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You let him drown! You never paid any attention. Look what you did to him. Look what you DID TO HIM!!
~ Mrs. Pamela Voorhees

Pamela Voorhees (nee Sue, born. 1930 - died. June 13, 1979) was a serial killer and the unassuming main antagonist of the first Friday the 13th film, as well as both the secondary antagonist and Greater-Scope Villain of the franchise. In the original film, known simply as Mrs. Voorhees, she was the mother of Jason Voorhees, whose drowning death as a child drove her to murder those who she deemed responsible.

Unlike her son, Pamela used surprising as a technique when killing her victims unexpectedly. However, similar to her son, Pamela liked to terrorize her victims by propping up dead bodies, throwing them through windows, and using various weapons to complete her murders.

She was portrayed by the late Betsy Palmer, who reprises her role briefly in Friday the 13th Part 2.

Original Timeline

Early Life

Pamela Voorhees was born circa 1930. She married Elias Voorhees, a miner in Cadiz, Ohio, as a teenager, and lived with him in a trailer located near Camp Crystal Lake, where he would abuse her physically and verbally. In 1946, a 16-year-old Pamela learned that she was pregnant with a son. Elias' fate after this revelation is unclear, but it is assumed that either he walked out on her, or was killed by Pamela with an axe after beating her, as depicted in the comic, Friday The 13th: Pamela's Tale, and mentioned in the 2017 game.

Friday The 13th

In Friday The 13th (1980), Pamela Voorhees was responsible for the murders at Camp Crystal Lake. In 1957, her hydrocephalic son, Jason, drowned as a young boy in the lake of Camp Crystal, while he was being bullied by most of the other campers, and to make things worse, all of the counselors weren't paying attention, instead they were having conversations and sex. Due to Jason's supposed drowning, Pamela Voorhees began to seek vengeance upon any counselor that she deems "responsible". In 1958, a year later after Jason's drowning, Barry and Claudette try to have sex inside a barn, only for Pamela to catch them in the act and murder both of them with a machete; Barry gets stabbed in the stomach and Claudette, while her death is off-screen, gets the machete slammed into her throat.

After the murdering of Barry and Claudette, nobody luckily suspected Pamela of the crime and the camp was soon shut down, giving the nickname "Camp Blood" by the locals. In later years, while the camp was elected to be reopened again, Pamela poisoned the water and ignited the cabins to prevent it from re-opening.

In 1979, Steve Christy reopened the camp with the help of his friend, Alice Hardy. Friends of Alice; Ned, Jack, Brenda, Marcie, and Bill came to help. Seeing this occurring, she began to return back to the camp to prevent the camp from once again being reopened. While driving her way to the camp, one of the counselors named Annie gets hitchhiked by Pamela. Fooling Annie, she drives past the camp and after Annie tells her to stop, Annie is forced to jump of the vehicle and runs into the woods, while Pamela pursues her. In the woods, Pamela catches up to Annie and slashes her throat with her Bowie knife; she places her body in her vehicle and continues back to the camp. After spying on the counselors, she starts to attack while a storm occurs starting off with murdered Ned off-screen by slitting his throat. Jack and Marcie, after having sex, are soon killed by Pamela; Jack gets an arrow pierced into his neck while she hides underneath the bed, and Marcie has a felling axe slammed into her face in the bathroom. Next, she lures Brenda outside of her cabin during the storm by mimicking a child's voice asking for help. While Brenda looks around, Pamela turns on the archery range's lights to distract her before killing her off-screen once again.

After the storm stops, Steve Christy comes back to the camp after having to go to a dinner, only for him to be greeted by Pamela (who remains unseen to the audience). While he recognizes her, Steve Christy unexpectedly gets stabbed in the stomach by her. Alice and Bill, noticing everyone has disappeared, begins to investigate; during this, Pamela severs the phone lines and puts a stone in Ned's truck's engine to prevent them from escaping. She soon turns off the generator, which prompts Bill to investigate while Alice stays back to sleep. Bill is killed off-screen by Pamela slicing his throat and pinning his body with arrows in the back of the generator room's door. After discovering Bill's body, Alice begins to barricade the cabin just before Pamela throws the body of Brenda into the window before escaping to her vehicle. While Alice begins to sob over Brenda's body, Pamela drives her vehicle up to the cabin to fool Alice thinking it's Steve. In a friendly manner, Pamela greets Alice and comes inside with her. While seeing the body of Brenda, she begins to tell Alice about the story of Jason's drowning.

Did you know that a young boy drowned, the year before those two others were killed? The councilors weren't paying any attention, they were making love while that young boy drowned. His name was Jason. I was working the day that it happened, preparing meals. Here. I was the cook. Jason should have been watched! Every minute! He was... He wasn't a very good swimmer. We can go now, dear. (Alice: I think we should wait for Mr. Christy.) (Pamela chuckles evilly) Oh, that's not necessary. (Alice: I don't understand.) (Pamela memorizing Jason drowning) (She talks to herself) I am, Jason. I am. You see, Jason was my son. And today is his birthday. (Alice: Where's Mr. Christy?) I couldn't let them open this place again. Could I? Not after what happened. Oh, my sweet, innocent Jason. My only child. Jason. You let him drown! You never paid any attention! Look what you did to him! (Alice: NO.) Look what you did to him! (Pamela then attacks Alice with her vengeful rage).
~ Pamela Voorhees to Alice Hardy showing her true nature, and preparing to kill her.

Showing her true nature and revealing herself to be the killer, she attacks Alice with her Bowie knife before the latter grabs a fireplace poker and damages the mad women with it before fleeing. While she chases her around the camp and discovering the bodies of Annie and Steve in the process, she hides inside the food storage closet. Pamela, now armed with a machete, finds her inside before Alice renders her unconscious with a frying pan and believes that she killed her.

Afterwards, she goes to the lake to relax before Pamela gains consciousness and attacks her once again with the machete. The two struggle to kill each other, but Alice gains the upper head and decapitates Pamela Voorhees with her own machete, killing her. When Alice decapitates her, Pamela's hands begin to unrealistically clutch in the air and move around from her head separated from the body before she succumbs to her wounds.


Unknown to the shaken Alice who boards a canoe to rest, Jason Voorhees, who is alive and well, witnesses this and begins to take revenge upon his mother's death by taking his mother's severed head, her pants, her machete, and her sweater to a makeshift shack that he made in the woods where he places his mother's belongings on an altar. In Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Jason begins to continue his mother's legacy and murder spree by tracking down Alice and, after placing his mother's head inside a refrigerator, murders his mother's killer with an ice pick to her temple.

While an officer chases down Jason to his shack, he sees his mother's head and belongings on the altar (although unseen to the audience) inside the shack before Jason slams a hammer into the officer's head.

During the sequel's climax, the last survivor of a nearby training camp in the Crystal Lake named Ginny flees from Jason into his shack in the woods, where she sees the altar. Using her child psychology skills, she places Pamela's sweater onto herself and temporarily convinces Jason that he is her mother. This fails, however, when Jason sees his mother's head behind Ginny and attacks her. In the end, Jason gets his mother's machete slammed down to his shoulder by Ginny while struggling to kill another revived counselor named Paul and she soon discards his mother's sweater outside the shack.

In the end of Friday the 13th Part III (1982), the last survivor named Chris Higgins has a dream hallucination where Pamela Voorhees, with her head attached for some reason, grabs her and pulls her under the water.

While a group of residents go to Crystal Lake in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), they see Mrs. Voorhees' tombstone before passing.

In Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Freddy Krueger appears as Pamela Voorhees in order to convince Jason to help him murderer the residents of Elm Street. Interestingly enough in 2003, Betsy Palmer was asked to reprise her role in Freddy vs. Jason, but she turned it down since the role wasn't a big role.

Remake Timeline

In the 2009 remake, Pamela appears in the beginning of the film played by Nana Visitor. In a similar manner to the first film, Pamela chases an unnamed female camp counselors and explains to the girl about Jason. Just before she is about to kill this counselor, she gets decapitated before doing so (minus the unrealistic hand movement after her beheading like in the original). A young Jason, revealed to have never really drowned after all, sees this and attempts to avenge his mother by grabbing his mother's machete and a locket that she had. Throughout the film, an adult Jason kidnaps a woman named Whitney Miller and keeps her as a prisoner, due to her bearing resemblance to Pamela.

Friday The 13th: The Game (2017)

Pamela Voorhees reappears in the 2017 Friday The 13th video game as its secondary antagonist (or deuteragonist, if looking at Jason's perspective), as her decapitated head in her son's shack and a voice in Jason's head, encouraging him to kill the counselors. There are tapes scattered around the game's locations that appear arbitrarily, which consist of Pamela being interviewed by the police about Jason's drowning at Camp Crystal Lake. The tapes reveal that Pamela had a discussion with Tommy Jarvis' father about her son's death, and that Elias Voorhees is not Jason's biological father in the game's continuity. An unknown man beat Pamela up, and raped her, impregnating her with Jason. Pamela never reported him to the police or saw him again, because she was only concerned about finding a way to take care of her son. Pamela married Elias for protection, but ironically, he instead abused Pamela and Jason. As a result, Pamela had murdered Elias, and claimed that she did so because Jason told her to kill him. In the last and twentieth cassette tape, the police decided that she was too psychologically unstable to say anything helpful, and eventually release her. Pamela furiously declares that Camp Crystal Lake "now has a death curse", moments before subsequently leaving the police station.

She returns in the game mode, Virtual Cabin 2.0, appearing as her severed head once again. To access the Virtual Cabin's updates, the player must enter "mother" as the password. To get one of the four badges needed to unlock the Jason display room, the player must use the telephone near the Cabin's entrance and call 1(555)342-9277. Pamela will angrily answer the phone, responding with "Who is this? Where is my boy?!" After getting all four badges to open the Jason display room, a bloody telephone inside the room will ring. When the player answers, Pamela will say "You can bring him back, you know. There's always a way." Pamela will then hang up, and the camera will rotate to reveal her head behind the player, as she laughs maniacally. If the player revisits the Cabin, they are required to change the computer's date to June 13, 1979, which was the date of Pamela's killing spree and death. After this, the telephone in the Jason display room will ring again. When the player picks up, Pamela will menacingly cackle, and tell the player "You should have been watching him." After Pamela hangs up, the player will be in a temporary hazy state, and several Jasons will be missing from their cases, with Part 3 Jason now roaming outside the cabin. To complete this phase of the Virtual Cabin 2.0, the player must collect three badges to unlock the gasoline needed to escape with the boat. One of these badges requires to put in the code "5312" to unlock a fridge outside the Cabin. Unlocking the fridge will reveal Pamela's head. The player must collect it and place it in Jason's shack, behind her sweater. Doing so will have a rock move to the right to reveal one of the badges on top of her sweater. There is also the possibility that Pamela Voorhees may be implemented as a playable killer in the game in the future, but the developers admit it would be difficult (but not impossible) to accomplish, and would require some more time and resources.

Pamela's Victims

  1. Elias Voorhees: Axed to death.
  2. Barry Jackson: Stabbed in the stomach with a machete (which would become her son's iconic weapon).
  3. Claudette Hayes: Neck slashed with machete.
  4. Annie Philips: Throat slit with a hunting knife.
  5. Ned Rubenstein: Throat slit off-camera.
  6. Jack Burrel: Arrow through neck from behind.
  7. Marcie Stanler: Axed in the head.
  8. Steve Christy: Killed off-camera.
  9. Brenda Jones: Shot with an arrow, thrown through a window, tied up with rope (all off-camera).
  10. Bill Brown: Throat slit and shot with 3 arrows.

Weapons used by Pamela

  1. Hunting Knife
  2. Arrows
  3. Rope
  4. Axe
  5. Window
  6. Machete
  7. Her son (her ghost sometimes motivates Jason Voorhees)





  • Betsy Palmer, due to her role as Mrs. Voorhees, made her even more famous. Originally, however, she starred in the original Friday the 13th because she needed a new car and called the script a "piece of shit". However in later years before her death in 2015, she was more respected in her role as the character.
  • Betsy Palmer was interviewed about the role in the documentaries, "His Name Was Jason" (2009) and "Return To Crystal Lake" (2003).
  • In 2004, Sideshow Collectibles released an 12" action figure of Pamela Voorhees. This highly detailed figure comes with an axe, her Bowie knife, a machete and a bow and arrow.
  • An action figure of Pamela Voorhees was also released in "NECA Friday The 13th 25th Anniversary Box Set", together with a Part II Jason figure.
  • Debbie Loomis from the film Scream 2 and Roy Burns from the film Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning share a few similarities to Pamela.
  • The floating head of Pamela Voorhees was a secondary boss in the 1980's NES video game of Friday The 13th. Her shrine is located deep within a series of caves, and defeating her yields her sweater, which will give the player some protection from Jason.
  • Betsy Palmer was asked to reprise her role as Pamela Voorhees for Freddy vs. Jason film but turned the part down after she read the script.
  • As a factual error in the original film, Pamela's hands can be seen clutching and making fists in the air. In reality, this would not happen as the brain is disconnected so no action such as this can be possible, and would instead result in twitching.
  • Pamela's first name was never revealed until the fourth film, where her grave is shown at one point in the movie.

See Also