Residents of the small town of Forks, Washington is being invaded by vampires. No, not real ones - these vampires are far worse: they're teenage fans of the movie Twilight!
The logging town has been transformed, says Mike Gurling of the Forks Chamber of Commerce. "Two years ago we did not have a cash register or credit card terminal. Now our sales of anything that says 'Forks' have increased dramatically." A literary symposium was held last month in Forks high school, including - unusually for a symposium - "an actual, real Prom". Chris Cook, editor of the local paper and author of guide book Twilight Territory, says the school's principal was mobbed at a Seattle airport when a teenage fan spotted his Forks Spartan jacket and started yelling, "He's from Forks, he's from Forks!" The fervour is such, Cook says, that a local evangelist, Hallelujah Bill, has started preaching to fans about the dangers of becoming cult followers of the books.
While some don't like the attention Twilight has brought, others are enjoying the kudos. Cook says that "traditionally, Forks has been considered by Seattle folks as the sticks, the home of loggers and simple rural ways. Now it's a bit of a status symbol."