In the early fall of 1979 filmmaker Sean S. Cunningham chose the area in and around scenic Blairstown, New Jersey as the location to film his low budget horror film. Blairstown offered the rural and rustic charm needed as a backdrop for the movie. At the time, this type of violent and bloody horror film had not yet been produced. When the movie debuted on May 9, 1980 it started a genre of filmmaking that has remained popular ever since. The movie has become a cult classic.
The movie centers around a group of camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake (Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco) who are working to reopen the camp which had been closed for many years. Unbeknownst to the counselors, the camp had been closed due to the drowning death of a young boy many years before. As the counselors work to open the camp they are stalked by an unknown assailant. One by one the counselors are murdered until one counselor is left to defend against a knife wielding killer.
Blairstown residents fondly remember the time in which the movie was filmed. Blairstown Hose Company No.1 helped supply the water used to create the many rainy scenes. A Blairstown Police Department squad car can be seen in the movie. The cast and crew frequented local restaurants. Veteran actress Betsy Palmer played killer, Mrs. Voorhees, while relative newcomers Kevin Bacon (Jack), Adrienne King (Alice), Robbi Morgan (Annie), Jeannie Taylor (Marcie), Harry Crosby(Bill), Laurie Bartram (Brenda) and Mark Nelson (Ned) played the camp counselors and were about town during the filming.
Roy's Hall, a theater on Main Street, is featured in the opening scenes of the movie. It can be seen as a red building shown as Annie walks down the hill towards the town. To commemorate the movie the theater has had screenings on the date of Friday the 13th to the thrill of moviegoers from as far away as Canada, Florida and Europe. On this and other occasions Jason has been seen lurking about town.
There are four scenes on Main Street that can be found by simply walking down the street starting at Roy's Hall and ending at the Old Mill. The iconic Blairstown Diner is on Route 94, adjacent to Main Street. The remaining scenes can be found via a short drive to nearby Hardwick Township and Hope. Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco still operates, however it is private property and closed to the public.
The town has remained virtually the same as the time the film was made in the late 1970s. Enjoy your visit to Blairstown!