In the mid-20th century, the imposing brick façade of the Haught Mansion in Brush Park, Michigan was once used as an upscale brothel to service gentlemen seeking certain companionship. On the outside the house of ill repute had an appearance of prim respectability, but the hedonistic interior would soon reveal chilling secrets.
Seph Lawless photographed the now-empty building for his book 13: An American Horror Story, a collection of creepy real-life haunted homes that have been the backdrop for murder, suicide, and countless other atrocities.
According to the local urban legend, years after the brothel had seen its last heyday, a gruesome discovery was made at the historic mansion. In Lawless’ research for his project, he reveals that allegedly several dead bodies were discovered in the brothel’s cellar.
As if that were not an upsetting enough discovery, each body had been marked by a ‘perfect circle’ on the torso and chests.
Were these killings a part of some kind of occult ritual? What kind of monster, capable of this horror, might still be on the loose?
The answers to these questions are unclear, making the lore surrounding the Haught Mansion even more chilling to consider.
Beyond Lawless’ own account of the buildings history, not too many facts are available. According to the Huffington Post, who describes him as a ‘master of the abandoned’, Lawless has a special knack for finding his way into old structures and collecting their intriguing stories.
In the case of the Haught Mansion, whether or not the story is rooted in truth or urban legend, it is certainly creepy enough to earn a place as one of the most chilling and haunted houses in America.