In the little village of Blairstown, New Jersey (pop. 495), people smile and say hello. They gather at the coffee shop, relax in the park by the mill top off their day with an ice cream cone.
Yes, life is good in the little village of Blairstown.
But the little village of Blairstown had a secret that would rear its ugly masked face once—sometimes twice and in the case of 2026 even thrice—a year. And then the quiet village becomes, for a day, the center of the universe for all things dark, sinister and sharp.
And it’s happening again this week as hundreds of devotees of horror, slasher and just-scare-the-wits-out-of-you movies descend on the little village of Blairstown to celebrate—or lacerate—Friday the 13th.
For the horror-genre-challenged, in 1979 the original “Friday the 13th” was filmed in Blairstown, with additional scenes shot in nearby Hardwick and Hope. Just up the road, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco served as the now-legendary Camp Crystal Lake, from which Jason Vorhees first emerged to terrorize the world and even space.
The original film, considered to be the Queen Mother of the horror and slasher genre was just a low-budget affair at the time with just one familiar name but at least one future superstar.
Hollywood may have Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but Blairstown had six weeks of Kevin Bacon, who with other members of the cast and crew bunked down part of the time at the Hunter’s Lodge in Knowlton.
And when they weren’t filming there, many from the movie lunched at the Blairstown Diner. The diner will once again host a minicon devoted to all things Jason and this year has partnered with Spirit Halloween popup stores to raise money for Spirit of Children, which provides costumes, accessories, party goods and all the other trimmings to local hospitals to hold Halloween parties for children.
Across the street at the Blairstown Inn, which claims “Jason eats here,” food and drink specials will mark Jason’s visit. The Post Time Pub on Main Street will feature Camp Crystal Lake drinks on its wraparound porch. But don’t take your drink off the porch, or Jason will get you, the say at the Post Time. Try the Kevin Bacon Cheeseburger.
Gourmet Gallery plans to operate on Jason time for the 13th because across the street Roy’s Hall will be showing “Friday the 13th” on the big screen, the way it was meant to be seen. The show is sold out but there will be more than enough entertainment watching the cosplay attendees on line outside.
Stop by for dessert at Sundae’s Ice Cream, located next door to the Post Time Pub. Sundae’s will be serving Killer Hot Dogs and other specials, and there will be vendors on their front lawn.
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.