Is Camp Stillwater Real? The ‘Dead Of Summer’ Location May Be A Horror Easter Egg
Over the years, there have been plenty of horror movies and TV shows taking place at camps, especially the most iconic of the bunch: The 1980 slasher flick Friday the 13th that spawned a whole franchise full of sequels and spinoffs featuring the hockey mask wearing killer Jason Voorhees. Now, Freeform is dipping their toes into this horror genre with new series Dead of Summer, and fans may be wondering whether you can prowl around the real-life setting of the new TV series. So, is Camp Stillwater from Dead of Summer real? Nope, but the name does have some significance.
Now, before we dive in to the possible meaning behind the camp's name in Dead of Summer, I should mention that there are a series of camps based in Texas (though one is located in Colorado) by the name of Still Water Camps, which is pretty close to Camp Stillwater, but seems to just be a coincidence. So, from what I can tell about Dead of Summer's Camp Stillwater, the camp was actually originally called Camp Clearwater, according to an early report about the show from Variety. Additionally, Variety reported that Camp Stillwater will be set in the midwest, but the name change may be a callback to the camp that Jason Voorhees made famous back in the '80s.
As many fans of Friday the 13th (plus those of us who grew up a short car ride away) know, the camp in the movie, Camp Crystal Lake, was filmed at a real location in New Jersey: The Boy Scout retreat called Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. Plus, much of the movie that wasn't filmed at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco was shot in the nearby New Jersey location of Blairstown. Both Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco — which is located in the town of Hardwick, NJ — and Blairstown are situated very close to the border of Sussex County. Do you know what's in Sussex County, New Jersey? Stillwater Township.
Of course, it could be a coincidence that the camp in Dead of Summer shares its name with a town less than two miles away from the real-life location of fellow camp-focused horror entry Friday the 13th. But, I like to believe the change from Camp Clearwater to Camp Stillwater was a deliberate move to honor the 1980 horror classic.
So, while Camp Stillwater may not be a real location that fans of Dead of Summer can visit, it does seem to be a reference to Friday the 13th, which is a pretty cool easter egg for viewers that grew up watching Jason Voorhees and his mother terrorize the campers at Camp Crystal Lake. Hopefully the teenagers of Camp Stillwater will have a better survival rate — but we'll have to tune in to Dead of Summer in order to find out!
Images: Katie Yu/Freeform (2); Giphy