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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Preston Castle

Preston School of Industry also known as Preston Castle or The Castle was built between 1890 – 1894 as a school to rehabilitate juveniles in Ione, California. The Castle stands on 230 acres bought from the Ione Coal and Iron Company at $30 per acre with 100 acres donated. The sandstone bricks were made at San Quentin and Folsom prisons and delivered via railroad at 6,000 bricks per car. The original plans consisted of five floors and seventy-seven rooms. It officially opened for business on July 1st, 1894 and remained so until 1960. It fell in to disrepair until 2001. The Preston Castle Foundation received a fifty year lease for the property and restoration began to convert it in to an arts college.

The Castle has seen its share of death. Seventeen boys lost their lives in the hospital to diseases such as tuberculosis and typhoid fever. Sam Goins was shot in the back by a prison guard in 1922 during his third escape attempt. He was only 20. Starvation, isolation, and public paddling and lashings, severe strategies were common at Preston. In 1950, Anna Corbin, a former head housekeeper, was found locked in a store room off the executive kitchen bludgeoned to death. One of the castle’s black children, Eugene Monroe was tried twice for this crime, but the jury was hung each time. To this day, no one has been convicted for her murder. Her spirit is believed to still walk the halls of Preston Castle. Many have witnessed slamming doors, falling objects, disembodied voices, and physical contact by unseen people. During Ghost Trackers investigation, they collected photos of alleged orbs and shadows and EVPs, including a male humming. The Ghost Adventures team began their second season at the castle. They experienced female screams, knocking, sounds of eggs frying in a pan, and electronic malfunctions. Three scratches appeared on Aaron’s leg and Zak was allegedly possessed for a period of time. They captured several EVPs, mist and orbs on camera. 

Preston Castle is not open to the public but does offer tours, including ghost tours and overnight stays, for a price. To spend the night in this haunted castle, it’ll cost $100 per person. The cost includes pizza for dinner and soda/water for the night. You must bring your own sleeping bag, pillows, clothing, toiletries, and any kind of investigative equipment you plan to use during the night. The only areas open for investigations are the grounds inside the fence and around the castle, the visitor's center, the garage/old solitary confinement area, the castle's basement, 1st floor and 2nd floor. The upper floors are too dangerous. To ensure your safety, each group will be accompanied by a Ghost Trackers Paranormal Research group member. All money goes to the continuing restoration of the castle.

For more information on tours visit http://www.prestoncastle.com/tours.html.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that all of the places are haunted by ghosts in all haunted places and as for ghost hunters they need to find out for sure if there is really ghosts for sure sure from wendy sells

Anonymous said...

I just think this is such a horrible place it shouldn't be restored. Americans must be proud to save a building were kids were tortured, and kept prisoner. What people miss here is why these things were happening. Deaths like these mentioned shouldn't have happened.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I can talk some sense into some of you people who seem emotionless. Sam Goins was scheduled to be released two months after he was killed by the guard. He tried to run away three times, and was caught the third time. He only stayed at Preston Castle for about a couple years. Don't you wounder what the heck was so bad in there that he tried to run away in such a short period of time so many times. If only Sam Goins could talk now what would he tell us. Jo Lopez who was with him that day also died shortly after. Hmm sounds like he was murdered by the staff to keep things quiet. What awful people they were to do horrible things to children. I'm just glad it is closed hope none like it show up again. Anna Corbin was not killed for no reason. Not trying to justify her murder just saying she probably mistreated those boys in there, and they snapped on her.

Anonymous said...

Someone has to come out with the truth behind Sam Goins and Jo Lopez deaths, and what really happened at the castle... it was awfully suspicious for Goins to be shot to death by John Kelly - a gueard, on his attempt to escape, and Lopez killed soon?

instead of a rehabilitating school, it was like a high security prison... kinda makes me wonder what kind of terror was introduced there...

Unknown said...

The place represents history....good or bad. People still visit places were millions were executed. Horrible yes as well as interesting.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Preston Castle should be restored because of its shady, horrific, and mysterious past. The Castle is in a way a beautiful because of the architecture, which was meant to look regal to inspire hope and give a sense of who was in control. Another reason Preston Castle should be restored is so that the Castle will serve as a reminder of the past and what we learned from it so the same disturbing events such as the beatings and murders will not happen again. To destroy the Castle is like burying something no one wants to remember: out of sight, out of mind. The same horrible treatment was in insane asylms and other reformatories such as the Mansfeild Reformatory in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Deaths and things at Preston Castle may have been bad ,but we must never loose site or thought of what happened there! Just as Slavery , Hangings, Burnings Holocaust, We must not forget we must persue, study, and be reminded in order for these things to not happen again!

Jeff T. said...

All these anonymous comments. What are you afraid of someone seeing what you had to say? If you are ashamed of it why say it?

Anonymous said...

Im 36, I'm a professional chef now, but I spent 3 years here in Preston when I was 13 years old.... The castle is clothes n the Youth Authority is now behind the castle, sometimes at night when we stayed up late we could see figures moving around in there, we would tell the guards the next day but would just laugh at us. I think the castle is a very important part of California history, and it should b preserved.

Linda S said...

Anonymous, your time line doesn't work out. If you are 36 now, you were 13 23 years ago. This facility has been closed over 60 years.!

I do agree with your sentiments, though. I think we need to remember history in order not to repeat it. I think mankind has a lot of be ashamed of.
My grandfather was in a reform school a while in his youth, in Arkansas. He told us he'd rather kill us then see us go to such a place. He talked of boys disappearing, and the "wagon" picking up someone at night. I guess atrocious treatment was the norm back then...that doesn't make it good. For some reason, people seem to have the need to mistreat others.
Linda S

Anonymous said...

After 17 months in this place as a child.....because of a decision made by the State of California in 1921....I am fully aware of what went on inside Preston "High". I would never put anything on this page because of the obvious....but can and will tell anyone who might not believe that this place was Hell on Earth.....I still have Scar's to prove it. My Great Grandson is currently researching details to audit the State to prove some of things that I have mentioned to him over the last few years. NEVER EVER step foot inside this place....as you will never be the same....As I know my Roommate "Mary" is still alive in room 4 East.

Anonymous said...

Ok first of all, Sam wasn't shot to death by a guard just because. My Great-Grandfather was there when he was 17, he told the story of "fake escapes." This was when the older boys were due to be released in a few short months, they faked an escape to help the younger ones. They went on a point system, you could be released if you had I believe 6,000 points. If you helped them catch someone who escaped, you would be let go immediately. The only boys would "escape" so the younger ones could catch them and get out. Sam was shot by accident, he bent down and was shot in the back, instead of the leg. The guard did not mean to shoot him in the back. This establishment is just like an insane asylum, guards thought beating the children would teach them.
Linda, the place closed in 2001, not 60 years ago. Please look up your facts.

Anonymous said...

ummm it was already closed in 2001.. the place closed in 1960 but it fell in disrepair(the condition of needing repair; an impaired or neglected state.) if you learn to understan what you read you could figure that out

Anonymous said...

I grew up under the shadow of this castle in the sixties, and it was closed all that time. In the seventies a friend and I tried to break in, but it was in such disrepair that we knew we'd fall through the floor, and left. At the time it seemed mysterious and funny, but now that I've learned about these poor kids who lived there, it's really sad and creepy. I hope they found some happiness in their lives.

Anonymous said...

This information needs to be corrected and updated. Anna did not live in the Castle but in Ione with her husband and Children, her body is burried in Sacramento and her spirit is NOT there. You can NOT spend the night but they do have Overnight Investigations 7pm-4am. Boys and girls were dropped off as young as 5 years old during the depression and the parents never came back.

Samual was shot once in the back and the Officer that shot him said he was aiming for the knee, he was never formally charged. So much more you all do not know and you would be sick to your stomachs if you knew the whole truth

Fire&Blood said...

You're such a tease, Anonymous - saying that we'd be sick to know the whole truth. This, of course, implies that you know the whole truth.

And you won't share because it may make people sick? ...I'd rather know the truth than the lies, no matter the cost to my well-being. Truth hurts, deception hurts more.

So, please, I implore you. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

leanne bishop said...

The question. Every one shouid be asking is what did they do to be locked up

leanne bishop said...

I wouid like to point out if u don't wont the building restored what about all the young spirits of the young kids were will they go it us thare home it be like ur home falling down and no now wonting to restor it

leanne bishop said...

Thare are ghost I been in a presents of one when I was working looking after a rebuilt church it scared me to death

Anonymous said...

The spelling in some of these comments are truly outrageous,It does the American education system no favours at all and makes the individuals responsible sound thick as pig shit,if you wish to use my English language then please do it justice,and one other thing,fruit we in England call a tomato is just that,not a bloody tomado you bunch of demmicks,you really are Thick Tits. Steve, Harrogate West Yorkshire

Anonymous said...

Well written, Steve.

The place is definitely intriguing. I recently was on the newer portion of the grounds and the Castle, even from a distance, is eerie. The stories are interesting to read. The truth may never be uncovered. But, for those who wish to share tales, correct grammar and spelling may support your credibility. Otherwise, you appear to be an idiot.

Dreaming Casually said...

I wrote a book about the history of the Preston School of Industry, and I can assure you that many bad things happened there from the very beginning, all the way up to when the school shut down (even after they closed the "Castle"). If you want to know about Sam Goins, Anna Corbin and many other stories of people affected there, please check out my book, "Behind The Walls" by J'aime Rubio. Its available on Amazon. ---

Anonymous said...

If we only knew the significance of what a story can do to an Americans vocabulary, and little do u know, you are using your comas incorrectly-demwit

 

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