Preston Castle - Ione, CA

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Investigated: Jun 12, 2010 Haunted?   Yes. Intelligent & Residual.

Site Details

Preston Castle towers over the city of Ione. The design of the building mixed in with the damage done over the years makes it a perfect "hauntingly "beautiful" location. The building is currently being restored and the basement and first two levels are open to the public. Another level will be opening shortly. There are many areas where the damage to the building is severe - the floor completely collapsed in one area, so you can see up several levels through the hole. There are other areas that are forbidden due to collaspsed parts or other hazards.

The history of Preston is that it was a reform school for juveniles from 1894 to 1960. The wards were troubled youths and there was a lot of violence between the residents. They were taught trade skills and received education and religious studies. The spirits said to haunt this location are that of Anna Corbin (a staff worker there), who was murdered by a ward, and a boy that was shot while trying to escape.

Personal Experiences

We ran our investigation during the daytime, as it was our first trip to the castle and we were unfamiliar with what to expect. It was a very hot summer day and there was a lot of wind which caused doors to move and hanging signs to squeek. To add to the audio contamination, the new reform school is located adjacent to the castle and all the inmates could be heard while they were outside.

We placed our stationary camcorders around with digital voice recorders, then went to investigating. Since there were only two of us investigating the castle (we had the entire castle reserved to us), we split up to different levels to do EVP sessions. During our time there, we really didn't have any paranormal experiences. The interior, while creepy from the damage, didn't feel negative or otherwise haunted. There was only one area in the basement, a long dark hallway, that gave a negative vibe. Although, we believe that's more due to a psychological response for being in a closed, dark area.

While we didn't experience much activity while there, after we started going through the audio and video evidence, we were surprised to have captured many clear EVPs, some in direct response to our EVP sessions. These are a clear intelligent response that really seem to want to get a message across. Other EVPs captured were just with stationary camcorders and are random words or names that are said after hours of being left alone in a room. These seem to be of the more residual nature unless there are multiple spirits interacting and only one voice was captured.


"Why? Are you?"
Provoking a response while in the men's bathroom in the basement. The investigator did not hear any response while there.

"That one." "And Monroe."
Direct response to question. The first response is immediate and loud, but can be interpretted as different things (two words). A few seconds later is a softer EVP, but when slowed, it very clearly says "Monroe", who was the killer of Anna Corbin.

"Is that what you want?" "Must."
Another direct response to the investigator. The spirit responds multiple times during this particular EVP session.

"Let me go."
This male voice was captured in the back room of the infirmatory wing while just walking around.

First floor level by staff dining room, a male voice welcomes us as we were walking around.

Ambiguous followed by "Randall"."
From a stationary camcorder in the 2nd floor hallway, a male's voice is heard sounding like "don't pa", followed by a short "sit", then a clear name, "Randall". Possible multiple entities talking.

"Ray Dunya" "No."
From stationary camcorder in dining room above kitchen. Sounds like a name (Note, Ray D. Johnson escpaed Preston twice), followed by a softer "No." reply. Possibly two spirits talking?

"What room?"
This was from the library on the second floor, captured on a stationary camcorder. It is clear, but very random, as no one else was around.

Direct response to an investigator's EVP session, but the voice comes across too deep to hear. There's also a female whisper a few seconds after which we can't make out.

Another direct response, but more faint. It is captured towards the end of the EVP session.

Ambiguous noise followed by "Hello."
In the basement hallway, we were greeted by this male voice.

Random voice captured in the basement.

Basement level, very faint male response to an investigator being there.

"Anna Corbin" or "I'm a...?"
Heard while walking around. It's faint and we don't know if it's directed at us, or just residual.

Captured in the basement hallway on a stationary camcorder. Female voice, but not clear what's being said.

Pitch fluctuations
Experimentally used, the theremin changes pitch as someone moves their hands next to it. No one was on the floor at the time and it had many pitch changes.