Out of all the locations in horror movies, Camp Crystal Lake is hands down one of the most iconic. Introduced to viewers first in the original Friday the 13th (1980), Jason Voorhees’ home after he’s murdered as a boy serves as the setting for nearly every installment in the franchise. The first film forever changed the way we looked at summer camps and volunteering to become a camp counselor, leaving us with the fear that one day Jason would be after us.
Though some of the Friday the 13th movies are definitely stronger than others, horror fans cannot deny the significance the franchise holds, and Camp Crystal Lake is a huge part of that. Now that it’s officially summertime and we’re planning which summer horror movies to marathon in the coming weeks, one might be curious to learn about the real-life Camp Crystal Lake. Does it exist, and can we visit it this summer?
Is Camp Crystal Lake real?
You’d better start planning your road trip, because the iconic camp from Friday the 13th is basically a real place, and you can buy tickets to tour it! Actually named Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, the Boy Scouts camp is still running in Hardwick, New Jersey. It’s the real location the first movie in the franchise was filmed at.
The movies to come after the original were not filmed at the same location in New Jersey and instead were shot on sets in Connecticut, California, Georgia, and other states in America.
To learn more about the Camp Crystal Lake tours, which feature canoeing, movie screenings, and more Friday the 13th-themed experiences, check out the link here.
Is Friday the 13th based on a true story?
While the location Friday the 13th was filmed at is a real, functioning camp, the Camp Crystal Lake we know from the movies is simply fiction. The first movie was written by Victor Miller and directed by Sean S. Cunningham, and was inspired by the success Halloween saw just a couple of years earlier in 1978. Slasher films were just starting to grow in popularity at the time, and Cunningham wanted to jump on the bandwagon with a fresh idea.
From there, Jason Voorhees and Crystal Lake were born, and the rest is cinematic history.
Are there any other iconic horror locations you’d love to visit? Let us know in the comments below!