The Macabre Story Of Ed Gein, The Serial Killer Who Used Human Body Parts To Make Furniture

For years, Ed Gein holed up inside his dilapidated home in Plainfield, Wisconsin as he carefully skinned and dismembered his victims in order to fashion everything from a chair to a bodysuit.

Most people have seen classic horror films like Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). But what many may not know is that the terrifying villains in these three movies were all based on one real-life killer: Ed Gein, the so-called “Butcher of Plainfield.”

Ed Gein

Bettmann/Getty ImagesEd Gein, the so-called “Butcher of Plainfield.”

When police entered his Plainfield, Wisconsin home in November 1957, following the disappearance of a local woman, they walked straight into a house of horrors. Not only did they find the woman they were looking for — dead, decapitated, and hung from her ankles — but they also found a number of shocking, grisly objects crafted by Ed Gein.


Police found skulls, human organs, and gruesome pieces of furniture like lampshades made of human faces and chairs upholstered with human skin. Gein’s goal, as he later explained to police, was to create a skin suit to quasi-resurrect his dead mother with whom he’d been obsessed for years.   more

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