A Tour Of This Haunted Prison In Northern California Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

There is nothing more terrifying than an old, abandoned prison, except for maybe a correctional facility that housed troubled youths for over half a century.

The Preston School of Industry was a correctional facility in Northern California and is still open for tours to this day.


The Preston Castle Foundation maintains the building and operates tours. Several events are hosted at the Castle throughout the year, including wine tastings, murder mysteries, a haunted house at Halloween, and holiday celebrations.

The castle is located in Ione, which is a small, unassuming community in Amador county.

At the time it was constructed, the Preston Castle was an innovative approach to rehabilitating, rather than just housing, juvenile delinquents.

The young boys who first stayed here were removed from the more hostile environment at the San Quentin State Prison.

The detention center is rumored to be haunted by previous inmates as well as staff members who lived and worked among these troubled boys.

It’s been said that this was the first correctional facility of its kind in the country. Despite the fact that the boys who were housed here got out of the adult prison and into a better environment, this facility wasn’t without its troubles.

The reformatory operated from the late 1800s to 1960 and is rumored to be the sight of an unsolved murder,
countless instances of corporal punishment and many tragic deaths.

There are several small markers of the troubled youths who once lived here.

Famous individuals who spent time within these walls include Merle Haggard, Eddie Anderson, Rory Calhoun, Don Jordan, Eddie Machen, Pancho Gonzales, Neal Cassady, Tony Cornero,
Caryl Chessman, Joseph Paul Cretzer, and Eddie Bunker.

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

While it looks pretty welcoming on the outside, the inside of the castle is eerie and haunting.

It’s incredible to think about the young men who spent so much of their formative years inside these cold, stark walls rather than with a loving family.

The best time to visit if you have an affinity for the supernatural is during Halloween, of course.
You’ll be transported back to the ’30s and ’40s and see what it was like for the young men who lived and died here.

Those of use who have seen Preston Castle in person know how terrifying but also intriguing it is.
Would you dare to step foot in this paranormal establishment?


    1. You appear to be playing close attention……

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