Eerie, never-before-seen photos from inside one of America's abandoned malls

Metro north mall seph lawlessSeph LawlessAn escalator littered with broken glass at the Metro North Mall.

Photographer Seph Lawless is famous for documenting the slow, haunting decay of abandoned theme parks, schools, hospitals, and houses.

His latest project brought him inside the Metro North Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri, which has been shut down for the past two years, according to the Kansas City Star.

Here’s a never-before-seen look at the mall’s crumbling, empty interior.

This is the exterior of the Metro North Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

It opened in 1976.

It covers 1.2 million square feet and once housed more than 150 retailers.

But it was shut down in 2014.

Already, the interior looks like it's been deserted for decades.

Grates covering store openings are bent and warped.

Puddles of dirty water cover the floor.

The fountains are empty, too.

And once-beautiful trees have died from a lack of care.

Lawless has said it was 'by far the creepiest mall I've been in.'

Developers initially shut down the mall because they planned to renovate it.

Metro North was facing steep competition from more modern malls in the area.

The makeover was slated to cost $200 million.

But the original developers ditched the plan in 2015, citing difficulties attracting tenants.

Now the renovation project has been picked up by a new company.

The mall is currently being demolished to make way for a total rebuild.

That means Lawless got both the first and last look of the mall in its abandoned state.

'There's something special about being inside an abandoned place that hasn't been vandalised by senseless damage and graffiti,' he wrote on Instagram.

Lawless told INSIDER that he had no trouble getting into the shopping center.

He said he walked right inside and stayed until a security guard asked him to leave.

Lawless also told INSIDER that Metro North has unique architecture compared to other malls he's photographed.

'The skylights were like space ships eerily shining down a beam of light that lit my path throughout the darkened mall,' he said.

'I felt like I was the last person on the planet and it was creepy but peaceful,' he added.

It's easy to see what he means.

In some places, the mall looks dark and spooky.

But then, suddenly, it's filled with bright sunlight.

These photos (and many more) will be included in Lawless's upcoming book 'Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation.'

You can preorder the book (out April 2017) right here.

Want to see more of Lawless's chilling photography? Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

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