ByAshley Washington, writer at
I don't need anyone else. I have Uroboros!
Ashley Washington

When was the last time you played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? That long, huh? This probably means that you don't remember exactly how bizarre the game could get.

With one of the biggest worlds in video game history, there was a lot going on—some parts of the sprawling environment still hide dark and mysterious secrets. One GTA myth that has endured throughout the years relates to a horror legend said to be lurking in the woods: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface.

The Legend Of Leatherface In 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'

The GTA are bloody enough without any chainsaw-wielding maniacs about, but that didn't stop the flood of speculation once the first Leatherface sighting occurred. If you can believe it, the rumors themselves aren't entirely unfounded, but we'll get to that.

First things first, meet the man himself!

Who Is Leatherface?

'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' [Credit: Bryanston Pictures]
'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' [Credit: Bryanston Pictures]

The Grand Theft Auto Leatherface legend finds its inspiration on the silver screen. The original Leatherface is a character—the main antagonist—from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. According to the films, Leatherface likes to eat the people he kills and sometimes, if he's feeling fancy, will use their skin to make a mask. It's endearing but also 100% nasty.

What's The Myth?

'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' [Credit: Rockstar Games]
'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' [Credit: Rockstar Games]

The version of Leatherface that we've got in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a slightly different story behind him. The legend starts with a bunch of rumors that flew around the community shortly after the game's release. Players said that they were hearing chainsaw noises around The Panopticon, an abandoned sawmill in Red County near Blueberry.

There was also some buzz about the house that you come across in the "Body Harvest" mission. The house itself resembles Leatherface's and, at night, the house windows glow blue.

The majority of the reported encounters with Leatherface entail some form of assault—Leatherface will normally shoot or cut the player with a chainsaw from behind, taking them by surprise as they wander through the area.

Is There Any Evidence?

San Andreas fans who believe in the Leatherface appearances have cited the following as evidence of his existence:

  • Chainsaw sounds
  • Sightings
  • Random murder when your console is left inactive
  • Rusty wheelchair similar to chair from the film at Fisher's Lagoon
  • A ghostly Glendale appearance at the Panopticon at the end of the "Wu Zi Mu" mission

There isn't a ton to work with on this one. Like the Bigfoot mystery before it, all of the evidence has been anecdotal or created by artificial means (like in the video above). Things fall apart pretty quickly when you take a closer look at what's really going on.

Is There Any Truth To It?

'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' [Credit: Rockstar Games]
'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' [Credit: Rockstar Games]

Things don't look great for Leatherface! Reports with details about Leatherface's appearance seem to be more in line with the appearance of pedestrians in the area than a distinct Leatherface model.

Fan input on the topic seems to be generally the same; they say that they've seen Leatherface before but the evidence is no longer around. Very convenient, guys.

Comment on the myth's wiki page. [Credit:]
Comment on the myth's wiki page. [Credit:]

Nearly all of the evidence pointing to Leatherface's existence can be disproved. Most of the footage of the sightings has been artificially created—in some cases, alternative skins for CJ have been used to create the illusion for video.

A more realistic perspective would be that, although Leatherface himself doesn't exist, there is certainly some referential action going on which is pretty standard for GTA.

It's a shame that it can't be real, but the very fact the myth has been allowed to propagate shows just how strong urban legends can be, even those that live in video games. On top of that, there's plenty of well-documented to find in other GTA worlds.

Still believe the Leatherface hype?


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