Much of what is written in this article are allegations or legends. Whether or not these stories are true, we may never know. Either or, here is as much information as I was able to gather:
Satan’s Castle sits in a mountainous region that is filled with both religious and satanic lore dating back to the 19th century. There are said to be underground tunnels linking to various points of interest across the mountain which were used during the prohibition era. These tunnels were created mostly for transportation and smuggling booze but also served for darker purposes. One of these tunnels is rumored to connect a Catholic church to Satan’s Castle.
The beautiful 3-story, 2500 sq. ft. home is thought to have been built by a San Bernardino Sun tycoon in the late 1800’s. At some point Dr. Russell Atkinson purchased the property. Russell moved to the area in 1946 and rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful figures in the area, such as Prince Akhoy Kumar Mozumdar of the Mozumbar Temple. For many years, Atkinson would hold elaborate parties and gatherings for the city’s elite. It was a space for many social affairs of importance.
Atkinson’s home is also said to have been the grounds for dark, ritualistic practices which included both human and animal sacrifices along with other dark ceremonies. The main rumor attached to the castle involves a preschool whose staff was accused of molesting children in a ritualistic manner. The accusations spoke of underground tunnels at the preschool and staff flying the children to an airport in the mountains and then driven to a church.
From the church the children were taken through an underground tunnel which lead to Atkinson’s house, which was a block down. It was here where strange, satanic practices would go down. The children would then be flown back to the preschool in time for their parents to pick them up. Initially, most of the children denied being molested, but after lengthy and manipulative tactics done by the police force and therapists, 360 of the 400 children admitted to at least some form of sexual abuse.
The children also spoke of the teachers playing a game called ”Naked Movie Star Game” and being photographed. They also told of animal sacrifices and hidden passageways under the school and identified professional athletes and politicians as being some of the perpetrators. The case was eventually thrown out and nobody was charged. I found one newspaper article from 1966 that mentions an award being given to Dr. Atkinson & the ceremony being held at the church that is rumored to connect to his house. The reverend of the church presented Dr. Atkinson the award of “Mountain Man of the Year.”
Allegations at the preschool began in 1983. Satan’s Castle mysteriously burned down in 1984, with claims that it was intentionally destroyed to burn all evidence that could be linked to the molestations. This is the 2nd time Atkinson’s home had burned down; the first time was from the 1956 McKinley fire.
On YouTube, one man claims that inside one of the rooms a pentagram used to be painted on the ground and that there are ovens in a wall that was built into the mountainside. Another YouTuber chimes in agreeing about the pentagram and said that local Christians painted over it with the John 3:16 verse, but the pentagram always bled through. People claim that the lookout tower is shaped like a pentagram. In the screen-shot I am providing of the tower, it does appear to have 5 points.
Another man said when he was in jail there were some guys in there from the area. They would brag about all the animal sacrifices they would do in the name of Satan. Another YouTuber says in the 80’s, him and his friends were exploring the entire hillside below the castle and discovered an old, tin shed. He says that just next to the shed was a metal sheet that covered up a tunnel. They dared each other to go in but none of them did. I did notice what looks like a tin shed below the castle on Google Earth. It is extremely close to a home though and guaranteed to be on their property.
The house below the castle is being called the ‘Witch’s House’ by some people and others claim there is a tunnel connecting it to Satan’s Castle. Could the tunnel those boys found truly connect the homes? Another guy says he grew up 5 houses down from there and his friend used to live across the street. On two different occasions him and his friend spotted people in black robes heading onto the grounds late at night. There were fires and he says they were scared to death. Oftentimes he would find carcasses of animals on the property including dogs and cats.
There is a video on YouTube which shows two boys exploring the grounds. They were heckled by a neighbor who spotted them early on so decided not to trespass and instead explored the hillside below. While they were on the hillside a man who was with a child gave a shrieking giggle and held an upside-down cross in the air towards them while standing in the pentagram-shaped tower. He said no words. After a minute or so he threw the sharp cross at the boys. Here are some screen grabs of it. The video does not appear to be fake which makes this extremely disturbing. It is assumed that the man is connected to the property:
On Reddit many people who live in the area agree that this mountain town is known for Satanic worship, animal torture and a whole lot of meth. One guy claims to have been hiking in the woods nearby when he came across a bunch of dogs tied to trees. Some people squatting nearby admitted to him that people steal dogs from the area to be later used for ritualistic sacrifices.
Personal Experience: The lore attached to this home and area reminds me a bit of Questhaven and it’s surrounding region in San Diego where I live. We have pretty extensively combed through that area and have had many strange experiences. Since I don’t live in the area where Satan’s Castle is, I sadly cannot give it the proper time and investigating like I usually would.
I’m well aware that people tend to be afraid of the unknown and things they don’t understand. Rumors can start from the tiniest grain and grow into a full-blown wildfire of gossip. BUT, I also tend to believe that there is some truth in most lies. Usually these types of rumors don’t begin circulating out of thin air. I hope we can continue to gather more historical evidence down the line and possibly get feedback from more locals on this spot.
Multiple people claim to have seen old satanic symbols etched into the ground and peering through cracks, they have seen levels underground. This property is massive, that’s for sure. I admittedly rushed through my visit (exploring 5 minutes tops) due to the fact that I was definitely NOT supposed to be there and a person’s house is connected to the property. Here are the photos I took though:
This guy did far more investigating than I did if you’d like to see more details of the property: