Indiana is home to a multitude of fascinating legends, but one of the most captivating is the story of the Beast of Busco. This legend revolves around a giant turtle said to inhabit the waters near the small town of Churubusco, specifically in Fulk Lake, also known locally as “Oscar’s Pond.” The tale dates back to the 1940s and has since become a cherished part of Indiana folklore.

Origins of the Legend

The legend began in 1948 when a local farmer, Gale Harris, claimed to have seen an enormous turtle in the lake on his property. Harris described the turtle as being the size of a dining room table, with a shell measuring several feet across. His sighting sparked a frenzy of interest and numerous attempts to capture the elusive creature.

The Hunt for the Beast

Inspired by Harris’s sighting, a series of expeditions were launched to find and capture the Beast of Busco. These attempts included using heavy machinery to drain the lake, employing large traps, and even enlisting the help of divers. Despite these extensive efforts, the giant turtle remained elusive, never being definitively caught or documented.

Sightings and Reports

Throughout the years, there have been numerous reports of sightings of the Beast of Busco:

  • 1949 Expeditions: Following Harris’s sighting, several organized hunts took place, drawing significant media attention and crowds of onlookers.
  • Ongoing Reports: Over the decades, various locals and visitors have claimed to see the enormous turtle, though no concrete evidence has been provided.

Cultural Impact

The legend of the Beast of Busco has become a significant part of Churubusco’s cultural identity. The town celebrates its unique folklore with the annual “Turtle Days” festival, which features parades, turtle races, and various community events. This celebration highlights the town’s embrace of its legendary creature and draws visitors from all over, eager to learn about the Beast of Busco and join in the festivities.

Explanations and Skepticism

While the legend continues to thrive, many skeptics attribute the sightings to exaggerations or misidentifications of large snapping turtles, which are common in the area. The lack of physical evidence has led some to believe that the Beast of Busco is a myth rather than a reality.


The Beast of Busco remains one of Indiana’s most intriguing legends. Whether viewed as a mythical creature or a real, yet elusive, inhabitant of Fulk Lake, the giant turtle continues to capture the imaginations of locals and visitors alike. The story of the Beast of Busco is a testament to the power of folklore in shaping community identity and preserving local history. For those interested in cryptozoology or regional legends, a visit to Churubusco offers a glimpse into the enduring mystery of Indiana’s legendary turtle.

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