The 16 scariest real haunted houses in America

Real Haunted House 8 Missisppi

An abandoned home in Mississippi. Seph Lawless

Forget about those hokey attractions at amusement parks. There are real haunted houses spread across America.

We’re talking about the true-blue, creepy-as-can-be haunted houses.

The houses where local residents claim they hear voices and where serial killers dumped their victims. The places that carry legends of entire families vanishing into thin air and serve as a backdrop for murders and suicides.

Photographer Seph Lawless braved these collapsing and dilapidated buildings for his new photo book, “13: Hauntingly Beautiful,” to show us how creepy these places are. Captioned with the photos are the urban legends and tales Lawless heard about the houses photographed, coupled with information from some corroborating news reports.

Lawless will also be staying in one of these abandoned homes on Halloween night, and will be live-streaming the event. Which home will be decided via vote by his Instagram followers.

Under a pseudonym, photographer Seph Lawless is known for his dark and foreboding pictures of abandoned buildings.


Real Haunted House 9 Detroit

Seph Lawless

The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.

Real Haunted House 9 inside

Seph Lawless

In support of his new photo book, “13: Hauntingly Beautiful,” Lawless has provided us with photos of real-life haunted houses across America.


Real Haunted House 11 Pennsylvania

Seph Lawless

Some are actual murder sites, while others are places where corpses have been dumped. All are creepy.


Real Haunted House 11 inside

Seph Lawless

We begin our tour with the Haught Mansion in Brush Park, Michigan, which was an upscale brothel in its 1940s heyday.


Real Haunted House 2 Michigan

Seph Lawless

Years after it closed, a number of dead bodies were found in the basement. The torsos and chests of the victims were marked with perfectly round circles.


Real Haunted House 2 inside

Seph Lawless

This broken-down palace in Michigan made a cameo as Bruce Wayne’s house in 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”


Real Haunted House 1 Michigan

Seph Lawless

A film assistant came across it while looking at Lawless’ photos.


Real Haunted House 1 inside (1)

Seph Lawless

Detroit is full of ghost stories, especially on Temple Street. In 1942, three priests are said to have been murdered in this dilapidated Victorian mansion.


Real Haunted House 3 Michigan

Seph Lawless

Neighbors from across the street say they’d heard ghosts stirring in the house, which was recently demolished to make way for new developments.


Real Haunted House 3 inside

Seph Lawless

This abandoned home in East Cleveland was marked by ABC News as the dumping ground of a serial killer in 2013.

Real Haunted House 4 East, Cleveland

Seph Lawless

Three female victims were found in the house. The killer had put one of the women in the fetal position and wrapped her in plastic bags.

Real Haunted House 4 inside

Seph Lawless

A man named Benjamin Albright accidentally shot and killed his son in 1958 in this Nova, Ohio, house. He later killed himself and his wife.

Real Haunted House 5 Nova,Ohio

Seph Lawless

Called the Nova House, the home has been abandoned ever since. Some of the family’s belongings are still inside.

Real Haunted House 5 inside

Seph Lawless

It’s suspected that this Milan, Ohio, house is where local witches practice their craft.

Real Haunted House 6 Milan,Ohio

Seph Lawless

The original owner, known as the Milan Witch, is rumored to be buried underneath the front porch.

Real Haunted House 6 inside

Seph Lawless

In Buffalo, New York, a local sheriff, Donald Caters, shot himself after his home went into foreclosure.

Real Haunted House 7 Ohio

Seph Lawless

The house has sat vacant since the 1968 suicide. Locals claim they hear voices around the property.

Real Haunted House 7 inside

Seph Lawless

Lawless believes slaves were kept in this Mississippi plantation house. Some of the walls have markings similar to what a prisoner might scrawl to pass time.

Real Haunted House 8 Missisppi

An abandoned home in Mississippi. Seph Lawless

Lawless says this house was “emotionally draining to photograph.”

Real Haunted House 8 inside

Seph Lawless

This Texarkana, Arkansas, house sits in front of the road where the “Phantom Killer” took his victims. His crimes are often called the Moonlight Killings.

Real Haunted House 10 Arkansas

Seph Lawless

The Phantom Killer was never caught, but some speculate that his crimes are the early work of the Zodiac Killer.

Real Haunted House 10 inside

Seph Lawless

The haunted Bailey Mansion is the inspiration for the house in the first season of FX’s “American Horror Story.”

Real Haunted House 12 Pennsylvnia

Seph Lawless

The show was set in Los Angeles, but the actual location of the Bailey House — often referred to as “the murder house” — is in Hartford, Connecticut.

Real Haunted House 12 inside

Seph Lawless

Lawless shot this 1892-built house in downtown McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the day before it collapsed from a fire.

Real Haunted House 13 Pennsyvania

Seph Lawless

“It’s truly frightening and it still gives me chills thinking about it,” says Lawless.

Real Haunted House 13 inside

Seph Lawless

According to locals, these Louisiana row houses are where a little boy committed suicide. “People eventually abandoned the row houses out of fear,” Lawless explained.

Haunted Louisiana Shot Gun Houses

Seph Lawless

Per Lawless, he heard strange and unexplained noises at the Old Hickory Tavern in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.

Haunted Mansion Cloudersport, PA (SIDE)

Seph Lawless

Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio, is considered one of the most haunted houses in the US. According to local legend, there have been numerous murders in the house. People have also reported seeing ghosts and hearing unexplained noises.

Franklin's Castle

Seph Lawless

The three-story mansion was originally constructed between 1875 and 1880 for Frank Knox. It was sold in 1928 and converted into a hotel and restaurant.

Haunted Mansion Cloudersport, PA INSIDE 1

Inside the Haunted Mansion in Coudersport, PA. Seph Lawless

Once, when reviewing his photos and editing them, he saw “shadowy figures.” He says they were probably “derelicts inside the places. I had no idea they were watching me, which is a frightening concept as well.”

abandoned haunted mansion France

A haunted mansion in France. Seph Lawless

Despite his book being published, Lawless continues to visit abandoned homes.


Seph Lawless

This Halloween, he plans on spending the night in one, and live-streaming it.


The inside of an abandoned home in Milan Ohio. Seph Lawless

Which one will be determined via vote by his Instagram followers.


Wisconsin House of Horrors (URBAN LEGEND)

Wisconsin House of Horrors. Seph Lawless

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