Lord of the Rings Online’s Haunted Burrow — still one of my favorite MMO Halloween instances — is nothing if not loud. Yet tucked away toward the back is a doorway to a mystery room which is quite different than the rest of the haunted house.
For one thing, it’s nearly silent. For another, it trades the deliberately designed run-down look of the rest of the burrow for cozy Hobbit quarters. After navigating a short but weirdly twisty hallway, guests find themselves in a living room of a sort that has a lot of the early housing furniture. It’s also notable for having three chests that can be opened hourly for free fall festival tokens and decor. In fact, this one room makes Harvestmath the easiest festival to farm for completely lazy people (like myself).
Yet even if there weren’t the chests, I would still be captivated by this room. It’s almost magical in contrast to the showy, juvenile rooms of the rest of the Haunted Borrow — a peaceful sanctuary that has no lore, no NPCs, and no explanation attached. The other door in the place kicks you right inside of Bilbo’s home, which is far ABOVE the Haunted Burrow.
I’ve often wondered if there is supposed to be a story or an actual mystery behind this room. Is this actually haunted, whereas the rest of the burrow is for show? Maybe it’s where Bilbo went to escape some especially intrusive relatives.
Every year, I silently cheer when the Burrow returns, because I know that my character is going to spend a few weeks hanging out in the mystery room. It’s a bit of a respite between adventures and a nice way to build up enough tokens to the latest outfit.