One of the all-time favourite rides at British theme park Alton Towers is Duel – The Haunted House Strikes Back. This interactive dark ride has entertained guests since 2003, when it opened as retheme of the original Haunted House. Small developments in the area surrounding the ride have sparked rumours regarding the ride’s closure over the last year. These rumours seem more and more likely to become truth, as the park has now hinted at a date on which the attraction will change in some way.
The original Haunted House opened in 2003. This family-friendly haunted house was designed by Keith Sparks and John Wardley and included a special ride system, which allowed the vehicles to speed up and slow down at specific parts of the track. The ride was rethemed to Duel – The Haunted House Strikes Back for the 2003 season, integrating an interactive system into the ride. All scenes were refurbished, but many of the original decorations were reused in the new ride, preserving its family-friendly but spooky atmosphere.
Over the course of 2022, more and more rumours arose concerning the possible closure or retheme of Duel – The Haunted House Strikes Back in the near future. These rumours are reinforced as Alton Towers put up a small sign in the queue today, stating “06 + 09 = The Duel is over – This is my house”. In doing so, the park itself also seems to speculate on closing the ride, suggesting that 6 September would be the ride’s final day of operation in it’s current form. This might concern the final closure of the ride, although the second sentence on the sign seems to suggest a return of the classic Haunted House from 1992, or at least a modern incarnation of the ride.