Own ‘The Hunger Games’’ District 12! (Or, Just Visit It)
North Carolina’s Henry River Mill Village, aka District 12 in The Hunger Games, is up for sale!… Or, y’know, you can just visit it on a Hunger Games tour.
It happened with The Lord of the Rings… it happened with Twilight… and now it’s happened with The Hunger Games: Fans are flocking to the shooting locations of the hit film. I suppose it was inevitably; after all, New Zealand has become famous for its Lord of the Rings tours, and even though Twilight wasn’t even SHOT in Forks Washington, the crowds have continued to come (does anyone else feel bad for the town’s inhabitants?). For The Hunger Games, North Carolina is the destination, with the state playing home to the locations used for District 12, the Capitol, and (of course) the arena.
Naturally, the tourism industry is cashing in on the craze. According to the Associated Press, North Carolina’s Division of Tourism has designed a four-day self-guided tour for Hunger Games fans which includes stops at the Henry River Mill Village, e.g., District 12; DuPonte Recreational Forest, where the arena scenes were filmed; the town of Shelby, where the reaping scenes took place; and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Knight Theater in Charlotte, where the interview scenes with Cesar Flickerman were shot.
Feeling a little more daring? A company called Hunger Games Fan Tours runs day and weekend trips to waterfalls and other outdoor spots in Transylvania County. At some locations, actors reenact some of the scenes shot there; participants chow down on food described in the books; and you’ll also learn survival skills like archery, camouflage, fire-building, how to use a slingshot, and how to walk quietly in the forest so you won’t alert every Tribute in the area to your presence. The day tour costs $79, while the weekend trip (which includes an overnight stay and a nighttime zip line tour) prices in at $389.
However, in the event that simply visiting isn’t enough for you, guess what? You can now buy District 12! All of it! Is that crazy or what?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Henry River Mill Village—yes, the entire village—is up for sale. Used as Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson) home, the village once boasted a textile mill; although the mill burned down in 1977, there are still over 20 buildings remaining over the town’s 72 acres, including the company store. It’s private property, though that’s not stopping it from looking like a ghost town—or stopping the fans from descending upon it. Subsequently, its owner, 83-year-old Wade Shepherd, has put the village on the market for $1.4 million.
$1.4 million? That’s… actually a lot cheaper than most celeb real estate is. I mean, it’s still not CHEAP… but it’s cheapER. Iiiiiinteresting.
Furthermore, in addition to its secret life as District 12, the Henry River Mill Village has a pretty incredible backstory all its own. The mill opened in 1905 and produced fine yarn. The village was designed around it as a planned community with company stores, walkways, and green spaces. But in 1966, a sheriff was shot and killed in the village by a mill worker; and by the time Shepherd bought the town three years after the mill closed, the town was basically in a riot state 24-7.
Also, there’s a shotgun hole in the Coca-Cola sign in front of the company store. As Wade Shepherd said, “This is better than the movie, isn’t it?”
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.