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For Halloween, Please Enjoy This Story In Which NPH Freaks Out Ever So Gently

<p><strong>Hands ... touching hands:</strong> In L.A., a singularly effective new haunted-house experience had NPR's Neda Ulaby (and Monkey See favorite Neil Patrick Harris) shivering contentedly.</p>
Haunted Play

Hands ... touching hands: In L.A., a singularly effective new haunted-house experience had NPR's Neda Ulaby (and Monkey See favorite Neil Patrick Harris) shivering contentedly.

It's Halloween. Want to hear Neil Patrick Harris get freaked out?

Thought so. You'll want to click on that play button above, and check out Neda Ulaby's All Things Considered piece on an L.A. haunted house — more of an interactive play, really — called Delusion.

It's the brainchild of Hollywood stuntman Jon Braver, who rounded up some Tinseltown collaborators and rigged up a decrepit old mansion to look like an early-20th-century insane asylum. Madwomen creep across the ceilings (courtesy of wires installed by veteran special-effects pros), moaning "Mine, mine." Your doomed-doctor tour guide gets dragged away by invisible hands, leaving you to fend for yourself.

Then you get grabbed.

"It's actively scary," Neil Patrick Harris tells Neda.

The most frightening moment for him? Sitting at the table in a creepy Victorian dining room, then finding himself unable to stand.

"Hands were holding me down, and forcing me to stay seated," he says. "I think I reverted to my 8-year-old self."

Braver, the stuntman who created Delusions, tells Neda that one patron freaked out so thoroughly that she froze.

"The narrator had to go back and pull her into the next room," he says. "That's success. If you can get someone to freeze — or pee — then, success."

That's the highlights — but if like me you're into the sound of people having a full-on case of the willies, you really need to listen to the audio above.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Trey Graham
Trey Graham edits and produces arts and entertainment content for NPR's Digital Media division, where among other things he's helped launch the Monkey See pop-culture blog and NPR's expanded Web-only movies coverage. He also helps manage the Web presence for Fresh Air from WHYY.