"And is this not the legendary Csejte Castle?"

"It is."

"Then know that we have travelled far on behalf of MTV, a minstrel group from the future, to shoot an episode of MTV Cribs in your castle. Whoo!"

Tour

Gold paving

In honesty, the floor is somewhat tatty now. I'll have it removed, there are always more peasants to sell.

Hi, I am Elizabeth Báthory, the Blood Countess, and this is my crib, Cjeste Castle. Come on in, let me show you around!

First, we have the Great Hall where I like to entertain with traditional Hungarian hospitality. A torch-lit corridor leads off here to the guest bedrooms, though we haven't had many visitors lately, you know, with Count Dracula roaming the surrounding lands. Honestly, some people are frightened of their own shadows - not that he has one. Anyway, isn't the floor simply majestic? It's made of solid gold! And did you know that a single tile costs more than everything in the seventeen surrounding villages, even if the peasants were sold as slaves. No, you didn't. But anyway, there are only nine hundred and sixteen of them, though I believe that there are a couple of boxes of spare tiles in the dungeon.

Oh, and check out that old painting on the east wall! I'm told it's priceless - painted by some Italian whose name I don't remember. Isn't it just adorable? I mean look at the detail, you can see the agony in that man's face as the lady cuts his throat with that little dagger. And she looks like me, too.. Enough of this, follow me to the next room.

What is this room? Are we still in my castle? I really don't remember being here before. Oh, I know that man, that old dying sack of bones. He's the chef. This must be the kitchen. Strange, I don't remember seeing it before. Must be because I don't eat much, you know. Why do you think I'm so pale and interesting? Mostly I drink. They say I have a problem, but I could stop if I wanted to. I don't need Blood. Still, enough of this, to the garden. Come, follow me.

Check this out, my garden. Look at all those plants, you've never seen anything like them. This one over here, I brought it from the New World, they told me it's a carnivorous plant. I don't know what that means, but check this out, it can actually eat insects, birds and small animals. It once bit off the gardener's finger, too. Cool, is it not? Now check this one out, it's from Africa. It puffs toxins if you touch it, so don't. And that one over there, it randomly shoots off spikes. It killed the last three gardeners. And this one here, this is the big one. It's not a plant, it's a dragon's egg. One day it will hatch a fire-breathing baby dragon, I've named him "Csazcenkí" already. My husband says I should get rid of the egg; he says Csazcenkí will burn the castle down. I won't of course. Anyway, let's leave this place before that African plant kills somebody else. Follow me to the stables.

Here they are, my horses - my babies, my beloved children! Check this one out, it's the purest Arabian horse you'll find in Europe. He once belonged to an Ottoman army commander whom we captured. We impaled him, for they do not like it up 'em. I still have his skull, I think, in the living room holding up the table with the wonky leg. That's where we're going next, but first, take a look at the rest of the horses. Here's my pony - she's cute, eh? And here's my husband's warhorse in full armour. It can run down a stone wall, I'm telling you. And this one here, my ass - I just love it, it's the talk of the village.

Feed me

Soames, the gardener, is a genius. He insists on having a young, female assistant, but they never seem to last.

And here, behind this door is the most magnificent thing you'll ever see. Behold, the lovely carriage my husband bought me on my last birthday! Made of solid silver, plated with gold and studded with all kinds of jewelry. You just name it, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond - it's all here. And check out the wheels, 96 inchers, baby! And the rims, they're solid gold, too. Awesome bling, is it not? OK, wipe off your drool, all of you, and off to the living room, as I promised.

Here we are, the living room. This is where I come to relax, you know, find some tranquility and inner peace. This window here, I love it, the view is spectacular. If you look over there, you can see lake Kzsat. It's lovely really, nature's beauty. And over there is the field where we impaled 20,000 Ottoman warriors, they did not seem to enjoy it up 'em either. Their bodies are still there on their spears, a pleasant sight to start any day. And in case the weather is bad and I can't enjoy the scenery, I have some equally fantastic stuff installed here. Here's my lovely fountain. Of blood. And here are the skulls of our dead enemies. Yes, here's the skull of the commander I told you about, and here's that of the previous Sultan. And this over here... No, it's not a statue, it's an "Iron Maiden", my favourite torture device. You see, it has spikes on the inside, so you just place a peasant girl in there, close it and enjoy the music. I generally have the castle choir give me a rendition of "Bring your daughter to the slaughter" as the blood dribbles out - that's a traditional Hungarian folk song.

And check this out! No, it's not a table either - it's a rack. You tie a peasant girl onto it, and pull off her four limbs, simultaneously! It's really soothing, the music it produces. Wouldn't you like to be taller? No? Very well then, off to a very special room, my master bedroom.


Bathory3

"The key to a truly relaxing bath is scented candles. And severed heads."


And this here, is my bedroom. This is where the magic happens. It's my husband, mostly, he's the one who's into sorcery. Just look at all those books, they are all about sorcery. Here's his wand. He has one of them pointed hats, too, but I don't know where he keeps it. So anyway, this is our bed, and umm... I guess you know what happens here, so I'll just skip this part. This, over there, is a golden 12-foot-tall sculpture of my husbands genitalia, and I can tell you, it's very pushing it, if you know what I mean.. Anyway, this is my closet, and as you can see, there are at least 200 dresses and pairs of shoes in there. You see this white one over here? I wore this one on my wedding day. And never wore it again. A shame, but blood stains are hard to shift. Come on, out of the closet, and into the bathroom. As you can see, the bath tub is carved out of a huge block of gold. And the shower pours virgin blood not water. What, you don't believe me? See for yourself.. See? I told you. Now, follow me and I'll show you my swimming pool.

Here it is, the secret of my eternal beauty, the swimming pool. Nothing keeps you fit as swimming does. You know, every muscle in your body works when you swim. Well, as you can see, the pool is also filled with pure virgin blood. The blood is replaced every full moon, and it takes about 25 virgins to fill it... Which reminds me, tonight is full moon, and we'll be needin-- hmmm, follow me, I'm going to show you the landmark of my castle, the Gynaeceum, it's a separate building where girls stay, and it has all the facilities girls need. It's really awesome, but it's strictly a girls-only building, so I guess you guys will have to wait outside while I take the girls in with me and show them around. You're virgins, right? Oh, good! follow me, then.

(The countess and the girls enter, while the crewmen remain outside with the equipment. Ten minutes later, she comes out alone, without the girls.)

Bathory10

The MTV girls waving the boys goodbye.

Well, the girls liked the place and decided to stay.. That's it, you guys will have to go now. Thank you, MTV, for featuring my castle, it's been a pleasure. Now get the HELL out before I call the guards! Go, I don't want to see you here again. Bye. Farewell. Guards, get them out!

Program Notes

Transmission times for this program can be found on the MTV Website.

Tune in next week for the Halloween Special featuring Vlad the Impaler at his castle in Transylvania! And don't forget to look out for our coming feature on Inquistor General of Spain, Tomas de Torquemada at home burning heretics in his back garden!

Due to shortage created by the unfortunate loss of staff at Countess Bathory's mansion, MTV is looking for new, eager recruits willing to risk their lives to further the channel's viewing figures.

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