The 16 scariest real haunted houses in America

Seph LawlessAn abandoned home in Mississippi.

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.

The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.”

Seph LawlessA haunted mansion in France.

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

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

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

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.