I have never understood why Halloween activities have to end on October 31st. Halloween is glorious. It has spawned an entire season of inherently-good delights. An excuse to wear costumes. Candy. Cozy-not-bulky clothing. Pumpkin everything.
And so much effort goes into Halloween events open to the public that it is a shame October coincides with a tidal wave of busyness for most people. Midterms need to be prepared for, flu shots need to be booked, and for some reason, it seems like 90% of professional conferences across industries happen in October. Oh, it is also college reunion season and “cute fall wedding” season, especially now that Labor Day weddings are a fool’s errand due to climate change-induced fires.
Luckily, while you may have lifted your head from your piles of work and decisions to make only to realize that hayrides and Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights have passed you by, the very best event in Southern California for Halloween is still going strong. DELUSION, an immersive indoor/outdoor haunted house/mystery/theater experience is still scaring and inebriating people in the community of Pomona, California.
Before you start hemming over the distance, know that DELUSION is held in a real mansion, repurposed and filled with costumed actors and a bar. Some of the actors drive long distances to get to their creepy gig, which has VIP and regular ticket options .
(The following is based on the 2021 experience, Reaper’s Remorse. Now I just have remorse that I didn’t know about the versions of the play that happened over the last decade every Halloween)
You begin in the elegant mansion where you are escorted into a room with a group (10 people, and you can’t have your phone), and the mystery of the mansion is explained. You make your way through the house and may end up in tiny passageways, outside in a graveyard with spooky shocks, or in the SECOND house in the rear. Be ready to be touched or asked to help or solve something! Wear comfortable shoes and something warm–maybe something that you can run in….and a rain jacket. I was definitely on my hands and knees at some point getting through one of the houses.
I don’t want to give away too much, but DELUSION was thrilling and satisfying, and the story line changes every year.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Tickets are here, run by a new Santa Monica ticketing agency called TIXR. Ticket prices range from 90-$120 and the show runs from Thursday-Sunday through Nov. 20, 2022. The Philips Mansion is located at 2640 Pomona Blvd, Pomona, CA 91768 Parking is easy and free.
Again, no phones, and they had food trucks outside and people stayed after to mill about and chat about the spooky experience.
IMPROVEMENT: Pomona is far, I wish they would set up some kind of carpool app. Also, Mr. Braver, please add a media gallery with actual JPEGs to your site !
What VIP gets you:
HELL’S HOLLOW, VIP EXPERIENCE
- Access to the secluded 2nd Floor offers a truly psychedelic experience. The featured dark maze of Hell’s Hollow captures the mind of those passing through.
- The intimate Dark Arts Private Bar offers themed drinks, 70’s cult movies adorn the walls, and the only resident of the mansion, an eccentric magician and researcher, bends reality and offers hints as to the source of the darkness that has fallen over Miss Phillips Estate.
13th Floor Entertainment Group
Assistant Stage Manager
Specialty Prop Fabrication
Sound Design & Engineering
Lighting & Sound
Hell’s Hollow Dark Maze Design