Bright Falls

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The town of Bright Falls in Washington was built as a small mining town near Cauldron Lake to support the workers of a nearby mine. It soon developed into a tourist attraction due to the popularity of the Elderwood National Park.

In 2010, renowned writer Alan Wake came here with his wife Alice for a vacation away from his recently troubled life back home.

An unexplained Dark Presence surrounds the town of Bright Falls. Many bizarre events have occurred in and around Bright Falls due to the Dark Presence.

Bright Falls is the setting for both the Bright Falls mini-series and Alan Wake video game.

A beautiful place for a book.

Alice Wake

History

Native American tribes have inhabited the area near modern-day Bright Falls for thousands of years. There is no record when Bright Falls became an anonymous trading post, but its first real significance came when the Bright Falls Coal Mine opened nearby in 1878. The company turned the small trading post into a town with its own money to provide the miners with entertainment and lodging. Shortly afterward, it was turned into a “real town” when Hubert Biltmore, a Washington fur trapper, came to the mining settlement. He opened a post office, saloon, and hotel and ran it as a joint operation with Amos Gunderson, a Tacoma pioneer. The two of them shared the proceeds and erected a monument in their honor within the town park. Through their combined efforts, the two men expanded Bright Falls into a more permanent and thriving area.

Bright Falls location is near Cauldron Lake, the fourth-deepest lake on Earth, located in a volcanic caldera. At the bottom of Cauldron Lake is a worn place in reality that leads to the Dark Place, an alternate dimension of thought and imagination. As a result, artistic works created near Cauldron Lake can come true; however, alien beings from within the Dark Place may attempt to take control of these writings to invade the real world. In 1970, poet Thomas Zane came to Bright Falls and wrote stories and poems alongside his lover Barbara Jagger and assistant Emil Hartman. However, after Jagger drowned, Hartman convinced Zane to write her back to life. The Dark Presence, an entity from the Dark Place, used Zane’s writing to come to life and possessed Barbara’s body. Zane was able to banish the Dark Presence by writing himself out of reality, causing a volcanic earthquake in the process.

In 1976, musicians Tor and Odin Anderson (Old Gods of Asgard) were also involved with the Dark Presence, using their music to attempt to come to life. The Andersons were also able to banish the Dark Presence. Over the years, Hartman began to gather artists at his clinic in the Cauldron Lake Lodge to harness the forces of the Dark Place. As a result of the strange events in Bright Falls, correspondence was made between residents and police officers to investigate this phenomena. The code word “Night Springs” was used, referring to the popular anthology series that Bright Falls jokingly inspired.

In 2010, writer Alan Wake and his wife Alice came to Bright Falls on vacation, and the Dark Presence (wearing Barbara’s skin) kidnapped Alice, using her as a ransom to force Alan to write it into reality. Alan could defeat the Presence’s influence by writing Thomas Zane into the story, who helped Alan escape. Alan then fought his way through Bright Falls and eventually reached the Clicker, a magical device Zane had written into reality to help Alan defeat the Dark Presence. Alan then dove back into Cauldron Lake and used the Clicker to destroy the Dark Presence seemingly. In the process, however, Alan was trapped in the Dark Place.

Deerfest

Every year, Bright Falls celebrates an event from September 15-18 known as Deerfest. The festival exists in competition with the neighboring town of Watery’s Moosefest. In the Bright Falls church, one of Deerfest traditions is having lit candles every night in September until the end of Deerfest.

Notable Locations

  • Bright Falls Book Store
  • Bright Falls Coal Mine Museum
  • Bright Falls Church
  • Bright Falls Fire Station
  • Bright Falls Sheriff Station
  • Cauldron Lake
  • Cauldron Lake Lodge
  • Elderwood National Park
  • Bright Falls Light & Power
  • Oh Deer Diner
  • Stucky’s Gas Station
  • Mountain Air Motel

Known Residents

  • Sheriff Stephen Deming
  • Anderson Brothers
  • Barbara Jagger
  • Thomas Zane
  • Cynthia Weaver
  • Sheriff Sarah Breaker
  • Rusty
  • Rose Marigold
  • Carl Stucky
  • Ben Mott
  • Emil Hartman
  • Nurse Birch
  • Deputy Mulligan
  • Pat Maine
  • Nurse Sinclair
  • Walter Snyder
  • Deputy Grant
  • Deputy Thornton
  • Deputy Andy
  • Maurice Horton
  • Toby
  • Max
  • Tom Eagen
  • Doctor Nelson
  • Danny
  • Paul Randolph
  • Emerson
  • Wendy Desole
  • Walter Snyder

About the author

Nelson

I am passionate about creating unique social communities.

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By Nelson

Nelson

I am passionate about creating unique social communities.

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