Entertainment & Arts

Video: Interactive horror play ‘Delusion’ puts a twist on Halloween haunts

A glimpse into “Delusion,” an interactive haunted house play in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.

It’s about that time of the year again for Halloween haunts, mazes and scares. One of the more unusual of the bunch is Jon Braver’s “Delusion,” an interactive horror play set in a 108-year-old historic manor in the West Adams district. 

“Delusion: Lies Within” tells the story of Elena Fitzgerald, a female author who is trapped inside her own home by the characters she has written about in previous years. Elena believes that if she continues writing, she will reunite with her deceased daughter, Mary. The audience must find clues in order to find Mary and free Elena from her own creation. While doing so, the audience interacts with the characters and plays an important role in advancing the story.




A previous version of this post credited only Jon Braver as the writer of “Delusion: Lies Within.” Braver and Peter Cameron co-wrote the play. 


“People shouldn’t expect a haunted house experience or simply to be scared,” Braver said. “There is great depth to this story. It is all about the story ... and the audience. Many have returned more than once and gotten something new out of it each time.”

Braver is the play’s co-writer along with Peter Cameron, as well as its director and creator. Braver’s main gig is as a stuntman and he has appeared in movies like “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” He has had a love of films like “The Shining” and “Aliens” and always wondered what it would be like to be “inside one of these experiences.” But he never really liked haunted houses because they didn’t affect the psyche as much as he wanted.


“I really love creating something that allows people to escape for a time into a place we never get to go back to: our imagination-filled, childlike days,” Braver added. “I am a hopeless adult. I want to be a kid again so badly, and this brings me and others back.”

Each live performance involves groups of 10 entering the 50-minute interactive horror play every 15 minutes. The audience is asked to leave behind all personal belongings except for wallets, turn off cellphones and wear comfortable clothing and shoes, given that they are expected to run, crawl and climb stairs during the experience. Tickets are $60, and participants must be 17 years and older.

This will mark “Delusion’s” fourth year in production. It has sold more than 5,500 tickets this year, Braver said, and currently runs through Nov. 2 but is likely to be extended.

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