We’ve been getting a lot of hits on this website lately from people searching the web for information about whether the movie Camp Hell (aka Camp Hope) is really based on true events. I was curious myself after seeing the claim in the trailer for the film, which was released on DVD earlier this month.
Here is how director George VanBuskirk explains the events that inspired the film in an interview on Big Daddy Horror Reviews:
Camp Hell is based on true events from my childhood. Kind of sad when you make something autobiographical and it is a horror film. My family joined this crazy, intense Catholic community in NJ called the People of Hope, there were over 2,000 people in this group. Girls had to wear skirts, men pants all the time, no rock music, no “youth culture”, you get the drift. Every year they would send all the kids to camp for two weeks in the middle of nowhere. It was called Camp Hope. So, you put guys and girls together with raging hormones and tell them that if you even masturbate you will go to hell and be tortured by demons for all eternity, that the devil is constantly attacking us and he is at the camp trying to block God’s love. Pretty soon you are going to start to believe that every little bump is a demon ready to rip out your heart for thinking some impure thoughts about the girl playing softball a few feet away. I saw some crazy shit happen during my years at that camp, stuff that all seemed very supernatural and very much demonic at the time. Things that make you want to run out of the place screaming. So, I put these events together into a narrative and now we have Camp Hell.
Read the full interview HERE.