The True Story Behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released in 1974, is a horror movie classic that still haunts audiences to this day. But did you know that the film was based on a true story? In this article, we’ll explore the real events that inspired the movie and the gruesome details that were left out of the film.

The Inspiration

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was inspired by the crimes of serial killer Ed Gein. Gein was a quiet, unassuming man who lived in rural Wisconsin in the 1950s. After his mother died, he became increasingly isolated and turned to grave robbing and eventually murder to satisfy his twisted desires.

When police searched Gein’s home, they found a collection of human remains, including skulls, skin, and body parts that he had fashioned into furniture and clothing. The macabre details of Gein’s crimes shocked the nation and inspired a slew of horror movies, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The Movie

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows a group of friends who become stranded in rural Texas and are terrorized by a family of cannibals led by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. While the movie is loosely based on Ed Gein’s crimes, it takes many creative liberties and exaggerates the violence for shock value.

Despite its low budget and controversial subject matter, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre became a box office success and spawned numerous sequels and remakes over the years.

The Real Story

While The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a work of fiction, the real story behind the movie is just as gruesome. In 1991, a man named Robert Elmer Kleason was arrested in Texas for a series of brutal murders that he committed with a chainsaw.

Kleason was a drifter who had a history of violent behavior. He would pick up hitchhikers and take them to his remote property, where he would torture and kill them with a chainsaw. Like Leatherface in the movie, Kleason kept souvenirs from his victims, including bones and clothing.

The Legacy

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has had a lasting impact on popular culture and the horror genre. Its iconic villain, Leatherface, has become a staple of Halloween costumes and haunted house attractions. The movie’s gritty, documentary-style cinematography has influenced countless filmmakers and has been praised for its realism.

Despite its controversial subject matter, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remains a beloved horror classic that continues to terrify and shock audiences to this day.


The true story behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a chilling reminder of the horrors that can lurk beneath the surface of everyday life. While the movie takes many creative liberties, the real-life crimes that inspired it are just as disturbing. The legacy of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a testament to the power of horror movies to elicit fear and fascination in audiences around the world.

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