State Lunatic Hospital of Second Life – Ryder Asylum

by Alphaville Herald on 29/01/08 at 6:04 am

Beautifully horrific treatment center for both furry and human patients

by Kaos Usbourne, SL Adventurer

On a lonely windswept Massachusetts field where a number of Salem’s infamous witch trials were held stands what remains of Danvers State Hospital. Officially opening in 1878 as The State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers, the treatment facility for mentally inept and severely troubled members of humanity now faces the wrecking ball abandoned and alone since 1992.

Built of brick and mortar in a sweeping gothic style, the towering building, through the course of its tenure, bore witness to the extreme horrors patients suffered as the science of mental health was born, and came of age.

In the real world, the majority of the buildings at the site have been demolished – as if in a feeble attempt to erase the nightmares unleashed within those walls.

Pose balls at Ryder Asylum can be fatal — as this hapless explorer discovered.

However, on a lonely hillside in a Second Life sim known as Ryder Asylum, The abandoned institution has been preserved, frozen in a permanent state of crumbling decay and neglect as one of Second Life’s most intriguing builds. Danvers State Hospital, known in-world as Ryder Asylum, beckons to the hapless explorer unlucky enough to stumble onto the grounds. What follows is the story of one such visitor.

Personally, I’ll never know what possessed me to walk through the front doors of this abandoned, red brick lunatic hospital – insanity itself, probably — but this place is supposed to be empty, right?

At least that’s what I thought. There were no green dots on my mini map as I ventured up the hill to the main building.

Feeling like a thrill-seeking high school kid trespassing on abandoned property, I gave the front doors a nudge. They swung open.

I was greeted by a dusty reception desk – its dingy wood grain hinting at deep polish lost to decades of decay.

Judgement lurks in the bowels of the asylum’s labyrinthine subterranean passegways

The breaker box on the far wall showed no sign of recent use and the cool, dank, musty air betrayed the fact that this place had not spun an electric meter in years. Yet streaming eerily up from unknown depths came a sound not unlike music being played in reverse — my first indication that something here was not quite right.

Following the sound of the strange music, I located a dilapidated wood staircase that led into the dank depths below, and up toward what must surely be the resident rooms… rooms where untold horrors were inflicted on patients who lacked the mental capacity to understand why things were the way they were.

Curiosity as to the source of the sound took me down. The creaking of the stairs was nearly drowned by the increasing volume of the music when I reached the basement, and looked around. One word came to mind – creepy.

A dark archway yawned before me…

It turned out to be a long, descending tunnel down which I discovered evidence that this place had recently been occupied by furries. Now, thoroughly creeped out, I retreated to the couch and crate-strewn basement. I passed through a massive steel pressure hatch into a room where dried, spattered blood was all that remained of a struggle that obviously ended badly for someone.

Suddenly, a green dot appeared behind me on my mini map. I whirled around, and with my heart thudding in my throat, I backpedaled over chairs, boxes and poseballs, instinctively putting space between me and the terror that had apparated before me.

Judgement had come to me in the bowels of the Ryder Asylum and it now hovered menacingly between me and the only exit, the blast-proof hatch which the thing now pulled closed.

I was certain I was going to die. A balloon above the creature identified it as Azmodius Udal.

I said the first word that came to mind…


“Yes?” it answered.

“What are you?” I typed with quivering fingers.

“Judgement,” it said, confirming my worst fears.

I whimpered. It hovered.

“Why did you close the door?” I asked.

“Because it was open.” It said.

Groan… I was certain my death was imminent.

“Are you here looking for souls to harvest? Furries to flay?” I asked, still trembling…

“I was bored,” it answered. Then said somewhat derisively. “And I don’t flay furries. I am a furry.”

Before my eyes, Azmodius transformed itself from a specter of terror to a harmless-looking two-legged version of a collie dog. A furry.

“So, is this a furry place?” I asked.

“Not by design I don’t think,” said Azmodius. “But it is a place where Equino Faulkland and his friends hang out.”

Azmodius explained that Equino Faulkland is the brainchild and principal builder behind Ryder Asylum and its accompanying sims. He told me that I needed to talk to him.

That was my cue to get out – so I did. Screw the door. I used TP.


Master builder Equino Faulkland stands near the front entrance of the main building at Ryder Asylum

I caught up with Equino a couple days later.

Equino is an imposing equine furry with sharp, studded leather wrist bands, and a courteous demeanor.

He said he had always wanted to do an epic build in Second Life and was inspired by a friend to look into Danvers State Hospital. Equino did some internet research and was impressed with the grandeur of the RL site. He committed himself to replicating the place, complete with water tower, underground catacombs and generator station. Judging by the result, Equino is a master SL builder and the sim, Ryder Asylum is certainly worth a look. Nearly every building is connected via tunnel (if you can find them).

Equino is reluctant to take full credit for the build however. He said his staff was responsible for decorating and finalizing the interior, which is beautifully horrific. And more than one surprise awaits the intrepid explorer. One can spend hours here and never see it all. I will not go into deeper description of the site. You will have to see it for yourself.

One of these staff members dropped in (literally) on my interview with Ryder Administrator Equino Faulkland.

This is how I met Professor Maffi Lu, a furry resembling a skunk is, according to Equino, the caretaker of the Ryder asylum. He is also responsible for most of the detailing of the interior.

Maffi gained the title of professor through role play at the asylum and told me that other staff members during the spontaneous role play that breaks out include nurses, orderlies, doctors and patients.

But Maffi’s main responsibility is taking care of the rentals.

Yes, you can live at Ryder Asylum and have your very-own The Shining/One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest fantasies.

These aren’t just any normal apartment rentals. They are all massive, some are two-levels high, and they start at just 300L a week with a 195 prim allowance. The non-furry residents prefer the west wing, according to Maffi, but the hospital building houses both types of tenants.

There is a large house on the grounds, which is also available for rent, and a chapel that would make a perfect setting for the ultimate lunacy of an SL wedding.

Some have said that the asylum is a treatment center for those humans who keep hallucinating that they see furries running around.

Others will tell you it is a place for furries who can’t seem to stop seeing human forms lurking in the shadows.

Whatever. Ryder Asylum is certainly a do-not-miss build in the crazy world of Second Life.

Ryder Asylum is located at

20 Responses to “State Lunatic Hospital of Second Life – Ryder Asylum”

  1. wendell holmer

    Jan 29th, 2008

    Well told and engaging.

  2. Effsey Nelson

    Jan 29th, 2008

    Equino’s builds lag and crash my computer

  3. MoxZ

    Jan 29th, 2008

    Perhaps this build was reported by other blogs over a year ago, but I haven’t run across them. Yeesh! What a jerk!

    Thank you for an engaging and well written article of the Ryder Asylum in SL Kaos. I’ll definately be visiting!

  4. Frontier Linden

    Jan 29th, 2008

    The Asylum is AWESOME! it was an amazing build and has taken an extremely long time to complete, thanks for sharing this awesome article with us!

  5. BraadWorst Barth

    Jan 29th, 2008

    its a awsome place to be, and to look around.
    and not to forget to take a look around in the rest of the ryder sims :3

  6. Kaos Usbourne

    Jan 29th, 2008

    Thanks for the comments… In defense of Equino’s builds, I have experienced no lag and have never suffered a crash while visiting any of his sims. Lag and crashing in SL is more a product of personal computer hardware than of anyone’s build style.

  7. Jaggo Austinmer

    Jan 29th, 2008

    this sim is friendly for members of the african american community

  8. Fartgina Emert

    Jan 29th, 2008

    i love the asylum, and lots of mountain dew they hand out :3

  9. That Bad Staggerlee

    Jan 29th, 2008


  10. DaveOner

    Jan 29th, 2008

    You know, RP places like this would be so much better if there weren’t any furries. Just humans or animals that had to act like animals. Maybe a robot if it fit the storyline and played the part correctly.

    It’s not that I have anything against the kinds of people that tend to be furries or fit their stereotypes. However, having a bunch of avatars with all manner of detail to add to their character gets ruined when a purple cartoon wolf walks in on its hind legs. I’m reminded of Crimson Falls.

    I dunno. I guess I’ve always found RP with a strict story, reality and/or set of guidelines to be a lot more interesting and fun than “yeah, you can be a cowboy, he can be a biker and I’ll be a rabbit!” It reminds me of when I was a kid and we had to figure out a way to make Barbies fit with Transformers because my friend’s little sister wanted to play.

    It’s a bad ass build, though!

  11. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Jan 29th, 2008

    “It reminds me of when I was a kid and we had to figure out a way to make Barbies fit with Transformers because my friend’s little sister wanted to play.”

    I laughed hard at this.

    We’ve all been there.

  12. alexia

    Jan 29th, 2008

    all me and my friends got there was attacked and griefed by those furrys they hate humans

  13. Azmodius Udal

    Jan 30th, 2008

    *Chuckles* Kaos made me sound so serious. Im not a harbinger of death, really. :P

  14. Andromeda Leigh

    Jan 30th, 2008

    Amazing. very interesting! I will be sure to check it out as soon as I get home.

  15. Starshine Sparkle

    Jan 30th, 2008

    Go ask Alice.

  16. RoFLKOPTr

    Jan 31st, 2008

    Ummm……… stories are not journalism……… this is the Second Life “Herald”…….. “Herald” usually means newspaper…….. Also, was that a true story? If so, you should try walking out your front door. You would find many adventures such as that one, except with some REAL danger…….

    btw, it would have been a good story had you written it as taking place on Earth, and not in SL:

    “Suddenly, a green dot appeared behind me on my mini map.”

    ^^That ruins the entire thing…^^

  17. Left Leninist

    Feb 1st, 2008

    Which room is Prokofy’s?

  18. anon

    Feb 4th, 2008

    A doom house?
    A DOOM house?

  19. Kaos Usbourne

    Feb 7th, 2008

    Thanks for all the comments… even the anonymous ones like RoFLKOPTr… whoever that is… He said such nice things but spinelessly hid behind anonymity…..
    Anyway… here’s a little lesson on Journalism… It also consists of documentary essays and opinion pieces…
    And a little bit about me?? I live my RL outside in the face of adventure every day… check my prof…
    Oh yeah…. the article was about SL, not RL, so the context was in SL… Imagination dork, imagination… lol
    thx for the comments. :)

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