If you were the sort of teen who frequented the October fright houses of yore, you might remember such quaint touches as creepy crepe paper dangling from the ceiling, peeled grape "eyeballs" in bowls, and ketchup poured in various places to simulate blood.
Haunted attractions have come a long way since peeled grapes, and fright houses are no longer tied to October, either. Now the immersive, you're-part-of-it scare experience is king, and The Great Horror Campout is one of the new and flashy icons of the dread-and-dirt adventures.
Emphasis on "dirt": The outside happening takes place at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, overnight, and it is indeed a campout of sorts, in the loosest sense. Nope, you won't bed down all snug in your sleeping bag, for eight hours of solid shut-eye, if you sign up for the Friday, June 5 or Saturday, June 6 campouts.
You will have a "choose your own adventure"-type experience straight out of a scary movie, the kind of movie that might involve a lake, a group of campers, jumps, spills, and eeks aplenty.
If living inside a vintage into-the-forest fright film isn't your thing, but you're still kind of curious about the whole immersive element, you can sign up for "a laid-back haunted experience"; think sing-alongs, ghost stories, and time spent at the arts-and-crafts table.
If you go whole hog, you'll be inside the movie, running from a villain or villains. This is called "High Octane" so best read all of the fine print and, moreover, be into it, fully signed on, inside the experience. The words "Hell Hunt" should strike a chill, though, take heart: There's a safe phrase for anyone who needs a time out.
Again, this isn't the peeled grape eyeballs of a few decades back, so as you and your pals sign up for a tent, remember you will not be snoozing, dreaming of roasted marshmallows, the whole night through. Your tent really is just the starting point for scream-seekers wishing to safely, though very intensely, be in a macabre movie for a night.
Eek? Eek. Best don your down jacket and waterproof camp pants and check out the ghastly goods here.