Lake Monster, Pirates And Ghosts Lurk At Camp Helen

September 29, 2010 by Joyce Owen

On October 9th, a night of hauntingly-good family fun is planned for visitors who dare to visit Camp Helen State Park.

The Friends of Camp Helen are once again hosting tours that include ghost stories and spooky tales intertwined with the history of the park as recollected by residents and visitors.

The Ghost Walk and History Tour is on Oct. 9 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

“Arnold High School students will be participating again this year as they share stories they wrote for a writing competition,” Friends of Camp Helen vice president Emily Smith says.

Throughout the park, there will be re-enactments of ghostly events, as well as stories told by costumed park volunteers. Sylvia Holley presents her tale of Indians and two little ghosts. Norma Hubbard shares excerpts from her “Haunting of Willowwynn”. Emily Smith tells the history of the ghost of Gigi as she portrays Margaret Hicks Savage. Emily Ellis shares an alligator story. Corrie Hammond talks about Little Orphan Annie and Don Schroeder discusses the monster of Lake Powell.

The original pirates will once again delight the visitors with their songs. There will also be punch and cookies for everyone. The band, Lucky Mud, will entertain guests as they get off the busses to wait for their tour of the park. 

The Alys Foundation is sponsoring the event for the first time providing fundraising assistance for Friends of Camp Helen projects.

“We hope to help the park in many ways with the proceeds,” Smith says. “We are trying to save the oldest building on the property, which is known as ‘the kitchen’. It was a general store during the time of the Inlet Beach Hotel, dating back to the early 1920's.”

Visitors are invited to wear costumes, encouraged to bring flashlights and to be on the lookout for surprises.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under and are available in the Winn Dixie parking lot the night of the event. Due to limited parking, except for handicapped patrons, all visitors are asked to park at Winn Dixie and ride the free shuttle to the park.

Camp Helen State Park is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway (U.S. Highway 98), Panama City Beach, Fla., just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge at the Bay and Walton County line. The Winn-Dixie lot is at the junction of US 98 and Front Beach Road, a mile east of the park, about eight miles west of Highway 79.

For more information, call the park office at (850) 233-5058.

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