Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Eternal Life Of 'Twilight' In Forks, Washington

Part of a series about monsters and other scary things happening here through Halloween.

On the same road trip where I photographed Roswell and Area 51, I also spent a couple days in Forks, Washington, the setting of the Twilight series. Forks is a small town, about 3,500 people, and the chief industry is timber. Along the main road that runs through town every few vehicles that passes will include a truck carrying freshly cut trees from logging areas. One day, I went on a ride-along with one of those truckers who showed me where they did some of the logging. It was funny to talk to the loggers about what they thought of Twilight phenomenon. Their thoughts seemed mainly to be, it's silly, but it's good business for the town, especially important as the timber industry has suffered in the past years.

The town was definitely sleepy. One main grocery store, a few motels, and some shops. Before Meyer's fans started coming, most visitors were, I gathered, sports fishermen. The folks I met in the tourist center were excited to show off the Twilight side of Forks. It was there I learned that the movies weren't filmed in the town, but mostly in Oregon. But even if the town doesn't appear in the movies, Forks still offers tours that take you past a truck like Bella would have driven, a house like Bella would have lived in, the high school, where the vampire/werewolf treaty would have happened, etc. etc. Here's what I saw of Twilight and its vampires in this little logging town.

Previously in series: Portrait Of A Witch

Roger Kisby is an editorial and portrait photographer who lives in Brooklyn. You can see more photos at his Tumblr and on Instagram. You can also follow him on twitter.

17 Comments / Post A Comment

It's funny that this town is so similar to Roswell (and many other small towns with a kernel of fame), wringing dollar it can out of the one thing it has going for it.

wringing every dollar*

baked bean (#235,363)

I think I would be really pissed if I were a native resident of Forks. Like if Twilight were set in my hometown, I would be really annoyed by all the tourists coming in. I would probably dislike Twilight more.

Laura@twitter (#238,960)

@baked bean Actually, there's a documentary called "Twilight in Forks" that talks about how Forks was really economically suffering pre-Twilight and how the tourist trade pretty much saved it. Unexpected consequence of shitty book and its author picking a random town off a map for a setting having major consequences.

fb574920322 (#235,476)

@Laura@twitter The people I talked to were either super excited about it like the ladies who worked at the Tourist Center or laughed it off but were ok with it like the truck drivers and loggers. I'm curious what the level of Twilight tourism will be a year after the last movie is out.

Poubelle (#214,283)

@fb574920322 When I visited Forks back in '08 (town picked by a family member who wanted to see the rainforest without camping and had no idea about sparkly vampires' popularity), a woman I talked to at the tourist center admitted that Twilight had a limited shelf life, but the town was going to make use of the popularity while it lasted.

Great pictures. Dazzled By Twilight and a few other locations are featured in the bizarre gimmick documentary "Twilight In Forks," which is honestly worth watching (while drunk) if anyone has further interest. There's a scene where a father describes reconnecting with his daughter and then sort of overtaking her enthusiasm for the franchise which is utterly horrifying.

riotnrrd (#840)

It's true: the Hunger Games is better.

City_Dater (#2,500)


Yet I'm guessing a theme park built around that plotline would be a lot less popular with teens. Or at least non-sociopath teens.

@City_Dater I say we should design a test-model anyway, for science.

mc cool_friend (#235,733)

@City_Dater non-sociopath teens? Is that like jumbo shrimp or dry rain?

Or is it more like bad joke? Lol, I knew it was when I typed it but for some reason I really wanted to. I am actually kinda funny usually

I thought part of the reason the vampires located to Forks is because it's supposed to be dismal and grim so they don't sparkle too much? (Correct me if this is wrong, it's all hearsay.) This Forks looks sunny and cheerful!

(Also: Twilight Troopers, hell-lo!)

fb574920322 (#235,476)

@Charismatic Megafauna While I was there everyone kept telling me how lucky I was the weather was so nice.

Pandemic Endemic (#3,825)

@Charismatic Megafauna There was an unusually long dry spell in Forks/Western WA this summer.

The sky over Forks is usually the color of a fresh bruise and the logging trucks have their headlights turned on all day.

smooth elbows (#238,963)

Much of the movies are filmed in and around Vancouver, BC, and I am embarrassed to say that I sought out the filming, and visited Bella's house.

Oh man. We went to Forks this summer because there's an amazing beach down the road aways and camped in a national park for a few days. I feel so sorry for the people of this town, especially the service workers. The woman who made me an Americano said it never ended. Never.

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