“It’s very hard to ignore the smell of the trenches when you’re standing at the top of the stairs or in a corridor, it’s just incredibly jarring.”

Simon English

To create the soldier we used a puppet, smoke, smells, video and audio.


The Soldier died in a gas attack in the trenches in 1916. He was the real Godfrey Northmoor – the man who invited all the players to the house was an impostor who killed him and took his place.

Godfrey&DonkeyDiscovering the Story

The players didn’t know that Godfrey was dead, as they thought the man inviting them to the house was Godfrey. They did find letters that told how he’d changed after the war – how he’d broken off his engagement, and sacked all the servants, and that he’d stopped painting and drawing – but the assumption was that the change was from the horrors of war.

The players sleeping in what had been Godfrey’s bedroom found his war diaries, photographs of him and his close friend, sketches and drawings and poems he’d written, and some of the gear from the war, including his gas mask. His WW1 revolver was under their bed, but they didn’t find it.

Here, for example, is his diary.


On the Friday evening the players heard, from time to time, the sounds of breathing in a gas mask. Behind it were the sounds of war. There was some smoke, and a strange smell – the smell of earth and decaying bodies.

On the Saturday night they encountered the ghost of the Soldier himself, a floating figure with a gas mask and lantern.


Behind the Scenes

sketch4illusFor the Soldier, we combined a few effects:

  • We used one of our smells, Wartime Underground, to hint at his presence.
  • We used layered audio of breathing in a gas mask & sounds of trench warfare.
  • We used a smoke machine
  • We used a puppet rig that floated on a long rig in front of the puppeteer
  • We used video projection of fog and barbed wire.


Here’s a very early test video of the puppet.

Here’s the backdrop footage we projected around him.