To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

People can't believe these classic horrors were all based on the same serial killer
Featured Image Credit: MGM, Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

People can't believe these classic horrors were all based on the same serial killer

Ed Gein is arguably one of the most prolific murderers in American history

There are three classic horror movies that are thought to have all been inspired by the same man.

There have been dozens of infamous killers that have made it into films and TV shows over the decades, from Dahmer and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, to Mindhunter and Des.

While you'll have heard of the likes of Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer who inspired such TV shows, there's one name you might not know - Ed Gein.

Gein was a convicted murderer and suspected serial killer, and the nature of his murders earned him the names the 'Butcher of Plainfield' and the 'Plainfield Ghoul'.

Gein committed his crimes in his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, and, as well as murdering people, he was known for exhuming corpses from graves and would use their body parts as keepsakes.

His heinous crimes came to light when his home was searched in connection to the disappearance of Bernice Worden in 1957.

Worden, who was the mother of the town's deputy sheriff, was discovered hanging headless with her body gutted in Gein's home.

Ed Gein shown in Wautoma court in 1957.
Bettmann / Contributor

Police went on to discover the woman's head and heart, as well as other people's organs which were being stored in jars.

He reportedly used skulls for soup bowls and a belt made from human nipples as well.

Upon his arrest, Gein admitted to Worden's murder, as well as the death of Mary Hogan - who had gone missing three years prior.

As for the gruesome discoveries in his home, Gein also admitted to having raided the local graveyard for bodies.

Ed Gein's Plainfield farm.
Bettmann / Contributor

Following his admissions, he went on to be found guilty of murder and was remanded to psychiatric institution after being found to be legally insane.

He died at the age of 77 from complications linked with lung cancer.

What films did Ed Gein's crimes inspire?


Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Robert Bloch, who wrote 1959 novel Psycho, was living in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, near Plainfield, when he wrote it.

He is said to have partly based the novel on the circumstances surrounding the Gein case, but was apparently shocked when he realized 'how closely the imaginary character I’d created resembled the real Ed Gein both in overt act and apparent motivation'.

Gein, like Norman Bates, had a strange devotion to his late mother.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre


Meanwhile, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre being based on a farm is thought to give the nod to Gein's farm in Plainfield.

It seemed to borrow ideas from Gein's crimes in regards to body-part home decor, the possible cannibalism, and the masks of skin as well.

Tobe Hooper, who directed the movie, revealed in 1997 that he grew up not far form when Gein lived.

"I grew up with that kind of like a campfire tale, you know, a horror tale you tell in the woods,” he said, as per Biography.

His 1997 interview continued: "I didn’t really know the man’s name; I didn’t even know about Ed Gein.

"I just knew about something that happened that was horrendous. But that image really stuck, and I grew up with that kind of burning in my mind."

The Silence of the Lambs


Iconic and terrifying character Buffalo Bill is reported to have been a mix of Gein, Ted Bundy, Gary Heidnik, and Edmund Kemper.

In the film, the killer wears a suit made from his victim's skin, which seems like a nod to Gein's horrific crimes.

If you're interested in finding out more about Gein and his crimes, 2023 docu-series Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein is available to stream on Fubo and MGM+.

Topics: Horror, True crime, News, Film and TV