Covington, Georgia is a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta with a big reputation in the film industry. Billing itself as the camera-ready “Hollywood of the South,” Covington has starred in several films and television shows, including the popular CW show The Vampire Diaries.
We begin our investigation into television tourism with the Vampire Stalkers Tour, a Vampire Diaries-themed tour guided by Angie at Mystic Falls Tours. Stopping for lunch at the Mystic Grill, we see first-hand how The Vampire Diaries has changed the town. At first, the Mystic Grill was only a façade created outside of an accountant’s office for the television show, but the real-world building behind the façade now houses a fully operational restaurant and goes by the name of the fictional Mystic Falls eatery. The story behind the Mystic Grill underlines the slippery relationship between reality and fiction when a television show takes over a small town.
In addition to learning about vampires, we question why one might choose to set a vampire show in the South anyway, specifically exploring the significance of the characters' Civil War experiences. We also consider the economic and material impact of television shows that film in southern locations.
We would like to thank our special guest, Molly McGehee. Additionally, we owe enormous thanks to Angie at and our fellow vampire stalkers at Mystic Falls Tours. We would also like to thank Ben at the fictional Lockwood Mansion, and everyone who works to create The Vampire Diaries in Covington, Georgia.
Live from Instagram, #thevampirediaries: