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This Is What Jason From Friday The 13th Was Almost Named

In the annals of '80s horror slashers, a few names stand head and shoulders above the rest: Freddy Krueger, with his glove of knives haunting your nightmares, Michael Myers with his pale William Shatner mask and his slow, methodical walk, Leatherface with his mask comprised of human skin and his ever-present chainsaw. But one name made teenagers in the '80s look at camping the way '70s moviegoers had looked at the beach in the wake of "Jaws": Jason Voorhees, the hockey-mask-wearing maniac of the "Friday the 13th" series. With his machete, his brute strength, and his virtual indestructibility, Jason would come back from the grave time and time again to stalk his teenage prey, from the grounds of Camp Crystal Lake to the depths of deep space. But while the world has come to know him as Jason, there was a time when another name was considered as a possibility to make horror fans the world over tremble: Josh, as revealed in a recent creepy catalog list of horror facts.

The strange tale of Josh Voorhees

Long before "Friday the 13th" was a single reel of movie film, it was a script by writer Victor Miller entitled "Long Night at Camp Blood." Like most movie scripts, it went through a number of drafts and revisions before finally being ready for filming. Miller had already settled on the surname of Voorhees, as he'd had a childhood friend with the name and determined it was suitably creepy for the name of his killer: Pam Voorhees, an insane mother whose young son had died by drowning at Camp Crystal Lake while the teenage lifeguards had done nothing to help. In the original film, the son's name was still to be determined, and initially, Miller had settled on Josh during early writing but decided while revising the script that the name was a bit too nice and not a good fit for the character. With potential titles like "Josh Goes to Hell: The Final Friday," we're inclined to agree.

The rise of Jason

After rejecting the name Josh, Miller settled on Jason as the name of the younger Voorhees for the simplest of all reasons: it had been the name of a childhood bully, per Movie Web. The name change allowed for a more intimidating-sounding character who would eventually usurp his mother's place as the killer at Camp Crystal Lake for the remainder of the film series.

"Friday the 13th" would endure through multiple films over the years, with Jason making his debut as the killer in "Friday the 13th: Part 2" with a pillowcase on his head before upgrading to his classic hockey mask and machete look in "Friday the 13th: Part 3." Yet the core concept of the unstoppable juggernaut with a penchant for gruesomely murdering teenagers left an enduring legacy and earned Jason Voorhees a place of honor in the slasher movie hall of fame. Somehow though, we don't think Josh Voorhees would've made the cut.