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American Horror Story set locales

Sure, there are plenty of haunted houses, haunted hotels, haunted used car lots, and other haunted places to visit for a scare around Halloween. But how many of them were used as filming locations in the creepiest television show ever to air on basic cable? Location scouts for American Horror Story are some of the best in the business, creating settings for the show that unnerve the audience as much as the talented actors and bizarre plotlines. Over seven seasons, this show has scared us in mental asylums, girls’ schools, mansions, and farm-to-table restaurants. Here are 11 sites you can visit and take selfies in front of this Halloween.

1. Briarcliff Asylum
Briarcliff Asylum from American Horror Story

Photo: American Horror Story/FX

Address: Orange County Courthouse, 211 W Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, California
Season: Two, Asylum

The Massachusetts mental hospital that served as the central point for Asylum (plus a cameo in Freak Show) is actually the classic Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana. The Romanesque Revival structure dates back to 1901 and still serves at the seat of OC county government. If you’re down to travel and want to see something creepier, the inspirations for the Briarcliff Asylum were actually the Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts and the Willowbrook State School in New York.

2. Delphine LaLaurie’s House

 

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Address: LaLaurie Mansion, 1140 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Season: Three, Coven

Of all the twisted, haunted legends of New Orleans, Delphine LaLaurie’s might be the most disturbing. During the early 1800s, she kept slaves in tiny, confined spaces, torturing, mutilating, and murdering them for her own psychotic entertainment. The atrocities were discovered during a fire at the mansion, where slaves were found trapped in the attic, chained to stoves and dismembered in various ways. Kathy Bates — who does deranged old lady better than anyone — brought a fictionalized version of LaLaurie to life, and though no episodes were filmed inside, the exterior is still a popular tourist stop.

3. Mott Manor

 

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Address: Longue Vue House & Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road, New Orleans, Louisiana
Season: Four, Freak Show

The aristocratic mansion of Glorian and Dandy Mott that was the setting for Freak Show is set in Florida. But the actual structure used for exterior shots is a grand home and gardens in the heart of New Orleans, called Longue Vue House & Gardens. The house took three years to build, completed in 1942, and has 20 rooms and four lush gardens, including one that still grows food. But don’t expect the inside to look anything like the bizarre mansion you saw on TV; a tour of Longue Vue displays a house full of the original furniture, mostly English and American antiques with European carpets.

4. Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies
Buckner Mansion/Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies from American Horror Story

Photo: American Horror Story/FX

Address: Buckner Mansion, 1410 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana
Season: Three, Coven

Some people just can’t stop working, even when they’re dead. Such is the case with Miss Josephine, the ghost who haunts Buckner Mansion, a plantation-style home in the New Orleans’ Garden District that served as Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in Coven. Miss Josephine, a former slave in the house, has allegedly been spotted sweeping floors and standing on the stairs, leaving a mysterious lemon-fresh scent wherever she traipses. Despite the ghosts, the mansion was occupied by its original owners — the Buckner Family — until 1923 when it was taken over by the Soule Business School, which closed in 1983. If you’re not afraid of ghosts, you can rent the historic mansion out for $4,700 a night.

5. Hotel Cortez

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Address: James Oviatt Building, 617 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, California
Season: Five, Hotel

The Hotel Cortez was almost entirely filmed on a soundstage, which makes visiting the swanky Art Deco-inspired murder hotel impossible. The exterior of the hotel was filmed at the James Oviatt Building, an Art Deco highrise in downtown Los Angeles. But that really isn’t the location you should be visiting. Though nothing was filmed there, the infamous Hotel Cecil (now known as Stay on Main, also in downtown Los Angeles) actually inspired the events of Hotel. Originally a swanky, 1920s LA hotspot, this hotel turned into a flophouse after the depression and has seen its fair share of suicides, murders, and mysterious deaths.

Night Stalker Richard Ramirez used the hotel as a home base during his serial killing spree, often dropping his bloody clothes in the dumpster outside the back entrance. Most recently in 2013, Canadian student Elisa Lam went missing. When guests complained of low water pressure and strange-tasting water,

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