Fright Nights Campout is Coming to E.P. Tom Sawyer Park Next Weekend (June 26 & 27) to Bring the Camp Crystal Lake Experience to Life in Our Own Backyard!

The summer camp of your worst nightmares is coming to E.P. Tom Sawyer Park!

“Ki, ki, ki — Ma, ma, ma”

– Harry Manfredini, “Friday the 13th” Original Score

Over the course of your lifetime as a horror movie fan, you’ve probably seen your fair share of summer camp massacres. Lurking in the dark woods just beyond the campfire light exists the hockey mask wearing slashers, killer grizzlies and deformed, hook handed former camp counselors of our worst nightmares.

But those were only B-movies playing on late night cable channels or on rented VHS tapes. What would it be like to find yourself in a real life summer camp horror story? Would you be the first victim or the virginal “final girl”?

Now is your chance to find out.

Fright Nights Campout ( is bringing that experience to E.P. Tom Sawyer Park on Friday night, June 26 and Saturday night, June 27. The Louisville stop will be the second on their summer tour, following Lexington, and then heading out to Cincinnati, Nashville, Knoxville and Atlanta.

This week I had the opportunity to speak to Fright Nights owner and operator, Greg Walker, about what kind of things to expect from the overnight experience. Walker, who has eight years of experience in the haunted attraction business, got his start with the Hustonville Haunted House in Hustonville, KY. He went on to create Fright Nights at Jacobson Park and Fright Nights at Fright Night Farm in Lexington.

“We are 100% a Choose Your Adventure attraction,” says Walker. “The main attraction is the Survival Camp and Games, but we allow campers to choose their own level of intensity and interaction.”

You can purchase a Chicken Legs Tent in the “Pansy Zone” that will guarantee a milder experience where Walker says, “You can even get a good night’s sleep if you want to.” Or you can opt for the Blood Tent experience which will bring you face to face with Fright Night’s approximately 60 monsters during the night in a circle with several other tents. Or, last but not least, you can opt for the Guts Tent experience which will pitch your tent far from the company of the other campers, and also make you a target for the most savage of Fright Night’s psychos.

“I mean, these guys might even rip your tent to pieces with their chainsaws,” admits Walker.

So what, exactly, happens from dusk until dawn at Fright Nights Campout? “After registration, you get dinner and you get breakfast in the morning before you leave. That’s when campers get a chance to hang out with and bond with the monsters that have been terrorizing them all night,” says Walker.

“Campers will compete in 10 Survival Games like the Potato Sack Race, but in our potato sack race, you’ll be chased by monsters with tasers herding you directly towards 10 chainsaw maniacs coming at you from the finish line.”

“Then there’s our Skull Hunt,” explains Walker. “It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt that leads you to various monsters. You’ll have to solve their riddles to get your next clue. For example, to get one clue, you’ll have to pick it out of the nose of a psycho clown. It only gets worse from there.”

“This all leads to what I can only describe as an extremely severe ending,” admits Walker. “But if it ever becomes too much to handle, you can always escape to the Pansy Zone where you can get free roasted marshmallows, watch some of the horror movies that will be playing all night or just hang out for the entertainment. We’ve got fire dancers and all kinds of entertainment going on all night.”

“The climax of the night takes place when we send everyone to their tents for bedtime at about 5 AM in the morning.” You can only imagine where this is going, and I doubt it’s “nap time.”

“That’s not all, though,” Walker elaborates. “We’ve got three army trucks that patrol the area all night looking for victims. If they catch you, you might end up in prison or they might take you to McDonald’s and buy you ice cream. You never know.”

“Our goal is to make you laugh or make you scream,” he says.

If you’re worried about the weather, Walker says Fright Night Campout happens rain or shine. “If it rains, we all get wet together,” he testifies. “Rain only energizes us.”

If you plan on going to camp next weekend, I recommend you check out the Survival Guide link at which will tell you what to bring with you. You can also reserve your tents there and choose your intensity level. I’ve got a feeling that E.P. Tom Sawyer Park might be known as Camp Blood after next weekend, so if you go and survive you can tell your grandkids you survived Fright Nights Campout in Louisville when the whole bloody affair becomes an urban legend kids talk about in whispered tones around the campfire.

Good luck.

The Phantom of The Ville

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