So, this afternoon, in my sickness induced nap time, I started thinking back to last year this time and immediately thought of this completely wicked setup in Second Life I played through for Halloween. It was so creepy, even a year later I’m still thinking about it. I was hoping the one for this year would be set up by now, but alas, it is not yet.
I did check out a preview for it in the Best of SL magazine. Looks bad ass btw. (Go here and jump to page 132 for the very well-written article. It actually has some great advice that could be put to use for writing as well!)
I wanted to share the story from last year’s build with you at any rate. I was looking over the notecard just a bit ago and thought it might be good for inspiration if you’re looking for something to write about for this year’s NaNoWriMo and are writing horror. Here is the history of St. Jude’s Academy…
“St Jude’s sits still and desolate as it has for the last 25 years. In all, 6 students were found dead. Their young bodies so severely disfigured as to be almost unrecognizable, their lungs filled with liquid, the horrors they must have seen before their eyes were…before their hands were…
I won’t tell you everything here visitor. You will find out for yourself the disgusting and true story of Albert Manning, head of maintenance for St Jude’s Academy, convicted child murderer. As is always the case, it was a total shock to discover he was directly involved in the abduction and death of several students. As mutilated bodies began turning up in the nearby bay, it was certainly not the mild-mannered, sweet old man that suspicions turned to.
In total, 6 children were killed…each of their pages in the book must be discovered to complete the tale. Be wary visitor. This school has been empty a long time and some say it’s walls hold all the horrors those children couldn’t take.
Your reward will be the TRUTH and hopefully your sanity.”
That was just the introduction. There were several more notecards along the way, with more details and spine-tingling story within.
I wish I had kept the rest of the story notecards, as it was truly an immersive experience. It was very much along the lines of a 1st person RPG game, only with sweet prizes throughout the game and the motherload at the end. As for the end, well, the short version is that after you walk through what appeared to be the bowels of some demonic entity (this is after exploring the really creepy abandoned girls’ school), you ended up in the padded cell where the murderer wrote his final confession. Yes, it turned out that as his wife lay dying, an ancient book describing a rite that could save her found its way into his life. It was really love that drove him to mutilate and steal the souls of those unfortunate 6 teenage girls.
I think it was the scattered pages of diary through the build with pictures of said victims with their eyes and hands scratched out alongside the description of their sweetest qualities that really haunted me for awhile though. Yes, they were just pictures of avatars. It was just the fact that someone’s mind was twisted enough to create such horribly beautiful artwork (and artwork it was!) alongside such a gruesome story that made me question humanity in general.
I know a lot of you folks that I chat with on the regular via twitter write horror, so I cannot encourage you enough to go check out this year’s Halloween build when it opens. If it’s half as good as last year’s I’ll be thinking about it until next Halloween for sure.