East Harbor State Park hosts Halloween campout

Normally a summer hangout, East Harbor State Park has morphed into a Halloween Campout, to be enjoyed by all ages.
John Benson
Sep 30, 2013

The annual free Halloween Campout takes place the weekends of Oct. 4 and 5 & 11 and 12 in Marblehead.

We talked to Friends of East Harbor President and East Harbor Camper Host Ken Greider about this horrifyingly fun family affair.

So what exactly is the Halloween Campout?
It’s a family-oriented family weekend. We have kids games during the day, a haunted hayride and a haunted house that this year is actually a haunted zombie dungeon. We have a haunted walk through the woods, and we’ll have a pet parade and trick or treat on Saturday afternoon. It’s just a fun, full weekend. We’ve heard that it’s the best state park Halloween event in Ohio. People mark their calendars and book it six months in advance. That’s how popular it is. East Harbor Park holds 574 campsites and everyone is booked. This is the biggest event of the year. We’re talking about a lot of people.

Why do you think the Halloween Campout is so popular?
I don’t know, it’s kind of an end-of-the-year thing and everybody looks forward to it. We get people from town too. Each Saturday we have a trick and treat hour. There is no traffic allowed in the park. We literally block the roads. People will be lined up all the way down the road to come in. Everyone camping hands out candy and it’s a big thing.

Considering how big of a success it’s become, can you see the Halloween Campout growing in the future?
It’s been two weeks the last three years because it’s been growing every year, and it’s even bigger. We’ve got people calling for the last few weeks now wanting our schedule of events. More and more people find out about it by word of mouth and more and more people show up. We try to add a little bit more each year. We just play it by ear. Everything is run by volunteers and as long as we can keep getting the volunteers in, it keeps getting bigger.

What kind of costume do you have planned for this year’s Halloween Campout?
I’m actually in charge of it, so I don’t know if I’ll get to even dress up or not because I’ll be so busy running from event to event to get it going. But if I do find time, I’ll be up on the haunted hayride possibly scaring people up by the electric chair.

Finally, why should people think about coming out?
It’s just a good wholesome family weekend. Everything is family oriented.



IT'S NOT A FREE HALLOWEEN CAMPOUT! You have to pay for your campsite. Also why give half A** information, you say they close the roads and have trick or treat but don't give a TIME?? How are people supposed to know when to go??

Just Sayin IMHO

Instead of complaining about what you are NOT getting, why not look to what you ARE getting! Then take some initiative to LOOK it up. You had time to complain, utilize that time to gain knowledge and begin your planning of your family's Halloween adventure. Yer like a Scrooge. Stop it. If you would like to be a volunteer in charge of getting the schedules out, I am sure they would LOVE to have your support!

You are correct, the campsite itself is not free, but the activities are. You can park over in the parking area and walk over with your family.

Friday begins at 7 30. With the Zombie Prison and the Haunted Walk. The hayride begins at 8, along with the nights finishing bonfire.

Breakfast is served from 8 am to 10 am on Sat. The festivities begin from there. Crafts for the kids at 9, the doggie costume parade at 10, and lunch at 11 30 - consisting of hot dogs, chips, and some yummy hobo stew for a $3 donation, or bring a canned good FOR the stew, and receive a free ticket for a bowl! YUM!

HIGH NOON starts DAH DUNGEON, where you can have someone arrested for $1 (I recommend you! You need a time out!) Kids Games start at 1, trick or treat at 4 (No cars allowed)

Dah Dungeon again at 6, then the friday night schedule fills in from here.

Better? Hope to see you there!


Thanks, but all this info should have been in this article. If they are going to report on local events, give us the information we need!

Just Sayin IMHO

I thought I just did. Consider the source. It's the SR. They don't think too far ahead.

Tim in Sandusky

Visit me at campsite C1
Trick or treat I believe is at 4:00

Just Sayin IMHO

I LOVED the Who Let the Dogs Out theme for the dog parade! That was awesome!!!!

Just Thinkin

This event was started in 1997, by a Group of my fellow Haunter's over in Sandusky, They called themselves the BOO CREW and they are awesome they did the trail and supported DJ Luke , for the after haunt dances,They were out of it for a couple years and the quailty went down, they are back now and as of last year the trail was back to becoming an A-1 scare it has been revamped from the last few years which is a huge improvement, so go and enjoy. The only sad thing is they lost one of the founder's to cancer this July.but you can expect the same scare and dedication as always, and it will only get better as they get regrouped and back on their feet.I hear they don't have a DJ this year not sure why, but it's a bummer for sure.So take your friends and family, enjoy one of best shows around and thank the friends group they spend many hours on this and it shows, RIP Rosa the fortune teller, aka Darlene,

Just Sayin IMHO

Well said! This year is in her honor! RIP Queen B! You inspired many!