Q: Second Life – Why Would You Go There?
A: To immerse yourself in H.P. Lovecraft’s weird fiction on Halloween
Halloween is fast approaching and, as usual, Second Life is teeming with haunted houses, ghostly churchyards and scary rides. However, this year there is a site for the true connoisseur of horror, this is Innsmouth based upon the works of cosmic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The site was built by a group calling themselves the Nameless Ones; they have created an immersive world that will send a shiver down your spine, visit with a friend (for moral support and hand holding). If you opt to explore the digital space on your own, make sure you keep the lights on ‘keyboard-side’. After spending an hour exploring Innsmouth, I guarantee you will think twice before you raid the fridge at midnight.
From a distance, all looks well in the New England coastal town, but when you wander the streets, you can see it is doomed, left to decay in the relentless rain and fog. There are no people here, just the evidence that they left quickly and did not turn off the lights on the way out. Electricity flows, light spills from street lamps and the open doorways of abandoned houses. Fires burn in grates pathetically heating damp rooms slimy with mold and rotting wallpaper; plates of barely eaten (yet still fresh?) food can be seen on deserted tables. It is as though everyone fled just before you arrived. Perhaps you are the monster that frightened them all away? Perhaps they remain in hiding concealing their cursed half-life forms? Or perhaps, this is all an allegory for Second Life?
As you search for clues to the town’s demise you can hear things, creepy things, doors creaking open, disembodied footsteps passing close by, a radio playing somewhere, the voices of children playing hide and seek, a woman’s screams rising up from the sewers. Monstrous creations lurk all around; you may see one of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu from the planet Vhoorl rising from the sea, or a hideous frog-like Deep One (said to want to mate with humans so go easy on the perfume…) Sewers worm below ground leading to the lair of the Shoggoth, which lies beneath Innsmouth’s ultimate house of horrors. This house is surrounded by snow in a perpetual winter of evil, inside you will find evidence of ghastly experiments and who knows what bizarre relationship between humans and alien monsters?
Finally, if you are a hardened thrill seeker, and none of these things unnerve you by sinking a hook into your imagination, then you should head over to the crumbling movie theater and watch Nosferatu in its entirety. May you sleep well after your visit to Innsmouth…
For more pictures of Innsmouth visit the SL Innsmouth group page on Flickr
Slurl to Innsmouth in Second Life: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Innsmouth/13/243/12/