Effects and Props

 

Emily Alton

For people who can remember the Haunted House, one of the main effects that remains etched in their minds is that of the ghostly image of Emily Alton the haunting daughter of Sir Henry Alton. Emily sang and played in the dolls house with her phantom cat and chalk board.

The Emily Alton (Laa La La La Laa La) sound effect was extremely haunting as you moved slowly through the drawing room. It was removed in 2003 to allow riders of Duel the Haunted House strikes back to hear the safety instructions.

The character of Emily Alton was played by a little girl called Lucy Webb, the daughter of Actor David Webb.

This information was kindly provided through John Wardley from Kevin Finn who worked with Keith Sparkes on the soundtracks and A.V. for the project. The film and audio footage was recorded at Robin Garton studio in Clacton. Lucy Webb provide both audio and visual footage.

The only part of this effect that is still in working order is that of the ghostly image of Emily Alton who drifts in and out of the dolls house, in silence!

Below is a photo of Lucy Webb the actress who played Emily Alton for the dolls house effect. The photo was kindly supplied by David Webb Lucy's father. Lucy was about 10 when she was asked to play the part of Emily and has never seen or heard the effect.

 

 

According to Robin Garton the shoot went without a hitch and the saying never work with children or animals was unfounded.

The only minor obstacle came from a prop and that prop was the chalk board. In this scene the Ghostly character Emily walked towards the chalk board and a ghostly sum would appear. This problem was over come by using Robin son Scott. He was camouflaged below the chalk board and he would slowly pull back a black cover to reveal the ghostly mathematical question. If you watch this scene closely you can see the sum emerge from left to right.

 

In the picture above you can see the dolls house with the room set out. The chalk board is to the rear of the downstairs room and these miniature props were not visible to Lucy Webb when she shot her part for her role as Emily. The chalk board she was writing on didn't exist as you see it in the final production. The image and the set come together really well. Robin had Emily acting out her scene against a blue screen whist the finished dolls house was in the next room so as they filmed the sequence they could check to see if the film and the set married up.

The dolls house was created by Rex studio and had to be moved from Great Yarmouth to Robin studio in Clacton to enable him to film the dolls house sequence.

Click on the images to see and hear Emily in action.

TO VIEW OR LISTEN TO THE AUDIO OR VIDEO CLIPS PLEASE DOWNLOAD FIRSTxxx

   
The Emily Alton sound effect was a great piece of Haunted House theming.It is saddly missed by dark ride fans. Unfortuntely there is no known original version available. The sample above is taken from old video footage and is not in great condition. However it does allow you to hear this lost sound effect.
 
A very rare glimpse of never before seen footage of the rehersal for ghostly Emily Alton. This footage was persumed lost until recently. The footage was shot by Robin Garton at his studio in Clacton. A very special thank you to Robin for allowing me to use this piece if film.
 
The final shot of Emily Alton used by Alton Towers in the dolls house. The original version shows the effect in a flop position. This footage shows Emily against a black back drop, this allows the effect to work against the dolls house furniture.
The effect showing Emily Alton in the dolls house as intended.

 

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