Pomona’s ‘Delusion’ experience transforms Phillips Mansion into a house of terror – Daily News

Esther Phillips lives alone in a stunning mansion surrounded by keepsakes tied to spirits that just can’t let go. This haunting season, she’s inviting guests into her home for the first time ever to help her explore her latest artifact — one that seems more strongly tied to the spirit world than the rest.

While the Phillips Mansion in Pomona is real, this story isn’t.

“Delusion: Reaper’s Remorse” is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based writer, director and television and film stuntman Jon Braver. He’s written a script for his annual “Delusion” horror-themed interactive theater event and there are plenty of roles for guests to willingly or unwillingly take on within his twisted play.

Since 2011, he’s developed a series of terrifying tales that have played out in eerie old churches, historic mansions and abandoned theaters in the L.A. area each fall. Groups of 10-12 people mingle with the actors inside the hour-long experience and are asked to work together or solo to perform certain tasks to further the storyline.

“There’s really nothing like it anywhere – because you really do feel like you’re inside of a horror movie or inside of some other fantastical world,” Braver said during a recent phone interview.

While there are elements of a standard walk-thru haunted house and escape rooms incorporated into the experience and it is scripted, at its core, Braver insists, it’s very much live theater and anything can happen.

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“You could be captured within your group and go on a little side adventure,” he said. “That allows for a lot of replayability and it has that campfire effect where after the show everybody kind of gathers around in a circle and they’re like, ‘Where did you go?’ ‘What did you do?’ ‘What happened over there?’ So it’s so much fun to kind of reconnect even afterwards with people.”

How involved does one really need to get to be a part of the “Delusion” experience? Braver said there are several layers to the story that provide participation levels for both the meek and the bold.

“You can still be passive in the experience and get swallowed into the story while not having to do as many things,” he added. “With all the ‘Delusion’ events, the more you participate the better time you’ll have and the more you’ll fall down the rabbit hole.”

This experience is a physical one as the play element makes situations fluid, so guests are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and shoes that won’t impede movement. There will be stair climbing, lurking in the bushes and possibly some crawling involved. They’ll also experience light physical touch, tight spaces, strobe effects and unexpected loud noises. “Delusion: Reaper’s Remorse” is not recommended for those under the age of 12, and in compliance with current county COVID-19 guidelines, guests must wear face masks at all times indoors.


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