Most people can be divided into two pretty clear-cut categories: those who think black houses are creepy in a bad way, and those who love them for all their mysterious allure. Victorian houses in San Francisco, famously witchy mansions in Salem, modern homes in Japan and gingerbread houses in the woods of New York all get cool points when they’re painted top-to-bottom in shades of coal and pitch, though one abandoned black house in North Carolina looks legitimately scary in its dark disarray.
Black Ocean Firehouse, New York
The black paint on this facade of a former New York City firehouse highlights all of the ornate neo-gothic architectural details, modernizing the 1890s structure for its new life as the headquarters for Black Ocean, a digital media company.
Haus in Schwarz, Germany
This house in Germany wasn’t painted pitch black all over until after it was condemned, as a sort of tribute before it was demolished, and that’s kind of a shame. It looks way cooler than its similarly-shaped neighbors on the same street. At night, it virtually disappears into the sky.
Shingle House by NORD
Located on the shingle beach of Dungeness, one of England’s most unique landscapes, this home by NORD stands out from a sea of fisherman’s huts with its pitch paint and tarred black roof. It’s available for rent as part of Living Architecture, a project offering vacations in striking works of modern architecture.
Abandoned Black House in North Carolina
Unlike the other houses on this list, which simply don harmless black exteriors, this home on a peak in mountainous Western North Carolina is truly creepy. Located on Howard’s Knob in Boone, the home known as “The Cult House” has been abandoned for many years since its owners were went to prison, and has deteriorated after being broken into, vandalized and used as a party house. Once a million dollar home, it’s now peeling and crumbling.
Black-Fronted Residence for Park Place, London
In London, SHH Architects won permission to convert a 1960s office into a home with a black facade. The original seven-story building was demolished and replaced with black brick, a double-story Oriel bay window with a decorative metalwork screen, and polished granite window frames.