FORKS, Washington (AP) -- Pounding rain and heavy mist are constant in this timber town where logging's decline left a graveyard of rusting timber mills and unemployment. Businesses shut down. Parts of the local high school were condemned. Families started to drift away.
Michael Gurling, right, talks to visitors around a bonfire location on a beach in LaPush, Washington, that is significant in the "Twilight" story.
Until an unlikely cast of vampires breathed new life into the town.
"I fell in love with it," says 18-year-old Samantha Cogar, who dragged her grandparents on a 2,500 mile roadtrip to Forks from Louisville, Kentucky, earlier this summer. "I can't wait to go back."
Cogar is one of thousands of visitors who have flocked to Forks in response to "Twilight," the hottest series to hit shelves since "Harry Potter." Set in Forks, on the gritty edge of the Olympic Mountain Range, the books have captured the hearts of readers around the world.
In a town framed by towering Douglas fir, hemlock and spruce and the occasional western red cedar, where rough, blue collar edges are tangible, the unexpected attention seems to be a second chance for the economy. Inspired by a world of make-believe, "Twilight" fans are bringing the town back to life. rest of article