Randolph County Asylum

This old, empty poor house is reportedly still home to the specters of former residents.

Paranormal Claims at
Randolph County Asylum

  • Sounds of slamming doors are often heard
  • Apparitions are often spotted in the building
  • Dolls in a former tenant room are said to be moved by unseen forces
  • Disembodied footsteps are frequently reported in the halls
  • Sounds of children talking and laughing has been heard
  • A tricycle in the attic reportedly rolls around by itself
  • Some shadow figures in the building reportedly change shape when seen
  • EVPs have been recorded throughout the building

History of Indiana’s Randolph County Asylum / Infirmary

Follow State Highway 27 south from Winchester, Indiana, and you’ll soon spot an odd-looking building standing out amongst the farms and fields. Too big to be a farmhouse and too well-decorated to be a barn, Randolph County Asylum is not your average rural Indiana property.

Once a home for Randolph County’s ill and indigent, Randolph County Asylum sits abandoned today, though it’s not necessarily empty.

Many local ghost stories and legends revolve around the old poor house, suggesting past tenants may still linger the halls in spirit. More recently, the hauntings of Randolph County Asylum have garnered national attention.

Timeline of Randolph County Asylum's History

Swipe or use timeline points to see Randolph County Asylum through the years


In 1851, Randolph County purchased the first tract of land for a county poor house, and used the existing farm buildings as facilities for a short time. The following year, a formal poor house was constructed on the site, allowing for up to 16 tenants.

Anyone who was able was put to work on the on-site farm, though most were too old or sick to assist. This poor farm provided a much needed community service, so when it burned down in 1854, the county was quick to rebuild.


Through 1855-56, a new brick building was constructed to house the county’s poor and infirm. Once completed, the new poor farm served the region well for the remainder of the century. In that time, the property grew to include numerous outbuildings, larger farm fields, and a pauper’s cemetery.

By the 1890s, when the conditions of the building began to deteriorate, a national economic downturn kept poor farms in high demand and ensured the next poor house in Randolph County would be even bigger.


The new Randolph County Asylum building, and the one still seen today, was completed in 1899. The new, 50,000 square foot structure contained six tenant wards, laundry and kitchen facilities, and separate dining rooms for men and women. For another 95 years, the county would care for the local poor, sick, and elderly populations from Randolph County Asylum.

Over time, as social safety nets grew, the population dwindled, as did the farming operations and outbuildings. By the early 1990s, the county was searching for a buyer for the property.


The county found their buyer in 1994, when Randolph County Asylum was bought by a private company and converted into Countryside Care Center, home to 12 residents at the time. Countryside Care closed down between 2008 and 2009, with the final population being only five residents.

The building was used as storage for a while after that, before being bought in 2016 and converted into a paranormal attraction. But what exactly is it that goes bump in the night at Randolph County Asylum?

Randolph County Asylum:
A Deadly Experience

Over its long life as a poor farm, Randolph County Asylum reportedly saw around 200 deaths on the property. Many died of natural causes, but there were numerous suicides accounted for over the years, as well as infectious disease deaths, particularly tuberculosis due to several outbreaks in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

With such a history of death, it’s no wonder why so many consider Randolph County to be one of the region’s most haunted places.

Slamming Doors at Randolph County Asylum

Ghost stories permeate every ward of Randolph County Asylum, and one of the most prevalent stories is the sound of slamming doors echoing through the empty halls. In some cases these are just noises, but in others people have reported finding certain doors mysteriously closed after hearing these sounds.

The slamming and banging of doors is said to be especially prevalent around the building’s holding cell, built to house tenants who became disagreeable or violent. Other reports of ghostly sounds include the sounds of disembodied footsteps pacing around, most often around the first and second floor halls.

Randolph County Asylum’s Ghostly Voices

Disembodied voices are also said to be a common occurrence throughout Randolph County Asylum. Many have claimed to hear the voices of small children talking in the building, while some have heard these spectral children laughing and playing.

While these reports are quite widespread, the child-like laughter is most often reported around the first floor women’s wing. But not every ghostly voice at Randolph County Infirmary is all about fun and games. In certain areas of the building, visitors have heard pained screams echoing through the corridors.

Come See Ghosts at
Randolph County Asylum

Despite the numerous reports of ghostly sounds and voices around Randolph County Asylum, perhaps the building’s most striking tales come from the ghosts you might see while you’re there, as there are numerous reports of apparitions and shadow figures in the building.

From white, misty figures to dark apparitions, visitors to Randolph County Asylum have seen them all, and many have recorded them on night vision and thermal imaging cameras.

While most of these figures are seen as human silhouettes, other shadow figures around the building take different, ever-changing shapes.

These moving, shape-shifting shadows have been reported many times around Randolph County Asylum, and some investigators have even claimed to capture these moving shadows on video.

Ghost of Doris at Randolph County Asylum

Along with these numerous claims of paranormal activity, Randolph County Asylum has a few well-known entities that visitors and investigators often try to reach out to. One of the most well-known is Doris, a former tenant and kitchen worker in the early to mid-1900s.

Doris’ old bedroom is a particular hotbed of activity, and is now full of the porcelain dolls Doris loved in life. The dolls in her room are said to move due to unseen forces. Similarly, objects in the kitchen where Doris used to work are known to move without known cause.

Randolph County Asylum’s Phantom Judge

Another established Randolph County Asylum entity is that of a former judge, who was said to be especially cruel and harsh in his punishments. According to legend, the judge held hearings in the building’s attic and now remains there to haunt it.

His gruff, angry voice has reportedly been captured on recordings by past investigators, and many visitors now try to communicate with him in the attic. But, despite the judge’s seemingly off-putting personality, he may not be alone in the attic. A child’s tricycle stored up there is known to roll around the floor on its own, perhaps toyed with by the child spirits known to linger through the building.

Randolph County Asylum:
Spooky Destination

Unlike ever before, Randolph County Asylum is a hub of local interest and activity. Tourists and ghost hunters from across the US come to Winchester, Indiana, almost every weekend to take part in private investigations, public ghost hunts, large-scale paranormal events, and film shoots that take place on the property.

Interest in the old asylum has been further driven by recent appearances on popular paranormal television shows like Destination America’s Paranormal Lockdown and Travel Channel’s Destination Fear. Those hoping to book an investigation at the asylum today will likely have to book well in advance, a testament to the building’s growing and well-earned popularity. It seems that all the tales of dark shadows and things going bump in the night have made Randolph County Asylum’s future brighter than ever.