I've had trouble getting started on these last two cities of the tour. First of all, after the controversy of Sacramento and the episode with our rogue chupacabra in Seattle, I've struggled to come up with a big tent pole to build this blog entry around. Secondly, our last two cities--Portland and San Diego--were bittersweet experiences, leaving me in a less gung-ho frame of mind for blog writing. After Portland came a week off that was rather depressing--gone was the now familiar routine of driving to the location, dealing with problems at the hotel, complaining, setting up tents, complaining, playing cards, going out and handing out flyers on the streets, complaining, doing the campout, getting way too little sleep, complaining, doing the campout again, getting slightly more sleep, then packing up our shit and heading to the next city while also complaining. And then, of course, San Diego was our denouement for the 2014 tour, filled with hugs and tears and goodbyes (and complaining), and I'm somewhat anxious to get past my post-campout depression and move on.

With the help of lots and lots of porn.

But fuck all that sad noise. Let's talk about some awesome stuff!

I'll start off by saying that, after the psychopath's wonderland that was the Seattle forest, our last two locations just couldn't compete. They did their job fine, but Seattle was definitely our Zenith, aesthetically speaking (at least in my non-college-educated opinion). Portland had a nice spooky woods, but by necessity the attractions were spaced out somewhat oddly. This is no one's fault, excepting perhaps Mother Nature for not building a more attraction-friendly forest.


I just felt that the camp zones didn't flow as nicely from one to the other as they had in other venues. Whatever. The campers were none the wiser, and a sasquatch lunging at you from the darkness is shit-inducing wherever you are.

An added little jolt the Portland campers (and employees) got free of charge was the random explosions of a cannon that our neighbors would fire off randomly during the night. Why were they doing it? Why did they have a working cannon?

Ta keep the queers away!

We'd all, guests and performers alike, give a little jump in unison every time that damn thing sounded. In retrospect, I'm ashamed to say I didn't have a particularly creative explanation for the noise to give confused looking campers. Something like, "Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody was caught littering again." Yeah, let's pretend I said that.

Then there was the camper who--for some reason--was carrying around little plastic kazoos, one of which she gave my fellow counselor, Frances…

a.k.a. Sister-Lover

…in exchange for some scavenger hunt hints. Frances spent the next several hours wandering through the woods, delighting in her little kazoo, blasting it right behind unsuspecting campers who would then jump out of their skins… until the cheap little novelty item inevitably gave up the ghost. I'll always remember the sight of my semi-retarded mutant sister/lover as she tried to fix the tiny instrument, screaming, "No, kazooooo!  NOOO!!"

Another amusing tale of camp counselor hijinks came from Mr. Job Barnett (this is actually from back in Seattle, but I forgot to write about it then. So let's all pretend it happened in Portland, shall we?) Job had wandered over to the witches' birthing ritual--something he'd never seen before. A "chosen one" was selected from the crowd of campers to bear witness to the birth of the devil's spawn. As the witch lay screaming on the altar, legs spread for the oncoming delivery, Job took the chosen one by the head and guided her right up close. "Get right up in there," he told her. "You're gonna wanna see this." A moment later, they were blasted by a crimson wave of vaginal discharge the likes of which even Job was not prepared for. When next I saw him, he looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.

"I have witnessed the miracle of childbirth."

After Portland, we took the scenic route back to the L.A. area, stopping to take pictures in the California Redwoods. Man, I'd give anything to hold one of the campouts there.

It's where the frickin' Ewoks live!

Then came our week off, where I staved off suicidal depression by finally starting the first season of "Game of Thrones." Seriously, everybody in that show is a dick and naked and dead. (They poured molten gold on that one dude's head!) Oh, but I love it so.

And then, just as I was getting over how much I missed everybody, we were back at it again. The nut farm where we staked our tents had its own special eccentricities. Mainly fire ants, tarantulas, and dust. Dust that kicked up into air in thick waves that smelt of excrement.

It goes without saying that this final week was filled with a lot of lasts for the 2014 GHC tour. Not the least of which was the last time the counselors (with some much appreciated help from the makeup team) pitched up those goddamn tents.

Those goddamn tents.

Once I'd driven the very last stake into the dirt, I threw down my hammer, turned and marched off into the distance, casting aside my sunglasses, throwing away my wallet, gently setting down my cell phone, and then proceeding to shred my clothes while from behind me peals of laughter rung out from my fellow GHC-ers. I must confess, somewhat to my shame, I stopped short of doing the full Monty, as I feared it would make things awkward between me and my companions. In hindsight, I wish I'd just gone ahead and done it. It would have made for a better story. Oh, well. Just picture my naked body in your minds. That's right, picture it, baby.

The final two nights of the campout weren't the craziest or most jam-packed with hijinks from our end, but the campers certainly seemed to be having a ball, and that's the most important thing. And that's not at all to say that we didn't have fun.

There was a trio of campers early in the night, all of whom I got a solid scare out of individually. The last one I got as he was knelt in the open door of his tent, the other two already inside. After giving him a good jump, I realized who it was, and threw my hands up in triumph: "Did I get all three of you individually? I fucking rule!" Then I crawled into their tent for a little quality time. "Looks like we have a fourth bunkmate," one of them mentioned. Taking this as an invitation, I curled up atop one of their sleeping bags with a "Don't mind if I do," and promptly went to "sleep," thumb in mouth. Their laughter only increased as the minutes ticked away and I didn't get up. I listened to their conversation, learning the woman's name (I forget what it was now; let's call her Samantha.) When the time seemed right, I jolted awake with a scream, causing the three campers to scream in response. "Oh, my god!" I groaned. "I just had the most horrible nightmare! There was this woman named Samantha, and she'd been cut up into tiny little pieces all over the place. Oh, well. See you later." And there I left them.

A fun episode I was sadly absent for involved an epically drunken woman who had to be evicted from the event. Tanner, one of our counselors, tried to help this woman stumble to the portable restroom, where she utterly failed to get her pants off before relieving herself. When security arrived to escort her out, she defiantly tour open her shirt, revealing all that God gave her underneath, then fell onto her back and simply waved her middle fingers at everybody, all while her mortified family looked on and wondered just how badly they really wanted to take her home. Security had to carry her to the exit, breasts exposed, legs dangling freely above the ground as each guard held her up by one arm. I'll admit, I was a little disappointed that we were not radioed over to bear witness to this.

An added bit of fun we had during the last two cities on the tour revolved around a monster that wasn't even there. I mentioned in a previous post that the campers' dossier contained reference to a creature known as The Stickman, the only advice given as to how one deals with him being "Hide!" Erroneously, I reported that the character had been cut in development. In truth, the Stickman was seen by campers who attended the Los Angeles leg of the GHC tour--and frankly found him unremarkable. The costume didn't work as well as hoped, and the character was dropped from the rest of the tour.

Nevertheless, his name remained in the dossier, and I had high hopes that he would become a mini urban myth within the campout--the elusive Stickman, whom no one could ever find. It was Job who suggested that we perpetuate the myth by talking him up to campers, an idea I freakin' ran with. I'd go around telling everyone to watch out for this stealthy abomination, sometimes sneaking up behind unwitting groups in the dark and then lunging out at them, screaming at the top of my lungs, "JESUS CHRIST! DID YOU SEE HIM?!" After crawling back into their skins, they'd ask, "Who? Who?" I'd get up right in their faces and whisper, "The Stickman! He was right behind me! There's only one creature in this whole camp who gives me the heebie-jeebies, and it's the Stickman." I'd circle round the quaking campers, rasping in their ears, "If you see him, you hide right quick. And if he sees you…I'm so sorry." Then off I'd slink into the night.

If you can see him, it's already too late.

One guest called after me as I scampered away, "Well, what does he look like?" "Like a fucking stickman!" I called back over my shoulder as I vanished into the shadows. Another group decided, as they backed fearfully away from the patch of blackness to which I was pointing, that the best way to "hide" was to turn off their headlamps and flashlights, continuing their journey in total darkness, having no clue that there was absolutely nobody out there to hide from.

Sure enough, by the end of the night, word would get back to me that stories of the Stickman were circulating through the camp.

Satisfaction, baby.

The campout, for those not yet aware, is mainly built around an all-night scavenger hunt, wherein campers try to track down SCAG (Shit Campers All Get--gross and ghoulish items including teeth, severed fingers, severed heads, vomit, and all sorts of other unmentionables). One final bit of silliness came on the last night when I convinced a group of campers, who had not collected enough SCAG to qualify for Hellmaster, to turn me in at the SCAG booth. So, down they plopped me onto the table, pointing at my various body parts...

"See, we found an ear, we found a nose, we found a head, we found a finger…" Everyone was in tears, though sadly this did not buy the campers any additional SCAG points. Oh, well.

One thing I'll miss is coming up with new horror trivia questions in the wee hours for the morning ceremony. I'd helped to put together the initial list at the very start of the campout, but after a couple cities we realized people were A) following us from city to city, and B) putting up the questions and other spoilers on the internet (side tangent: STOP RUINING THE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYBODY ELSE, FUCKERS!) This necessitated the composing of new questions on pretty much a nightly basis. Most were written by myself and Josh, our illustrious Headmaster.

He will also accept "Mr. Headmaster."

It became apparent pretty readily that, as much as our campers enjoyed a good scare, most of them weren't really horror movie experts, meaning the harder questions never got asked. (Two favorite questions of mine that never saw the light of day were "What horror film featured a reluctant Humphrey Bogart in the title role?" and "What horror movie featured Vincent Price singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" during the end credits?") So, we had to keep most questions simple.

And by simple, I mean fucking retarded simple. Never did I feel more shame in the youth of America than the penultimate morning of the campout. The first question (which I was almost embarrassed to write, it was so easy) was: "Finish this line from the movie Ghostbusters: "Back off, man. I'm a _______." The multiple choice answers were A) Professional; B) Ghostbuster, C) Scientist; D) Maniac.

Almost everybody got it wrong.

Our Headmaster, seeing that we were on the verge of illuminating all our competitors right out of the gate, quickly changed the game from a two to three strike elimination.

Then came the next question: "In which remake of a Vincent Price movie did we have the singular pleasure of witnessing Paris Hilton's gruesome, horrible death?"

Guess what. Almost everyone got that one right.

So, people today know the shitty remake of House of Wax better than they do Ghostbusters. What is the world coming to?

All that said, this was truly one of the best experiences of my life, and easily the best summer I've had in many, many years. The friends I've made, the moments of hilarity I've shared, the collaboration of amazingly creative minds, the many games of cards (I learned to play Canasta!), the patrons who made a special point to find us at the end of the night and thank us personally for a wonderful experience… these and so many more things went into making this a true highlight of my life. I'm looking forward to working with many of these same people again at the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (which you should totally go to, unless you're a loser), and I hope beyond hope that the campout returns next year (which I'm pretty damn sure it will).

Here's to the children of the night, the people who bring them to life, and the sick, sick people who pay to be terrorized by them.


Our Seattle trip began with the unexpected joy of finding that we were all given separate rooms at the hotel. This meant that my daily pants-wearing plummeted by about 60 percent. We even had our own little kitchens. There have been nicer hotels on our stay (we still didn’t get our morning waffles -- grrrr), but there’s a lot to be said for the wonders of privacy.

And no pants!

Regarding the weekly setup, my limited involvement was probably the most miserable thus far on the tour. It was raining Biblically as I, two other camp counselors and our headmaster struggled to put up the tents (which, due to regular abuse, are dwindling in number with each new city) and fight off hypothermia, sloshing through tall, wet grass, mud, and (it can now be said) poo.

Fuck this noise.

And while our experience was cold and wet and icky and unpleasant, there were those who spent waaay more time on site setting up than us, so any complaining comes with full knowledge that we by no means had it the worst.

I will say that of all the locations thus far, our Seattle site was far and away the coolest, most atmospheric, and most conducive to the horror atmosphere. It was as though God had created a little patch of heaven for Washington’s serial killers. Narrow paths led into deep woods resplendent with toppled logs, hanging vines, dreary and sagging trees with gnarled, twisted limbs, and a roof of foliage that nullified any moonlight that there might have been.

Oh, yeah. You're getting raped.

I also made a minor discovery about the campout that probably no one else will find as amusing as I do, but which tickled the geek in me ever so. All campers at the event receive a GHC dossier, which contains information about the rules, the scavenger hunt, and the monsters they may encounter. Beneath each listed monster is an enigmatic clue as to how to escape from them. I hadn’t gotten a copy of the dossier before the tour began, and had occasionally heard campers make reference to someone called The Stick Man. “Who is this Stick Man?” I would ask myself. “I’ve never seen him.”

I later discovered that the Stick Man was a character cut from the attraction late in development, but left (presumably by accident) in the dossier. The only clue given as to dealing with the evasive figure is simply: Hide!

So, in the minds of the campers, there was some mysterious creature wandering around the campsite -- a being so menacing that one's only hope of escaping him would be to avoid his notice entirely. I like to believe that he remained in the back of people’s minds as they shuffled trepidatiously down the thickly overgrown forest path, desperately trying to catch sight of the dreaded Stick Man before he could spot them and steal their souls.

But much more amusing to me (and probably few others) is that there is a literary term for a character like this who has been omitted from a piece of work (usually a play), but to which an unintentional reference still remains in the text, random and inexplicable to the reader. Can you guess what that term is?


So, the Great Horror Campout has its own ghost character; one that I hope becomes an urban myth in and of itself. Like Sulik’s non-existent sister in Fallout 2, stories of him will spread across the internet: “My cousin’s boyfriend’s roommate’s boss totally saw the Stick Man, and it killed her husband!”

Rain and my geeky little discovery notwithstanding, things seemed to be working pretty much like clockwork most of the week, and after the controversy of Sacramento I was worried that I would have nothing of interest to include in my blog.

Then, oh boy -- ooohhhh boy -- something happened on Saturday night that itself may become the stuff of legends.

Usually, in any kind of interactive horror themed event, from your local neighborhood haunted house to any of the major theme park Halloween attractions, the most dangerous people are the guests -- those who don’t see the line between fantasy and reality, or who show up drunk and try to pick a fight with an evil clown, or the dudes who think they can impress their girlfriends by shoving around a little person in a gremlin mask.

Aw, Christ. Here come the frat boys.

Despite the number of times we warn people at the GHC not to touch the creatures (it’s about five thousand), there are always people who break the rule and get their asses thrown out. More often than not, the LAST people you have to actually be afraid of, despite their ghoulish appearance, are the characters.

However, there are exceptions.


Oh, no!

In spite of every precaution, including background checks on EVERY actor who auditions for the GHC, a bad egg did slip through the cracks. Now, bear in mind that 90 percent of this tale is based on hearsay from various sources, and thus there is the possibility for misinformation and/or embellishment.

This actor had been cast as a chupacabra in our labyrinth. Back in Sacramento, he had accidentally struck his head and passed out during the Friday performance, and was taken in by the onsite EMT. Later, he insisted he was fine and returned to work.

But was he really fine?


This past Saturday, I was deep in the woods with some campers when I heard someone screaming at the top of their lungs for security. I dashed back out into the open, where I could hear the voice still screaming from inside the labyrinth. I reached the entrance just in time to see a staff member extract two campers -- a middle age husband and wife. As they reported to us, our thick-skulled chup had tried to take the wife’s flashlight, which was A) expensive, and B) strapped to her wrist. When she didn’t relinquish it, the monster became more aggressive. The husband had tried to intervene, at which point the chupacabra struck him and put the wife in a fucking headlock. And, ironically, it was the performer who had been screaming for security.

I manned the entrance to the labyrinth until the issue was resolved. Remaining in character, I told those wanting to enter, “Sorry, some of the chups have gotten a bit rowdy, so we sent someone in with the ol’ cattle prod to calm ‘em down. We’ll be back up and running in a little while.” The campers didn’t know how close to the truth that was.

Security arrived and removed the actor from the labyrinth. The middle age couple was taken care of and eventually rejoined the scavenger hunt. It was a messy little moment, but at least it was over, right?



Later, as the campers scampered off to bed, word spread amongst the staff that the wayward chupacabra, who had been predictably fired, had been spotted wondering in the woods. Two members of the production team caught sight of him standing by himself among the foliage and initially mistook him for one of our manikins. When they saw that he was indeed a flesh and blood man, they asked if he was alright. He just turned and stared silently at them…

Like this.

They fled back to the “backstage” area and informed security. As the hours passed, we all wondered if he would ever be found, or if he had indeed vanished into the woods to become a legend in his own right: the Chupacabra Man of the Washington Backwoods, who preys on hapless wonderers and naughty teenagers. Many, many years from now, people would dismiss him as a myth, ignoring me as I sat in my rocking chair, crippled with arthritis, insisting in a hoarse voice, “He’s real, I tells ya! I was there. I saw him with my own two eyes.” But the youngsters would simply laugh at the poor old man who stank of cat urine and failed dreams, and promptly head out into the woods for a night of unprotected fornication beneath the Seattle stars -- so deep in the forest that no one would hear their screams.

Eventually, the story would become so engrained in the American pop culture that the inevitable film franchise would manifest. Entries would include Chupacabra Man 3D, Chupacabra Man Part VIII: The Final Campout, and Chupacabra Man Part X: In Space.

"This Halloween, bet on red."

But then they found him. Boo.

Allegedly, when asked what he’d been doing in the woods, his answer was “Talking to Big Foot.” This either could have been an attempt to lie (we do have a Big Foot as part of the campout, though he had long since gone home by this point), a smart-ass remark, or further signs of insanity.

Guess what my money's on.

He then somehow ended up stealing the keys to one of our electric golf carts and hiding in a portable bathroom, apparently with the intention of nicking a cart and driving back to L.A. with it. This plan was short lived, however. The keys were recovered and his was driven off the property once and for all.

Or was he?

So, yeah. That happened.

Otherwise, Seattle was wicked cool. We spent a few hours on Monday sightseeing before hitting the road south for Portland. What horrors might the country's capital of weirdness have in store for us? Tune in next week to find out!

GHC Cast and Crew, on the Seattle Troll Bridge


Man, did San Francisco spoil us. A warm hotel staff, pleasant neighborhood, and, despite the delayed start, a fairly smooth setup and execution of the campout.

Enter Sacramento. If San Fran was the awesome teenage babysitter who’d play board games with you and let you watch movies that you really weren’t supposed to, and whom you secretly dreamed would someday realize that, despite your age difference, you were the only one who could truly make her happy, then Sacramento was that creepy nanny from The Omen who killed your family and kept demon dogs in your bedroom (and, for added kicks, let's say she molested you).


I’m sure there are plenty of wonderful parts of Sacramento. In fact, I know there are, because I’ve been there before. We just didn’t see any of them on this trip.

We started off at a hotel that was quickly dubbed the Crackwhore Inn. To start off, the amenities and service weren’t close to what we had just left behind. Certain things we could get past -- the breakfast was lousy; there was no common room; no gym; the pool looked like it had Bubonic plague in it -- these are things you come across whenever hopping hotels. Less easy to ignore were that the doors to all the rooms were scratched and dented as though werewolves made nightly attempts to break inside, or that the area was patrolled by the resident sex workers. The doors to the lobby were locked at 10:00, presumably because the last four night managers were found in a ditch somewhere with rising numbers carved in their foreheads.


Now hiring at Quality Inn.

At one point, two of our female campout staffers decided to risk amoebic dysentery and take a dip in the pool. Seeing them, two men who’d gotten food at the neighboring Carl’s Jr. hurriedly climbed to the third floor walkway so they could watch the ladies swim while they ate their hamburgers.

Rudely, no one wanted to watch me swim.

Come the evening, everyone in their respective rooms heard what sounded like clog dancers practicing for the state championships in the rooms above them. The two major theories as to the source of this noise were poltergeist activity or the prostitutes earning their trade.

Or possibly both.

While the whore theory seemed to hold the most water, I was perturbed by the lack of vocal noise that accompanied these sounds, if rented sex was indeed what we were listening to. I imagine that either the ladies were so strung out on heroine that they were barely conscious for the activity (creepy), or they were so afraid of invoking the wrath of the nighttime manager (who did not like noise, effort, or people) that they were obliged to remain silent during intercourse (also creepy, but kind of considerate as well).

As if we couldn’t figure out on our own that we were in a bad neighborhood, friendly locals, including the police, encouraged us to find a new hotel as soon as possible. So, two days after our arrival, we stuffed our belongings into the travel vans (leaving little room for any actual people) and headed off to new lodgings.

We ended up sharing two neighboring hotels. Make no mistake, the increased sense of personal safety put both establishments several levels above the hole from which we had just fled. That said, there was a bit of an imbalance in the quality between the two hotels. The hotel beside mine had the full hot breakfast; the fully stocked store of snacks and microwavable dinners; the warmed pool and salt water spa; the giant, fully furnished common room complete with flat screen TV; and the cucumber water in the lobby (because just plain water is a peasant’s beverage). The hotel I was assigned to had a small table of muffins in the morning and one broken luggage cart. Needless to say, I spent much of my free time next door.

The Duchess needs her waffles.

Okay, so enough whining about the accommodations. Our bosses had gotten us out of STD Central, and that’s all that matters. Much more noteworthy was the adversity we faced when trying to set up the campsite. I’m not talking about the blistering heat or the crazy winds that had us chasing our erected tents as they rolled away like tumble weeds. I’m referring to the locals who decided they didn’t want our satanic attraction in their happy little town.

It began with a gentleman (and I use the term loosely) who lived across the street from the field in which we were to host our event. He decided to come across the street and start making threats that we had better not wake him up at night with whatever it was that we were doing, and that he would single-handedly get our permit revoked.

Next thing I heard, our bosses had to attend a city hall meeting where nearby residents -- who had done an impressively minimal amount of research into what our event actually entailed -- appealed to the town elders to have us ridden out on a rail. Among the activities they accused us of hosting were devil worship and the simulated amputation of babies’ penises. (We DO perform a witch’s birth during the camp, which is followed by the removal of the umbilical cord, which campers can collect as part of our scavenger hunt. I submit that cutting the umbilical cord -- as any good delivering doctor would do -- is in a far different league than infant sexual mutilation. But that’s just me.)

Following this meeting, the GHC powers-that-be spent the rest of the week dealing with police and local interest groups, making sure we were in violation of absolute no ordinances that could have us shut down, with the resident Bible thumpers breathing down our necks the whole time.

Fun makes Jesus angry!

We even made the local news. I particular enjoyed the gentleman in the interview who said, “There’s a difference between fun-scary and satanic-horrific.” I imagine his concept of fun-scary is Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. And of course, there was some good old “think of the children” rhetoric thrown in for good measure. Like comic books, rap music, and D&D before us, our little horror attraction was accused of being a potential assault on impressionable minds; a gateway drug to rape and mass murder, if you will. One person was quoted in a local article as stating that we didn’t “understand the negative mental impact these events can have” on children. Wow, it’s good thing you have to be 18 years old to attend the GHC. If only there was some way that information could be conveyed to the general public.

And the defenders of morality assured everyone that they would be out in full protest the nights of the events, handing out Bibles to the campers and making sure we knew that we were not welcome:

Well, the “full protest” ended up being a half dozen people seated at a fold out table across the street from us (with balloons, for some reason), who stared at us until about 11:00 PM, at which time they got tired and went home. What little effect this may have had was nullified by a line of trucks we parked along the road on our side of the street, blocking them from view (score). The rest of the protesters were down the road at the campers’ parking lot to distribute the promised Bibles, which our campers declined.

All in all, the actual event was just fine. The turnout was intimate but enthusiastic. In the end, the self-righteous objectors to our presence were a very loud minority. Attendees dug being slathered with gore and locked in cages as much as those who had come before them, and, despite the bitter chill in the air, stayed up late to reach into gooey cadavers and wade through our “infested” pool to collect every morbid and disgusting scavenger hunt item they could get their blood-soaked fingers on.

Sans baby penises.

So, in the end, victory was ours. Nevertheless, we’re happy to put this troublesome little burg behind us. Time to see what Seattle has in store.


I ought to have written this right after we wrapped San Francisco. As it stands, I’m only now jotting this down after having finished the epic Sacramento leg of the tour, hoping that the preceding week isn’t too much of a blur for me. I will make an effort to put these out more quickly for the rest of the tour, for all the none of you who are reading.

Production in San Francisco got a late start, as the trucks with all our props and set pieces were delayed by about a day. Apparently, the rented trucks were less than stellar. One -- I kid you not -- crashed on the freeway when the drivers discovered the breaks didn’t work and had to jump out.


Not actual photo.

That notwithstanding, from my end, the week was pretty relaxed. There was much playing of card games in the hotel lobby/breakfast room and general merriment when not on the site setting up tents and otherwise preparing for the weekend to come. One silly moment that will remain with me was when we were out shopping one night and Taylor, our costume designer, leapt screaming from the idling van at the sight of a winged insect that had flown in the open door. Once outside and a safe distance from the vehicle, she yelled back to us, “Kill it with fiiire!!” I rolled down my window and let it flutter off. I was her hero.

"Kill it with fire!"

The weekend itself was crazy fun. Regarding the local performers, 99% of the San Francisco folk were as nice, as professional, and as enthusiastic as anyone could ask for. Their dedication and sense of fun was infectious, and many of them were eager to sign on to later cities on the tour (meaning they’ve elected to arrange their own accommodations, get in their own cars, and follow us).

But as the light gets brighter, the darkness gets darker. That remaining 1% sucked like a black hole in space. I’m only talking about four or five people out of 80 or so, but man, did they make a bad impression. The grand prize goes to the two assholes who decided to quit in the middle of the first night and just up and take off, leaving their very expensive costumes (including body suits and full head masks) in the parking lot.

Fuck this, bro. I'm going home to play Call of Duty.

But they were only a blip on the radar. Most of the people rocked, and our two event nights were as awesome as they were tiring.

Our crowds were equally enthusiastic. They absolutely loved us. Yeah, there were a few weirdoes and dumbasses -- that’s to be expected (one belligerent guy who kept trying to steal shit ended up on the ground crying when he made the mistake of getting in a security guard’s face). But for the most part, they had an absolute blast.

One thing I noticed about the SF crowd: you know those fun loving, sexually overcharged side characters in all the 80s slasher flicks who are always the first and most horrifically to be murdered? That was our audience. Horny, randy, hot and bothered. Jason Voorhees wouldn't have known where to start.

Please don't kill us.

We camp counselors were getting regular solicitations for late night tent visits, and the campers were very forthcoming (with no provocation whatsoever) about their most intimate peccadilloes. Honestly, I think I’m going to start wearing my prosthetic face everywhere I go.


Most of the highlights from the weekend that I can now recall revolve around abducting campers and locking them in uncomfortable places. One young lady couldn’t help but comment when I stumbled over a bump in the terrain. “I saw that!” she taunted from a short distance away. A brief pursuit later, she was being stuffed with a bag over her head into the back of our kidnapper van, to be driven off to who knows where.

Another young lady thought she’d be a smartass and try to scare one of our werewolves as he was talking to me. He merely turned and stared at her for a moment, then grabbed her and threw her into a nearby cage, which I promptly slammed and locked.

I’d also chase people down for trying to avoid me. I went after one couple who altered the course of their path upon seeing my approach. “Why’d you walk away?” I asked as I increased my gait, catching up with the two. “I was just coming over to say hi to you. Why do you just assume that I’m a bad guy?” I caught the boyfriend and led him to our derelict car, where I locked him in the trunk. “Now,” I said to him as I sat on the lid, “what have we learned about making assumptions about people we don’t know?”

Probably my favorite victim was a petite young lady, as cute and sweet and innocent looking as you could ask for -- until her two friends left her behind to be captured by me. She screamed out to her fled companions as I closed in on her, “Get your asses back here, you whores!” Once I’d locked her in a cage and she was on her knees trying to retrieve the key with a makeshift hook and line, her friends returned to giggle at her misfortune. “Fuck you, bitches!” she cursed them. She was still having fun, mind you, but her ire was probably the high point of my evening.

And just like a gang bang with a group of homicidal monsters, the weekend left us exhausted and satisfied.

Next up, Sacramento!


            This past weekend marked my second year working as a freakishly deformed camp counselor at The Great Horror Campout--which this year has become a three-month-long tour. From dusk ‘til dawn, my fellow creatures and I scampered about Griffith Park, tormenting innocent people who pay money for this sort of thing for some reason. The response was wonderful, and I had the pleasure of working with some truly fine and talented individuals (both performers and behind-the-scenes folk).

            Some highlights from this past weekend include:

Being the first creep to get all up in Andy Dick’s face. As he passed through the main gate, I got right up in there and started growling at him, at which point he recoiled and cried out, “Oh, no, no, no -- get it away!”


Sadly, I wasn't even in makeup yet.

Telling Elijah Wood to put out his cigarette. Griffith Park is crazy strict about not smoking on the property (I’m told the fine is $10,000. They don’t fuck around.) I didn’t even recognize who he was at first--I just didn’t want him to get fined (although, he probably could have paid it with whatever was in his pocket). Anyway, he politely obliged and put out his cigarette. Then, later, my good friend and fellow camp counselor Brett Hunt dumped a bucket of blood on top of Mr. Wood, and then flipped him off. He got a hug. I saved him from a fine AND cancer and I got squat. If he and Macaulay Culkin were hanging off a cliff, I know which one I’D let die. (Just kidding -- I love you, Frodo.)


Being able to see for the second evening. While my makeup was arguably cooler looking the first night…

…once the sun went down, there were numerous areas of the park where I was completely blind due to my limited vision. I got lost easily, my mood was lousy, and I know my performance suffered because of it. At one point, I led a guest with a bag over her head into a dark, uneven, wooded area and thought, "Huh. Neither of us can see. I do believe we're going to die." When I reported this to the production team the following morning, half expecting that there really wouldn’t be a solution, they were quick to respond, “Oh, then we’ll change your makeup. You gotta be able to see, dude. Obviously.” (I’m so grateful for how well these people take care of their performers. I’ve worked with people who don’t.) And thus, Camp Counselor 2.0 was born. The second night was infinitely more enjoyable for me.

“Locking” people in the cages of the old Griffith Park Zoo. These cages no longer serve any purpose other than to look creepy, and guests would wander in to see if there were any items from the Hell Hunt (our all-night scavenger hunt). I’d pull the door shut behind them with a clang and then taunt them to find a way out. You’d be surprised how many people didn’t think to try just opening the door (as I had no way of locking it).


Hearing my trivia questions at the morning ceremony. I had asked our illustrious director Justin Meyer before the campout if he would accept suggestions for our horror movie trivia, and then went a little crazy and sent him something like twenty hardcore questions (examples including “What was the name of the 1980s TV series hosted by Freddy Krueger?” and “In what horror film does Vincent Price sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ over the end credits?”) Justin ended up accepting most of my questions, which comprised about three quarters of the overall list. Every so often, being an anti-social, friendless, and sexually frustrated horror movie fan pays off.

Please love me.

            Despite being a bit sore in the throat from two consecutive nights of rasping at people in a sorta faux-Freddy Krueger voice, I am very glad to be back working with these groovy people, and look forward to the upcoming few months with them. Anyone interested in this all-night celebration of the macabre, we’d love to see you at one of the cities on our tour. Details at

            Peace out, creeps.