Ed Gein’s House
The dilapidated Wisconsin farm where Ed Gein lived alone following the death of his father, brother, and mother became the primary location where he carried out his crimes. He hauled bodies from cemeteries back home to dismember. Years after his arrest, human remains were still found on the property. Where is Ed Gein’s house of horrors?
The property where Ed Gein’s house was located is just a few miles southwest of Plainfield, WI on the corner of Archer and 2nd Ave. The house burned down in March of 1958, and all the outbuildings were razed in the following years by the new owner. The site where the farmhouse once stood is now just an empty, overgrown lot.
The Gein Family in Plainfield
In 1914, when Ed was about 8 years old, the Gein family sold their grocery store in La Crosse and moved to the isolated farmstead outside of Plainfield. In statements following his arrest, Ed described hardship on the farm as they struggled to grow crops in the area’s sandy soil, a problem he said the locals were unwilling to help them with.
It was here that Gein’s psychosis developed and grew into a burgeoning madness, an obsessive and melancholic desperation through which he seldom saw clarity.
Loneliness, coupled with his mother’s oppressive religious indoctrination, drove Ed to commit extreme acts in the years after the rest of his family was gone. Whether freshly murdered or dug up, Ed brought his victims back to the farm where they became part of his macabre collection.
When the Wisconsin State Crime Lab arrived at the Gein farm, they discovered inside a ghastly collection of objects fashioned from Ed’s victims, including:
- A female “mammary suit”
- Masks made from human faces
- Skull sawed open for use as a bowl
- Lampshade made from human flesh
- Chair upholstered in human flesh
- Human nipple belt
- Box of painted vulvas salted for preservation
It was during this removal of evidence, according to now deceased Plainfield resident Hollis Brown, that he discovered a cauldron containing human remains.
An extensive search of the property revealed no noticeable burials where Gein may have disposed of remains. However, in May of 1960 workers on the property unearthed previously undiscovered human bones.
Fire & Auction
Days before the property and all of Gein’s possessions were to be auctioned off in March of 1958, a fire reduced the house to a smoldering pile of debris. The fire was never investigated, but rumors of the property being purchased and opened as a tourist attraction called The House of Horrors may have precipitated the event.
The property was bought in the 1958 auction by Emden Schey. He tore down the outbuildings, planted trees, and sold off most of the land except the homestead site. Schey’s grandson Mike Fisher later inherited the property.
In 2006, Fisher attempted to sell the property by listing it on Ebay for $250,000 under the heading “Ed Geins Farm…The REAL deal!” Ebay removed the listing several days later.
The property eventually changed hands and the chain across the driveway with a sign that read “Fisher” was replaced by a plain metal gate.
The land is private property. For the first time ever, the current owner has granted access to the property for film crews in recent years to shoot television content about Ed Gein.