Please note that for Hallowe'en the British Gothic Literature Classroom is also a haunted house. Please feel free to visit and try to win the prizes.

Educational aims and content

Exterior of the Gothic Literature ClassroomGothic literature, particularly in Britain has a long and quite amazing history. It is commonly accepted as starting in 1764 with the publication of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, making it almost 250 years old, and some 8 years older than the USA as an independent country.

As a genre it includes obvious stories, such as Frankenstein and Dracula, and obscure and still very disturbing stories such as The Monk. This class has space for this and more.

This is one of the few projects I have worked on recently where the actual building is not one of my own construction. The castle was created by Nevera Stooge, but provides such a wonderful setting for the genre it is hard to imagine not using it.

Gothic literature lends itself wonderfully to the haunted house theme. We have dressed the house for this Halloween. This includes all the fog, red smoke, the skull doors and various ghosts, witches, cauldrons and the like, as well as various sound effects to add to the atmosphere. The photos are taken by daylight, simply because photos taken at night rarely work well. It is much more atmospheric to explore the castle at midnight though, and thoroughly recommended.


Technical notes

Frankenstein's machineThere is relatively little of significant impact here of a technical note. Although there is a lot of material present, none of it was hard to implement. The red smoke and the fog, as well as various apparitions are particles, and there are various sound effects and notecard givers. If you are not used to sound in SL it is worth noting that sound clips which can be played in world must be less than 10 seconds long. There are ways to try and queue sounds, but they are hardly reliable.

As we changed over to the haunted house theme one other thing came up. The haunted house is noisy - howling wolves, creaking doors, diabolical laughter, clanking chains. Whilst our neighbours are supportive of our work, getting the land owner to set 'restrict spacialised sound' so we didn't drive them mad was a good move!


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