Eleonore Von Schwarzenberg - Bohemian Princess & Suspected Vampire
Princess Eleonore Elisabeth Amalia Magdalena Von Schwarzenberg was an 18th century princess, who resided in what is now The Czech Republic, in Central Europe. She lived in a large Baroque era castle situated in modern day Prague (Castle Square). Eleonore may have been part of the research subjects Bram Stoker, Irish author, had used when he wrote Dracula's Guest and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Princess Eleonore was a superstitious woman, especially when her husband died in a hunting accident, and her son was taken to reside with the emperor in Vienna, directly following his death. She fell ill with what was probably cancer. After her death, a large tumor was found in her intestinal area.
Princess Eleonore was married to the late Prince Adam Franz Karl Eusebius Von Schwarzenberg, who as aforementioned, died in a hunting accident. The Princess was an avid hunter, and would kill everything hunt-able in her path, except for one creature, the wolf. She needed female wolves within child bearing years, who could supply her with their breast milk. As old wives tales had told Princess Eleonore, wolves milk would help her with fertility and with producing a male heir, which she had not done. Finally, at the age of 41, Princess Eleonore gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Joseph I (Joseph Adam Schwarzenberg).
Eleonore was treated by the best physicians of her time during her illness, but of course, cancer had not yet been discovered, and one could not respectfully examine a woman, especially of noble birth in a manner that would warrant any disrespect. She certainly could not remove enough clothing so her abdomen could be examined, and even so, in the 18th century, there weren't x-rays. Eleonore was grasping to dear life during her illness, which it took years to succumb to. She ordered exorbitant amounts of medicines, which were little more than folk medicine in those days, which most definitely would not be curing cancer anytime soon. She spent the bulk of her money doing this, and was deep in debt at her death.
Much of Princess Eleonore's death, funeral, and preparations to be buried were strange for a noble and veered from customary services. Also, it was considered disrespectful to autopsy anyone, much less a noble in those days, and she was autopsied. A large fee was charged for her physician(s) to do so. She was buried under a large slab of concrete in soil from a churchyard. She was buried in a chapel. Recently, her grave was investigated and the previously mentioned findings were what scientists concluded. Nobody attended Eleonore's funeral, not even her own offspring. Her funeral was at night, and none of the high clergy attended. The only people in attendance were commoners, because she requested they attend in her will. No aristocracy showed up. She was carried to her final resting place quickly in the evening hours, which wasn't customary either.
It is speculated from her odd burial, the fact that her autopsy cost so much money, and that she was autopsied at all that she was suspected to be a vampire. Its said to have been kept quiet because of her status in life. Cancer, of course, renders a person thin, pale, and they appear to be wasting away for no apparent reason, and in those days, if they could not find a reason for her illness, a supernatural cause might be the culprit. Is it possible her physicians suspected a vampire infection? Both commoners and educated physicians alike were unearthing graves of the countryside and performing rituals on corpses that were not "decomposed enough" during the period in which Princess Eleonore died. Were the aristocrats immune, or was this thought to be her fate due to her superstitious lifestyle?
The conclusion is up to you, but these are the thoughts of many scholars in the modern age who have researched historical castle files to find a reason why Eleonore wasn't buried with her family and why nobody attended her funeral. I find these circumstances odd. Were people just turned off by her eccentricity and didn't attend her funeral because of this? It would have been pretty disrespectful to treat an aristocrat this way, much less a princess.