By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS Collection

TITLE: SATAN’S CASTLE AND OTHER HAUNTS: With Halloween nearly upon us it’s time to visit a few of our more famous spooky mountain tales. There was the 8-year-old girl named Hanna who died in Room 33 at the Saddleback Inn. She’s reported to still be seen there and is fond of turning switches on and off, flushing toilets and tossing items around the room. The Tudor House is famed for its clandestine activity during Prohibition, its speakeasy and brothel. Today you can still smell the perfume of Violet, a working girl killed by a jealous suitor, wafting through the hallways. In the winter, the footprints of a small boy killed by an ice truck can be seen meandering through the snow. This week’s image is a photo of part of the ruins of what it popularly known as Satan’s Castle, located on the Rim in Crestline. The grounds are said to have been the site of dark, ritualistic practices which included both human and animal sacrifices along with other dark ceremonies. Evidence lingers, such as a pentagram that local Christians paint over with John 3:16, but the symbol always bleeds through. A widespread rumor attached to the castle involves a preschool whose staff was accused of molesting children in a ritualistic manner at the castle. These allegations began in 1983. The following year the house was destroyed by fire. Some say it was to destroy evidence of these crimes. The castle started life as a beautiful 3-story, 2500 sq. ft. home, built in the late 1800’s by a San Bernardino tycoon. Dr. Russell Atkinson purchased the property in 1946 and became a full-time resident, establishing himself as a physician. He became a prominent citizen and rubbed elbows with the likes of Prince Mozumdar. In 1966 the reverend at the next-door Catholic church awarded Dr. Atkinson “Man of The Year.” But the prevailing legacy is that of a darker, more sinister history. Noted historian Russ Keller recently commented on this, and similar, tales. He stated, “The whole story about Satan’s Castle, and other stories, is folklore.”

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