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Ed Gein’s house, property and possessions were auctioned off on March 30, 1958, just months after his arrest following the grisly discovery of Plainfield hardware store owner Bernice Worden’s mutilated body and other human remains scattered throughout his family’s old farmhouse where he had lived for years in isolation.
Ed Gein’s house after his arrest in November, 1957
Filled with grotesque craft projects Gein had fashioned from the remains of corpses he exhumed from local cemeteries, the house quickly became a source of macabre fascination for curious visitors – and an open sore for Plainfield residents. Gein became a ward of the state, and though he hadn’t been tried yet, it was clear he would never see his home again. When it was announced that an auction would be held to sell off the land, buildings, and everything inside them, rumors began to float around town that someone intended to buy the house and turn it into a morbid museum attraction called the “House of Horrors.”
Locals were naturally upset by this news. It was, after all, their friends and loved ones Gein had dug up to turn into chairs, lampshades, clothing and home décor. So it came as no surprise to anyone when the house mysteriously burned to the ground before the auction.
The land, outbuildings, and everything the Gein family had owned was still up for grabs, however, and the auction went on while the charred ruins of the house still smoldered. Some notable purchases included the car Gein used to transport bodies from the graves he exhumed, which was billed as ED GEIN’S GHOUL CAR and exhibit for some time at county fairs around the state until it vanished, and a cauldron Gein may have used to hold the guts of his victims which now sits on display at the Haunted Museum in Las Vegas.
This incredible 8mm home video posted shows rare footage of the crowd gathered on the Gein property for the auction and viewing the pile of ash that used to be the house.
The video begins with footage of the Youtube poster’s father plowing snow with a tractor, but the footage of Gein’s house and auction begins at about the two-minute mark.
Watch the film of Ed Gein’s house here:
Today, the land where Ed Gein’s house once stood is private property and the place once occupied by the house itself remains empty. In a paranormal investigation conducted on the land for a Travel Channel special, psychic Cindy Kaza claimed to make contact with the malevolent ghost of Ed Gein there.