Slasher horror movies gained traction in the late 70s, and it has the same hype to date. 

Many movies and franchises of this genre have gained massive success, like Scream, HalloweenFriday the 13th, Child's Play, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of them. The first movie was released in 1974, and since then, nine films, a video game, and different comics have come out.  

On February 18, 2022, the ninth movie of the same name as the franchise was released on Netflix. While the film received negative reviews by critics, fans appreciated it for the gore aspect. 

Once again, it raised the question of if the franchise was based on a real story. While it claims to be based on a real story, there is very little truth to it. 

Here is everything about the real story of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface is slightly based on a real story and the crimes of a serial killer

Leatherface is slightly based on a real story and the crimes of a serial killer. (Source: Twitter)

'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Real Story

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise revolves around a cannibalistic serial killer in Texas called Leatherface. He and his family often terrorize and attack a group of friends and then slaughter them.

Leatherface usually kills people with his trusty chainsaw, hence the name of the franchise. Then, after brutally murdering people, the cannibals cook and consume their victims.  

Watching the films is disturbing, let alone seeing that happening in real life. But unfortunately, the movies in the franchise are indeed "inspired by a true story."

However, the events in the film did not exactly happen as portrayed in real life. Rather, the films are loosely based on a notorious serial killer, Edward Theodore Gein, best known as Ed Gein.

Gein and his crimes directly inspire Leatherface. The director of the first film, Tobe Hooper, confirmed that he was inspired by Gein and his skin mask for the reel life killer.

Hooper's relatives lived in the town close to Gein, and they told Hooper about the atrocious crimes of the serial killer. They told him everything from cannibalism to Gein's obsession with human skin. 

As a result, Hooper was both terrified and inspired by Gein. In real life, Gein terrorized Plainfield, Wisconsin, but since Hooper is a native to Texas, he based the movie on his hometown. 

Similarly, it is reported that Leatherface was also loosely based on the serial killer Elmer Wayne Henley. Henley was a teenager when the serial killer, Dean Corll, hired him.

Similarly, David Owen Brooks was also hired by Corll, who taught them how to lure, murder, and rape teenage boys. It is noted that the trio killed at least 28 boys.

Henley later shot and killed Corll and then confessed to the murder of other boys. Hooper had seen the conviction of Henley on TV and then was inspired by him for the cannibalistic family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Leatherface and Ed Gein, the real story behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, side by side.

Leatherface and Ed Gein, the real story behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, side by side. (Source: Twitter)

Crimes of Ed Gein 

Born and raised in Plainfield, Wisconsin, Gein terrorized the area in the 50s. He was a body snatcher and was dubbed the Plainfield Ghoul and Butcher of Plainfield. 

Gein was born to an alcoholic father, a controlling and religious mother, and an older brother. But within the span of five years between 1940 to 1945, all three members of his family died. 

His father died in 1940, his brother died mysteriously in a fire in 1944, and his mother died in 1945 because of health problems. After that, he lived on his farm all alone. 

More like Gein was the only living being on his farm. This is because human bones and bodies surrounded his house.

Similarly, he had made masks, bowls, leggings, lampshades, and chair covers from human skin. Like in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, Gein wore a human face and scalp over his own. 

It is suspected that Gein killed several people from 1954 to1957. However, he was only convicted of two murders.

He was also a grave robber, therefore, it is unknown if the heinous human items in his farmhouse were from his victims or the graves he robbed. 

Gein did not stand the trial since he was declared mentally unfit. Instead, he was sent to the Wisconsin state hospital, but in 1968, he stood trial for his crimes. 

However, he was found guilty by reason of insanity and lived in a state facility until he died on July 26, 1984. He died from the complication of cancer at 77.

Gein was not only the inspiration behind Leatherface. His crimes were also the 'real story' that inspired Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs and Norman Bates in Psycho