The Black Lodge and White Lodge are extra-dimensional, connected places, the Black Lodge being a place of darkness and evil, while the White Lodge is a place of goodness. The lodges seem to be connected through the "Red Room" as seen by Agent Cooper in a dream, where he sees himself 25 years older sitting in a chair. The Native American policeman Deputy Hawk says that the Lodges are from the mythology of his people.
It appears that those who are submitting to the corrupting influence of the Black Lodge can at times briefly, and involuntarily, exhibit this influence to others through a bizarre appearance of a corpse-gray skin tone combined with rotted teeth. Leo Johnson witnesses this appearance when he sees Windom Earle arrive with a bag filled with spiders that he intends to torture Leo with, in which Windom's face has this appearance. Harold Smith also witnesses this appearance of Laura Palmer when she begins to behave aggressively towards him, saying the words "fire walk with me". Finally Leland also gets this appearance just before entering the Red Room. The distance a person is from the entrance circle physically seems to determine its effect on that person: the effect usually corrupts the person's soul, making those easily corruptible become malicious and twisted.
The secret society of the Bookhouse Boys pledges to aid each other against the undefined "evil that lurks in those woods", beginning before the murder of Teresa Banks and the investigation led by Cooper of Laura Palmer's murder and its many consequences and implications. This evil was eventually concluded to be the Black Lodge itself.
When the Giant gives clues to agent Cooper, including "The owls are not what they seem", the woods around Twin Peaks emitted this as a transmission. This transmission was revealed by Garland Briggs and that the next morning that transmission was followed with another communication saying "COOPER" several times.
- Main article: Glastonbury Grove
When Jupiter and Saturn meet, one entrance to the Lodges is located at Glastonbury Grove in the Ghostwood National Forest surrounding the town of Twin Peaks, its location is indicated by the petroglyph in the Owl Cave. It is a pool of a substance that smells like scorched engine oil, it is surrounded by a ring of twelve seemingly young sycamore trees. However, the age of the trees is unknown, as they were striplings of equal size when encountered by Dwayne Milford and Andrew Packard in 1927. In the final episode, The Log Lady in a rare coherent non-metaphoric statement made at the sheriff's station presents Dale with a jar of the same substance, claiming that her late husband (a logger who died in a fire) brought it with him one day from work and said it was used to create a portal between two worlds. This implies that it is a means of access to the Black Lodge; however, there was no apparent use or need for the substance when Dale found the portal and entered it, following Annie Blackburn, who had been abducted by Windom Earle.
Briggs knows from his abduction that love and fear open the entrance to respectively the White and the Black Lodge. When the above requirements are met and one approaches the pool in Glastonbury Grove, red curtains seem to materialize out of nowhere which leads into the Red Room.
When the gateway is breached with the near conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. With the gateway partially open, before Bob comes out,leading the way with his right hand, struggling to reach from his world into that of Twin Peaks. The right hands of Cooper, Pete and others shake before he manages to escape.
The ritual conducted by BOB and MIKE during the murder of Laura with 12 candles around a pile of dirt is of similar design.
Major Briggs, the Log Lady and Carl Rodd's experiences show that one can be "abducted" without being at the Lodge entrance. The Log Lady was in the woods when she disappeared and the Major and Cooper were camping in the woods at the time of his disappearance. The major's disappearance was accompanied by a flash of a white light, the sound of a giant owl and the “vague shape in the dark.” Major Briggs claims he was at the White Lodge, and there is no clear evidence of him affected by the Black Lodge, aside from just being near it. Upon his return in aviator uniform, he had almost complete amnesia of the events of the past two days but still could feel his memories, and that smells and sensations were palpable. In his own words "Everything is known to me, yet somehow beyond my reach."
When Briggs, the Log Lady, and Carl returned they had markings on their body. Briggs and Margaret's ones when combined reproduce the picture of the Owl Cave. These events tie all three disappearances to the Lodge.
When under the influence of Earle's haloperidol, Briggs says "Taht mug uoy ekil si gnimoc kcab ni elyts... Taht mug uoy ekil..." which is "That gum you like is coming back in style...that gum you like", backwards. Which further proves that Major Briggs visited a Lodge.
Other entrances Edit
It is probable, that there are entrances in other locations around the world. Before Phillip Jeffries' surprise appearance in the Philadelphia FBI offices, he is in the lobby of The Palm Deluxe hotel in Buenos Aires where Jeffries is staying. He boards an elevator and instead of getting off on the floor where his room is, he ends up in Philadelphia on February 15th, 1989 after having been missing, according to FBI records, for near two years. He states to have found something at Judy's, in Seattle, he then "followed" and saw a meeting. Jeffries mentions a ring. This meeting above a convenience store has an entrance for the spirits to reenter the Red Room. It can be theorized to have taken place in Buenos Aires since the hotel was the last place Jeffries was seen.
The doorway picture given by Mrs. Tremond to Laura also leads into the Red Room.
The Devil's Gate in Arroyo Secco is very similar to Glastonbury Grove. A Native American tribe called the Tongva lived near it and called it the Hell Gate while the Nez Perce were close to Glastonbury Grove. Douglas Milford felt the same animalistic fear in both places. Aleister Crowley states the Devil's Gate to be one of the planet's seven gateways to hell. After Jack Parsons tried to bring "The Moonchild" by performing one of Thelema's ritual the weekend just before the Roswell incident.
The Waiting Room EditThis area is accessible in dreams as experienced by Cooper and Laura who shared the same dream at different points in time.
After following Earle in the Lodge, Cooper meets the Man from Another Place who refers to the Red Room as the "waiting room", possibly a link between the two Lodges. Cooper is then given by the Waiter a cup of coffee which keeps changing state: liquid, then solid, then liquid again, and finally similar to the substance in the Glastonbury Grove pool, maybe showing time flowing normal, slower or still. Man From Another Place watches this event closely. The Man exclaims "Wow, Bob, Wow" when seeing Cooper's coffee turn into the scorched oil substance.
Only when the Man says "Fire walk with me" does the realm erupt into flames, and then descends into flickering blackness. This is arguably the moment at which Cooper has finally entered the Black Lodge.
White Lodge Edit
Briggs says that the key to gain entrance to the White Lodge is love.
Deputy Hawk describes the White Lodge as:
- "My people believe that the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature reside."
Windom Earle relates a past-tense story about the White Lodge which is replete with Edenic imagery, suggesting that the White Lodge belonged to a time now lost or forgotten.
- "Once upon a time, there was a place of great goodness, called the White Lodge. Gentle fawns gamboled there amidst happy, laughing spirits. The sounds of innocence and joy filled the air. And when it rained, it rained sweet nectar that infused one's heart with a desire to live life in truth and beauty. Generally speaking, a ghastly place, reeking of virtue's sour smell. Engorged with the whispered prayers of kneeling mothers, mewling newborns, and fools, young and old, compelled to do good without reason ... But, I am happy to point out that our story does not end in this wretched place of saccharine excess. For there's another place, its opposite:"
Earle then describes the Black Lodge in the present tense, perhaps indicating that it has replaced the White Lodge.
There are stories and clues that suggest the White Lodge exists or at least existed and one is Major Briggs who claims to have been there but doesn't remember more of it than seeing "a huge owl".
Black Lodge Edit
It has the appearance of the Red Room with flickering blackness.
Briggs says that the key to gain entrance to the Black Lodge is fear.
Deputy Hawk describes the Black Lodge as:
- "There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge. The shadow-self of the White Lodge. The legend says that every spirit must pass through there on the way to perfection. There, you will meet your own shadow self. My people call it 'The Dweller on the Threshold' [...] But it is said, if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul."
Windom Earle relates a past-tense story about the White Lodge which is replete with Edenic imagery, suggesting that the White Lodge belonged to a time now lost or forgotten. He then describes the Black Lodge in the present tense, perhaps indicating that it has replaced the White Lodge:
- "A place of almost unimaginable power, chock full of dark forces and vicious secrets. No prayers dare enter this frightful maw. The spirits there care not for good deeds or priestly invocations; they're as like to rip the flesh from your bone as greet you with a happy "good day." And if harnessed, these spirits in this hidden land of unmuffled screams and broken hearts would offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the Earth itself to his liking."
The Lodge's dynamics are difficult to describe. Time seems to have no meaning in this dimension and space is fractured between similar rooms linked by similar narrow corridors of red drapes. BOB is shown to rewind time to prevent Earle from stabbing Cooper, the reason being that Earle was overstepping his own rights in the lodge.
Someone in the Black Lodge can communicate with those that are not: When the good Cooper is trapped in the Lodge, The Man gives The Ring to Laura Palmer in her dream, although she was already dead when Cooper arrived. Earle mocks Major Briggs when he is inside the Black Lodge via Sarah Palmer.
An angel appears to Laura when she is in the Lodge with Cooper.
Inhabitants of the Lodge speak in a warped dialect of English and often speak in riddles and non-sequiturs.
- Main article: Doppelgangers
The presence of doppelgangers is possibly the most unsettling feature of the lodge. Doppelgangers are identical to their real-world counterparts, with the exception of glassy-colored eyes. Living and dead people and even The Man from Another Place are shown to also have a doppelganger. The full function and position of the doppelgangers in the Black Lodge is unknown, though there is a hierarchy implied for inhabitants of the Black Lodge: "inhabiting spirits," the strongest being BOB, and doppelgangers who are represented by The Man from Another Place's one. They probably are the shadow-selves or 'Dwellers on the Threshold' of those entering the Black Lodge that are mentioned by Hawk.
The following characters have a doppelganger:
- The Man from Another Place
- Laura Palmer
- Maddy Ferguson
- Caroline Powell Earle (also took the form of Annie)
- Dale Cooper
- Leland Palmer
- Main article: Garmonbozia
In the meeting seen by Jeffries, the Man from Another Place and BOB haggle for Garmonbozia. MIKE claims his Garmonbozia along with the Man from Another Place in the Black Lodge after Laura's murder, which is granted by BOB. Garmonbozia is a form of currency in the Black Lodge (Pain and Sorrow) and is manifested usually as creamed corn.
- Jupiter and Saturn could not actually meet at the periods depicted in the show, between 1900 and 2100 the great conjunction happened at these times:
- November 28, 1901, at 06:10:38
- September 14, 1921 at 16:22:08
- August 15, 1940 at 13:18:42
- October 11, 1940 at 23:17:26
- February 20, 1941 at 19:14:02
- February 18, 1961 at 14:42:37
- January 14, 1981 at 07:58:37
- February 19, 1981 at 07:12:10
- July 30, 1981, at 21:32:22
- May 31, 2000 at 10:13:27
- December 21, 2020 at 13:22:00
- November 5, 2040, at 13:19:46
- April 10, 2060 at 09:01:25
- March 15, 2080 at 08:29:24
- September 24, 2100 at 01:40:38
- The coffee given to Coop might be a test to see if he should go to the White or the Black Lodge since the Red Room transformed into the Black Lodge only after this event.
- The Lodge's language may be seen as parallel to some versions of shamanism, where the inhabitants of the otherworld may sometimes speak backward. It may also be seen as an attempt to represent a lack of language, as would be the case of a purely spiritual universal exchange — which is ultimately decoded by the receiver in a mostly familiar manner (in this case the English of the show's intended audience). This is supported by having the hard subtitles, which make a point that the language being heard is not English per se, thus justifying translation.
- The Black Lodge is, evidently, the source of every oddity and unnatural feature of some people in Twin Peaks (prophets, having super strength, etc.) and modifies social behavior, causing negative emotions and discord. Most people are unaware of this effect.
- It remains unclear whether the White and Black Lodges are disparate realms. One could interpret the White Lodge and Black Lodge as one and the same place — a possibility hinted at by the mirrored black and white tiling throughout the lodge. The notion that the two Lodges are "one and the same" is consistent with the themes of duality which characterize the Lodge, reflecting the concept of Yin and Yang.
- A common conception of the Black Lodge is that it is a realm of complete evil which has usurped, absorbed, or occupied its White counterpart with the possibility that the White Lodge has become the red waiting room of the Black Lodge (still enabling benevolent spirits and angels to manifest themselves there), or that the waiting room is a neutral location, and the action of the inhabitants therein determine procession to either the Black or White Lodge. This implies that in the Lynch-world there is a great myth of heaven, but heaven is either an old belief or a place of once great goodness swallowed by hell, and the only place that really exists and has influence over people is hell.
- All "suspected" inhabitants of the White Lodge appear eventually in the Black Lodge or The Waiting Room. Even The Giant and Waiter appear beside the Man from Another Place. All of the clues and so called "help" offered by the Man From Another Place, the Giant, Mrs. Tremond and her grandson which help to solve the murders only bring the main characters closer to discovering, and finally entering, the Black Lodge.
- An oft-recited chant from the series reads:
- Through the darkness of future past
- The magician longs to see
- One chants out between two worlds
- Fire walk with me
- The red curtains, zig zag floors and bright spotlights of the White and Black Lodges have also appeared in most of David Lynch's films before and after his work on Twin Peaks. It suggests that Lynch may view their influences as ongoing in his narrative worlds. Such movies include Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire.
Twin Peaks's score conductor Angelo Badalamenti later helped write a song of the same name on the 1993 Sound of White Noise album by Anthrax.