In 2007 Alton Towers Hotel offered a scare fan's ultimate dream, or should that be nightmare, by introducing Scare Rooms as part as the first Scarefest. Scare Rooms gave guests the opportunity to stay in 'haunted room' where actors would visit throughout the evening to provide scares well into the night.
Rooms were given a story based around an abandoned part of the hotel and its staff who were still trapped in the walls; they awoke once a year to tell their tales. The experience lasted late into the night with the final scares coming around 2am.
The rooms were well received but the logistics of trying to run a scare attraction at the heart of a busy hotel meant they did not return for 2008. The Scare Rooms were not quite dead yet though and in 2010 they returned with a Thirteen theme, featuring actors draped in vines and a "Th13teen girl" visiting the rooms to scare guests. With ambient ride area music, dim lighting and themed corridors, the experience was truly in keeping with the park's new ride.
In 2011 the Scare Rooms returned to a more traditional 'haunted hotel' theme featuring several intertwining tales that were revealed to guests as they 'relaxed' during the evening. The new direction, which combined traditional Scare Room tactics with a stronger storyline, was a successful recipe for the attraction and went down well with guests.
For 2012 the Scare Room experience had a new story, based upon the Altonville Motel, set in the fictional town from the old Field of 1000 Screams story. Guests were allocated a 'dead-icated check in', where they were greeted by the motel staff before being shown to their room ahead of a 3 course meal in the Secret Garden Restaurant.
After dinner guest rooms became active and several characters were able to freely come and go throughout the evening, with stories and scares continuing until 2am. Actors used traditional scare tactics of phone calls, visits and power cuts to add to the atmosphere, and in a new twist guests were even led outside for additional scares.
In 2013 guests were once again invited to Altonville Motel for the wedding of Mary Miller and Caleb Winkles. The new storyline incorporated dinner, as guests enjoyed a barbecue in the grounds of the motel whilst they celebrated the wedding and reception in the early part of the evening. Needless to say the festivities did not go entirely to plan and the atmosphere was less than jovial as guests retired to bed. Over the rest of the evening the hotel staff would then come and go from the motel rooms as the story was brought to its conclusion.
The Scare Rooms did not return for 2014, however the Altonville Motel did but this time as a Theatrical Dining Experience at the Swiss Cottage in the Gardens. Once again guests were invited to the Miller/Winkle wedding reception but this time the entire story arc was entirely contained over dinner.
The new version of the attraction was not well advertised and barely any information was released before the start of Scarefest, which prevented many guests being able to plan the experience into their day at the park. The Altonville Motel Theatrical Dining Experience did not return in 2015.
The Ultimate Sleepover
In 2014 the resort's overnight scare experience moved on park as the Towers themselves played host to The Ultimate Sleepover.
For those brave enough to take part, they were offered the chance to to sleep in the ruins as part of a staged 'ghost hunt'. The plot revolved around fictional paranormal investigators, The Extreme Haunt Team, who have arranged an overnight ghost hunt in the ruins.
The evening started with dinner at the Swiss Cottage in the gardens where guests were introduced to the mildly dysfunctional ghost hunting team and their plan for the evening. An ominous interruption partway through the meal also suggested that everything might not be as straight forward as they were hoping.
The evening then moved into the Towers, where the ghost hunt got under way giving guests the chance to explore parts of the ruins after dark. The main act started however after everyone had retired to bed and the lights had been turned off. Inevitably the actions of the Extreme Haunt Team had summoned a terrifying paranormal entity which stalked the team through the night until the early hours when they were finally able to put it to rest with the help of the guests.
The Ultimate Sleepover added a new twist to the traditional scare room genre and gave guests a unique opportunity to sleep in the ruins themselves. That opportunity however was shortlived as the sleepover did not return the following season. In 2015, the park instead turning to Sub-Species for their late night offering with Operation Lockdown offering an after hours locked room experience.