Give Up the Ghost (2019)

The first official Spectacular Disaster Factory effort was a large expansion of One Last Thing Before You Go. We increased from 3 to 30 actors, 20 to 90 minutes, and from 2 rooms to 12. Located at the First Christian Church in Whittier, a 95-year old house of worship that was about to be converted to senior housing. This was one of the last public events they hosted.

Like One Last Thing Before You Go, audience participants were again ghosts, but could freely choose scenes to engage in. They could affect these moments, which, in a few cases, would alter the scene entirely. For example, the character would leave with the participants and that scene would temporarily close. Participants were again waiting for a ferry to cross the River, but with a paper ticket that would be altered by their interactions in scenes. The final tally would lead them to one of six possible endings.


Without being doctrinaire, the experience feels spiritually uplifting, even exhilarating, like grace filling one’s soul; in secular terms, one might call it therapeutic or salutary. “Restorative” bridges both viewpoints nicely – a sense of renewal. Or in language used in both psychoanalysis and the dramatic arts, Give Up The Ghost provides what few interactive plays ever do, a genuine emotional catharsis…We cannot recommend Give Up The Ghost highly enough. If there is one event you must see this Halloween, this is it.

-Hollywood Gothique (5/5 stars)
You know how cats will do something naughty while looking right at you, and you know they know you know they’re being naughty and they do it anyway? Yeah, well, it’s good to be a cat. Very, very good. I look back on this moment as the most fun I’ve had all year. Thanks Kirsten and Aaron for enabling me.
-Noah Nelson, No Proscenium’s Top 5 Best Moments of 2019 Immersive Theater

Give Up the Ghost poses emotional and interesting questions, giving the audience the opportunity to dig deep within themselves and come away with even more to think about. The style and audience agency highlight this idea of choice, and the actors shine in their scenes. Give Up the Ghost is a beautiful love letter to what it means to be innately human, and makes audiences want to linger in the Underworld just a little longer.

Give Up the Ghost is one of the more unique Halloween experiences we’ve visited this season. It reverses the typical haunt, instead calling on us, the guests, to play our dead selves.

-The Haunt List