Fireside Chats: On the Road—Camp Blood
There are two Crystal Lakes. One of them is in New Jersey. It is otherwise known as Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, and is still an active Boy Scouts campsite. The other Crystal Lake is in Alabama, near the little town of Stockton, to be exact.
There is a Crystal Lake in Florida, too, but this isn’t the one in which young Jason Voorhees drowned. Yes, I am speaking of the Crystal Lake that lends its name to the campground, Camp Crystal Lake, dubbed “Camp Blood” after the dozens of murders that have taken place there, the location haunted by hockey-mask-wearing undead slasher Jason Voorhees.
No one knew at the time that they were filming the seventh FRIDAY THE 13TH movie (which just happens to be my favorite in the franchise) down at Byrnes Lake near Stockton. The crew made sure of it, shooting under a bogus title.
People today know it, though, despite the fact that Stockton and Baldwin County have done absolutely nothing to cash-in on the notoriety of the site. Some people just don’t want to make money, it seems. Probably a bunch of blue-hairs afraid of Horror movies and worried about attracting riffraff, like me. Well, I visited anyway, blue-hairs be damned. And people do remember.
At the boat ramp where the movie was filmed, where the cabins once stood, where Kane Hodder in Jason garb stalked through the woods and submerged himself in the lake, a local man in his twenties, out fishing with his small daughter, upon seeing me carrying a hockey mask, asked with a grin “You gonna recreate the movie?” People remember.
I also sought to locate the firetruck used in the movie. It used to belong to the Stockton Fire Department and sat on display on the lot in front of the station.
But it was sold some years ago to a local man named Richard Lee.
I was able to track down the Lee family, only to learn that Mr. Lee had just passed away. Like, last month. His wife remembered the truck and knew what I was talking about, but she didn’t know where her husband had left it. As she had just lost her husband and was still dealing with fresh grief, I didn’t want to pester her by pressing for details or demanding the names of others who might know the truck’s location. We can, then, I believe, until such time as someone might stumble upon the rusting hulk of the truck in a field somewhere, write it off as a lost artifact.
None of the wooden structures from the movie are still standing at Lake Byrnes, aka Camp Crystal Lake. Even the dock has been replaced since the movie filmed there. But otherwise, nothing has changed. It looks positively primeval. And Jason’s spirit is still there. I’m sure of it.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!