The Haunted Play presents Delusion: Masque of Mortality
Guests are incorporated as characters in a horror play and guided through a creepy old building (this year an abandoned church), observing and participating in scenes to progress the plot. This year, a cult of psychics posing as plague doctors are spreading death and making all who oppose them disappear. Guests must help the few resistors remaining in the refuge that is the church find and reconstruct a cipher that will reveal the doctors’ secrets.
This year’s location, while creepy, enormous, and in most ways perfect, apparently poses some legal and practical issues. Opening weekend of the event was cancelled due to permit issues; it opened this weekend under the compromise of eliminating the bar. Coffee and other hot drinks are still sold. The stunts were also cut back from last year, the wire work less frequent and more obvious, presumably due to the limitations of the architecture. And the people who will insist on attending and laughing at everything can be a mood killer, but that’s no fault of the production.
Everything else. Delusion remains the very best Halloween event I have ever been to, arguably even better than last year. The actors, makeup, and set design are incredible. The play is longer and much more intensively interactive than before, maximizing what makes this event so special. Unlike its dull, unpolished, ever-multiplying imitators, Delusion keeps the action moving without a moment’s lull.
Matt and I attended with our friends, Ashley and Patrick, and by being brave and sticking to the front of the group, as we’ve learned to do from last year, we got a very full experience between us. Boldness is essential for getting the most out of Delusion (though many of the actors did their best to involve some people in the back too), and I implore you to start practicing by setting reviews aside this instant to buy your tickets while there are still some left, but if you require more convincing, read on to share some of the benefit of our experience.
Out of respect for the experience, I’ll try to stick to hinting at just a few highlights. Ashley and I were dragged away from the group for interrogation and got to do the sick prisoner routine to help a main character escape. The four of us ended up hiding under a bed with a psychotic little girl searching for us, and Matt and Ashley got to sneak into the morgue on a gurney pretending to be corpses. We got dressed up as plague doctors, and Matt had to negotiate for the release of another woman taken from the group (who was in a guillotine at the time). One room we were led into very effectively seemed to extend forever in darkness, and much like last year, the pure scale of the final monster made me scream out loud.
Cliché a compliment as it may sound, if you’re looking to invest in a single perfect Halloween thrill for the season, make it this one.