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The Haunting Story of Ed Gein


October is the spooky season when the gruesome and the macabre are celebrated. Horror movies are a staple for some when it comes to Halloween. Truth is stranger than fiction, many of these films are inspired by real-life murders. As humans, we are fascinated by those that live among us that commit the ultimate taboo of taking another human’s life.


What makes them different from the masses of people we walk past on the street and how can they commit such heinous crimes?


One individual that has inspired many horror films is Ed Gein. He has inspired many horror films and books but three of the most influential are the Silence of the Lambs, Psycho and the Texas Chainsaw massacre. So, what did Ed Gein do to inspire such chilling films?


Ed Gein grew up in Wisconsin with an alcoholic father and a religious fanatic mother. His mother, Augusta, preached that sin was everywhere and that women were evil creatures that corrupted men and defied Christ. Her domineering ways shaped Ed Gein growing up to depend on her. After his mother’s death, Ed Gein started digging up the graves of women in the local cemetery and removing body parts. It is estimated that he exhumed 40 bodies across the state of Wisconsin. He practiced taxidermy on the body parts and had been recorded handing out meat which he called “venison”.


Ed Gein has been convicted of the murder of two women Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden. Although he has been linked with the disappearance of other women. When he finally was caught after the murder of Bernice Worden. Police entered his home and found something truly shocking. Recovered from the farmhouse were human bones, a wastebasket made of human skin, skulls on bedposts, bowls made from human skulls, a corset made of a female torso, leggings made of human skin, masks made of female heads, vulvas, a belt made of human nipples, noses, a lampshade made of a human face and some human lips. Mary Hogan’s skull and tanned face were also found alongside Bernice’s head and heart. It was said that Ed Gein was trying to create a human skin suit to become his mother.


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