Some of the greatest (and campiest) horror flicks took place in schools: Carrie, Suspiria, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prom Night. But those were all active schools, full of bubbly students and no small amount of mayhem. Abandoned schools are full of creepy classrooms, forgotten textbooks, overturned desks, and probably ghosts. Okay, so maybe you don't believe in ghosts. That's fine, but there's no denying that these forlorn learning institutions are unsettling, even if they're not haunted.
These haunted schools give you a chance to not only relive all your worst childhood memories—that teacher who never liked you, the homework you couldn't figure out, the popular kids who made fun of your lack of athletic abilities—but to feel totally isolated from the modern world. Where laughing children once played outdoors and studied their ABCs, now nature has taken over these buildings. A few brave urban explorers have ventured inside to capture what's left before it's gone for good.
Frederick Douglass AcademyPhoto: Juliet Bennett Rylah
This abandoned high school in Detroit looks like a tornado swept through its halls, destroying everything in sight. Glass from smashed windows and graffiti cover the campus. Though the cause of this destruction is likely the poor economic condition of the city combined with bored taggers and resourceful scrappers looking for metal, it's not hard to imagine this school as the site of a tumultuous poltergeist or a telekinetic student who decided she'd just had enough of it all one day.
Butlerville High School
Butlerville High School exists in the very small town of Butlerville, IN. According to blogger Jim Grey, the school was built in 1904 and presumably fell into abandonment and disrepair after Indiana began consolidating its schools in the 1950s. This photo shows plants crawling over the abandoned building, slowly consuming it. They're definitely not carnivorous plants that would wrap around your ankles should you try to traipse the halls of this school alone... right?
An Abandoned Gym
You could still shoot some hoops in this defunct gymnasium in Taiwan, if you wanted to, although the watchful gaze of that mustachioed man might throw your game.
School's Out Forever
Here lies an abandoned school in Detroit. One adventurous urbexer has decided to scrawl “School’s out forever!” on the chalkboard, perhaps thinking they’re the first person to ever think of that lyric while surveying an empty classroom. It’s at least fitting, as Alice Cooper was born in Detroit. Listen carefully for footsteps crunching on all that debris, getting closer… and closer…