In my restless dreams . . .

August 7, 2007

At Brookhaven in the Maria costume I made

I love horror.

Horror movies, horror books, old radio horror . . . I love it all. Some people are surprised by this, given my personality, but there is a part of me that craves being scared . . . and then sleeping with the lights on 🙂

My favorite type of horror is atmospheric horror. The type of horror that disturbs you long after the credits roll or you turn the final page. The type of horror that doesn’t rely on quick, cheap scares to get a reaction. The type of horror that requires years of therapy to overcome.

OK, that last one might be a little extreme 🙂

The best horror I have ever experienced actually may be a series of video games. I am speaking of Silent Hill. For those of you who saw the movie and are saying “WTF?” right now, believe me, the games are much, much, MUCH better than the movie.

Some people have attempted to bring some of the horror of Silent Hill into Second Life, and I’ve entered each build enthusiastically, hoping to get a taste of my beloved series of video games in my beloved virtual world.

Sadly, none have delivered.

Each build gets certain things right. Generally, they do a decent job of capturing part of the look, though I don’t think any have really been spot on. They copy parts of certain games. The hole from Silent Hill 4. The motel from Silent Hill 1. The bloody television from Silent Hill 2. Yet none seem to capture the sense of dread that permeates the games.

Perhaps it is not possible to capture the feel of Silent Hill in SL. For one, the darkness in the games isn’t something that can really be replicated in SL. Even with the sun switched to midnight, nothing is hidden by patches of shadow. It’s obviously much scarier to be forced to rely on a single flashlight while exploring.

The problem is, there *are* resources available that I don’t think are used as they should be. One thing that Silent Hill has taught me is that sound is a huge factor in horror, yet I haven’t seen this used effectively. Also, it *is* possible to create monsters that go after avies, as I learned one time when standing on a pentagram and having several zombies rez and chase me.

Anyway, I’m starting to give up on Silent Hill builds in SL. So my question is, does anyone know of any builds in SL that are actually scary? Do I have to create my own horror build once I return? 🙂


  1. Hmmm… I was at a haunted house once (I’ll look for the LM later) that had its moments, but wasn’t amazing. It would be great to find somewhere that really managed to unnerve me…

    I’m like you; my favorite horror-film watching ritual is late at night, alone. I want to be freaking out on the way down the hall to bed.

  2. Ooooo I love the horror movies, but not the slasher films. Hmm I was the only one in my family that watched them, so often I would be up alone when I was growing up.. hmm but that actually is kind of exciting too.
    I love the books where you are reading late at night and you can’t stop in the disturbing part hehe.. not sure if I could sleep then.. so you end up staying up real late reading.

    I have not explored SL for horror sims. Though if you do make your own sim, an idea for darkness, not sure if it would work.. put a black cube in the room, make it have a phantom.. then change the transparency by script.. you could control the darkness.. maybe every step a av takes closer to the center of the room, it gets darker till it is pitch black…

    If you ever make a sim, look me up, I will have plenty of ideas for you and I can help with the scripting… though my skills are still raw.

  3. Alex: Cool, I’d like to know about the haunted house. So far, I’ve only had one scare in SL, when a group of zombies rezzed and started chasing me.

    As for watching horror films alone, I have to be careful in my choice of movies for that. I do too good of a job of freaking myself out after watching something really scary 🙂

    Ginseng: I actually like some of the slasher films (like 80s slashers), since many of them are more humorous than scary. I can’t handle torture films, though. Just thinking of them . . . blech!

    The idea about the black phantom cube is interesting. I wonder if it would interfere with camming at all. I may have to scrap my idea for a V-for-Vendetta-like build and do a horror one instead. And I’d love help with scripting, since I’ve never done it :/

  4. i love horror too and i have to agree not many scary sims in sl, i think you should build one yourself and i would be glad to help you build buildings and such ^^

    the things that freaks me out are zombie movies, i know they arent real but they scare the hell out of me, i’m so scared of them that after watching a movie or reading story about them i get all paranoid and start making escape plans if there ever was an invasion XD people think i’m crazy sometimes cause i really get paranoid over it all

  5. Zombie movies really scared me when I was younger. No reasoning with them 🙂

    And I think it would be awesome to get your help on a horror build. I’d love to get a whole sim to work with. That will depend on my eventual job, though (assuming that someone *finally* decides to hire me).

  6. Chloe by the time you will start building a horror sim I am sure my scripting skills will be more complex. I can just imagine all the cool things that could be scripted in such a sim.

  7. Well, Chloe, i think some Mainland sims are really scary with all those rotating signs, lag generators, etc.
    Now seriously, i’m a big fan of Silent Hill too, and i agree the SH buildings in SL are not great. The good part in one of the SH places is fog, and the motel is interesting.
    As you said building Silent Hill in SL is really difficult, specially because sound and light effects, you can build the school of SH1 or the hospital of SH2 but to give the general atmosphere of the game is almost impossible, maybe Windlight will help.

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