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Fantasy game inventor creates real haunted house again in 2006

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Photo: Richard Garriott Photo: Inside Richard Garriott's home

Over the last 20 years Austinite Richard Garriott, otherwise known as Lord British, has drawn International attention for his online game Ultima. But many Austinites know him better for the castle or haunted house where he makes his home.

"My gaming life and my real life are very related to each other," Garriott said.

Photo: Britannia ManorGarriott's castle -- Britannia Manor -- is complete with secret passageways, a dungeon and an observatory. Garriott also collects skulls, skeletons and relics from the past that he keeps locked away in his dungeon.

"If you think of the fantasy role playing games that I make those are kind of virtual adventures -- flights of fantasy," Garriott said. "So if you look at my home this castlesque environment is very akin to the fantasy that I build in my games."

Over the years, Garriott has added on to his castle and added pieces outside the castle. He now has a three horse carrousel and a dock that when you step in a certain place a cast-iron alligator squirts water at you.

Photo: Richard GarriottIn the past Garriott set up his home -- that is filled with secret surprises -- as a haunted house that was open to the public. But he hasn't done so since 1995. Since then a new castle has been under construction with even more tricks and secret passageways.

"In all the years of running haunted houses I have never had anything stolen or vandalized," Garriott said. "I think that's a testimony to the quality of people in this town."

In 2006 Garriott plans to create another tradition of haunted houses in his new castle.

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The piece on Richard Garriott was produced by Domenique Bellavia.

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