Overnight guest testimonials
View some feedback from our June 2023 overnight guests and read a recent testimonial below:
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Are you a Friday the 13th fanatic? Take my advice: Go to Crystal Lake Tours!!
I’ve been a lifelong fan of the Friday the 13th franchise since watching the first movie in the theater in 1980. I have attended a few conventions in the past in order to satisfy my horror cravings and have been lucky enough to meet some of the original cast members. I could barely contain my excitement when I found out about the tours at the original Crystal Lake, but immediately questioned if the 800 mile trip would be worth the investment of time and money. After reading fan reviews from previous years, I decided to go all in and I booked an overnight stay for June 2023.
In the days leading up to the trip, my excitement would keep me up at night thinking about visiting such a special place in horror movie history, but at the same time I was still worried about being disappointed. I mean, you can never trust online reviews, right?
The day finally came to pack my bags and get in the car. To make the most of the trip, I broke up the travel with a few side trips to various roadside attractions. And then I finally made it to New Jersey. I couldn’t believe it – lush pastures and green rolling hills. The camp is in a remarkably beautiful area. I had researched some of the scenes that took place outside the camp and stopped at those in the morning. I was constantly worried about annoying the local folks that live and work there, but everyone was very warm and welcoming.
Then it was time to head to the camp. It was hard not to imagine driving those roads in an old Jeep or a pickup truck. I was able to recognize at least two of the road scenes on this drive. Gave me the chills.
Then the GPS said “you have arrived at your destination”. I had made it. 800 miles were behind me and my heart was racing. I arrived 15 minutes early, so I parked in line. There were a few other fans out of their cars in front of me. I can be a bit shy, but I’m glad I got out of the car to speak with them. Everyone was so amazing. We shared so many common interests and I felt like I had known these people for a long time even though we just met minutes before.
Right on time, the gate opened. I could make a connection to Willy Wonka opening the gates to the chocolate factory, but I’ll spare you that. Everything was very organized right from the start. The check in line was short and moved fast. The overnight guests got a nice backpack with a bunch of goodies and an amazing insulated water bottle that I still use on a daily basis. After that, we headed into the camp. My first stop was the dining hall to fill my bottle and grab a sandwich. Everyone I encountered on the way was super friendly and helpful.
This particular weekend was a bit different from their normal events. During the daytime hours, there was a cast reunion with a great selection of celebrities from part 1 and part 2. I was able to add some autographs to my collection and also got an unbelievable photo with the part 1 cast on THE beach. Visiting the cast members ON THE SET was an amazing experience. I wish every horror convention could be in an amazing location like this.
When the reunion part of the event ended, the camp suddenly got very empty and it was just us overnight guests that remained. It started to feel like I was really there for summer camp in 1980. We then had a buffet dinner in the dining hall which was delicious. Again, everyone I spoke with was so amazing and friendly.
We then moved into our cabins. We were spread throughout the actual cabins used in the movie. I was very nervous about the sleeping arrangements, but the staff did an excellent job of making this an amazing experience. I totally felt like I was a real camper there reliving my youth.
After getting organized and rolling out my sleeping bag, I headed back outside with my fellow “campers” and watched the movie on a huge screen. Watching the movie after spending hours on the set with the actors was truly surreal and I’m glad I was able to have this experience since it was the only cast reunion planned for the year. Right after the movie, I noticed the glow of a fire behind us. We moved our chairs over to the campfire and toasted marshmallows and even sang some of the actual campfire songs from the movie with one of the counselors who learned how to play those songs on the guitar just for this campfire. Every little detail was outstanding.
After making more new friends at the campfire, it was time to retire back to my cabin and get some sleep. Needless to say, my excitement kept me from sleeping much that night.
The morning sun finally arrived and I headed back out of my cabin to sit on a log and just stare at that famous lake for a bit. I couldn’t believe that I was there. I couldn’t believe that I previously had any concerns about making this journey. I couldn’t believe that most of the movie set was right there frozen in time!
Breakfast was also delicious. I have never had better pancakes in my life. After that, they had one more surprise in store for us – canoeing on the lake. After a short safety talk from their lifeguards, we headed out on metal canoes – just like the ones you see in the movie. This was probably the most surreal part of the entire experience for me. As someone that has seen this movie so many times, I could not believe that I was out on THAT water. We even paddled over to the location where the canoe scene took place. I am pretty sure I saw some bubbles in the water over there.
I left the event that day with so much love for the camp, the staff (some of the nicest people you will ever meet) and my fellow campers who shared this amazing experience with me.
I loved it so much that I decided that I needed to return for an actual tour (which was not part of this experience due to it occurring with the cast reunion event). Without hesitation, I booked a return visit for August for their extended tour. I am now writing this in September having experienced the cast reunion, the overnight AND the tour.
It was AMAZING. I was blown away by ever detail of the tour. I doubt I’ll ever top this year as far as horror related trips go. If you are thinking about going to any of their events, do it. You will not be disappointed. Everything is well thought out and organized. They even have some really cool stuff in their souvenir shop. Quality stuff, not junk. You can tell that the staff love the camp and they want to make sure it stays around. They also give all the money donated for selfies in their photo area to another camp in the same town for kids with cancer.
To sum it all up, I can’t say enough good things about all of these experiences. I will cherish these days for the rest of my life. Sorry that I typed so much. The next overnight experience in October includes the same tour that I returned for all in a single visit. Don’t keep the chief waiting, buy your ticket today. You will NOT regret it.