A 12-year-old actress has devoted her school holidays to scaring the wits out of Londoners at a haunted house experience based on a new horror movie.
While Emilia Varslauskaite’s friends have been enjoying the summer sun, she has been rehearsing in a Gothic “haunted house” — playing a babysitter to a possessed doll.
This week she will be luring thrill-seekers to London’s latest immersive experience, which is based on this year’s Annabelle: Creation.
The Standard was the first to step through the doors of the doomed home — a purpose-built Victorian mansion at a secret east London location.
Those brave enough are asked to look after an 11-year-old girl — Emilia’s role — who is playing with the demonic Annabelle, while exploring the pop-up set filled with props from the film.
But soon the demon inside the doll comes to life — and the terror begins.
Emilia attends Youngstar Factory, a Paddington-based performing arts school run by casting director Rob Kelly.
She has never seen the film, which is a 15 certificate, or even the trailer. But she has already acted in short horror films and said she was drawing on that experience for the part.
The girl, who lives with her parents in Carshalton, said she will be doing her best to scare people.
“The character is very creepy and she likes to creep people out,” she said. “I have been in other scary movies so I know how to be creepy and I think I am a creepy person anyway.
“But that’s what I was told to do by the people there: just try to creep people out as much as possible. When people walk in I am playing with my dolls and have to talk to the people who are there and pay little attention to what is going on around me.
“Most of my friends are off on summer holidays. But this is so much better. It will help me in the future become a better actress. Going on holiday is not going to help you much in the future, is it? I have been wanting to be an actress since I was really little. I go to a performing arts school to help with my confidence.”
The haunted house experience is inspired by Annabelle: Creation, a prequel to 2014 hit Annabelle, which took $257 million (£197 million) at the global box office. It is part of movie franchise The Conjuring.
Director David F Sandberg was consulted on the live experience, which is brought to life with special effects, sound and theatre. Its creators say it is not “for the faint-hearted” and visitors will be asked to sign a waiver before they are allowed to enter the set. The experience runs this Thursday and Friday, with the ticket ballot closing at midnight tomorrow.
Visit the website for details and to request free tickets.