In keeping with our embracing of everything Friday the 13th this week, I decided to play a fun little game. Using only information that is gleaned from the watching of the first three films, I attempted to pinpoint the real Camp Crystal Lake. Sure, you could just read Crystal Lake Memories or visit some pretty dedicated fan sites or research filming locations to find where it was filmed, but where is the fun in that? I wanted to find out if I could use the clues in the movie to pinpoint an actual, physical body of water that would line up with what we’re told about in the movies. After all, Camp Crystal Lake was renamed several times in the films, so maybe, just maybe…
Clue 1. Hope, New Jersey Cemetery. In the first installment of this famed series, hitchhiker Annie is looking for a ride to Camp Crystal Lake. She’s told that it’s about 20 miles away and a trucker agrees to drive her half the distance. She’s dropped off infront of the Hope, New Jersey Cemetery, meaning the camp is within 10 miles of this location. The circle below represents 10 miles in every direction. Bonus: The Cemetery in question is the Moravian Cemetery in near Hope, NJ.
Clue 2. Green Valley, New Jersey. Friday the 13th Part III features a sign in the background of a convenience store that indicates the words “Green Valley” and “New Jersey.” A significant portion of the sign is obscured. Searching, we find that the Green Valley Beach Campground is nearby, right about 10 miles away. We don’t know this is the solid direction of Camp Crystal Lake, so we need more information. Plus, no lake large enough is nearby. As you can see, we’re clearly in the right area.
Clue 3. Nearby Summer Camps? We’ve seen that Jason has killed those that attend Camp Crystal Lake and those that go to other camps that are nearby. In Friday the 13th Part II, the campers killed were near Crystal Lake, but not at the same Camp as in the first movie, so we must search for other standing camp grounds nearby. There just so happens to be a camp No-Be-Bo-Sco about 9 or so miles North of Hope, New Jersey. However, there are no Lakes large enough to be Crystal Lake, which has room enough for multiple camps, houses, and fairly large boats. The nearest body of waters are smaller ponds. Bonus: No-Be-Bo-Sco is actually the filming location of Friday the 13th. It is still in use to this day as a Boy Scout Camp.
Connecting The Dots. As we can see, these three areas are all very close together. Examining the map, we see that our trucker friend may have been slightly off in his calculations. There is a lake large enough just outside of our 10 mile search radius, but very close to both our nearby camp and our Green Valley convenience store. Could this be the real Crystal Lake? This is definitely an area of interest.
The Real Crystal Lake?
Here is the zoomed in area.
Paulins Kill? Paulins Kill Lake? Holy shnikes, we’ve found it! Swartswood Lake! That’s got to be it. There are multiple bodies of water that are all connected, explaining how the Lake appears to vary in size from film to film! It’s even named after death! Without a doubt, this is the Real Crystal Lake. Bonus: Swartswood Lake is connected by a waterway to Sand Pond, a body of water at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco that served as the filming location for the water scenes in Friday the 13th.
Have your own fun with Google Maps and you’ll never know what you might find.
Also, check out FridayThe13thFilms.com for cool behind the scenes photos.
What do you think? Have we found the real Crystal Like, site of more than one hundred murders?