Wisconsin December 03, 2018
These Disturbing Events In Wisconsin Were So Creepy They Inspired Movies
It’s pretty much impossible to talk about horror movies without understanding the background of Plainfield’s Ed Gein. In the 1950s, when police raided his family homestead, they found atrocities so intense, so heinous, they’re nearly impossible to comprehend. What Gein did was so egregious that his story could only be told through horror movies. Normally the milieu of made-up, over the top caricatures meant to shock and scare you, Gein was so terrifying they could base their characters in reality. His background and story are the inspiration for Norman Bates (
Psycho), Jame Gumb ( The Silence of the Lambs) and Leatherface ( The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).
Gein was brought up in unusual circumstances on a farm in Plainfield that he rarely left. His brothers died under questionable circumstances and caused Gein's mother to become even more possessive and protective than she had been. Her overbearing nature was all Ed Gein knew. He had little to no contact with outside people and she micro-managed his life to a ridiculous degree.
When she died, Gein was left adrift and alone on the farm. He had few coping skills and because his mother had managed everything, he was woefully unprepared for a life without her. Her death seemed to set off something in his brain and it was the catalyst for all the horrible things he would go on to do.
There were a number of mysterious disappearances around the Plainfield area that could not be solved. Eventually, Gein was the main suspect in the murder of a local shopkeeper and when police arrived at the farm to question him, they unearthed much more than they had been prepared for.
Though he was only ever charged with two murders, it is suspected that Gein was responsible for numerous others. In addition to those crimes, Gein admitted to robbing local graves and committing unthinkable acts with those bodies. Not only did that include necrophilia, but his psychosis extended to wanting to recreate his mother to keep her with him always.
That obsession with his mother heavily influenced
Psycho, which was written by Robert Bloch - a man who lived near Plainfield when Gein was arrested. He built upon the idea of a man so obsessed with his own mother that he could do numerous unhinged things. Gein was taking skin from the dead bodies and creating not only a suit he could put on and pretend to be his mother, but also household items and various pieces of clothing.
The house was full of human parts, including masks made of human skin that Gein had tanned and sewn together. He was so traumatized and obsessed with his mother that he was trying to recreate her and bring her back. He wanted to literally crawl into her skin through the bodies of these deceased women.
Whole human skulls appeared be used for bowls and a pair of lips was being used as a shade pull. Human skin covered a wastebasket, a lampshade, and several chair seats. There were a mask, leggings and a corset, all made of human skin. What the police found in Gein's house that day traumatized them for life; the sheriff is said to have lost his mind after interrogating Gein and seeing his house.
Gein described going to the cemeteries as being in a trance-like state and said at least 30 times he "woke up" once he was there and committed no crimes. But at least nine times he went through with the process, exhuming recently-buried bodies and committing a number of atrocities on them.
Gein was only tried for a single murder - that of a shopkeeper. He was committed to a mental hospital where he died of natural causes years later. But it's clear that what he did was so gruesome and unbelievable that it continues to haunt our nightmares and provide real-life fodder for some of the scariest films ever made.
Were you alive when Ed Gein was caught? Tell us about it in the comments.
You can read about more terrifying things that have happened in Wisconsin