CLOSE

26 Hauntingly Beautiful Photos of Abandoned Homes Across America

“To find beauty in the most grotesque things is a gift,” says photographer Seph Lawless, whose interest in forgotten places and people have led him (and his camera) to abandoned shopping malls, shuttered amusement parks, and post-Katrina New Orleans. For his latest project, a new photo book and e-book titled Hauntingly Beautiful, Lawless trains his lens on a host of abandoned homes, which are as stunning to look at as they are eerie to witness.

“My goal with the project is to challenge and hopefully inspire the viewer to see beauty in even some of the most grotesque things that we see,” Lawless tells mental_floss. “It's been an ongoing theme with most of the projects that shows a different perspective of America that exemplifies some of America's greatest ills.”

See more of Lawless’ work on his Website, or by following him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.

This house in Brush Park, Michigan may not look familiar now—but wait until next year. "It's being used as Batman's mansion for the upcoming movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," says Lawless, who was "hired as a location scout for the production after the assistant director saw my image of that house in the news."

An up-close look at Detroit's blight.

In 2013, Cleveland police arrested 35-year-old Michael Madison, a suspect in at least three murders. Believing that he hid the bodies of his victims in nearby abandoned homes, they searched several—including this one, in East Cleveland.

"The legend is that this home is haunted by a father and son that died during a hunting accident," explains Lawless of this house in Nova, Ohio. "The boy shot the father by accident then the boy committed suicide."

Beware of witch! According to Lawless, many believe that this house in Milan, Ohio is haunted, "based on several people believing a witch was buried on the property that may have even predated the home itself. The house was eerily abandoned with an equally abandoned barn, but was partially in use when I noticed a huge bison the size of a truck stump out of the barn into the grazing yard—oddly out of place and almost as if it was guarding something."

A forgotten home in Geneva, Ohio.

Located in a rural town near the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, this "beautiful former plantation home had several rooms that appeared to be rooms where slaves were housed," says Lawless. "Some walls were even marked with sharp objects similar to some abandoned prisons I've shot. That home was pretty emotionally draining to photograph."

Texarkana, Arkansas is the site of one of the country's most infamous unsolved serial killers, known as The Phantom Killer or The Moonlight Murders. "That abandoned house is near the first road which was used as a murder site," says Lawless.

What was once a home in Philadelphia.

The interior and exterior of an abandoned house in Pittsburgh.

The day after shooting in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, this house—which appears on the cover of Hauntingly Beautiful)—collapsed. "These are the last images ever taken and my feet fell through the floors several times photographing it," says Lawless. "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. Truly frightening and still gives me chills thinking about it."

Original image
NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA
arrow
Space
Mind-Bending New Images of Jupiter From Juno's Latest Flyby
Original image
NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA

NASA’s Juno spacecraft left Earth in August 2011, and has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, completing its eighth close flyby in late October. While flying beneath the dense cloud cover that obscures the solar system’s largest planet, it captured some incredible close-up views of the gas giant, as Newsweek reports.

With the JunoCam community, the public can alert NASA to points of interest and help direct the Juno mission. Citizen scientists have processed the raw, black-and-white images Juno beams back to Earth to highlight particular atmospheric features, collage multiple images, and enhance colors, releasing the edited color images before the space agency has a chance to. A whole new batch just emerged from the latest flyby, and they're well worth a look. Take a peek at a few below, and see more at the JunoCam website.

A swirl appears on Jupiter's surface.
NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran // Public Domain

A partial view of Jupiter
NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran // Public Domain

A close-up view of Jupiter's surface
NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA

A view of Jupiter's surface
NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Seán Doran // CC NC SA

[h/t Newsweek]

arrow
Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Satellite Images Show Mysterious Nan Madol Ruins From a Brand-New Perspective

The ancient complex of Nan Madol on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia has fascinated visitors for centuries. Now, thanks to satellite technology, researchers have captured the ruins from a perspective that's rarely seen.

As Yahoo 7 reports, the new aerial footage debuted on an episode of the Science Channel series What on Earth? In the recent installment, experts discussed Nan Madol, a chain of intricate, human-made islands that is sometimes called the "Venice of the Pacific" and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Nan Madol means "spaces between," a reference to the network of canals connecting the ruins.

The 100-odd blocky stone structures were built atop coral reefs in a lagoon off a remote island in the western Pacific Ocean. The walls of the artificial islands can reach up to 25 feet tall and are 17 feet thick in some parts. In total, the rocks that make up the site weigh nearly 827,000 tons. Archaeologists believe that portions of the city have been there for more than 1000 years, and that the site once served as the ceremonial, political, and residential hub for the native Saudeleur people. Little is known about how its builders were able to move such massive amounts of stone without levers, pulleys, or metal. 

Today, the Micronesian island of Pohnpei is home to 36,000 people, and even among locals, the landmark is notorious. Legends of spirits haunting the area have earned it the nickname "Ghost City." The ruins give off such an eerie vibe that H.P. Lovecraft used them as inspiration for the home of Cthulhu in a short story.

[h/t Yahoo 7]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios