It’s the recipe for a horror classic: a historic mansion, a madman and some cocktails.
“Within the walls of a decrepit and decaying house, a madman nearing the end of his life painted six disturbing portraits depicting peculiar figures. Those paintings have become known as the Spirit Paintings, and that madman was famed artist Francisco Vega.”
What could possibly go wrong?
The setting for the new Los Angeles-based horror experience, “House of Spirits,” created by Justin and Melissa Meyer, of Meyer2Meyer Entertainment, LLC, may ring some bells a la “House on Haunted Hill” and “The Haunting,” but this is something different.
“This show is designed as a sandbox-style cocktail party,” said Justin Meyer, owner and creative director for
Meyer2Meyer Entertainment. “What that means is that on a surface level, guests are there to have a good time, enjoy cocktails and live entertainment. On a deeper level, the guests are free to roam the house and explore freely, interact and speak with the characters, and participate in games and rituals that will reveal stories and secret chapters in the history of the house. The more they ask questions, the more they participate, the more they listen, the more they will discover.”
Meyer took some time from his creative masterminding to answer some questions about what guests can expect from “House of Spirits” this Halloween season.
HalloweenEveryNight: What are your backgrounds and what have you produced?
Justin Meyer: Melissa and I started our careers in the arts as performers. I was a singer and actor and she was a dancer. After spending many years on the road with regional theater shows and on the high seas working aboard cruise ships, we settled in Los Angeles. It was here that we began a decade-long career, myself as creative director and Melissa as chief operations officer for the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, New York Haunted Hayride and Great Horror Campout. About two years ago, Melissa and I launched our own company Meyer2Meyer Entertainment, LLC and began to produce our own live, immersive theatrical events, including our psychedelic party “Kaleidoscope Experience,” our horror-themed event called “Rated R Speakeasy,” and a host of interactive marketing experiences for several Hollywood studios.
HEN: What was your inspiration for creating this new experience?
JM: We were approached by Fever, who wanted to collaborate with us on a project. I had always wanted to do an intimate-scale, horror-themed show and with Fever’s incredible marketing background and our long career in the live-event business, we thought that a partnership made a lot of sense. So I wrote and designed a program that was uniquely Meyer2Meyer — a sandbox-style party, where guests interact with the characters and their environment, whilst enjoying a fun, thematic party atmosphere. That has become Meyer2Meyer’s signature over the last few years. This time, I found myself inspired by the final days of Francisco Goya and his Black Paintings fresco series. I loosely used that inspiration as a jumping off point for an original storyline featuring a mad artist named Francisco Vega who has painted six portraits and opened a doorway between our world and another.”
HEN: Are you going for a “House on Haunted Hill” or “The Haunting” vibe?
JM: This show has the playfulness of “House on Haunted Hill” in some areas and activities, but also gives the guest an opportunity to delve into the dark and sinister backgrounds of the house and its former occupants, a la “The Haunting.” I [use] Clive Barker as a source of inspiration as well, especially in our avant-garde costume design and our big creature design.
HEN: What can you tell us about the location?
JM: “House of Spirits” is in fact taking place in a historic mansion, built around the turn of the century. We are keeping the exact location a secret, but it was the house of our nightmares! We couldn’t be more excited to add our stories to the real history of this amazing place.
HEN: Will this be more like an escape room or murder mystery dinner-theater … or something else?
JM: “House of Spirits” is definitely something unique. The show was created as a sandbox-style cocktail party meets an old-world variety show, with the entire event being veiled as a supernatural experience. The experience incorporates cocktails, live entertainment, magic, burlesque, puppetry, mentalism, creature suit acting, game play and performance art.
HEN: Anything else you want people to know?
JM: We encourage the guests to come dressed for a cocktail party in whatever era they wish. Our characters range from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s in style, so there really is no wrong attire to join in on the fun.
THE GORY DETAILS
What: “House of Spirits”
When: Runs Oct. 11-Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Each session lasts two hours.
Where: Between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City
How: General admission is $60-$65 and includes a flight of six miniature cocktails, each inspired by a room in the mansion. Food and additional drinks available for purchase. This is a 21 and over event and a valid ID is required. || houseofspiritsla.com