By Marcina Zaccaria . . .

We may love ghosts, but are they are friends?  If they are our friends, how might we conjure them again?

Theaterworks Hartford and ViDCo have created a scary, wild ride filled with flashing lights and walls covered with blood in Someone Else’s House.  Leading us room by room by room through a large house in New England, Jared Mezzocchi is an interpreter, researching the truth about the Johnson Family in a former home where he once lived.

With a friendly, deliberate discovery pattern, this narrative about a 1979 haunting includes footage of a gravesite, a Google Map, and personal recollections from the Mezzocchi’s mother.  When Jared was a child, he was planning to watch The Dukes of Hazzard, while instead, wound up in a whirlwind of paranormal activity that included the arrival of police after a shocking viewing of a blood smeared room.

Mezzocchi, attempting to make sense of it all now for a live-viewing audience, describes, in depth, the history of a house in Enfield, New Hampshire.  He sets up a chart of a family tree and proves that he has consulted with local experts before telling his story.  Someone Else’s House occurs on Zoom.  In real-time, during the performance, audience members were asked to open a conjuring packet.  In the box are aged photos of the specific members of the Johnson Family, who owned the house in the 1800s.

Director Margot Bordelon is adept at creating moment-to-moment suspense and intrigue, while allowing a level of comfort to be felt over a 70-minute time frame.  In fact, the narrative delivery by Jared Mezzocchi is so calm and casual that we almost miss the more haunting truth that the Johnsons may still be inhabiting the house.  The notion that we may be too safe explodes in the last moments of this performance event, with a quick escape and images of Mezzocchi fleeing from a real location.  Around Halloween, the flashing lights and rattling doors make us appreciative of the ghosts who might be, in some way, living among us.

Someone Else’s House is not pre-recorded, and no two hauntings are the same. The virtual production ran Oct. 21 – 31.