11 of the most terrifying real haunted houses in America

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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 that serve as a backdrop for murders and suicides. Or, the places that just look like something horrifying happened there.

Photographer Seph Lawless braved these collapsing buildings for his new photo book, “Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation.” Captioned with the photos are the urban legends and tales Lawless heard about the houses he photographed, coupled with information from some corroborating news reports.


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

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Seph Lawless

The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.

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Seph Lawless

In support of his new photo book, “Autopsy of America,” Lawless has provided us with photos of real haunted houses across America.

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Seph Lawless

Some of the homes, like this one in Arkansas, are creepy from the outside.

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Seph Lawless

Lawless also shows us inside the houses to reveal the creepy rot within.

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Seph Lawless

They allow the imagination to run wild with thoughts of what might have happened before in the very same place.

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Seph Lawless

Franklin’s Castle in Cleveland, Ohio, has been rumored to be haunted ever since neighbors noticed that the family living there in the late 1800s seemed to be burying a lot of their children.

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Seph Lawless

Source: Cleveland Historical Society


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

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Seph Lawless

According to Lawless, this abandoned home is one of three surrounding a garage where a serial killer dumped his victims’ bodies, which were found in 2013.

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Seph Lawless

Source: ABC News


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.

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Seph Lawless

Many of the mansions Lawless captured have a certain Old-World, yet dilapidated, charm to them.

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Seph Lawless

Looking at how dark and ominous the photos appear, it’s easy to understand how urban legends spread.

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Seph Lawless

It’s a race against time to photograph these structures before they collapse.

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Seph Lawless

This house in Ruggles Township, Ohio, is known as the Nova House. Local legend claims the house was the sight of a murder-suicide, when a father accidentally killed his son with a gun in 1958. There are no official records to support this, however.

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Seph Lawless

Source: Mansfield News Journal


A fire destroyed the house in December of last year. It was ruled arson by authorities.

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Seph Lawless