Virtually nothing is known about the character, making him one of few mysteries surrounding Jason in the series. The nature of Elias is much debated among fans largely due to what little information is given in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, which is the first installment to touch upon the character in any way. Though the scenes involving and mentioning Elias were edited out of the theatrical cut (but preserved in the novelization) it nevertheless is, to date, the most information given on the character.
According to Tom McLoughlin's treatment, the red haired Elias is depicted as being silent, but quite intimidating. The caretaker of Jason's grave makes sure not to touch Elias' hand when taking his payment and is careful not to look into his eyes. There is a general belief that Elias is quite aware of what Jason is. This evidence stems from the fact that Elias paid for burials of Jason and Pamela rather than a cremation, which would have prevented Jason's resurrection. Additionally, at the end of the film and novel, Elias is seemingly aware of the fact that Jason's body is no longer in his grave (in the deleted scene, he peers into the camera; in the novel, he looks in the direction of the lake where he was left defeated in the film).
The reason for abandoning his family also remains unknown and left up to fan speculation, but the closest thing to an answer is given in and with the writer of the first film, Victor Miller. When he was asked about the background of the father, Miller says that there was no time allowed for a proper back-story when they made the film, including that of Jason's father. The only idea Miller had was that Mr. Voorhees simply ran off at least in part because he could not handle Mrs. Voorhees' slightly unbalanced obsession with their child. Miller's wording does not make it clear if it was due to how Jason came out, though it is of note that Miller did not envision Jason with deformities. However, as this is only Miller's admitted assumption, the issue of discrepancies is moot.
Because the information regarding Elias does not derive from what made it to film, its canonicity is unknown. However, the ninth film Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday does briefly mention Elias as the father of Jason, securing the name, at least, as canon. Elias himself is present in an early screenplay of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday written by Dean Lorrey, which portrays him as the film's main antagonist and Jason's brother, instead of his father. The films director, Adam Marcus, has stated that the version of Elias present in this early screenplay is "far more evil than Jason".
In the Jason vs. Leatherface comic miniseries by Topps Comics, Elias (never referred to by name and seen only in flashbacks caused by Jason witnessing Hitchiker's abuse of his brother Leatherface) is depicted as stereotypical "white trash" and is highly abusive towards a young Jason, beating him and calling him a freak and monster; Elias is killed by his wife, Doris (a renamed Pamela) with a machete while trying to beat Jason once again.
Elias is mentioned in the novel Jason X: Death Moon by Black Flame. Here, Elias is described as being little more than a hillbilly, whose great-great-great-grandfather Jebediah Voorhees was a warlock who lived in Salem, Massachusetts and possessed the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. In the year 1667 on Samhain, the townsfolk living near Jebediah, believing him to be responsible for the disappearance of several local girls, burned his mansion to the ground with him inside, though after the fire no body was ever found. After Jebediah was supposedly killed the Necronomicon was passed down to Elias, who uncovered it one day while searching for kindling. After accidentally using the Necronomicon to summon a demon, which proceeded to possess the then unborn Jason, Elias attempted to use the book to become a warlock himself, with minimal success. The authenticity of this story remains in doubt, as the character who tells the story admits that "that's just one version of what happened".
A version of Elias similar to the one presented in Jason vs. Leatherface, both in appearance and demeanor, appears in the two-issue comic miniseries Friday the 13th: Pamela's Tale by Wildstorm. Here, Elias is shown to be a worker in a mine and abusive towards Pamela. After a particularly brutal beating (and possible sexual assault) at Elias's hands, Pamela, driven by a voice she believes to be the unborn Jason, murders Elias with an axe blow to the head before entering a manic state and proceeding to hack his body to pieces. Afterwards, Pamela disposes of Elias's remains by dumping them in Crystal Lake, after blowing up the trailer the two of them lived in using gasoline.