Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, is a character in the television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991), created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. The character makes semi-regular appearances in both seasons, and is played by Catherine E. Coulson, who also very briefly reprised the role for a single scene in the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
The Log Lady is a fixture in the town of Twin Peaks by the time of Laura Palmer’s murder, and most residents in the town regard her as crazy. This is mainly due to her habit of always carrying a small log in her arms, with which she seems to share a psychic connection, often dispensing advice and visions of clairvoyance which she claims come from the log; prior to the murder, she delivers moving and cryptic warnings to Laura Palmer herself. The Log Lady does not interpret the messages transmitted by the log, but instead functions as a medium for the information it conveys.
In attempting to solve Laura’s murder, Dale Cooper often makes use of the Log Lady’s apparent ability to communicate, through the log, with a possibly supernatural realm. Cooper gradually loses his access to this realm as the series progresses, and the Log Lady becomes a less central figure. The Log Lady provides Cooper with at least one useful tip, but the character, and her log, ultimately prove to be at least somewhat nonsensical.
When the series was syndicated to Bravo, Lynch created new Log Lady introductions for each episode. They range in length from under a minute to about three minutes.