Did Jason Really Drown When He Was a Boy? – CBP005

"I'm going to give it to you straight about Jason..."

Jason Voorhees (Warrington Gillette) – Friday the 13th Part II

The conventional wisdom is that Jason drowned in Crystal Lake in 1957, sending Pamela into the homicidal rage that ended in her decapitation. We take for granted that everything she said in the first movie is fact. But after listening back to the conversations we've been having, and rewatching the movies with an eye out for finer details, we seriously have to ask Did Jason really drown when he was a boy?

Discussion Points

  • Why no body was recovered
  • Jason's shack
  • Jason's age
  • How the reboot relates

Listener Mail

“He did drown in the lake and Mrs. Voorhees resurrected him via witchcraft. It's far fetched but my only logical explanation.”
“I believe Jason did drown and was resurrected via witchcraft too.”

“He did not drown. I truly think he lost his memory from almost drowning and got lost deep in the woods until someone found him like maybe a hermit or maybe even a witch and raised him until he started having flashbacks about his mother and Crystal Lake and when he finally got all his memory back he found his way back only to see his mother killed. That sent him into shock and rage and that's when he went back to maybe the witch that raised him and she gave him the powers never to die and to get revenge.”

“Savini said they needed an extra scare at the end because of how effective the ending of Carrie was so 1st Jason was an after thought. My theory is that after his mother died, he was reborn as her vengeance. Because out of all the slasher icons the Voorhees really are the only ones with a justifiable reasoning for their actions That's why he came out of the lake. Pamela's death gave him rebirth and as a little retarded boy who can't swim, of course he couldn't kill [Alice] until years later as a grown man.”

“No Jason did not drown in the first film. [He] was watching his mother do all the killing because if Jason would have died in the first movie he would have started as the undead.”

Music credit

“Evening of Chaos” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • Michael David

    You have figured Jason’s age incorrectly. He “allegedly” drowns in ’57 but the killings in the first film don’t take place until many years later when Pamela revisits the camp. Jason could have easily been well into his 30s by the start of part 2.

    As far as wether or not he drowned… Well if you look at the series as a whole, Jason is a supernatural figure who can’t be killed. Something happened to him to make him that way. Did he die and come back? Was he given powers during his final earthly moments? That’s all up to the viewer. The truth is that when the first film was being made, there was never an inkling that sequels were a possibility. They were just making a low budget horror film and decided to add the scene at the end for one final scare.

    Personally, I think he did drown. Although he was born a human, he definitely became something a whole lot more. However you try to reconcile how it happened, the boy drowned and the unstoppable killer emerged. May he continue to avenge!

    • We are going to address your concerns about his age on our What About Rob episode.

    • James Hudson

      I believe “Jason Goes to Hell” holds the key. In the Voorhees house you see a copy of the Necronomicon. Mrs. Voorhees( or maybe Elias Voorhees) obviously resurrected Jason sometime after his drowning. Perhaps they didnt know they were successful. That would clearup most of the chronological problems.

      • I don’t think that it would. If you go with the comics, it suggests that the resurrection with the Necronomicon is successful only after Pamela’s blood is paid, but that idea doesn’t really take into account the age he appears. In Part 3, he looks as old as he would be had he not died at all. If they’d have stuck with his look from Part 2, I *might* be able to go a long with what you say.

  • Duggy

    I’m sorry, but the premise of Jason’s defeat in “Jason Lives” hinges on him having died as a child:

    “We can only stop Jason by returning him to his original resting place, where he drowned in 1957.”

    You could debate it up until that point, but it seems to be made canon in #6.

    • I don’t necessarily think it’s an issue. Reason being is that we see Tommy with a bunch of books on the occult. It could be that he read that as an option in one of those books. I think it’s safe to assume that other than those books, Tommy would have no knowledge of what kind of entity Jason really was, only leaning on his reading, as well as the stories (whether true or not) for him to jump to that conclusion. It’s doubtful, based on the fact that, I think, that those books were real books, that any of them had a section on “Killing Jason Voorhees”.

      You make a good point, though and I certainly understand where you’re coming from, but I also think that your point can be dismissed easier than your it can be confirmed.

      • Duggy

        Agreed that we often in these film just have to accept fairly random statements by people who have no real way of knowing as fact (“Part 2” is particularly bad with Paul’s campfire tale of Jason and Ginny’s psych-student guesses). In the story though those claims seem to hold up (Ginny’s using of Pamela to trick Jason).

        The occult books thing is just as weak as you say. Maybe it had some more generic claims about capturing things come back from the dead. However, the point remains, in the story the information holds up. In “Jason Lives” and “The New Blood” a living Jason is shown chained to the bottom of the lake with chains that he’s clearly able to break before and after when not “where he first died.” The “magic” of that location matches the claims of the occult books, it seems.

        Although the films are full of weak information, I prefer theories that stick to what we are told (unless it’s contradicted by something else on-screen) to ones that pick-and-choose what they want to believe as that seem more about making a personal theory work that accepting what the films are saying.

        • I have no issue with what you say about Jason’s “aliveness” in Jason Lives and the New Blood, because he is raised from the dead supernaturally at the start of 6 in my view.

          But to your point about pet theories: that’s what I have the most fun with and that’s exactly what I do. No worries if you disagree with how I look at these films and how I arrive at my conclusions. I know there are many hotly debated items, and I have a lot of fun discussing those issues with other fans, so thanks for that.

    • Swiggity Swooty

      There is also Jason Takes Manhattan and Freddy vs Jason that reinforces this.

  • Ray Wayne Rodgers

    jason voorhees never drowned & died as a child, heres how i know.

    Ive watched friday the 13th,tv-14, since i was in 5th grade as i got older i rewatched it about 30 times until the 2009 remake came out. they said jason had never died as a child & that he watched his mothers death. i rewatched part 2-4 again to notice jason was still alive, not an undead figure, until he was murdered by tommy in part 4. jason supposedly returned in part 5, even though we knew he was dead throughout that whole movie, obviously. but in part 6 he was dead in his grave site until tommy stabbed him repeatedly through the chest with a metal bar then left in jasons corpse, which eventually a lightning bolt struck brining back the, what was pronounced dead, jason voorhees. after that jason came back & was unable to be killed.

    Now bare with me to note even though through out of the rest of the series, jason voorhees has been sleeping in the beginning of every friday the 13th movie from part 7-8. and after Jason goes to hell he was in well…in hell where he met freddy in his dreams. afterwards freddy disguised as his mother & has told him hes been sleeping & it was time to wake up again.

    I love the friday the 13th series & ive payed attention to know what im saying, is the most accurate observation ive made in my entire life. i hope yall can see where im coming from with this.

    • custurd

      The creators of the original Friday the 13th movie never envisioned a sequel being made at the time and Jason was never intended to be anything more than a trigger to push Pamela over the edge. Jason drowned. To death. And there was no reason to make any more of it at that point. His body never being found was for no other reason than to deprive her of closure and keep her raging for all of those years. Mother dies, end of movie. After that, everyone has their own theory but there’s only one fact; Jason died in Friday the 13th, part 1.

  • Amari “MariggiBuzz00” Crenshaw

    Friday the 13th is my #1 favorite horror movie franchise. I’ve been obsessed with Jason that I read all fan theories, comic books, chronology from the films, and put that all into one script for my fan made Friday the 13th origin story. My theory is that Jason never drowned, he just passed out and washed up on another part of crystal lake which is why there was never any body recovered from the lake. He ended up in the lake because kids at the camp he attended taunted him to when they knew he was not allowed to swim due to his birth defects. He never swam before so he jumped in. He starts screaming for help while the other group of kids panic and run off leaving him there. Jason plunges deep into the water when his head hits a rock and knocks him out (now he washes up on another part of crystal lake.) He woke up with bland memory to what had happened and remembered nothing, mostly because Jason grew up with autism and a form of cerebral palsy and a brain disability. Jason forgot how to talk, who his family was etc. Jason now had to make a living on his own, which was hard for him since he was only 11. He managed to create his own shelter with tunnels underground. He fed off of brutally killing and eating animals (mostly because he does not know it is wrong) and what not and only came out at late night. When Pamela hears about the camp trying to re-open for the summer at around 1970 (jason is probs in early 20’s by this time.) she poisons the lake water and burns down the building they were going to make to be sure that nothing would happen to another kid like Jason. Fast forward to that killing spree his mom went on years later. At this time, jason spots his mom and alice fighting while out hunting for food when his mom is killed. Seeing his mother killed sparked an instant memory in jason’s head that caused him to finally remember his mom. He hears voices in his head which is his mom telling him to kill for her. By pt 6, jason is officially an immortal zombie possessed by his mother’s evil soul.

  • Odie Mason

    Ari Lehman was 14 when he appeared as Jason in Alice’s hallucinogen. That’s not a little boy. Pamela didn’t say how old he was when he drowned so maybe Alice had heard so and that’s how she envisioned him in her hallucination. No he didn’t really drown. He either was able to grab the pier post in the water and find his way out, to which he then ran and hid from the kids before they could see him again and sic on him, to which he got lost in the woods, encountered an old man or old woman (or both, a couple) who took him in and cared for him. Or, Jason was fished out in time by a introverted fisherman who took his boat over after witnessing the kids push Jason in, the man took him home and ditto the above. Maybe the shock of the bullying and almost drowning caused Jason to experience a fugue state or some kind of retrograde amnesia for a time so he lived with that man/couple until years later he regained his memory and they fessed up they didn’t want to contact authorities because they were childless and had bonded with him, told him his mother might still be alive. He went to the old summer camp and shitty timing, before he could reunite with his mother he saw her scuffling with Alice and his mother beheaded.