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The Great Horror Campout Wants To Keep You Up All Night

This July, there's a camp coming to the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton with activities that range from normal summer camp fare, like roasting marshmallows, sing-a-longs and scary movies, to "Blood Tag" matches, an obstacle course of dead bodies and the "Hell Hunt," a scavenger hunt in which campers compete to become the camp's reigning Hellmaster, through activities like voodoo rituals and digging through roadkill.

For extra fright, the Hell Hunt information page states that camp counselors can change the rules at any time, so pay attention to those loudspeakers. Note also, it mentions talent show victories weigh into Hellmaster selection, so competition will be fierce all across the board.

Buy a ticket for a single night on the weekend of July 11-12 and choose your own level of involvement. Campers who reserve tents in the Chicken Zone have the freedom to sleep after the main event, while everyone else risks visits by monsters at any time before dawn. There are 2 person tents for $139 a person and 4 person tents, where tickets are $99 each. Any group not buying out their entire tent will be assigned tent mates on the night, which sounds like its own kind of terror, depending on who else signs up.

Bring your own sleeping bag, jam-jams and flashlight. Even if you're not afraid of the dark, you're going to want to see the creatures they have lined up. Through it all, there is a safe phrase. Staff knows to back off anyone who yells the out, "I want my mommy."

The event begins at 8pm with tent assignment and possibly a buffet dinner, though the website seems to imply that was only in LA. The camp goes full gore until 8 the next morning, when there is breakfast (again, possibly) and the night's Hellmaster will be crowned, a position granting special privileges at future visits and general bragging rights.

An early review of the event from last year, with pictures of some horrors and makeup tests, is available at

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