Last year I had a lot of fun exploring the various Halloween themed resident builds and I thought this year it would be fun to don the GingerDead avies and take some pics of what I found. I have to say that so far this October is kicking last year's ass. Maybe, it's the use of lighting we have now. Perhaps, people were motivated by last year's work to do better. Whatever the reason, this year Second Life offers some fantastic places to get into the Samhain groove.
The first place I headed to was Sleepy Hollow, home of the Grim babies. What an incredible job they did here. The theme revolves around the abandoned orphanage and has lots of Grim baby shopping opportunities, but even if you aren't in the market for one it is worth going to see the way they are presented. For example, there are a number set up in what looks like church pews in a spooky schoolhouse setting. Each baby is totally unique and usually pretty humorous. The work that goes in to these things is really something to be seen. Think twisted cabbage patch dolls in prim form. :)
The shopping at Sleepy Hollow doesn't stop there. This is by far the best Halloween marketplace I have ever come across. It was so impressive I weasled my way into a spot there to offer some NT costumes and avatars from my webcomic. I just wanted to be part of it in some way and Grim Misfit was kind enough to set aside a little spot for me. Whether you want costumes, decorations or party supplies you are sure to be pleased with the fabulous choices by some of the most incredible designers. In addition to individual items, I was amazed to find kits that include things like apple bobbing, jack-o-lantern carving and spooky story telling. You can easily transform your club or home with one stop at Sleepy Hollow.
Not interested in shopping? Sleepy Hollow is still more than worth a visit due to the fabulous Haunted House. Most attempts at haunted houses in SL are rather lame, but this one actually works. There is a definite theme and story going on and the custom sounds and textures really keep the feel consistent and make for a great spooky adventure. In addition, I understand they are running Trivia games there some evenings as well. This sim goes poof as of November 1st, so don't wait.
Next stop: Octoberville! I loved Octoberville last year. It had a nice haunted house and some small shops and charming Autumn woods complete with bales of hay surrounding a lovely little fire. This year the woods remain the same but the rest of it is bigger and better. Master Kaos explains the area is ten times larger and wishes for residents to simply come and enjoy his creation.
There is something about Octoberville that really triggers memories of Halloween in the suburbs of New York state where I grew up. The streets are lined in trees of fiery autumn golds and oranges. There are corn fields, pumpkins, caramel apples and a hay ride. I have not made it to the haunted house yet because I was too enchanted by the train ride. I have never been on anything like it in SL. It's a nice long ride through the sim and castle with some "bumps" along the way. I highly recommend it. If all that weren't enough there is a scavenger hunt. When you teleport in you receive a free tee and a notecard with all the info you will need. Joining the group gives you a fun 'trick or treater' tag that I couldn't resist. I will most certainly be back to check out the haunted house and ride the train again.
Kudos to all the residents involved in these two fabulous Halloween builds. Everyone should set some time aside to see Sleepy Hollow and Octoberville. As I sweat through October in the balmy Southern USA, it is nice to know I can connect with the energies of this holiday and season in the metaverse any time I please. :D