It's called a 'Witch's Castle' by locals thanks to an old urban legend. Supposedly, a coven of witches resided in this former structure; this didn't set well with the town residents, so a group went out to the woods and burned the house down. Ever since, the ruins were called the 'Witch's Castle'.

But researchers say that's all baloney.

The building was constructed in Utica, Indiana in the 1940s by J. Paul Druien, who bought the property based on the legend of Madoc, a Welsh prince who is thought to have built a fort on this land in the 1100s. Druien made his own stone “Fortress of Solitude” complete with a consecrated chapel. For some reason, he sold his dream home soon afterward to Joseph Biagi.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

Biagi's stepson ended up burning the home down for some unknown reason, and the place stayed in ruins for the years to come, enticing trespassers, vandals, and thrillseekers.

Darlene Roach bought the property in 1985, long after the place had been burned down. Then in 1992, a real tragedy struck. 12-year-old Shanda Sharer was taken to an open field, tortured and murdered by four teenage girls. Reason? One thought Shanda was trying to steal her boyfriend. When the news media covered the story, they used the 'Witch's Castle' as a backdrop, making the public falsely believe the crime happened there.

But the damage was done. The 'Witch's Castle' was now the focal point of teenagers who wanted to seek out some kind of paranormal activity or evidence of the dirty deed, or to just plain thrillseek. Thanks to the with legend and now a true-life murder, the site's legend grew.

As far as any real paranormal activity, paranormal investigators say a ghostly woman dressed in old-fashioned clothes was seen and vanished. A six-foot tall shadow person was seen; when approached, it slowly dissipated.

Roach hopes that someday someone will landscape the property and turn it into a public park or place that highlights the beauty of the area, not the ugly past.

If you want to read more about this story, there is plenty more that you can check out HERE. In the meantime, the photos below show the grounds and ruins, inside and out, taken by some enterprising young Michiganders....

Abandoned 'Witch's Castle'


Three Abandoned Upper Peninsula Houses

Delaware Ghost Town and Abandoned Mine

Abandoned Vanity Ballroom, Detroit

More From 99.1 WFMK