Derceto Manor is the location of the first Alone in the Dark game.
Derceto Manor was built around 1818 by a man named Elijah Pickford, who was known as "an adventurer of the worst kind, nouveau riche and bloated with a grotesque sense of self-importance". The house was built in secrecy, as Pickford was constructing beneath the house an intricate system of tunnels.
Pickford was in reality the pirate Ezechiel Pregzt, who had been captain of the ship "Astarte" nearly one century before. Pregzt retired from his life of crime with a massive treasure of riches 'greater than purest gold'. Also acquainted with the occult, Pregzt used the power of the Necronomicon to achieve immortality.
In 1862, Derceto Manor burned to the ground when Union troops travelled there to restock. Pregzt, as a southerner, accepted them into his home but tricked them into a false sense of security. In the night, he attempted to poison the Commanding Officer and ambushed the troops with his otherworldly powers. J.W. Norton, the captain, overcame Pregzt and shot him. The union troops rallied and lit the mansion. They escaped as Pregzt burned to death. Norton's account makes note of the slaves of the estate leaping into the fire to rescue their master. Whether they did so of their own free will or under the influence of Pregzt's magic are unknown. At this point, Pregzt's soul transferred into the tree and he became immobilized; a fact he detested.
The land was abandoned when rumors that the area was haunted with dark powers and spirits spread. In 1875, Howard Hartwood bought the remains of Derceto and rebuilt the Manor according to its original plans. His intention was to find the treasure Pregzt collected in his pirate days, believing it was hidden in the huge cave connected to Pickford's tunnels. It is implied from H. Hartwood's notes that he knew that Pickford was Pregzt's alias.
With the mansion restored, Pregzt retook power and haunted the house, trapping people within, in hopes of being able to possess a body. Jeremy Hartwood, Howard's son and Emily's uncle, took his own life to avoid such a horrible fate. Afterwards, Pregzt set about trying to entrap and possess either of the protagonists of the first game. When Pregzt was finally destroyed in 1923, the house ceased to be haunted.
- Antechamber #1
- Antechamber #2
- Cthonian Tunnels
- Dark Maze
- Deep One Chamber
- Pregzt's Tomb
- Underground Bridge
- Underground Caverns
- Underground Piers
- Underground Pillars
- Underground Pool
- Auxiliary Corridor
- Dining Room
- Drawing Room
- Forest Room
- Jeremy's Study
- Smoking Room
- Guest Room #1
- Guest Room #2
- Guest Room #3
- Living Room
- Ritual Chamber
List of known Inhabitants
- Ezechiel Pregzt (aka Eliah Pickford)
- Howard Hartwood
- Jeremy Hartwood
Alone in the Dark 2
According to the Mystery Examiner attached to Alone in the Dark 2 , Derceto was subsequently bought by the famous architect Frank Stride, who went there to live with his father, long considered mistakenly dead. Later reference is made to the disappearance of a local woman, Jezebel Ebenzer, in the swamps surrounding the area. However, the article contains a chronological error, reporting that the events in Derceto that saw Edward Carnby as the protagonist took place three years earlier, that is, in 1921.
- Derceto, in mythology, was a Syrian fertility goddess who took the form of a mermaid. Another name for Derceto was Astarte, which was the name of Ezechiel Pregzt's ship.
- The mythological Derceto is pronounced with a hard "c" sound; despite this the voice actors and actresses in-game pronounce it with a soft one.
- The Loft, all 3 floors and Pregzt's Lair, along with player tasks he had to fulfill to progress, game logic, and quest items, were all laid out during a single 3-day meeting.
- A famous feature of Alone in the Dark is the ability to avoid the first encounter with a zombie by blocking the hatch from which it exits, in the attic, by pushing the trunk containing the gun on it . However, it will also be blocked by placing a simple stool on it.
- Many elements of Derceto are reinterpreted and expanded in Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare , the name itself is mentioned in the character of Judas De Certo , whose surname is an anagram of Derceto.
- The name of the villa is repeatedly mentioned in the 2008 title Alone in the Dark and in Illumination .
- The geographical location of Derceto is not entirely clear. Some game documents indicate it is located in Louisiana, however others (including the Mystery Examiner) claim it is in Florida.