Frequently Asked Questions
What is the address of Preston Castle?
900 Palm Drive, Ione, CA.
Look for the big spooky castle on the hill. Listen for the screams. Taste the fear.
What happens if I bring contraband to the gate?
There is a zero tolerance policy in place for contraband. Security personnel will conduct a bag search and a
wand detector search. If contraband is found, you have the option of returning it to your car or throwing it away. We recommend leaving contraband items at home. We hate ruining an otherwise great night!
Is there a charge for parking?
Parking in our official designated areas is free of charge. Parking attendants will be on location to assist you. We will also offer free shuttle service to/from some of our parking areas. And just in case this was a typo and you wanted to know if there are chargers for parking, then no; make sure your electric car is all juiced up before coming here.
What if it rains?
Then you might get wet.
Our haunt will be open rain or shine. Check the weather and dress appropriately. You are welcome to bring and use umbrellas while waiting in line and outside, but keep in mind that you will not be allowed to take your umbrellas inside the castle. You may leave your umbrella on the front porch, and it is suggested that you appropriately label it with your name. (We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.)
I do not have a printed ticket or receipt?
All tickets sold will be done so online. Bring a printout of your purchase confirmation with you to the castle so you can check in and pick up your ticket(s) from the ticket booth. If you forgot to print your confirmation, then you will need to show your digital confirmation/receipt on your smart phone. Keep it secure because you can only use it once. Our ticket booth volunteers will confirm all purchases and will give you an admission ticket that you will need to use in order to get into the castle. If you can’t show us a confirmation of your ticket purchase, we can’t let you in. It’s a good trade.
Can I use my ticket for a different night than the night I purchased it for?
If you purchase a ticket for a specific night, please use it for that specific night. You may be denied entry if you show up on a different night. Especially if we aren’t even open.
Can I purchase a ticket at the gate?
No. All ticket sales are conducted online.
Is the Haunt wheelchair accessible?
Due to flights of stairs in our historic building, the entire haunt is NOT wheelchair accessible. However, persons in wheelchairs can enjoy the final portion of our haunt, which consists of most of the basement level. Advise our volunteers at the ticket booth outside the gate and we can assist you with a ride up the hill to the front of the castle, and will take you to the proper location to join in on the fun. A general admission ticket will still need to be purchased.
Are there stairs?
Yes, the haunt will take place on three floors of the castle. Stairs are the only way up and down. If you’re lucky, the ghosts might give you a hand going up. As for going down, gravity should help you a little bit. But use the handrails anyway.
How long does it take to walk through the haunt?
Hmmm… it depends. When you’re scared, are you paralyzed with fear or do you run away?
We estimate that it will take about 25 to 35 minutes to make your way through the entire haunt.
(PS – No running in the castle.)
What do you get with a Fast Pass?
Our Fast Pass ticket gets you to a separate and MUCH shorter line than the general admission line, so your waiting time will be much shorter.
Are there refunds?
Our ticketing system is not set up for refunds. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is run by volunteers, and all proceeds from ticket sales go towards the restoration of the castle and its grounds. Perhaps you can write it off your taxes? (Seek advice from your accountant; we are just here to scare you.)
What age is appropriate for the Haunt?
We do not have an age restriction, but we do recommend that adults use discretion in deciding whether to bring young children. The castle is dark and spooky on its own, but we have supercharged it with set designs, sounds, props, special effects and actors whose sole purpose is to try to scare you so much that you wet your pants. Hehehe…
How scary is the Haunt?
Come find out. Don’t be a chicken. If you can’t handle it, we might let you out a side door.
Do actor/volunteers in the Haunt touch you when they are trying to scare you?
We generally try to avoid touching you inside the haunt, but it is possible that you might get touched. Our ghosts also might touch you. It’s allowed. You, however, are NOT allowed to touch us. Any inappropriate or unwelcome touching of actors or props will result in a short trip to the exit, escorted by security or police.
What if I want to volunteer to help?
You can’t resist this awesome castle, can you? Neither can we.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest well in advance of our opening day so we can sign you up. It’s never too soon. And while appreciate your enthusiasm, we do NOT accept drop-in volunteers.
Will there be any food vendors/anything to eat?
Yes! We have booked several food and craft vendors for each night we are open. But if the weather is bad, our vendors reserve the right to close up their booths early or to not open at all.
How long will I wait in line?
When are generally able to get about 350-400 people through the haunt each hour, with a bit of space between each small group to avoid the conga line syndrome. At our peak last year, the waiting time was about an hour, but sometimes things can happen to slow us down, especially if going faster can compromise safety for you or our volunteers. If you want a more specific answer, count how many people are in front of you and divide by 400. We are good at haunting, but bad at math.
Can I take photo or video when I am inside the Haunt?
No. Photos and videos are prohibited inside the haunt. But while you are outside, you may photograph and film to your heart’s content.
Are backpacks or bags allowed?
Bags, backpacks, purses, fanny packs or other similar items will be searched before entry. Your person may also be searched. Any inappropriate or dangerous items that are found will be removed and/or turned over to the police. If you have any bulky items, you may be asked to keep them outside the gate. If you don’t want our spooky fingers going through your secret stuff, we suggest you leave it at home.
What if I need more tickets when I get there?
All of our tickets will be sold online. Our volunteers in the ticket booth cannot sell additional tickets. If we are not sold out for that night, you can always purchase more tickets from your smart phone and show your confirmation to the ticket booth.
Does my whole party need to be there when I check in?
When you check in at the ticket booth, you can pick up all the tickets for your entire party as long as you have the proper documentation (purchase confirmation/receipt). As to holding a space in line for the rest of your group, that is generally frowned upon and will likely upset our other guests who have been waiting patiently. As they say in that big theme park with the other big castle, “Line jumping may be cause for ejection from the park.” Or in our case, the castle grounds.
Is smoking or e-cig allowed while waiting in line?
Once you have passed through the main gate next to the ticket booth, there is NO SMOKING of any kind, whether it’s traditional, e-cig or vape. Any violation of our NO SMOKING policy will get you immediately escorted off the property with no refund.
Are there clothing restrictions or are you allowed to wear a costume?
We recommend wearing closed-toe shoes for comfort and safety. Long flowing/draping clothing is not recommended. If your costume or clothing is large or bulky, hinders movement or vision, or if we deem it unsafe or inappropriate for you, our actors/volunteers or our other guests, you will be asked to remove it. Masks, helmets and similar items must be removed before entering the castle.
PRESTON CASTLE HAUNT RULES
- No photos or videos are allowed inside the castle.
- No flashlights, phone lights, or any other types of lights are allowed inside the castle.
- Do not touch, slide against or lean on the walls. You might have an encounter with nails, screws, splinters, wires or bat guano.
- No smoking of any kind is allowed past the gate or inside the castle. Lighters, matches and open flame are prohibited on the castle property.
- No running or horseplay is allowed in the castle or on the property.
- No weapons, dangerous or illegal items are allowed on the property. Bags, backpacks, purses and bulky clothing will be searched before allowing you to pass through the gates. Contraband will be confiscated and/or you will be prohibited from entering the Haunt.
- No alcohol or drugs are allowed on the property. Similarly, if you are intoxicated or otherwise impaired – or if you appear to be so – you will not be allowed to enter.
- We employ the use of surveillance video throughout the haunt, as well as officially authorized photographers and videographers. Your entry into the Haunt signifies your consent to be photographed and/or recorded, and to use those photographs and/or recordings for future promotional use related to Preston Castle and the Preston Castle Haunt.
- Local police and fire department personnel will be on location to help us provide for a fun and safe environment and help us enforce the rules for everyone’s safety and enjoyment.