After a Year Hiatus, One of L.A.’s Scariest Theater Experiences Is Returning

Sure, summer just started—but that just means Halloween is closer

After a year-long hiatus, Delusion—the fully immersive, highly interactive play that sells out every Halloween—returns with a sixth chapter. Delusion: The Blue Blade will admit just eight guests at a time, all of whom must work together to track down a rogue professor and a stolen mystical artifact. Tickets go on sale next week for dates in September through December, and interested parties would be wise to snag them fast.

Delusion first emerged around Halloween of 2011 to critical acclaim, quickly becoming a bellwether of L.A.’s rapidly growing immersive theater and haunt scenes. Creator Jon Braver has worked as both a Hollywood stuntman and a film and theater director, and it shows. Monsters crawl on the ceiling, vampires fly through the air, horrifying creatures drop down behind you when you least expect it. Previous chapters have been set in sprawling old mansions, meticulously styled to look like something pulled from 19th century gothic horror novels.

Delusion is also a play in which audience members become part of the story. One might find they need to solve a puzzle or complete a task, or they might be pulled away from their group into one-on-one scenes with actors. For instance, in 2016’s vampire play Delusion: His Crimson Queen, I was asked to retrieve wooden stakes from a closet. After all, if you’re going to kill vampires, you need a lot of wooden stakes. However, I was intercepted by a vampire who shut me in a coffin, then dragged the coffin into another room where he flailed about, lecturing me on family and bloodlines. Later our group had to use a mirror and a silver serving tray to reflect a beam of sunlight down a dark hallway, ensuring safe passage from the undead.

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After taking a year off to work with Skybound Entertainment (The Walking Dead, Gone) on a virtual reality adaptation of its 2014 show, Lies Within, Delusion returns this fall with a brand new chapter in its macabre universe. Blue Blade, however, is a departure from Delusion’s usual fare in that it’s not so much a horror show nor does it rely on a Victorian aesthetic.

“Die-hard Delusion fans won’t be disappointed; it’s still a Delusion show,” Braver assures. “But [Blue Blade] is a different tone and time period.”

Several time periods, in fact. In Blue Blade, guests have been hired by a group of historians known as the Safeguard Society to track down Professor Evelyn Lowell. Once a member of the society herself, the turncoat has since made off with the eponymous Blue Blade, a powerful and magical object through which time travel is possible. It’s definitely one of those things you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Though the story begins in 2018, guests will have to move backwards in time as they track Lowell and the artifact. Braver said he took inspiration from films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner, and Time Bandits during the 11 months he took to write the sci-fi adventure.

The setting and genre aren’t the only changes. Instead of taking over a house, Blue Blade will pop up in a Mid-City commercial space with a bar and lounge area where guests will begin their journey. Those of legal drinking age can visit a cash bar before embarking on their quest. What space this is, exactly, will remain a secret until tickets are purchased, but Braver said people might have been there before. He called it “a landmark,” but that’s all he’d divulge.

Blue Blade is also Delusion’s most intimate show yet, with only eight audience members at a time as opposed to 10. It’ll be the most physical and interactive show, too. Guests may have to crawl, climb, or even slide their way through, Braver said.

“You’re moving through time, but there are lots of ways to do that,” he said, enigmatically.

Delusion: Blue Blade will take place in a secret location in Mid-City, September 20 through December 16. Tickets are $95 and are available online at starting June 25 at 10 a.m. for Delusion subscribers, and June 26 for the general public. If you’d like to become a subscriber, enter your email address online here.

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