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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.

26 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

Anonymous said...

I've been to the Preston castle me and a couple friends walked around it one night we did not go in said but we did hear things such as a yong girl screaming and ppl fighting as well as loud bangsit was a pretty cool experiencein fact we are planning on going back to see inside the castleif you're not scared I recommend you to check it out

Becky said...

Preston Castle is a beautiful art work of a building but it is evil through & through. I think it should be torn down and a church built on the foundation with the names of each & every child's name listed on a monument in honor of them! The torturous abusive degrading child molesting guardians & staff should have been held liable & accountable for each & every incidence that occurred there! The state of California should have take the rumors to heart & stepped in! Just to think those poor babies in there being beat tortured, raped by the sadistic queer officials just makes you want to cry. Anna Corbin was the only comfort they had. She tended to their beatings, holding the younger ones as a loving mother would do. The boys loved her. The person or persons who killed her were the same ones abusing those kids!

D77121 said...

I remember this place very well, I was a ward there in 1979-1981 (new section). The newer part of the PSI as we called it, or sometimes it was called the White Elephant. The castle was already closed by the time I got there, closed in 1960 when the new institution was built. I had two counselors that where at the castle when they were in their early 20s and helped with the construction of the the new side. I remember they were called lodges, which each one was named after different types of trees, Evergreen-Iron wood-Redwood-Oak-Juniper etc etc...If memory serves me right I was in Evergreen, Linden, Redwood. I remember Juniper next to Linden, we used to call it jump'n J, because thats where they put all the f--k ups. They were on lock down most of the time. I also was in Tamarack (lock up)if you were really bad. It had ben built sometime in the 20s maybe early 30s. It replaced the original one that was as old as the castle it self. That had been converted into a maintenance shop, which I got to work in as a plumbers helper. Both the chow hall and the hospital were pretty old, built sometime in the late 20s or early 30s. There is a tunnel that runs from the castle to the old chow hall then over to the hospital. It was a utility tunnel for steam and other utilities, the plumber told me that this was how the kids would go from the castle to the (at that time-new chow hall and the hospital. Built in 1890s there were constant upgrades as the years wore on. There was also a tunnel that was put in when the castle was built. The guy I worked with said it was part of the original sewer, and an old cistern, that from what I was told was where originally the water supply for the castle came from. I can remember when we would march over to the chow hall in the fall at dinner time when bats would come out, some times they might dive bomb you. Some guys would put their jackets over there heads to keep the bats from getting caught in there hair. I'd always laugh at them, big tough guys scared of a little bats. There was a story told to me about a guy who escaped and was chased into the castle, he had made it up to one of the top floors where he jumped into a laundry chute but unfortunately for him, some of the chute had been removed. He fell into the basement were he broke his leg or both, can't remember. So many stories and yes, plenty of ghost stories. When I was there in 79 the castle was already in disrepair. I can remember the being partially bare of slate and you could see the trusses. I always wanted to this place restored. It's a cool building, and is part of California's History. As for some of the people here that want's to see it tore down because of the so called bad stuff that may have happened their, well I don't think there's much difference then...then what we have today. Cruel things still going on in institutions all over this country, I know there was when I was in some of these place's. I really would like to go on a grand tour of the castle, I only got to see a little bit of the inside, it was considered to dangerous and unstable. I don't even think he was suppose to take me in as far as he did.

 

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