Arfus Records gives spotlight to Athens, GA, artist James Greer as he takes a deep dive into the “Friday the 13th” series.
Laid to Rest: A Metaphysical Discourse Concerning the Jason Voorhees Phenomenon,
Confirming ‘FRIDAY THE 13th part 8: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN’ to be the Definitive Conclusion of the Crystal Lake Saga
by James Greer
(Author’s note: the following treatise has not been influenced in anyway by online theories or personal bias towards or against any of the films relating to Jason Voorhees. It is based solely on multiple viewings of the entire film series over the span of thirty years, as well as my own paranormal research and the applications of said research to the aforementioned cinematic works. That said, for the remainder of this paper, in the spirit of clarity and easy reading, I will refer to the events in these films as matter of fact, not scenes from movies.)
Part One: The Origin of a Haunting (Jason’s First Death)
In the 1950s, a young boy with birth defects of unknown severity named Jason Voorhees died from drowning in Crystal Lake, allegedly due to negligence on behalf of the counselors employed at the summer camp of the same name. His body was never recovered. Due to the traumatic nature of this death, and the lack of a proper reconciliation and burial of the remains, the “spirit” or energy matrix of the child was displaced, trapped in the body of water itself. This “spirit”, being not only that of a child, but one who was developmentally disabled, was essentially a blank slate: his simplicity and miniscule amount of worldly experience made him metaphysically pliable and easily impressed upon by external forces.
Jason’s mother was employed as a cook at the camp at the time of his death. Her grief and loss led to a mental collapse, and she enacted revenge by murdering the camp counselors, both those present and the subsequent group employed for the reopening of the camp. In a violent struggle with the last surviving counselor, Jason’s mother was beheaded on the edge of the lake. The combined negative energies of such a violent death and the emotions of rage and vengeance projected by his mother imprinted a trauma-echo on Jason’s disembodied spirit, catalyzing a physical manifestation of the spirit of the deceased Jason. (Legend has it that he “saw” his mother die that night; more accurately, his spirit was drawn to and triggered by the violence on the lake shore.) The lone survivor, who decapitated Jason’s mother, paddled to the middle of the lake in traumatized shock. There, she experiences what will be known for the remainder of this essay as the Voorhees Phenomenon: a “reanimated” Jason springs from the water, reaching to grasp the counselor who murdered his mother, seemingly pulling her into the lake in an act of revenge; but she survives, physically unharmed, and no boy is seen by the authorities who discover her. This is because there is no boy: corpses do not reanimate. What she experienced was direct contact with the physical manifestation of the combined trauma of Jason’s drowning, his mother’s decapitation, and the negative energies attached to these incidents.
Part Two: Violence as a Catalyst for Ectoplasmic Mass Accruement, or “That Which Kills You Makes You Stronger”
Now that Jason has become a singular, corporeal entity, it/he has found itself back in the material world, a shadow of an echo of anything remotely human. He is a tulpa, a conglomerate of traumatic experiences, legend, and the ectoplasmic physical manifestation of unreconciled negative energies. He wanders the forest in human form, perhaps even thinking he is human; he “lives” in a shack, manifesting bits of memories into the physical world (his mother’s severed head, her sweater, etc) built out of anger and grief. Years pass, and he becomes more and more “real”. When the camp reopens, his unreconciled trauma and negative energies have an outlet: more camp counselors. Our tulpa, our golem created from tragedy, is now imbued with purpose: he reenacts his traumas by murdering them, their brutal deaths (usually by means of an edged tool or weapon) a mimicry of his mother’s murder. He is eventually “killed” by a counselor; but instead of “dying”, the violent attack on his physical form only amplifies his rage and strength, and we see him reenact his first manifestation: lashing out to grasp the final survivor, breaching not the surface of the lake this time, but a glass window (yet still breaching, breaking through a metaphorical and metaphysical veil); yet once again causing them no harm. We see this scene play out once again, years later, with another lone survivor “killing” him, only to bear witness to his return, only this time, his “mother” emerges from the lake to grasp (yet not injure) our witness to the phenomenon. Each time, the Voorhees Manifestation returns larger, stronger, and more deformed: He is quite literally growing, accruing more physical mass with each act of violence he commits, as well as those on his person. The violence is adding more energy to the being, which is then expressed via ectoplasmic phenomena in the physical form. Whereas an “early” Jason can be wrestled, inflicted with pain, outrun, the subsequent forms become more and more resilient, thus refuting the “animated corpse” theory, and substantiating the metaphysical trauma phenomena theory.
Part Three: Freeing Your Inner Child (Jason’s Second Death)
Enter Tommy Jarvis, a pre-adolescent boy living with his mother and sister near Camp Crystal Lake. Tommy is a monster enthusiast with very little fear. During Jason’s current camp counselor murder spree, Tommy meets a man whose sister was killed by Jason in the past. Between this man’s information and his own research, Tommy puts together the history of Jason, and his origin as a child. After Jason kills Tommy’s mother, A traumatized Tommy alters his image to resemble childhood-era Jason, and confronts him. (This has all of the underpinnings of a classic banishment ritual: young adept with prior knowledge of the uncanny dons a mimicry costume and adopts the persona of the “demon”) Tommy chants at Jason to “remember”: the Voorhees Manifestation, transfixed by this apparition of a long-forgotten self, reaches out as if to touch his own reflection (the “demon” sees itself in the “mirror” and is rendered immobile), giving Tommy’s sister the chance to strike Jason down. Unfortunately, Tommy’s “ritual”, combined with the trauma of his mother’s murder, has now linked his spirit to that of Jason. He brutally attacks the physical form of the Voorhees Manifestation and effectively “kills” Jason for the second time.
Jason’s “body” is buried; years pass, and that which is dead stays dead. That is, until Tommy Jarvis, now an adult, returns to Crystal Lake, supposedly to confirm that Jason is truly “dead”. In reality, the trauma link that Tommy and the Voorhees Manifestation share is drawing Tommy back to Crystal Lake; a metaphysical reconciliation, “spooky action at a distance” in its most literal form. Once Tommy locates Jason’s grave, he is compelled to exhume the “body”. Once exhumed, Tommy begins to relive the night of violence and trauma that bonded him to Jason. His trigger response is to violently attack the inanimate remains of the Manifestation. What happens next is confusing: it appears that a lightning strike “reanimates” Jason’s “corpse” a la Frankenstein; however, it is the violent attack on the remains which transfers the negative energies from Tommy back to Jason; the lightning is a phenomenal side effect of this transference. The decayed, desiccated remains are instantaneously animated and imbued with vigor and substance (we see Jason with broad chest, muscled legs, and supernatural strength), and immediately resumes his violence upon anyone who crosses his path. Tommy researches occult books and finds a “spell” to “kill” Jason by chaining him to the bottom of the lake; However, even though he is imprisoned, he is not dead: as we will see shortly, the reversion of the Voorhees Manifestation to the child state is crucial to the dispelling of the phenomenon.
Here he remains, waiting in stasis, barring a short lived emancipation via a paranormal mishap at the unwitting hands of a telekinetic young woman, who uses these same abilities to imprison him in the lake once again, yet still in his fully realized state, still not “dead”.
Part Four: Jason’s Third, and Final, Death
(At this point, we are now discussing the circumstances and events of the film Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan. The following events, combined with evidence already presented, will prove beyond a doubt the veracity of my conclusions.)
Years pass. Jason’s “body” remains imprisoned in Crystal Lake; however, instead of decomposing, we see that he has actually been gaining mass; in fact, he is bigger than ever before, slowly but continually gaining ectoplasmic physical mass via his manifestation being dormant, not dead. It appears that an accident involving a severed underwater electrical conduit “resurrects” Jason, but in fact it is the immediate proximity of promiscuous youths on the surface of the lake overhead that catalyzes an activation of the latent negative energies. Jason frees himself and resumes his pattern of violent acts, echoing the traumas inflicted upon both his mother and himself over the years, repetitions of trauma and violence which have only multiplied these negative energies. He finds himself compelled to leave the lake and board a ship, an unprecedented act bereft of explanation, except one:
Enter Rennie Wickham, the key figure in the final reconciliation and dissolution of the Voorhees Manifestation. When Rennie was a child, her uncle tried to force her to swim by pushing her into Crystal Lake. This occurred during the interim of “unmanifestation” following Jason’s second “death” at the hands of Tommy Jarvis. The trauma of this near-drowning experience triggered a sympathetic phenomenal response in the lake: a physical manifestation Jason, in drowned child form, who tries to grab her but cannot. This interaction facilitates a trauma-echo-link between the latent Voorhees Manifestation and Rennie. A link that has drawn Jason to Rennie, who happens to be on board the aforementioned ship. Once again, the link demands reconciliation. He is compelled to track her down on the boat, but once he confronts her, instead of killing her (as he done to everyone else aboard the ship he has encountered), he begins projecting spontaneous and varied non-physical manifestations of his childhood form. This is directly related to the fact that the ship is moving further and further away from Crystal Lake, the source energy of the Voorhees Manifestation: the further Jason gets from Crystal Lake, the more tenuous his ties to the negative source energies which both spawned him and maintain him. We soon find him in a city, far from his origin location, in utter alien territory, his only link to his former self being Rennie and their shared trauma link. In a final physical encounter with Rennie, his outward physical form having been compromised due to exposure to toxic waste (a foreign agent with unprecedented corrosive and neutralizing properties), he once againreverts to his child self, speaking for the first time ever: “Mommy?”, in an innocent, young voice. His aggregated ectoplasmic exterior is sloughed away, revealing the apparition of a young boy, free from trauma, disability, and the bondage of the negative energies which manifested him in the first place.
Part Five: In Closing
It is inarguable that throughout the history of the Voorhees Manifestation, the singular and recurring factor causing said manifestation to be neutralized and remain so, is the active regression of the manifestation to its original form, the child. It is also inarguable that any and every stimuli applied to the outward physical manifestation of the phenomenon, be it blade, bludgeon, fire, water, impact, or combination thereof, has no permanent effect on the animation and continuation of the phenomenon. The only external stimuli proven throughout time to cause significant and permanent dissolution of the outward physical form of the Voorhees Manifestation is exposure to a foreign substance utterly alien to the origin of the phenomenon, in this instance, toxic waste.
Thus, in closing, it is substantiated to the degree of indisputability that the combination of:
(A) the physical removal from the source energy of the phenomena (Crystal Lake);
(B) an active regression to the child state facilitated by the direct, nonviolent contact with an individual (Rennie Wickham) linked to the Manifestation via shared trauma; and
(C) the utter dissolution of the ectoplasmic aggregate physical form;
have permanently neutralized the Voorhees Manifestation, effectively ending the Crystal Lake Saga.
(Note from AR: Check out James’s art at his virtual gallery and be sure to click on the images to see the incredible attention to detail put into all of them.)
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