Whenever the infamous date of Friday the 13th rolls around, Warren County marks a chilling chapter in its history. For it was on that date the infamous murders happened at Camp Crystal Lake, when a group of teenagers were slain, one by one, while attempting to re-open the abandoned campground.
Actually, the camp is fictional and those murders never happened. But "Friday the 13th" - the 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller - was filmed in and around the peaceful, rural towns of northern Warren County, and many of the exterior settings can still be seen, looking remarkably unchanged from when they were depicted in the film. Visitors are invited to check out some of those locations, see the movie, and participate in other special events on this October's Friday the 13th.
This time, in addition to showings of the film at Roy's Hall in Blairstown, the nearby Blairstown Museum will have a special display of movie memorabilia; The Carriage House will host an actual Friday the 13th-themed wedding open to the public; Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant has live music plus drink specials including the "Camp Crystal Lake Shots"; and be sure to look around town, you never know where the real life Jason is lurking.
Horror film fanatics from across the country flock to the area throughout the year to tour the local filming locations, and during the Friday the 13th screenings of the movie at Roy's Hall, audiences go wild whenever the prominent local landmarks appear on screen.
Although it now sports a brilliant blue paint job, the distinctive architectural style of Roy's Hall makes it easy to spot as one of the characters strolls by in the original movie, which led to a number of sequels and a crossover. On October 13, 2017, Roy's Hall is offering multiple showings but several are already sold out. (Currently, tickets are available only for the 4:30 p.m. showing, for $13 through the theater's website or $15 day of show.
At the Blairstown Museum, an IRS Certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by charitable individuals, businesses, and organizations, there is always Friday the 13th memorabilia on display and items in the gift shop, such as the book On location in Blairstown: The Making of Friday the 13th, but the offerings expand for their Friday the 13th Celebration. This time, the Friday the 13th experience will include:
- Autographed Memorabilia
- Original DINER Letters from the local diner seen in the film
- Tom Savini "Jason" Reproduction
- Angry Mother Collection
- Paramount Press Book & Lobby Cards
- Warner Brothers Program Pamphlet
- Jason Voorhees Animatronic
- Pamela Voorhees Window Display
- Jason's Bloody Chainsaws
- Friday the 13th Newspapers (Limited Qty)
- Jason Voorhees Edible Pops (Limited Qty)
- Jason Voorhees In-Person (10/13 Only)
- Mrs. New Jersey International 2017 In-Person (10/13 Only)
- Crystal Lake Photo Booth (10/13 Only)
- Friday the 13th Cornhole Game (10/13 Only)
Friday the 13th Souvenir Shop items include books, jewelry, shirts, soaps, playing cards, posters, toys, and much more, and on Oct.13, all gift shop sales are slashed with a 13 percent discount. The museum is open every Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but on Friday the 13th it will be open 9 a.m. to midnight (possibly later).
Across from the museum, The Carriage House at 27 Main Street, is the setting of an actual Friday the 13th Wedding at 2 p.m. "Here comes the bride... all dressed in blood... " as The Blairstown Museum invites you to the marriage of Angela Cosme to Steven Bender. The bride will be given away by Jason (Matthew Keller), the ceremony to be officiated by Rachel Casapulla and wedding cake by Cozy Cabin Bake Shoppe. All are invited to the ceremony. Dress is casual, and "a slashing good time to follow" the nuptials.
Also on Main Street, The White Raven... A Unique Boutique gift shop has a variety of Friday the 13th merchandise along with Halloween decorations and costumes.
Food plays a big roll in the movie, with scenes in a luncheonette, diner and at camp. The Blairstown Diner at 53 NJ-94, Blairstown, NJ 07825, is on screen in the movie and you can dine there - their hours on Friday are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Across from the Blairstown Museum is Post Time Pub, where Friday's menu will include Kevin Bacon Burgers and Crystal Lake Martinis, plus a Crazy Ralph Sandwich. Nearby is the Blairstown Inn, where they'll have Friday the 13th-themed dining and drink specials, and Jason sightings are promised. Find other dining options here as well.
If you want to spend the day scouting the locations, here are a few of the spots you'll see on screen in Blairstown:
• Blair Lake and the falls
• bridge on Main Street
• Main Street
• Old Mill, archway
• Blairstown Theater (now Roy’s Hall)
• Blairstown Diner (exterior and interior). The rain falling in this scene was reportedly created by a local fire department truck.
• Store that the character Annie enters to ask for directions to the camp (next to what is now Nature’s Harvest)
The interior shot of this store is actually in the Village of Hope. Hartung’s was a small shop with a lunch counter, and is now the location of Hope Junction Antiques, which also is open and welcomes visitors.
In Hope Township, in addition to the scene shot at Hartung's, you can find:
• the Moravian Cemetery
• the intersection of Routes 519 and 521
Meanwhile, the camp used as the setting for Camp Crystal Lake was and is still operated by the Boy Scouts of America as Camp NoBeBoSco, in nearby Hardwick Township. The camp is not open to the public and visits are discouraged, although the scout council offered tours this year that sold out within a matter of minutes.