On Saturday, June 8th, several journalists were invited to a one hour, behind-the-scenes look at Ten Thirtyone Productions Great Horror Campout. The Great Horror Campout is a twelve hour long haunted event meant to put attendees into their very own version of a Friday the 13th-like experience. Throughout the event, campers could participate in activities like ghost story telling and horror movie watching ’round a campfire. They would even be provided with meals! However, while that may all seem like a fun, easy-going evening, darkness awaits. The campers are not alone and are terrorized throughout the night by a band of monsters, inbreeds, and more – even being possibly hogtied, bagged, and thrown into a cage for a random length of time. The Great Horror Campout took place at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in Los Angeles, CA.
Melissa Carbone, President of Ten Thirtyone Productions
According to event personnel, the first night of the Great Horror Campout proved very intense. Out of the 600 campers who attended, 1 person fainted and roughly 275 people ended up using the safe word to stop the scares from continuing. One disturbing gimmick which terrorizes guests is a creepy-looking van that will randomly pull up next to campers. A group of scare actors will jump out, grab them, and drive off with them! While there are various events and things for attendees to do throughout the night, they must always be on the lookout for “scare swag”, or as the event calls it, “SCAG”. SCAG is basically the currency of the event and can be something as “simple” as a severed ear or key or even a vial of blood. These are collected both by finding them randomly and performing various tasks, such as a very bloody tug of war game or completing a voodoo-style ritual. If you are bagged and caged, the only way to get out is to barter with some of your SCAG items. That being said, if you collect enough SCAG, you could be named a “Hell Master”. Those who complete this task earn a free “golden ticket” to this year’s LA Haunted Hayride, which provides unlimited access!
To further make the night complicated, there is the mysterious “Camp Headmaster” who will change up all the rules at random times. In once instance, a group won a tug of war game only to find out that, at the Camp Headmaster’s whim, they weren’t “worthy” of winning and lost, much to their dismay. These rule changes are considered law, so be fore-warned! The event features a variety of scare zones (although one could argue it’s all one big scare zone) – with the Labyrinth at the North end of the camp being the most extreme. One really awesome twist on a haunt maze was a Chupacabra-themed one where unlucky participants must pass through hordes of the creatures, undetected. How? Well, these creatures can only see you when you move, so the attraction is a big game of “red light/green light” – a novel idea for a haunted maze. If successful, participants must brave some seriously tight quarters in an underground space they have dug out.
The Great Horror Campout is only set for these couple Summer season days (will more be nights be announced before the season ends?) – and they will not repeat it this October (most likely because they will be focusing on their LA Haunted Hayride). The biggest thing we hope the production company remedies if they do another Great Horror Campout next Summer is the event’s location. The Los Angeles State Historic Park is surrounded by industrial buildings and in plain view of the LA skyline. To complete the look of being trapped at a Friday the 13th style campground, we hope they use a location more woodsy. Perhaps The Old Zoo at Griffith Park where they put on their annual LA Haunted Hayride event? From talking with several attendees of the first night’s run, that’s what they would have changed too. Otherwise, they claim to have had a great time and, after attending our behind-the-scenes look, we can see why!
We would like to thank Ten Thirtyone Productions for allowing us access to the Great Horror Campout media hour.