From Oregon Coast Beach Connection's sister site, TravelParanormal.com
Taking A Vampire Weekend Vacation
(Forks, Washington) – The latest interesting trend in paranormal tourism is visiting film sites where vampire flicks or series were made – especially in the Pacific Northwest. Fans of the “Twilight” books and film have been inundating parts of Oregon and Washington in the last two years, and California sites where “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its spinoff “Angel” have been hot in the past, with still a sizable devoted following.
It’s become huge business for some. The rainy Washington village of Forks – along Washington Olympic Peninsula – has become a smoldering area for vampire tourists in their early teens.
The Forks Chamber of Commerce reported some 16,000 people drifted through its visitor center this past July. The whole phenomenon seems to be picking up steam, as more than 18,000 people visited the town in 2008, mostly with the purpose of gawking at places talked about in the books.
One news article pointed out people are actually asking the visitor center if it’s safe to go camping with the area’s “vampire problem.”
For an earlier generation, “Buffy” and “Angel” set the standard for vampiric shenanigans however, and those sites are still heavily listed on the Internet.
Torrence High in LA served as the high school setting in the first three seasons (before getting blown up)
According to E-Bay, a large mass of places in the LA area served to chill the blood of viewers in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Among them include:
Walt Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch (near Placerita Canyon Road) in Santa Clarita
The Santa Ana Zoo
The San Pedro docks served as Sunnydale’s waterfront
LA’s Exposition Park
Stoner Recreation Center in LA
Angel’s Gate Recreation Center at Gaffey and 37th Street in San Pedro
The Church of the Angels at 1100 Avenue 64 in Pasadena
The ice rink called Iceland at 8041 Jackson Street, Paramount.
“Angel” used Willow Street a few times as well as the 6th Street Bridge
For fans of Twilight books, Forks is often the center of the universe. Movie set locations are also popular destinations, which are around the Portland area, Columbia Gorge and the town of Saint Helens.
While little was actually filmed in Forks, the visitor center has a red truck with the license plate “Bella” on it, where taking photos of yourself and the truck is encouraged. It’s actually not the one used in the movie, but it is a decent facsimile.
Places like the high school, the cop shop/city hall, a couple of homes and the outfitters store have been mentioned in the book and are visitor hotspots. The Forks Hospital has a sign in the parking lot designating a spot for “Dr. Cullen,” a character in the book.
A B&B in Forks was used in the film, but like the private homes, is not open to the public to simply walk in and photograph.
Near Forks, La Push has become a hotspot for Twilight tourists, located off Highway 110, about 15 miles west of Forks. The beaches here are also the setting for many moments in the book.
The Twilight film crew had intended on using Forks as a set location, but Oregon’s state government offered too many enticing incentives to pass up. Because of that, the Portland area and the nearby Gorge are experiencing a decent burst of this movie brand of paranormal tourism.
Oregon City, just outside Portland, was the setting for a field trip to a greenhouse in the movie.
The Viewpoint Inn in Corbett, in the Gorge, is now famous for the prom scene in the flick. They’ve actually held a kind of vampire prom there this year.
Madison High School served as the school in the movie, and spectacular Multnomah Falls was used for some shots.
In keeping with the whole rainy vibe of the flick, the north Oregon coast was used for a surfing scene. Ecola State Park’s atmospheric Indian Beach featured numerous locals in the background as extras, many of them actual surfers.
The spot is also incredibly famous for its use in the final segment of the cult classic “Goonies” in the 80’s. A rock offshore with a big hole in it is now called “Goonies Rock” because of its appearance on celluloid.
Saint Helens was given the Hollywood treatment in numerous scenes.
Look for the murals of Olde Towne Saint Helens near Bella’s big rescue scene, where you can actually park your rig on the spot. Angel’s Hair Salon on 1st Street played a department store, and the director’s chair is purportedly still there.
An old house in town portrayed the café where Edward and Bella have dinner, and another home off a dirt road was Charlie’s residence in the flick.