|“||It's so beautiful in the day, but at night it just feels menacing, like a sleeping giant.||”|
Blackwood Mountain, colloquially known as Mount Washington, is a large fictional mountain located on the Alberta side of the Canadian Rockies in Canada.
The events of Until Dawn take place on Blackwood Mountain.
The mountain itself houses a mining system, the Washington family estate which includes the Washington Lodge and guest cabin, and the Blackwood Sanatorium. The mountain is under the protection of the Park Ranger Service of Blackwood County.
The mountain is home to a variety of different species of wildlife. There is a mountain river that forms a waterfall and a stream near the bottom. The mountain is heavily wooded and is rich with mining resources.
There are also quite a few hazardous spots on the mountain which includes a maze of subterranean caverns, craggy cliffs, and dangerous wildlife. While being colossal in size, the mountain's elevation is low enough to not be covered in snow year around.
The only reliable access to the mountain is by the use of a cable car that connects it to the nearby Mount Madahee.
|“||Something about that mountain seems to breed tragic events.||”|
The mountain was once part of the lands belonging to the Cree tribe. They believed in living in harmony with the mountain by not disturbing its wildlife. They also believed that butterflies of different colors would bring premonitions involving those around it. Eventually, the mountain became sacred to them, and thus they did not hunt on its slopes as that would be bad luck.
Tin and radium were discovered inside the mountain which lead to a mining boom as prospectors closed in on the area from afar. A mine was established, owned, and operated by Jefferson Bragg, the same man who would preside over the asylum established years later. Eventually, the Cree left the mountain due to colonial westward expansion and the havoc the miners were causing. They also claimed that the mining had disturbed or disrupted the mountain and that "it cried out", which released the spirits of The Wendigos, including Makkapitew.
In 1922, the Blackwood Pines Sanatorium was established.
In 1952, due to poor maintenance, a catastrophic structural collapse occurred trapping thirty miners inside the mines without any food and light. They managed to stay alive by drinking from an underground spring, however, without anything to eat for twenty-four days, they were driven mad by their appetites with twelve of them resorting to killing and cannibalizing the other miners.
The remaining twelve miners were rescued and admitted to the Sanatorium for treatment. A cover-up operation was orchestrated by Bragg in order to ensure that he was not held responsible for the accident. This was done by keeping the survivors at the Sanatorium as patients due to "post-traumatic stress," sending telegrams warning reporters to stay away, as well as guards assaulting investigative reporters and smashing their cameras when they were caught on the Asylum grounds.
The survivors were closely monitored by staff and were shocked to find that the survivors weren't in the conditions that they expected them to be in. Within twelve days survivors were becoming aggressive, displaying a substantial increase in strength, assaulting other patients and staff, teeth and fingernails sharpening and expanding, and their skin growing tougher. The staff then locked the survivors individually in cells behind heavy metal doors.
On February 24, a feral miner released himself from confinement in a chair and climbed up the wall and attacked and killed a nurse as she walked in. Chaos and order within the Asylum collapsed as the eleven other miners burst from their cells and began slaughtering the staff and patients throughout the Asylum. Jefferson Bragg barricaded himself in a hidden room in his office and listened to the sound of people screaming as they were eaten alive by creatures that used to be miners.
The property on the mountain was soon acquired by American movie mogul Bob Washington and his wife Melinda with the intent of using the mountain as a vacation spot for their growing family. They started this process by demolishing the hotel and firing its staff in order to begin the construction of a multistory chalet-style mansion. They encountered problems with the stranger, who warned them against pursuing their project as the land was sacred to his forefathers.
The family visited the mountain often during summer and winter vacations. The Washington children would host winter getaways with their friends annually. It was on the morning of 2 February, during the vacation in 2014 that Hannah would fall victim to a prank that would lead to the disappearance of her and her younger sister.
1-2 February 2015
A year after the tragedy, Josh invited all of the friends back to his family home in hopes to move on from the events before. However, the night turned deadly as the friends fall victim to the miners that turned into Wendigos, and attempt to survive the night, until rescue comes in the morning.
Locations on the mountain include:
- Washington Estate - The extensive property of houses and outbuildings owned by the Washington Family.
- Cable Car Station - The mountain's main source of ingress and egress.
- Blackwood Pines Hotel - An old hotel that closed its doors in the nineties. The former structure still sits on the mountain.
- Blackwood Sanatorium - An old insane asylum located on a ridge adjacent to but distinct from the Washington Estate.
- North West Mines - A labyrinth of caverns and tunnels located in the heart of the mountain.
- Clifftop - A steep rock face and major lookout point stretching out over Blackwood mountain.
- Fire Tower - A Park Ranger Service outpost and radio transmitter.
- Strangers have been repeatedly caught trespassing on the mountain, prompting the Washington's to set up a large security gate as well as locking the cable car station.
- Blackwood Mountain and Blackwood Pines may be named for the writer and broadcaster Algernon Blackwood, who wrote the short story "The Wendigo" in 1910.