An animal rights group wants to convert the western Pennsylvania house used in the film The Silence of the Lambs into an empathy museum, where visitors could wear the skins of slain and abused animals.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says in a release that it has written to the real estate agent handling the sale and wants to create a museum.

The building was home to psychotic killer Buffalo Bill in the 1991 film.

PETA says by wearing animal skins, people would be reminded that animals also are "made of flesh, blood and bone."

Scott and Barbara Lloyd listed the Layton home for sale last summer but have struggled to sell the house, located about 45 km southeast of Pittsburgh. The couple dropped the asking price from $300,000 to $250,000 US earlier this month. 

The home's foyer and dining room were depicted in The Silence of the Lambs, which earned Oscars for stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. However, there's no dungeon pit in the basement where the killer, played by Ted Levine, kept his victims before killing and skinning them. Those grisly scenes were filmed on a soundstage.

The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster won an Oscar for her turn as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. (Ken Regan/Orion Pictures/Associated Press)