SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A Springville man is turning fantasy into reality by working toward the creation of a “wizarding school” in his home.
Based on the popular book series from J.K. Rowling, Benjamin Lee Roche will soon be offering classes at his house, which he calls Blackburn Academy of the Magical Arts.
“I’ve been working on it for approximately a year,” Roche told Fox 13 News. “My primary goal is to awaken imagination in people.”
With more than 200 students interested so far, Roche plans to offer different classes in different parts of his home.
“Divination is upstairs, potions is outside, care of magical creatures is in the laundry room,” he said.
He wants to have massive feasts like you saw at Hogwarts, and calligraphy classes with the feather pens he’s crafted from his father’s turkey hunting trips.
Roche has also created more than 300 wands, crafted himself by hand, that include a sort of musical special effect to let folks test the wands.
Roche said it’s all inspired by Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels.
“She has incredible patience in how she builds story and then pays off like five books down the line,” he said.
He patiently crafted this magical world with a Utah twist.
“What this is is wizarding in the wild west since we live in Utah,” he said.
The project is truly his labor of love.
“Thousands of hours that I have put into this, just the 50 hanging candles you see took days,” he said.
He plans to make the classes available to all, even Muggles.
“Harry Potter fans of any age are welcome to participate,” he said.