Forget about all those fun-focused attractions at amusement parks. There are real haunted houses spread across America.

We are talking about true-blue, creepy-as-can-be haunted houses, too.

These are houses where local residents claim they hear voices – and where serial killers once dumped the bodies of their victims.

They are places that carry legends of entire families vanishing into thin air and also serve as a backdrop for murders and suicides.

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American photographer Seph Lawless braved going into these collapsing and dilapidated buildings to take photographs for his new picture book, 13: Hauntingly Beautiful, which shows us just how creepy these places are – inside and out.

Alongside the photographs, Lawless has included details of the urban legends and stories linked to the properties, coupled with information provided in corroborating news reports.

Lawless plans stay to stay in one of these abandoned homes on Halloween night – and will be live-streaming the event on his Instagram page.

Just which home he will be staying in has yet to be decided – via a vote by his Instagram followers.

Here we take a look at the creepy homes he pictured.

1. Haught Mansion, Michigan

Haught Mansion in Brush Park, Michigan, which was an upmarket brothel during its 1940s heyday.

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Years after it was closed, a number of dead bodies were found in the basement.

The torsos and chests of the victims had been marked with perfectly round circles.

The broken-down property was featured briefly as Bruce Wayne’s home in 2016’s superhero film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

A film assistant came across the property while looking at Lawless’ photographs.
2. Temple Street mansion, Detroit

Detroit is full of ghost stories, especially the properties along Temple Street.

In 1942, three priests are said to have been murdered inside this dilapidated Victorian mansion situated on the street.

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

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3. House in East Cleveland

ABC News reported that this abandoned home in East Cleveland was used as a dumping ground for the bodies of victims of a serial killer in 2013.

The bodies of three women were found in the house.

The killer had placed one of the women in the fetal position and then wrapped her in plastic bags.

4. House in Nova, Ohio

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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5. House in Milan, Ohio

It is suspected that this abandoned house in Milan, Ohio, is where local women practise witchcraft.

The original owner, known as the “Milan Witch”, is rumoured to have been buried beneath the front porch.

6. House in Buffalo, New York

In Buffalo, New York, a local sheriff, Donald Caters, shot himself in 1968 after being forced to sell this home after failing to make payments on the property.

The house has remained abandoned since his suicide, with locals claiming to have heard voices coming from inside the property.

7. Mississippi plantation house

Lawless believes plantation workers were kept as slaves in this Mississippi house.

Some of the walls inside carry markings similar to those that a prisoner might have scrawled to pass the time.

Lawless says he found the house was “emotionally draining to photograph”.

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8. Texarkana house, Arkansas

This house in Texarkana, Arkansas, sits beside the road where the murderer known as “Phantom Killer” grabbed his victims.

His crimes are often referred to as the “Moonlight Killings”.

The “Phantom Killer” was never caught, but some speculate that his crimes were the early work of the murderer known as the “Zodiac Killer”.

9. Bailey Mansion, Connecticut

The reportedly haunted Bailey Mansion was the inspiration for the house in the first season of FX's American Horror Story television series.

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

10. House in McKeesport, Pennsylvania

Lawless took photographs of the 1892-built house in the centre of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the day before it collapsed following a fire.

“My feet fell through the floors several times photographing it,” he says.

“It felt as though it would collapse at any moment and I was shocked to see it had collapsed just hours after I was inside it.

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

11. ‘Mannequin’ house in Louisiana

However, Lawless says “the creepiest mansion I visited was filled with mannequin heads neatly displayed on shelves along with old rusted medical tools”.


According to locals, a little boy committed suicide in one wooden Louisiana suburban house.

“People eventually abandoned [a number of nearby] houses out of fear,” Lawless says

12. Old Hickory Tavern, Pennsylvania

According to Lawless, he heard strange and unexplained noises while taking photographs inside the Old Hickory Tavern in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.

13. Franklin Castle, Ohio

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 committed inside the house.

People have also reported seeing ghosts and hearing unexplained noises.

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The three-storey mansion, originally built between 1875 and 1888, was sold in 1928 and converted into a hotel and restaurant before being abandoned.

Once, when reviewing his photos and editing them, Lawless says 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,” he says.

Despite his book being published, Lawless says he continues to visit – and photograph – abandoned houses.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.