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Preston Castle Haunt

October 14, 2022 @ 6:45 pm - 10:00 pm.

Do you know we have a real haunted castle right here in Amador County?  Be prepared to be frightened beyond belief, scared senseless, and have your mind warped at the 2022 Preston Castle Haunt, weekends in October starting October 14th, 2022.  This castle is so haunted it was not only featured on “Ghost Hunters” but also “Ghost Adventures,” and “Ghost Asylum” too!  Don’t come thinking this is a historical tour of the Castle.  This is place for you to get seriously frightened!

The Preston Castle Haunt is located at 900 Palm Drive in Ione, California.  The Haunt opens each evening at 6:45 and has two walk through schedules (7 to 8:30 pm or 8:30 to 10 pm).  Tickets are $35 for General Admission (either time slot) or $50 for VIP (for the whole night).  Tickets will go on sale September 1st and will only be available in advance.  To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit the Preston Castle Haunt’s webpage .  You can also reach the Preston Castle Foundation at 209-256-3623 or by emailing [email protected] .

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Visit a haunted hotel and a creepy castle on a weekend trip to Ione

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There’s something a little eerie about Ione, an hour‘s drive southeast of Sacramento. It could be this historic city’s haunted hotel, or maybe it’s Preston Castle, a former boys reform school that’s now a real-life haunted house. At either place you’ll probably experience something spooky. The tab: A night at Ione Hotel costs $85 to $145, plus tax; lunch for two at the Burke Family Restaurant was $25 plus tip; and general admission to the Preston Castle Haunt costs $30 per person.

The Ione Hotel , less than a mile from Preston Castle, was built to house miners and was a stagecoach depot during the Gold Rush. The hotel was rebuilt after a fire in 1910 and renamed the Golden Star of Ione. Fire again destroyed the building in 1988; it reopened after extensive renovations. The Ione Hotel has 14 rooms, including some with clawfoot bathtubs. Its charming lobby features a chandelier, antique furniture and mahogany staircase. Look closely and you can see the stained glass above the entrance still reads “Golden Star.”

The Burke Family Restaurant , inside the Ione Hotel, has a dimly lighted dining room with an old Native American stone well that allows you to look down into the darkness. They were serving Sunday brunch when I ate here with Ediza, my 12-year-old daughter, but we chose the regular menu. Ediza got crispy fries, creamy mac and cheese and a homemade veggie burger — all washed down with root beer served in a Mason jar. I was trying to eat healthfully, so I chose the quinoa salad with sliced almonds and raspberries. Our friendly waitress brought me a book filled with hotel ghost stories to leaf through while we waited for our food. (Chapters include “The Sexy Lady Ghost” and “The Civil War Ghost.”) Ediza was convinced she had encountered a ghost in the restaurant’s restroom.

Spirits are said to linger at Preston Castle , celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. The Preston School of Industry opened in 1894 with seven teenagers transferred from San Quentin Prison; their crimes included grand larceny, burglary and robbery. At the military-style school, the boys spent half their day in class and the other half learning a trade that could support them after their release. Among those who served time was country music icon Merle Haggard, who had a small “PSI” tattoo on his wrist. What struck me most during a self-guided tour was a list of those buried in the Preston School cemetery. Their causes of death varied: meningitis, tuberculosis, drowning, a gunshot wound (to a 19-year-old who tried to escape in 1919). Although the school has long since closed, its creepy vibe remains.

THE LESSON LEARNED

Preston Castle offers tours and special events throughout the year, including self-guided and docent-led tours from April to August. Volunteers are prepping for the Preston Castle Haunt . The Halloween-themed event will be Oct. 11 and 12, 18 and 19, and 25 and 26. The place is already macabre without dramatic lighting and costumed actors, so I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

Ione Hotel , 25 W. Main St., Ione, Calif.; (209) 274-6082. Not wheelchair accessible. (Rooms are upstairs.)

Burke Family Restaurant and Bar , 25 W. Main St., Ione, Calif.; (209) 274-4161. Wheelchair accessible.

Preston Castle , 900 Palm Drive, Ione, Calif.; (209) 256-3623. For mobility-restricted visitors, there is a 35-minute closed-captioned “virtual tour” on the accessible ground floor (basement) of the castle.

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Preston Castle Halloween Haunt

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“Northern California’s only REAL Haunted House!”

Preston Castle Halloween Haunt is a Haunted Attraction located in Ione, CA.

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900 Palm Drive, Ione, CA 95640

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Featured on Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Asylum and as the location of several horror movies, come experience Northern California’s only REAL Haunted House! This is a fun Haunt walk-through and not a historical tour of the Castle. This Halloween experience may be too intense for younger children.

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Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs

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Disclaimer from The Scare Factor: Our listings are usually only updated a couple of times per year. A lot can change in that amount of time, especially during Halloween season. For this reason, even though we try our best to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, it is ultimately your responsibility as a customer to do your own due diligence and research the attractions directly that you would like to visit. We are not liable for any mistakenly inaccurate information that you may find on our website. We appreciate your understanding and, as always, stay scary! ~ The Scare Factor

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The Preston Castle: a tragic blend of mystery, history and horror

Photo of Rick

Perched on a hill overlooking the town of Ione, Ca, is an ominous presence that screams horror film and haunted encounters. Known as the Preston Castle, this menacing structure’s eerie appearance takes on a whole new level of frightening charm after one learns of its ghostly past. What had started out as a reform school for wards of the state in the early 1890’s, developed into one of the region’s most mysteriously tragic entities with reported ghost sightings, tales of unspeakable brutalities, a living history and at least one unsolved murder.

Preston Castle’s Tragic History

In the 66 years of the original Preston School of Industry, there were hundreds of escape attempts, numerous violent encounters, abhorred testimonies of sexual abuse, inhumane punishments and murder. Perhaps, no murder is more infamous than the “unsolved” brutal murder of Anna Corbin.

Anna was the head housekeeper at Preston. On Thursday, February 23, 1950, Anna was brutally beaten to death and discovered shortly before a staff meeting. Historical accounts of where the body was found differ between sources. Some state she was found in a locked basement closet, some say near the kitchen and some say a supply room.  One thing is clear, she was found in the basement around 2pm bludgeoned to death with a rope around her neck.

preston castle black and white

The list of suspects was initially a long one. It was filled with both wards and staff. Eventually a ward named Eugene Monroe became the main suspect. Unfortunately, he was never found guilty of this crime. His first two trials were hung trials and he was acquitted in the third trial. Monroe was also a suspect in two other murders outside of Preston. Within a few years of Corbin’s murder, Monroe was incarcerated for murder in Oklahoma.

In addition to Mrs. Corbin’s brutal death, there have been many suspicious reports of wards dying due to severe illnesses like tuberculosis. Unfortunately, there are also tales of wards being killed by guards and other wards like Sam Goins and Herman Huber. These tales are often debated by researchers, family members of former wards, protestors of Preston’s existence and those who support the school’s restoration. Despite the uncertainty of the details surrounding the deaths of the wards, there’s a nearby cemetery filled with graves of wards who were “rehabilitated” at Preston.

Check out my partial list of the Famous and Infamous wards of Preston School of Industry

preston castle bw 2 (1 of 1)

Preston Castle’s Haunted Past

Nowadays, many Paranormal enthusiasts and professional ghost hunters claim that the Preston Castle is haunted. In other terms, there are spiritual “visitors” that reside in the castle. Anna Corbin’s spirit is often reported as one of the main spirits that “visits” the castle.

Other reports claim that spirits of the wards who were killed while at Preston, or who died of health issues, also “visit” the castle. Additionally, there’s an annual Paracon held at Preston that draws ghost hunters, paranormal enthusiasts from far and wide to be a part of this supernatural experience.

Abandoned Preston Castle School of Industry

The school’s castle structure was closed in 1960 after a more modern facility was built nearby. The castle building itself sat for roughly 40 years, unused, not cared for, and just withering away with time. Tales of the brutalities and murders began to fade into the archives as the town put behind them the most notable Preston tragedies. But, the wards who continued serving their time at the newer Preston facilities, quickly learned about the old castle’s tales. This “history lesson” served as a deterrence to many wards and flirted with becoming urban legends among the region.

The following is a video clip of restoration work being done on the castle in 1988:

In 2001, the Preston Castle Foundation, in effort to preserve the castle, received a 50+ year lease of the building. In November of 2014, the foundation received ownership of the property.

My encounter with the foundation and its docents was pleasant and very informative. Their efforts to preserve and restore the building goes beyond the glorification of death and brutality.

In my opinion, their efforts center on returning the castle to its role as a community partner like it used to be. Back in the early 20th century, the Preston School’s infirmary was used by locals who needed medical assistance.

Additionally, the school’s band played in local establishments and the sports teams brought some positive encouragement to the community.

Preston Castle Tours

Today, the Preston Castle Foundation offers tours to the public. These tours focus on the school’s positive history, touching on some of the paranormal and doesn’t shy away from some of the tragedies.

For more information on The Preston Castle Foundation and their tours, check out their website or contact them at 209-256-3623

The Preston Castle is a California Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The following video clip was once used at the beginning of public tours of Preston:

My Tour of Preston Castle

When entering the town of Ione, the castle’s Romanesque Revival architecture kicks you in the gut and steals your breath. In fact, I never seemed to fully catch my breath until I left the town of Ione. Turning onto Waterman Road seemed like I was entering a ghost town. It reminded me of my trip to the ghost town of North Bloomfield . All of the buildings were empty and lifeless.

The road slowly takes you up to the Preston Castle gates, where I arrived about 35 minutes before the tour began. So, I decided to park by the gate and walk back down the street to visit the “modern” section of the Preston School of Industry.

A Warning Sign

As I stepped onto the grounds of the Colonial house for the first pictures of the day, a large vulture landed on top of the home almost directly above me. I could hear the wings flapping prior to its landing. Once on the roof, it let out an ungodly screech that sent chills up my spine. It was as if the scavenger of death was warning me of things to come. Either that, or it was putting a claim on my carcass.

This was the largest bird I have ever seen in person. In fact it’s 5 foot wingspan made it look more like a medieval creature. I quickly recognized the vulture’s red face and black body. I hurried out into the grass to take a picture of this winged creature.

It was an eerie experience and one that weighed on me as I prepared for my four hour tour of the haunted castle.

Vulture on top of the Colonial House

The Castle’s Exterior

If the castle’s appearance doesn’t make you slightly apprehensive to enter, it’s massive size, which at times can block out the sun, will. Approaching the steps to the main entrance, my senses went into overdrive. It’s like I could hear sounds more clearly, smell things more clearly and feel every breeze no matter how gentle it may be.

Being on a Photography Tour allowed me the ability to freely roam the grounds. I wasn’t confined to a designed tour of the castle. So, I took advantage of this freedom, and chose to explore the exterior first.

It’s not a quick journey by any means to walk around the exterior. In fact, this truly puts the castle’s size into proper perspective. One thing I noticed right away, the hopeless views from the windows. It was if the glass was especially created to strip the hope from each ward. They were dark and gloomy like a storm filled sky.

The stairways into the various entrances seemed worn from usage. The bricks, which were built in San Quentin and Folsom Prisons, gave the building a lifeless, reddish outer shell. Initially, Preston School of Industry wanted to provide a “home” feel to the wards and not a prison like feel. Unfortunately, at no time during my lap around the building, did I see anything that would make me think, feel or imagine a “home” type feel to this place. In fact, it was the exact opposite. I felt despair, hopelessness and a drain on the soul.

preston castle courtyard (1 of 1)

Inside the Preston Castle

Entering the Preston Castle was more than just an excitingly, creepy exploration. It was a reminder of my past. Growing up, as a troubled youth and made many stupid decisions as a teenager. Truth be told, I could have easily ended up in a juvenile detention center due to all of the criminal activities that I committed.

There’s an old adage that says “boys will be boys.” Well, I would like to add a footnote to that adage and say “sometimes boys will be wards.”

If I spent my teenage years in California  during the heyday of this castle, I could have easily been sent to Preston. I was so lucky not to get caught for any of the foolish crimes I committed when lost in my anger filled, misguided teenage years.

It wasn’t hard for me to put myself in the shoes of these wards and imagine the hard, brutal life at Preston. However, it also made me count my blessings that I never ended up in a place like this.

The Basement of Preston Castle

After making a lap around the building, I decided to head back to the courtyard and enter the castle through the basement into the activity room. Right away, you will notice that the inside of the building is like a maze, spanning both vertically and horizontally. It’s really hard to decide which direction to go. My plan of attack was to spend one hour on each floor. The 4th floor wasn’t open due to safety issues.

preston castle piano (1 of 1)

Perhaps, the most intriguing part of the activity room is the antique looking piano hiding in the corner. After tickling the ivory for a few moments, I proceeded down the grim looking hallway. I walked straight into a large room, bypassing stairs up to the first floor and a hallway leading toward the kitchen.

Check out my Photo Essay: Spooky Hallways and More

This large room had some school desks to the left and barrels to the right. There was a room to the left of the desks and a room to the right of the barrels. It was down here where Anna Corbin’s body was found.

After a few moments, I went over to the kitchen and the pantry. The old stove made for some wonderful pictures, as did the pantry. Across from the kitchen, was the plunge bath. This was where the new wards were forced to swim in a tub of lye. It looked like an indoor pool but sounded more like an early form of water torture. Unfortunately, there was no open entrance into this room so I proceeded upstairs to the first floor.

Check out my Photo Essay: Kitchen and Dining for more photos of the Preston Castle Kitchen and Pantry

First Floor

This was probably the busiest floor in the entire building. Not only were there numerous photographers, but there were also several photo shoots taking place. Of particular interest on this floor was the dining room, infirmary, the prayer room, the main office and the small museum. This is where the outdoor front steps bring you into the building. It’s often where most people begin their tours.

When arriving onto the first floor from the basement, it’s difficult to decide which direction to head. My path of exploration was influenced by the amount of people in the dining area which is in the right wing of the castle if you are looking at the building from the outside.

I decided to head to the left and ended up at the doctor’s office and then the infirmary. The doctor’s office had a strange feel to it. But, the infirmary was even more inspirational to one’s depraved imagination. There are several beds in the infirmary which prompt thoughts of the various deadly diseases that ravaged this country during the early 20th century.

For more pictures of the medical rooms check out Photo Essay: Preston Castle Creepy Rooms

Creepy Doctor's Office

It really was a dog fight to get into the dining room. I had to save this room for last as there were two photo shoots and about a dozen photographers in here throughout the tour. But, this room is well worth the effort. In fact, it’s one of the most impressive rooms in the entire castle. There’s a nice fireplace, a staircase heading down to the basement and a large dining table from 1930.

Check out my Photo Essay: Kitchen and Dining for more photos of the Dining Room

The main entrance into the building is where the administration room is located, a large room with historical displays and the cool, old-fashioned vault. Additionally, there’s what I call a “prayer room” located right off the display room. I would suggest that people start here first, say a few prayers and then begin the tour. Because, who knows what one might encounter.

Second Floor

There’s a few stair cases that lead up to the second floor. This floor mainly housed most of the staff apartments and a creepy dormitory for the boys. It’s also said that Anna Corbin’s apartment was on this floor. However, there are conflicting reports that say she lived off site, which I tend to agree with. Regardless, all of the apartments were deteriorated and uniquely spooky. But, it was the dormitory that creeped me out the most.

This was a large room that is often the source of horrific stories about abuse and neglect. The ceiling is a dark wood that looked to be a perfect spot for bats or other creatures of the night. One can’t help but feel some sort of depressing atmosphere while in this room.

preston castle boys dormitory (1 of 1)

Also on this floor was the library. This room was stripped of most of its identity. The 4 large windows provided plenty of lighting. There was a closed room connected to the right side of the library. It had beautiful large wooden doors that may have been made out of mahogany. Some believe there was a former classroom on the other side.

For more spooky rooms check out my Photo Essay: Preston Castle’s Creepy Rooms

Third Floor

For a while, the third floor was closed off to the public due to safety reasons. However, on my tour, the third floor was mostly open. This floor was filled with apartments but had more of an isolated despair than the rest of the building. It was eerily silent as if its history was forgotten. Part of the third floor was closed off due to safety issues.

One of the rooms provided a view through the rotted floor down to the basement. In fact many of the rooms suffered badly from deterioration. You could also see up to the fourth floor which was closed off. All of this decay and lifelessness added to the overall darkness of this castle.

Check out my Photo Essay: Preston Castle Deterioration and Decay for more photos

preston castle third floor missing (1 of 1)

Fourth Floor

This floor was closed off due to safety issues. Besides looking up from the third floor through the opening of the ceiling/floor of the fourth floor, the most you could explore was going up the staircase to a locked door. The 4th floor reportedly had more apartments for staff.

The Preston Castle In The Media

Over the last decade, the Preston Castle has appeared in various TV shows and movies. The following is a partial list of prominent media appearances by The Castle:

Preston Castle Movie

In  2012, A Haunting At Preston Castle was released to a meager reception. The plot centers around three friends being trapped in The Preston Castle and having to survive horrific, terrifying encounters.

Preston Castle Ghost Adventures

In 2009, Travel Channel’s popular show Ghost Adventures visited Ione and brought more mainstream attention to The Preston.

The Lowe Files

The popular TV and Film Star Rob Lowe brought his show  The Lowe Files to Preston in 2017. It first aired in August, 2017, bringing more mainstream attention to this historic landmark.

Apparition (2019)

Apparition is a modern twist on some of the school’s tragic history. Starring Mena Suvari and Kevin Pollak, this horror film was shot in and around the Preston Castle. It was released in movie theaters in December 2019. The film was also co-written and co-produced by local filmmakers. 

Final Thoughts on The Preston Castle

Whether you believe this place is haunted or not, you can’t ignore it’s spooky appearance and ominous aura. Add in the history of this place with its impressive architectural design, and you have what I call a tragic blend of history, mystery and horror.

Despite what some may say, I believe the Preston Castle should be preserved and restored. This building is a historical landmark with a notorious history. There’s definitely a disturbing aura to this place that would make even the most staunch anti-ghost individuals pause in their tracks.

I highly recommend taking the photography tour for those photography enthusiasts. It allows for more time to freely tour and engage the castle.

My next adventure at the Preston Castle will be the overnight ghost tour. I can only imagine what “visitors” and creatures come out to play at night.

For more on The Preston Castle, check out my Preston Castle Visitor Guide

preston castle 2 (1 of 1)

Directions to the Preston Castle in Ione, CA

From Sacramento – take Highway 50 east to Sunrise and head south. Head about 15 minutes before making a left onto Jackson Rd./Highway 16. Drive 11 miles before making a right onto Ione Rd. which is about two miles past Rancho Murieta. Take this road for 6 miles and continue onto Michigan Bar Road. Eventually, this road veers to the left and becomes 104 East. Stay on here for 3 miles and you will see The Preston Castle off in the distance. Look for the signs to the castle and make a left onto Waterman Rd.

preston castle front porch (1 of 1)

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Preston Castle Halloween Haunt

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Address: 900 Palm Drive, Ione, CA, United States

Time: 6:30 pm until 11 pm, Friday and Saturday only

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Featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, come experience Northern California’s only REAL Haunted House!

This is a fun “scare” tour and not a historical tour of the Castle. This year’s Haunt will be bigger and better, and you will see some new areas of the Castle this year.

This scare tour may be too intense for younger children. There will not be a children’s carnival this year.

Food concessions by Clark’s Corner and KJ Hot Dogs. Cool merchandise including really great T-Shirts, will be available for purchase.

Come and see if you dare!

Gates open at 6:00 pm, first scare tour at 6:30 pm. Order tickets according to which night you want to attend.

Tickets are limited for each night, so order early to make sure you can get in.

New: VIP Upgrade gives you Fast Pass line access and a second Haunt walk thru. Just buy your ticket(s) for the night you want, then buy the VIP Upgrade(s).

No Refunds 

$20 General Admission (14 and up)

$10 Youth, Under age 14

$15 VIP Upgrade

Halloween Haunt Days:

October 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30th 2015 ( 6:30 pm til 11pm each night. )

October 31st – Halloween ball only, no haunt.

Posted in Haunted Attractions , Haunted Houses , Haunted Mansions and Real Haunts

Add a Review Click here to cancel reply.

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This Creepy Haunted Castle Tour In Northern California Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

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With Halloween just around the corner, all sorts of haunted houses are cropping up all over Northern California. However, the one featured here may just be the creepiest one you’ll ever visit. After all, it’s located inside of a real haunted castle. This is as creepy as it gets! Every year, this historic castle gets all dressed up and ready to welcome visitors who are looking for the scare of their life. Just be aware, the Preston Castle Haunt is not for the faint of heart. You’ll come across plenty of scare “actors” when you enter this haunted castle, but you may just come across the real thing as well.

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What do you think? Could you handle venturing into this creepy haunted castle? Check out these 15 Terrifying Places In Northern California for more creepy haunts to check out this Halloween!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Explore Northern California

Preston Castle Halloween Haunt

900 (end of) Palm Drive Ione , California 95640 United States

Phone: 209-256-3623

Email: Send Message

~~The event you've been waiting for, Halloween 2015, at the magnificent, eerie, scary, Preston Castle!  Now that we have ownership, we are planning a bigger and better Haunt, and you will see some new areas of the Castle.

Featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, come experience Northern California's only REAL Haunted House!

This is a fun "scare" tour and not a historical tour of the Castle.  Please be advised that it may be too intense for younger children, so leave the real youngins at home.  There will not be a children's carnival this year.

Food concessions by Clark's Corner and KJ Hot Dogs will take care of your hunger and thirst. Cool merchandise including really great T-Shirts, will be available for purchase.

Come and see if you dare!  

Gates open at 6:00 pm, scare tours start at 6:30 pm. Admissions are limited for each night, so order early to make sure you can get in.

New: A VIP Upgrade gives you Fast Pass line access and a second Haunt walk thru. Just buy your ticket(s) for the night you want, then buy the VIP Upgrade(s).

Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for youth under 14, $15 for VIP Upgrade.  No Refunds.  The Haunt is open from 6:30 to 11:00 pm.  For advanced tickets and information go to www.prestoncastle.com.  We’re waiting for you!

Dates Open:

Friday, October 16 Saturday, October 17 Friday, October 23 Saturday, October 24 Friday, October 30 6:30 to 11:00 pm each night  

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Preston Castle Halloween Haunt Images

Preston Castle

Photo of Preston Castle - Ione, CA, US. Enter if you dare.

Review Highlights

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“ Preston Castle is actually the Preston School of Industry- a youth facility for troubled boys (or wards of the state). ” in 9 reviews

Janelle F.

“ We had an awesome time at Preston for their Halloween haunt . ” in 5 reviews

preston-castle-ione photo iZQgorhhR3kHL6XaQGwy8A

“ Also we LOVE Ghost Adventures and they went there too, you can still see their "X" for where they put their cameras. ” in 9 reviews

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900 Palm Dr

Ione, CA 95640

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Historic Tours, special events, venue for weddings or other special functions, paranormal tours. …

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Are you guys open for 2022 public tours?

We will be opening up in April. Tickets should be on sale in March.

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118 reviews

Photo of Sami A.

Today my boyfriend, son and myself were in Ione looking around because we are going to purchase a new home. I was telling my boyfriend where the castle was and he had never known about it. I took the drive up the hill and when I pulled in, there were tours going on! So we decided to head in. I have never been inside the castle, only outside of the gate. I was so excited to get in there. Everything was wonderful. Although we had a very short tour, because the private tours were taking place 40 mins after we arrived. It was still so worth the money to get an idea of the amazing history of the building.

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Photo of John H.

It wasn't a special event nor any ghosts or apparitions that brought us to Preston Castle. We were interested in the history of the building and it's purpose as a rehabilitation center for 'troubled' minors. Where previously minors were sent to Folsom or San Quentin prisons, this Preston School of Industry was built/established to provide guidance, direction, and provide life and marketable skills to juvenile offenders. Similar to what CalPIA does today with adult offenders. This dominant structure was intended to be torn down after decommissioning the "school" in 1960. At that time, the pubic was invited to salvage from the building. Bad idea. For years, the building stood open to weather and it shows. Efforts are being made by the Foundation to preserve the building, and, in the meantime, are working to build interest in the project with special events and tours of the historic facility. Because this is currently being operated with a restrictive budget and by volunteers, I'm allowing lots of leeway with regard to our experience on our visit and tour on a recent Saturday. [One doesn't measure a school kids science project comparing it to NASA]. Our interest was the history of the building, it's architecture and design, and it's operational purpose from a historical and lessons learned perspective. Our tour guide was exuberant and it was apparent that he really enjoyed his work with the organization. However, the information provided didn't match the history we had hoped to hear. Information covered was about how the building and grounds were cleaned up, the structural damage over the years, the oddly placed x-ray machine component, stories of ghosts, of how a TV show filming was disruptive, and random unrelated questions from a couple of tour guests that sidetracked the tour. Call me critical, but there were corners of rooms and small closets with open doors that stored random debris in unorganized piles ... even two staff badges (still on lanyard) laying on the floor from the Halloween event 9 months prior. The tour path does have information posted on the wall at each stop. We found it helpful to read these placards and gain the historical perspectives we were craving. Mostly guided tours with one day a week of self guided. If you get a chance, come for a tour and check out the grounds. I hope that the Foundation is able to meet their objective and preserve and restore, to some function, this fabulous structure and it's functional history.

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Photo of Vic S.

Went there for their haunted house in October. Easy to get to, shuttle van running between parking and the front gate. We got the fast pass so that probably cut the wait down by 30-45 minutes. The building is old and in good condition. The haunt was well organized and had my wife jumping at every turn, that was the entertainment for me. We're told about other things/events they do throughout the year so we will most likely return.

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Let me start by saying that Scary movies and Haunted House give me anxiety and I have successfully avoided them for many years. My husband bought tickets to Preston Castle with friends and I reluctantly went, figuring I would fulfill my "good wife/sport going to haunted house quota" once every 25 years or so. I had read the reviews and was concerned about parking and the line. Parking was not an issue. There was a shuttle but we opted to walk and get our steps in. The wait was another story. We waited approximately 2 hours. When we got to the front of the line, we saw a VIP line that was apparently $15 extra and there was "no waiting". If I new how long we were going to wait, I would have gladly paid the extra $. In all fairness, going the Saturday before Halloween was probably their busiest day and we will go earlier next year, Being there with friends helped pass the time as did the spooky characters that go around sneaking up on people. After the first time I was surprised, I kept busy with my head on a constant swivel looking for them. They were also very accommodating about posing for pictures. Snacks and drinks were available for purchase as well as a green screen photo booth for a reasonable $10 for an instant 5x7. They had a great variety of backgrounds and were VERY accommodating about retakes if you didn't like your photo. They even had people that would save your place in line if you wanted to go get photos. Now for the part I dreaded. We were shuttled though a "lobby" with an entertaining rules/warnings video playing on loop. Then, ushered into the hall a group at a time. Although I appreciated the attempt to space us out, it was still too crowded which took away from the fear factor which you're surrounded by other people. Of course, being a scaredy cat, that was fine by me! It was a long tour and it was obvious how much work has been put into this event. They did a great job of playing up the history of the building with an "asylum" type feel. There was no shortage of ghosts or surprises. There was a bit too much screaming/yelling of the characters for my groups taste. More quiet and adding some scary music would have definitely added to the atmosphere. We went with friends who have gone the last couple years and they said this year was definitely the best. We would go back again and recommend it to others as along as you can go when the line is not so long. I also liked that they were selling t-shirts so you can have a badge of honor for surviving Preston Castle! It did get my curiosity up and I want to go back and take the tour when I'm not scared of someone or something jumping out at me.

Spooky on the outside too.

Spooky on the outside too.

My favorite character!

My favorite character!

Photo of Jeannette M.

I love Preston Castle and the amazing work the Foundation is doing to restore it. I attended the Preston Castle Haunt for the first time over the weekend and my husband and I had a blast! Well... if you can call having the crap scared out of you a "blast". Pay the extra for the VIP line. It was worth it to spend less time in line... plus that's extra money to their fundraising. Quality sets and props... nobody broke character... it was a waking nightmare in the best possible way! Don't forget to check a regular guided tour through the castle in the daytime!

Photo of James B.

Beautiful Romanesque architecture building that was the administration building for the Preston School or Industry, a boys reformatory school till 1960 when the state abandoned it and started demolition before the town's residents stopped it. It sat for almost 40 years without a roof before the Preston Castle foundation was formed and could get a roof back onto it and start restoring it. Great place for tours and events!!!!

Photo of O M G.

I'm a little torn on how I feel about Preston Castle. I went on a tour during the day ($10). You start with a short movie in a small room that gives you a little history about the castle, how it was an alternative prison for kids but they called it a school to get away from that idea of a prison.. Instead of going to San Quentin or Folsom Prison, boys were sent here. The idea was cool. The incarcerated boys all had jobs so it was a large, self-sufficient land with horticulture, a firehouse, farm animals, infirmary, etc.. and so going here, they learn a skill and it's a better environment (I would think) than going to San Quentin or Folsom. But, the school was eventually closed because a newer one was built and the roof was taken off and sat for years open to nature not to mention that people were able to pillage and ravage the place. It was supposed to be a really nice place with wainscoting, hand laid tiles.. Present day, you can see some remnants of what was original to the house.. but not much. I wonder if people that took stuff from the house hand it down or still have it in their house knowing it's from the kid prison in Ione. There's different events and tours at Preston Castle. Going is better than just learning about it through books or the internet. In that respect, that's cool. I enjoyed going through the place and hearing it's history and it's nice that they have options to do night tours and overnight shit, ghost hunting, or what have you.. I wish the tour guide also went into about the Foundation that upkeeps the castle and what their plans might be, if any. They take donations and I tipped my tour guide because that's normal to me, right? You tip your tour guide but our tour guide just gives it to the foundation. With all the tours and events that they do, what do they do with it and do they have future plans or is it just upkeep?.. I don't know and I would have liked to know.. they might get more money out of it. Right? My bad, I didn't ask. Going, seeing, and learning.. that was cool but I wanted more. $10 isn't much to pay but it kinda was. I'd be more keen on the Child's price of $5 for what it was.

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Photo of Todd L.

Step back in Time.... What an experience of beautiful architecture and history. Loved every minute. We took the self guided tour for $15 each, totally worth it. Chores were from 10 a.m. to noon and we got there at 11:30. They let us take our time And did not rush us. Docents were on each floor to give you a bit of History.

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Photo of Terry T.

Good boys stayed that way when they were told they would be sent to Preston School of Industry if they were bad; unreformed bad boys gained panache when they said they were sent to Preston. This amazing Romanesque Revival building was constructed between 1890-94 and closed when the new facility was constructed next door. This building is a CA Registered Landmark and also a National Register Landmark. The interior is in extreme disrepair from 50 years of neglect, and the exterior has some problems, but the tour is amazing. This building is worth saving, and perhaps if it is, the ghost that the travel channel program "Ghost Adventures" found there can rest.

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Our first time at this Haunt. My husband and I have done quite a few different ones, but we brought two first-timers along last night. We had a blast! It's a long maze, which earns extra points. The kids that participated were creepy as heck!

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Preston Castle - Ione CA Real Haunted Place

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  • St. George Hotel 17.6 miles away
  • East 8 Mile Road 26.3 miles away
  • Vineyard House 30.3 miles away
  • Sierra Nevada House 31.1 miles away
  • The Fallon Hotel 36.8 miles away
  • Rose Hill Cemetery 58.2 miles away

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Palm Dr., Ione, CA, 95640

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Visitors to this page: 3,445 Last edit to this listing: 5/6/2016 (2802 days ago)

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Top 13 places in Russia where you may face a ghost

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1. Kusovnikov House in Moscow

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In the 19 th   century house № 17 on Myasnitskaya street in central Moscow was inhabited by a rich, but very greedy couple – Pyotr and Sofya Kusovnikov, who scrimped on almost everything. Extremely suspicious, they used to hide money from their servants in different places. Once they hid some in the fireplace, but the janitor accidentally burned it when lighting the fire. When she found out, Sofya died instantly of a broken heart, her husband passed away a little later. Since then, the ghost of a hunched old man in a coat has routinely appeared on the street near the house – this is Pyotr Kusovnikov mourning his lost money.

2. Sokol metro station

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During WWI, not far from the modern Sokol station of the Moscow metro, a cemetery for fallen soldiers was located. In 1918, mass executions of White officers and priests by the Reds were held there. All this led to the appearance of ghosts in the dark tunnels of the station. Early in the morning diaphanous figures with festering wounds can be seen there.  

3. St. Michael’s Castle in St. Petersburg

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This castle was a royal residence built by order of Tsar  Paul I. On March 21, 1801, he was killed there by a group of conspirators. It is considered that the restless spirit of the tsar was unable to leave the castle. It appears there in the corridors with a burning candle in its hand.

4.   Znamenskaya Tower in Yaroslavl

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During the Civil War in Russia (1917-1922), a group of White troops held positions in the Volkovsky theater in Yaroslavl. The Red commissar in command of the siege promised to spare their lives. However, he lied and all the Whites were executed at the Znamenskaya Tower. Since then, the ghost of the commissar who didn’t keep his promise has been seen at the place of his crime.

5. Igumnov House in Moscow

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The house at 43 Bolshaya Yakimanka Street in Moscow, also known as “Igumnov House,” serves today as the residence of the French ambassador. It was built at the request of the industrialist Nikolay Igumnov in the late 19 th   century. He settled his young mistress here, but one day caught her with a lover. The lover was kicked out, but the girl was never seen again. It is believed that the outraged Igumnov bricked her up in a wall. During Soviet times, people often saw the ghost of a young girl walking through the walls with deep, plaintive sighs.     

6. House of Rasputin in St. Petersburg

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The flat on the second floor at 64 Gorokhovaya street in St. Petersburg is today a usual residential apartment. However, in the early 20th century it was home to one of the most mystical figures in Russian history – Grigory Rasputin. His ghost sometimes appears here, scaring inhabitants with its clunking steps and grunting in dark corners.

7. House on the Embankment

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This house at 2 Serafimovicha Street, simply known as “House on Embankment,” is among the most famous in the Russian capital, known as the place of residence for the Soviet   crème de la crème : writers, artists, actors, generals, athletes. However, it also has a dark history. During the Great Purge, a campaign of political repressions in the USSR, dozens of the house’s inhabitants were arrested and executed. Today, the house is full of the ghosts of those victims, who sometimes appear in their old dwelling place. 

8. Tower of the old hospital in Ryazan

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Among the high-rise modern buildings at 15 Gorky Street in Ryazan is an old tower – all that remains of the old hospital. At night, a lonely dark figure can be seen walking in this tower. This is the ghost of Alexander Smitten, who administered the hospital more than a century ago.

9. Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg

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During a misty night in March, one can see the ghost of a young girl near the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg. Her face is blue because of asphyxiation, and there is a big red mark on her neck caused by a rope. This is famous revolutionary Sophia Perovskaya, who assassinated Tsar Alexander II and was hanged for her deed. To meet this ghost is a bad omen, and can cost nocturnal pedestrians their lives.

10. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

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There is a legend that when the Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod was being built, the constructors were unable to finish one of the towers. It kept falling down. In the end, they decided to make a sacrifice and to build the tower on the blood of the first person who passed by. It happened to be a pregnant woman hurrying to the river for water. She was seized and bricked up in the tower alive. The ghost of a pale woman holding a baby has appeared near this place ever since.

11. Oldenburg Palace near Voronezh

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Built in the late 19th century, the palace belonged to Princess Eugenia of Leuchtenberg. Today her ghost rises from the deep casemates of the palace to wander through its rooms and corridors. There is also another ghost there, much older — the ghost of a young peasant girl. It is even said that Princess Eugenia saw it when she was alive.

12. Stalin’s country house near Sochi

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Stalin’s ghost can be seen at his country house, located today within the Green Groove hotel near Sochi. The “father of the nations” walks in his white jacket, smoking his trademark pipe.

13. Psychiatric hospital near Nizhny Novgorod

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Near the modern psychiatric hospital in the village of Lyakhovo near Nizhny Novgorod, one can see an abandoned old building. Several dozen years ago a young girl hanged herself there because of unrequited love. At night it is possible to see a white silhouette and hear the moaning and cries of the “love-stricken schoolgirl” as the locals call her.

And if you want to see a UFO, here are several places in Russia where you will have a chance.

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Preston Castle Foundation

Public Paranormal Investigation Tours

Join fellow thrill-seekers and paranormal enthusiasts as we unlock the doors to this hauntingly atmospheric location.

Quick Details

  • User Ages: Ages 18+
  • Tag Group Size: up to 5 people
  • Info Info: Tours run January through June. January 20, 2024, 7pm to 2am Tickets available Jan 1st @10am

Are you ready to confront the spirits that reside within the walls of Preston Castle?

Preston Castle sits upon a hill in Ione, California. Construction began on it in 1890 and was completed in 1894. Preston Castle served as the administration building for the Preston School of Industry. The Preston School of Industry was established as part of a progressive act to reform juvenile offenders rather than send them to San Quentin or Folsom prisons. It remained in use until 1960 when the staff moved into the new facility down the hill to the south. Wards lived and worked in the building until 1955.

The Castle has been featured in horror films and popular paranormal shows like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Asylum, and The Lowe Files. And now YOU can experience the paranormal in this historic site. We offer both public and private paranormal tours with our experienced docents. Scheduled tour dates typically range from January – June. The size of the tours are limited to a maximum of 15 investigators and they sell out very quickly.

  • Chevron down General Information

You will receive an email confirmation when you purchase a ticket. Bring this confirmation.

You will receive an email with instructions the week prior your scheduled investigation.

We cannot issue refunds for cancellations. We will work with you to reschedule for another available date.

The size of the groups will be kept small.

The Castle offers limited access to those with mobility limitations. Please contact us prior to your visit so we can present the best tour designed with your needs in mind.

Investigations start at 7 pm. Investigations conclude at 2 am. Should you need to leave before 2 am, please inform a docent to assist with your departure. Sleeping at the Castle is not permitted, but feel free to sleep in your car.

All guests will be off the property by 2:30 am.

Attendees may bring food and beverages (no alcohol) to consume during breaks.  The only liquid permitted inside the Castle is water.

Dress appropriately for the changing seasons and weather. For your safety, we suggest jeans or long pants, and no open toed-shoes. Many rooms are in disrepair and the Castle is not cooled or heated.

You are welcome to bring your own cameras, audio recorders, temperature sensors, etc. at your own risk. However, video/filming is not permitted. By participating in an investigation, you agree to absolve Preston Castle Foundation and Preston Paranormal Members from any responsibility for any equipment that is damaged or stolen. We have NOT had any problems with broken or stolen equipment in the past. Access to electricity is limited in the castle.

Areas available for you to investigate include the grounds inside the fence and around the Castle, the Castle’s basement, 1st and 2nd floors. You will not have access to the cemetery, it is no longer on the property; or the upper floors of the Castle, as the conditions are too hazardous. Please leave everything the way you found it. You are responsible for any damage to this majestic, but fragile, historic site.

There is NO SMOKING/VAPING or Alcohol use permitted anywhere in or on the Preston Castle site.

Guests must always stay with their docent, please do not wander off and please respect all instructions given during the investigation.

All guests must be age 18 or older. Docents may ask for verification if a guest appears to be under 18.

Related Activities

  • See you next year!
  • General admission , VIP pass
  • User All ages

Prepare to be thrilled and chilled as you step into the eerie atmosphere of this legendary haunted location. Embark on a spine-tingling adventure through the shadowy corridors and hidden corners of the castle, where ghostly legends come to life.

  • 2024 Date(s) TBA
  • Self-guided

Christmas at the Castle & Winter Craft Fair: Dec 9

Step into a world of enchantment and festive wonder with our Christmas Castle Tour at Preston Castle. Immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of the holiday season as this historic landmark transforms into a captivating winter wonderland.

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COMMENTS

  1. The Haunt at Preston Castle

    $ 35 VIP FastPass Avoid the long line and get inside the haunt much faster! $ 50 Quick Details Ages: All ages Admission: General admission , VIP pass Join us for the most thrilling Halloween adventure at Preston Castle and discover what lurks in the darkness.

  2. All Event in Preston Castle

    All ages The Haunt Prepare to be thrilled and chilled as you step into the eerie atmosphere of this legendary haunted location. Embark on a spine-tingling adventure through the shadowy corridors and hidden corners of the castle, where ghostly legends come to life. See you next year! Learn More 2024 Date (s) TBA All ages Self-guided

  3. All Tours in Preston Castle

    Tours of our castle in Ione, California often sell out, so book your tickets in advance to ensure you get the day and time you desire. Tour Season runs April-Aug 2024 From $ 17.50. 90 Min; All ages; Public Self Guided and Guided Tours: April - Aug 2024.

  4. Tickets on Sale Now! 2023 Preston Castle Haunt

    Your ticket will allow you one entrance anytime between 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. We will have food vendors available and of coarse an opportunity to purchase our unique Haunt garb. Tickets are available online only at prestoncastle.org. More information Preston Castle Haunt

  5. Preston Castle Haunt

    The Preston Castle Haunt is located at 900 Palm Drive in Ione, California. The Haunt opens each evening at 6:45 and has two walk through schedules (7 to 8:30 pm or 8:30 to 10 pm). Tickets are $35 for General Admission (either time slot) or $50 for VIP (for the whole night).

  6. Preston Castle Haunt

    Preston Castle Haunt, Ione, California. 2,475 likes · 5,445 were here. Visit the Preston Castle Haunt every October to roam through a TRULY haunted...

  7. Visit a haunted hotel and a creepy castle on a weekend trip to Ione

    Sept. 26, 2019 8:30 AM PT There's something a little eerie about Ione, an hour's drive southeast of Sacramento. It could be this historic city's haunted hotel, or maybe it's Preston Castle, a...

  8. Preston Castle Halloween Haunt

    900 Palm Drive, Ione, CA 95640 ( Click for Fullscreen Map) Street View: About This Attraction: Haunt Types: Summary: Featured on Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Asylum and as the location of several horror movies, come experience Northern California's only REAL Haunted House!

  9. The Preston Castle: The Haunted and Historic Preston ...

    11,892. (Last Updated On: January 5, 2020) Perched on a hill overlooking the town of Ione, Ca, is an ominous presence that screams horror film and haunted encounters. Known as the Preston Castle, this menacing structure's eerie appearance takes on a whole new level of frightening charm after one learns of its ghostly past.

  10. Preston Castle Halloween Haunt

    Just buy your ticket (s) for the night you want, then buy the VIP Upgrade (s). No Refunds $20 General Admission (14 and up) $10 Youth, Under age 14 $15 VIP Upgrade Halloween Haunt Days: October 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30th 2015 ( 6:30 pm til 11pm each night. ) October 31st - Halloween ball only, no haunt.

  11. Preston Castle In Northern California Is A Creepy Haunted Castle

    Tickets are $25 for general admission and $35 for a "Fast pass". The Haunt is open every weekend of October starting on October 12. Think you can handle touring this real haunted castle? Purchase your tickets here. Preston Castle Foundation,Ione Ca./Facebook What do you think?

  12. Preston Castle Foundation

    The building remained vacant and in disrepair until September 2001 when the Preston Castle Foundation leased the building from the State. And later, in 2014, the foundation was granted ownership of the Castle and 12.91 acres. The Preston Castle Foundation's mission is to preserve, rehabilitate and utilize the historic Preston Castle site as ...

  13. Preston Castle Halloween Haunt

    Ione, California 95640 United States ... Featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, come experience Northern California's only REAL Haunted House! This is a fun "scare" tour and not a historical tour of the Castle. ... No Refunds. The Haunt is open from 6:30 to 11:00 pm. For advanced tickets and information go to www.prestoncastle.com. We ...

  14. PRESTON CASTLE

    PRESTON CASTLE - 329 Photos & 118 Reviews - 900 Palm Dr, Ione ... - Yelp

  15. PRESTON CASTLE

    Specialties: Historic Tours, special events, venue for weddings or other special functions, paranormal tours. Established in 1894. The strikingly beautiful Romanesque style Preston Castle, on a hill in Ione, was actually the administration building for the Preston School of Industry, the first major attempt in California at rehabilitating, instead of just imprisoning, young offenders. Opened ...

  16. Preston Castle

    Real Haunt Listing Info. Visitors to this page: 3,439 Last edit to this listing: 5/6/2016 (2798 days ago)

  17. The History and Haunts of Ione's Preston Castle

    IONE — It's the time of year when haunted houses seem to be popping up everywhere but one haunted house has been around for almost 125 years. Over the years, at least 18 people died in the ...

  18. Christmas at the Castle

    $35.00 General admission, VIP pass All ages The Haunt Prepare to be thrilled and chilled as you step into the eerie atmosphere of this legendary haunted location. Embark on a spine-tingling adventure through the shadowy corridors and hidden corners of the castle, where ghostly legends come to life. See you next year! From per Group Private Tours

  19. Migrants scalped a young guy

    Migrants scalped a young guy. The incident occurred because a guy with green hair asked migrants for a cigarette, who did not like his appearance. 19-year-old Yury Markov was thrown to the ground, beaten and cut off part of the skin from his head along with his hair. Currently, one of the participants in the execution has been detained; he ...

  20. Top 13 places in Russia where you may face a ghost

    During Soviet times, people often saw the ghost of a young girl walking through the walls with deep, plaintive sighs. 6. House of Rasputin in St. Petersburg. Tourprom. The flat on the second floor ...

  21. Public Paranormal Investigation Tours

    From $35.00 General admission, VIP pass The Haunt Prepare to be thrilled and chilled as you step into the eerie atmosphere of this legendary haunted location. Embark on a spine-tingling adventure through the shadowy corridors and hidden corners of the castle, where ghostly legends come to life. See you next year! Learn More

  22. Private Guided Moscow Underground Palaces Metro Tour

    A unique private experience of Moscow Metro. We are a team of art-historians, travellers, photographers and bloggers. We will show you the best metro stations of Moscow metro and will be able to change the itinerary according to your wishes. The tour will last for around 2 hours. At the end we can leave at your hotel or anywhere in the city center. See you in Moscow!:)

  23. Moscow Metro Tour and Bunker 42 with Private Guide

    While Moscow is beautiful above-ground, it's fascinating underground. On this tour you will visit two of Moscow's most interesting underground attractions: the beautifully decorated Metro system, and the Bunker 42 anti-nuclear facility. Your private guide will tell you all about the history of these places, and answer any questions you might have. You'll see a different side of Moscow on ...