‘Delusion’ Creator Talks Mixing Horror And Immersive Theater

A ghostly apparition appears in "Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares" at The Phillips Mansion in Pomona, Calif. in 2023. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

Jon Braver’s immersive theater experience Delusion returns to LA this fall, inviting guests to uncover the identity of ‘The Author.’

In its ninth season, Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares goes a little meta, bringing back beloved characters from previous years while fans work to find ‘The Author’ who wrote the Delusion series. The Phillips Mansion in Pomona, Calif. will be hosting the experience for a final year, complete with two floors to explore and an optional VIP experience.

“I’ve never been more excited about a show than this because of all the things we’re offering,” Braver said. In a recent interview, Braver talked about mixing immersive theater with horror, and about the show and beyond.

Halloween Every Night: What sets Nocturnes and Nightmares apart from previous installments of Delusion?

John Braver: Nocturnes and Nightmares is an anthology of the past bringing back characters and overarching storylines about ‘The Author.’ It has both narrative aspects and an exploratory open-world setting. 

HEN: Why did you want to add a VIP section to Delusion?

JB: Guests can partake in an actual sequence and have their own Delusion bar in the mansion where the show is happening all around you. We wrote this with specific rooms in mind. Our tagline is ‘play your part.’ We’re making it further meta. If an idea sounds like a lot of fun, let’s make it happen.

Dolls watch an old TV show in “Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares” at The Phillips Mansion in Pomona, Calif. in 2023. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

HEN: Many horror fans are used to being scared by characters on a screen. How is live theater more visceral for guests?

JB: There’s an opportunity to play in a different world. Who doesn’t want to do that?

HEN: There are so many mediums to view media in this day and age. Can you tell me about your VR projects and what we might expect to see in the future?

JB: We had a VR series years ago, and right now we don’t have more plans with Delusion, but there are plans for a movie. The next iteration will get into the film realm, which is more my world. We want to expand this beyond interactive theater. I’ve written one script already.

HEN: Anything else you’d like to say?

JB: Don’t let fear prevent you from coming. If you have a brother, a wife, a sister — it’s not about scaring you, it’s about a cool, suspenseful story. Go outside of your comfort zone. Drag your friends along. You’ll be better off for it.

The Gory Details
Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares
The Phillips Mansion
2640 Pomona Blvd.
Pomona, Calif. 91768
Tickets are $94.99 – $129.99
Click here for tickets and more information 

A demented puppet waits for you at “Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares” at The Phillips Mansion in Pomona, Calif. / Photo by Jessica Peralta
A secret book to read in the dark at “Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares: at The Phillips Mansion in Pomona, Calif. / Photo by Jessica Peralta
Hanging dolls at “Delusion: Nocturnes and Nightmares” at The Phillips Mansion in Pomona, Calif. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

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