By R. Del Rosario

PLEASANTON (CBS SF) – Summer and camping go hand in hand. Growing up, roasting s’mores and telling ghost stories over an open fire is a widely known tradition. What if those scary stories actually came true? That’s the idea behind a new kind of wilderness camp. “The Great Horror Campout” is an overnight, interactive camping experience coming to the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton on July 11 & 12. The event combines the elements of a slasher movie with overnight camping in the woods, similar to the events of the “Friday The 13th” and “Evil Dead” movie series. Touted as the “biggest deal” in Shark Tank history, Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban invested 2 million dollars to get the Horror Campout get off the ground.

Campers to “The Great Horror Campout” have a choice of the level of “scare” they can handle. Much like a “choose your own adventure” experience. The less extreme horror experience includes watching horror movies, roasting marshmallows, campfire sing-a-longs and telling ghost stories. Campers spend the night in tents within a “Chicken Zone” for a much laid-back experience and away from the monsters that lurk in the area.

For those who want a more extreme fright during the night, the “Hell Hunt” might be more of their cup of poisoned tea. Campers can stay in either a two-person or four-person tent in the “Fair Game” sections where they interact with “scareactors,” run through narrow foreboding tunnels, lose themselves in a labyrinth, engage in voodoo rituals and various other spontaneous challenges put forth by the Camp Headmasters. All to survive and capture the coveted title of “Hellmaster.”

If you think this all too intense, you can always scream out the safe phrase “I want my Mommy!” which will finally end the nightmare. The event runs for 12 hours, 8:00pm to 8:00am. All campers will first report to Base Camp for a buffet style dinner, camp announcements and receive their tent assignments. Not included but the organizers of the event suggest bringing a sleeping bag & pillow, snacks/drinks, flashlights and change of clothes. Possibly underwear.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and run between $139 per person for a four-person tent or $203 per person for a two-person tent. Get more info at

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