Any murderino worth their salt knows the name Ed Gein. Hell, any horror fan will know the name due to the influence his murders had on stories like Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Edward Theodore Gein was a man in Plainfield, Wisconsin that killed two women and mutilated the corpses of nine others in the 1950’s. While his body count was low compared to other serial killers, his methods were true horrors. Ed Gein used the skin of his victims to create items in his home, like gloves and a lampshade. He also created a suit out of skin that he wished to wear. Because of all of that horror and violence, it would not be surprising for his home and other places in his hometown to be haunted. Discovery+ has decided to investigate the paranormal happenings in their new Shock Docs documentary ED GEIN: THE REAL PSYCHO.
In ED GEIN: THE REAL PSYCHO, paranormal investigator Steve Shippy and psychic medium Cindy Kaza travel to Plainfield, Wisconsin to investigate hot spots in the town to see if Ed Gein or any of his victims still remain to haunt the people that currently live there. They visit locations like the cemetery where Gein, his mother and his victims are buried, the location of the hardware store where he abducted a woman, the location where his home used to be and more with various pieces of equipment to see what they can find.
I have been watching paranormal reality TV since 2005 and when it includes famous true crime cases, I am doubly interested, so I was very excited to see what this show had to offer on both sides of the coin. Paranormal shows are notorious for being pretty dramatic with lots of sound effects, dramatic moments and dramatizations. That being said, ED GEIN: THE REAL PSYCHO is just a little too much. Right off the bat, there were way too many re-enactments. When you have a lot re-enactments that aren’t done all that well, it really takes you out of the intensity and creepiness that the show is trying to create.
As a paranormal investigator myself, I am pretty critical of over-the-top investigations. Anyone who has gone on investigations knows that investigating is 1% ghosts and 99% sitting and waiting. Steve and Cindy have so much equipment at their disposal in addition to Cindy’s abilities. Where I get skeptical is just how much they think is happening and it ALL is in relation to Ed Gein. There were a couple moments that made me stop in my tracks but for the most part, it seemed like nearly 90 minutes of reaching. It’s as if they wanted something to happen so much, that anything and everything was Ed Gein or a victim.
Let’s say that what they experienced was in fact paranormal, only once and briefly was it mentioned that another type of haunting is residual. While some hauntings are intelligent, when something traumatic happens, the energy of that event and the people involved can replay itself over and over in that area. Not only that, there is a newer theory regarding intelligent hauntings that some “hauntings” aren’t ghosts at all but the theory that time is a lake and not a river. Perhaps sometimes, time can cross and we get intelligent glimpses of real events happening at the same time, as if the events of Ed Gein’s crimes were occurring at the same time as Steve and Cindy’s investigations.
If you like paranormal reality shows and documentaries that play more as found footage than boots-on-the-ground paranormal investigating, then I think you will enjoy ED GEIN: THE REAL PSYCHO. They dig a bit into his past and his relationship with his mother, which was interesting to see; however, if you like realistic investigating then you will probably look at this show the same way I did, as something more akin to a novelty than an investigation. It’s fun to watch but doesn’t really answer any questions. You can watch ED GEIN: THE REAL PSYCHO on Discovery+ starting April 9th. I think that Discovery+ is a worthy investment if you enjoy the paranormal and true crime shows.