Most diehard fans can recall the exact moment they fell in love with the horror film genre, with that memory paving the way for a lifetime of enjoyment. But the fun of being a scary movie fanatic doesn't have to stop when the credits roll. You can immerse yourself in the action (if you dare) by visiting the real filming locations where your favorite horror flicks came to life.
Followers of Freddy Krueger can stroll down Genesee Avenue in Los Angeles and gaze at Nancy Thompson's $3 million Dutch Colonial, Stephen King fans can book their stay at the Stanley Hotel (aka the Overlook) in Estes Park, Colorado, and world travelers can even make the pilgrimage to Transylvania to visit Dracula's majestic stronghold inspiration of Bran Castle.
But this story is for the Friday the 13th enthusiasts who want to saunter around the same campgrounds Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) did in Sean S. Cunningham's seminal slasher. Here's EW's peek behind Camp Crystal Lake's curtain.
The daytime diner and general store (Hope, NJ)
A proper tour of the original Friday the 13th filming locations lies just 60 miles northwest of New York City in New Jersey, and a complete expedition of the film's sets can be managed by fans who want to dedicate a whole day to sightseeing. First stop: Hope. With a population of approximately 2,000 people, the township is a quaint locale that will truly enchant Friday fans, especially those imaginative enough to match up their surroundings with the scenes and camera angles used by Cunningham.
Following the 1958 flashback sequence, which serves as Friday the 13th's creepy introduction to the mysterious murderer, fans join up with Crystal Lake's cook, Annie (Robbi Morgan), 22 years later in present-day 1980. Looking for directions to the camp, she enters a small diner/general store where she meets the kindly truck driver, Enos (Rex Everhart).
Fans can still visit the daytime diner (the nighttime one will come up later), which remains in its original location, but now exists as Hope Junction Antiques located at 331 High Street. Charles and Lisa Iulo own the antique shop, which was once a Hard Times Coffee Shop. Take the time to enjoy this jewel of tourism in its own right, but once Friday fans have soaked up the shop, they need only head to their left outside the store to continue their journey back to Camp Blood.
Two buildings down, fans can track Annie and Enos' path after he agrees to give her a ride, where the characters bump into Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney). The two-story building, which is now an Era Burgdorff Realtors business, has been painted white, and it sits on the corner of Walnut St. and High St. next to a one-way road sign. And as devoted fans all know, that's where Ralph tries to warn Annie about her destination: "It's got a death curse!"
The cemetery (Hope, NJ)
After shrugging off Crazy Ralph, Enos does in fact give Annie a lift, but the truck driver drops off his passenger a ways away from Crystal Lake. The cook must proceed on foot the rest of the way, and, behind Annie, viewers will spot a graveyard with a wrought-iron gate. This is the Moravian Cemetery in Hope, NJ. The exterior set piece is only a three-minute walk west from Hope Junction Antiques on High Street and then onto Delaware Road. Once tourists are done taking in the eerie cemetery, it's onward to Blairstown, NJ to continue the Friday the 13th adventure.
The nighttime diner (Blairstown, NJ)
Only a 12-minute drive north of the antiques store, on Hope Blairstown Road, fans will find the Blairstown Diner. This is where the new owner of Camp Crystal Lake, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer), spent most of that fateful night back in June of 1980. Unfortunately, Christy made the mistake of returning to camp, and that's where he met his end at the hands of the vengeful Mrs. Voorhees. The Blairstown Diner proudly promotes the fact that the eating establishment was "featured in Friday the 13th," and both interior and exterior were shot at the restaurant. So if you happen to get hungry on your Friday fandom walking tour, stop in for an omelet or griddle.
Once fans finish up at the Blairstown Diner, they're only a three-minute walk north on Carhart Street, and there they can find the First National Bank building still standing brick-for-brick and column-for-column as it appeared in the film. This is part of Blairstown's famed historic district, and the FNB is where the exterior shots of Annie entering the daytime diner (aka the interior of Hope Junction Antiques) were filmed.
There are a number of Friday the 13th-related stops to make while visiting the historic district, and Roy's Hall is one such must-see. The non-profit offers special screenings of Friday the 13th each year, so if fans plan out their trips perfectly, they can tour all the film's sets and see one of the best slasher movies of all time while in Blairstown, too.
Camp Crystal Lake (Hardwick Township, NJ)
After having a fantastic time visiting Hope and Blairstown, it's time for the main event, so jump in the car and head 12 minutes north on Shannon Road. Your destination is the Hardwick Township of New Jersey. Take a left on Sand Pond Road, and you'll find Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. While Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco has hosted thousands of Boy Scout troops since its inception in 1927, it is also where the majority of Friday the 13th was filmed.
Courtesy of Crystal Lake Tours, fans can visit Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco and explore nearly every square inch of Friday the 13th's Camp Blood, which is an interactive dream come true. Tourists are virtually transported back to 1958, and they'll practically hear Claudette (Debra S. Hayes) and Barry (Willie Adams) singing "Michael" in the fellowship hall all over again. According to the tour, Hayes and Adams were dating in real life, and Friday fanatics will even visit the very loft where Mrs. Voorhees did away with the lovebirds, as they have the honor of being the film's first victims.
Back outside, fans will find the original Crystal Lake sign hanging approximately 20 to 30 feet away from a replica of the Jeep that both Steve Christy and Mrs. Voorhees drove during the movie. The filmmakers simply used two different license plates to distinguish between who the Jeep belonged in the film. Several crew and cast members even signed the infamous Jeep on its back gate, including Adrienne King, Robbi Morgan, Ari Lehman, and special effects extraordinaire Tom Savini.
Just nearby, a lonely canoe floats on the water. The Friday the 13th soundtrack resonates in the background, and fans will wait and wonder if Jason (Lehman) will pop out of the lake like he did when he frightened poor Alice (King) in the movie. Next, take a gander over to the Price Lodge, aka the Shower House, to see where Marcie (Jeannine Taylor) was slain by the killer.
The one sink where Marcie brushed her teeth remains, as does the lone light fixture that the murder weapon clanged against in the film. Savini decided to use a real axe, and made sure it clanged so that audiences would know it was authentic. That gimmick made the terror all the more effective when Marcie slumped to her death with a separate (and fortunately fake axe) attached to her face via Savini's magnificent make-up effects.
Jack's (Kevin Bacon) quarters have been dubbed by his girlfriend's name, Brenda's cabin, and the interior appears much the same way it did when Mrs. Voorhees stuck the arrow through his throat. Further along the tour, fans will find the main cabin feels like it came out of a time capsule, too, and one can almost hear Jack's breakfast sizzling when Bacon cooks up his own bacon in the film. Even the "Comanche" sign hanging outside the main cabin has been perfectly replicated from the movie. There will even be a chance to inspect the archery range where Brenda (Laurie Bartram) was shot down by Mrs. Voorhees, and a sign which reads "Danger" hangs in the same place Jason's mother left crooner Bing Crosby's son, Harry Crosby, hanging out at the generator shed.
But not everything about the filming location has remained the same. Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco's docks are now configured quite differently from the movie's, and the lifeguard tower has been significantly altered in appearance. However, the beach where Alice battled Mrs. Voorhees is eerily similar, and it's easy to envision the two of them engaged in their final battle to the death.
Fans can expect to walk up to a mile while taking in the campground, but the tours can last two or even three hours depending on the amount of time each group spends inspecting all of Friday the 13th's interior and exterior sets. Tours are offered in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings, but there's also a special "flashlight" session at night, which adds that spooky feel horror fans crave. Plus, some of the camp's other special activities include archery and canoeing sessions.
Depending on the scheduled events, fans might even find Friday the 13th alumni in their midst, as the original cast and crew enjoys having reunions complete with Q&As at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. For more information on upcoming events, visit the Crystal Lake Tours website. And don't forget to visit the gift shop to pick up your own sample of Crystal Lake's waters from the Angry Mother Bottling Co. Do it! You don't want to make Mrs. Voorhees angry…