Alton Towers announces retheme for Duel: ‘The Curse at Alton Manor’

Curse at Alton Manor
Promotional artwork for the new attraction (© Merlin Entertainments)

Ever since the closure of Duel in September, Alton Towers has been working on a retheme. The park released little information on the work that is being done, other than that the ride will still have a haunting theme. Today park operator Merlin Entertainments revealed in a press-release the name of the renewed attraction: The Curse at Alton Manor.

In 1992, Alton Towers opened a scary dark ride, simply called Haunted House. The attraction was designed by Merlin designers John Wardley and Keith Sparks and more family orientated. The ride was rethemed to Duel – The Haunted House Strikes Back for the 2003 season. Though scenes were altered, many of the original decorations were kept for the retheme. However, with the retheme, Duel became an interactive dark ride. Duel closed on 6 September 2022. The building was soon sealed off with fences, but also with a little teaser of what to expect.

Curse of Alton Manor
A sign, telling visitors to keep away (© Dark Ride Database)

However calls the phone number on the sign, will hear an automatic announcement that the building is repossessed and deemed too dangerous. With omnious music in the background, the transmission gets interrupted, right before it is disconnected.

Whoever paid notice to the sign on the fence, could make out the hidden message: “I want to play”. Although not confirmed, the theme seems to hint towards a cursed child, a frequently used theme in horror films. This theory is supported by the new released artwork, showing a child covering her hands and toys in front of the manor. On top of that, the manor seems to open like a doll house. However, according to the press-release, Alton Towers is still keeping ride details, including the sinister backstory under the wraps.

The Curse at Alton Manor is set to open in the spring of 2023. According to the park, the new dark ride will be the most immersieve dark ride to date and contain “special effects and visuals that have never been seen before from a UK theme park”.

Curse of Alton Manor
Duel’s sealed off building during 2022’s Halloween event (© Dark Ride Database)