Alan Wake Wiki

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Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki
This page is about the fictional town of Bright Falls. For the promotional miniseries, see Bright Falls mini-series.

Quote1 This would make a wonderful setting for a book. Quote2
― Alice Wake, Episode 1: Nightmare

Bright Falls, Washington is a fictional town in the U.S. state of Washington, serving as the primary setting of the Alan Wake franchise. The town was built as a small mining community to support the workers of the mine in 1878. It later developed into a tourist attraction due to the popularity of Elderwood National Park, Cauldron Lake, and the annual Deerfest.

Dating back to its indigenous origins, the bottom of Cauldron Lake serves as a threshold to another dimension called the Dark Place. Within this world is the Dark Presence - a nightmarish entity wanting to be unleashed upon the world. The lake itself is a place of power that allows the art created there to shape reality. The Dark Presence has since manipulated the artists of Bright Falls to do its bidding. The Darkness has also possessed various people, animals, and objects in the area - known as the "Taken".

In 1970, Finnish filmmaker Thomas Zane temporarily stopped the Dark Presence. During the 1970s, the Anderson Brothers of the rock band Old Gods of Asgard also fought the Darkness. In 2010, writer Alan Wake arrived in Bright Falls with his wife Alice and awoke the Dark Presence. Due to this occurrence, Bright Falls was then monitored by the Federal Bureau of Control. The Dark Presence invaded again in 2023, with Alan Wake having returned and fought against it using his writing to shape reality.


Native American tribes have inhabited the area near modern-day Bright Falls for thousands of years. It is not recorded when Bright Falls was first founded as a nameless 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 a place to stay. 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 a hotel and ran it as a joint operation with his partner, Amos Gunderson, a Tacoma pioneer. The two of them shared the proceeds and erected a monument in their own honor within the town park. Through their combined efforts, the two men expanded Bright Falls into a more permanent and thriving area.

Bright Falls is located 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 in an effort 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, with it 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 in an attempt to harness the forces of the Dark Place. Additionally, as a result of the many strange events that transpire around Bright Falls, a neighborhood watch group was formed by some of the local residents and police officers to protect the community from these phenomenon. The code word "Night Springs" was used during emergencies, a reference to the popular anthology TV series which Bright Falls is jokingly considered to be the inspiration for.

In 2010, writer Alan Wake and his wife Alice came to Bright Falls on vacation, and the Dark Presence (still wearing Barbara's skin) kidnapped Alice, holding her for ransom to force Alan to write it into reality. Alan was able to circumvent 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 seemingly destroy the Dark Presence. In the process, however, Alan was trapped in the Dark Place.


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.

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