This summer we went to a wedding in Ione at Preston Castle, which is an old reform school building. Until this wedding I had never even heard of Preston Castle or the reform school. If you like creepy old building with a shady past (I do, I do!) then you will looooove this place. This was the first time I used my camera exclusively in manual, and it shows because the color is a bit off, though you probably would never have known that if I hadn't just ratted myself out. I have just enough photographer friends who might read this (but probably won't), that I felt compelled to say so. Anyway.
A tour of the castle will run you $10 for access to four glorious floors of spooky, ramshackle architectural goodness. Since we were there for a wedding and not a tour, I only got to see two floors, but they were fabulous. Up until a few years ago, Preston Castle was slated for demo. Literally at the last possible moment the preservation society was able to halt demolition, but not before most of Ione and the surrounding towns had full access to whatever salvage the building had to offer. Over the years there has been much restoration done, but the building still has considerable damage leaving a ghostly air that the restoration committee is smart enough to capitalize on.
Every October, the Castle is decked out for the scariest Halloween tour known to man complete with clowns and chainsaws. they also host over night ghost tours, where, oddly, every night appears to be a "quiet night". Hum. If that is your thing, more power to you. The Beatles Tribute concert, Wine Tasting Tour or Old Tyme Christmas are much more my speed. Oh, and let's not forget October 5th's Photographer's Day. Yes, please. Who's with me?