The 13 scariest real haunted houses in America

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


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, “13: Hauntingly Beautiful,” Lawless has provided us with photos of 13 real haunted houses across America.

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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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.

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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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.

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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.

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Seph Lawless

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

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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.

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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.

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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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.

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Seph Lawless

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

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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.

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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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.

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless

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

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Seph Lawless