Great Horror Campout spooks out a success

The Great Horror Campout may not have reached its lofty attendance goal, but organizers of the event are still planning a return trip to Black Diamond in the future.

The Black Diamond Police Department estimated 500 people attended the inaugural two-night event in Black Diamond, held July 25-26. A spokesperson for Ten Thirty One Productions said that number was “hugely incorrect” but that the company does not release attendance figures.

No matter the exact number of bodies, the ominous, wooded environment was unlike any other on their tour.

“The fan passion levels for the Great Horror Campout have surpassed our wildest expectations and frankly been shocking,” said Melissa Carbone, CEO and president of Ten Thirty One Productions, in an email. “The Seattle (Black Diamond) location was the favored location on the tour. We absolutely will be back next year.”

Organizers of the Great Horror Campout describe it as a “choose your own adventure” overnight. The 12-hour interactive camping experience targets 18-34 year olds. Ten Thirty One Productions, out of Los Angeles, created the event in 2013 and planned tours of major cities in California and Texas this summer. The event consists of cages, kidnappers, voodoo rituals, “blood tag,” horror movies and the “Hell Hunt” interactive challenge. Electronic billboards promoted the event in both Seattle and Kent. Organizers had estimated the event would draw 1,000 people to each night.

The campout was held on a portion of Palmer Coking Coal’s 600-acre property. William Kombol, manager of Palmer Coking Coal, had no complaints about the event.

“I think it went well,” he said. “They picked up every gum wrapper, did a good job, paid their rent on time.”

Kombol said when he informed Ten Thirty One of some litter he found on the property after initial cleanup of the event, they immediately sent workers from Portland to finish the job.

“Most people would say, ‘why don’t you just pick it up yourself,’” he said. “They were a class act as far as I was concerned.”

Cmdr. Greg Goral with the Black Diamond Police Department called the nights “uneventful” — in a good way. Goral said four noise complaints related to late night announcements made on the PA system were called into dispatch. However, Goral said permitting with the city allowed for those interactions with attendees.

“Some of the citizens didn’t like those announcements going, but they were within their permit to do so,” Goral said. “We had a discussion before the start of the second night… but they wouldn’t change their event for that, nor would we tell them to.”

Police had one officer in attendance to bolster Ten Thirty One’s security team. There were no reported injuries or traffic complaints. Goral said there was one unsolved theft report involving items stolen from a tent.

“You expect when you have a few hundred people together you might have a theft,” he said.

Carbone said the company will be announcing additional cities and 2014 Campout dates in the coming months.





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