Terror of the Towers returns for the 2019 Scarefest, taking the scares to the next level as guests are invited to explore The Attic.
As the name suggests, this year the maze will take a new route through the upper floors of the Towers to tell a brand new story.
Explore The Attic and learn the chilling tale of the Governess, who roams the eaves of the house looking for vengeance after the death of the children under her protection.
Terror in the Towers
The park's original scaremaze found its origin in 2002's Terror in the Towers, which invited guests to explore the depths of the ruins and discover the fearful creatures within.
A ruined archway near the X Sector marked the entrance of the attraction, leading to the lower door of the Towers where you would enter the maze itself. The original route wound its way up through the Towers, passing through the lower floors and up into the banqueting hall and through the long gallery before exiting into Her Ladyship's Gardens.
The route through the towers would take you past a series of horror scenes; with an introduction from a witch sending you on your way to cross paths with ghosts, caged ghouls and even a stilt walking monster. The attraction would culminate in a maze of gothic arches, shrouded in a constant mist and lit with strobes creating a disorientating finale, through which you were stalked by a variety of characters hiding out behind the walls.
In its first year the finale of the attraction was a true maze, complete with dead ends, which impacted on both the throughput of the attraction as well as guest experience, since parties could easily cross paths whilst navigating the arches. When the attraction returned for its second year, the dead ends had been removed and the attraction had gained a new storyline to more effectively tie the maze together...
In 2003 the maze became known as Terror of the Towers and it gained the Bloodfest Banquet plotline, which introduced the blood thirsty master as the attraction's antagonist.
Upon entering the house you were now greeted by a maid who informed you that the master doesn't like to be kept waiting and you were late for dinner. As a 'shortcut' to the banqueting hall, she would send you on your way through the servants quarters with a warning to keep your hands to yourself. Needless to say the path through the kitchen reveal a series gruesome scenes of the preparation of the feast you would be attending.
At the entrance of the banqueting hall you were greeted by a blood-soaked butler, who ushered you in for your appointment with the master. In case it had not already dawned on you by this point, it soon becomes apparent that you'll not be dining tonight but are in fact on the menu when you disturb the master as he chews on a severed limb before lunging at your group with hunger in his eyes.
Chased from the banqueting hall, you flee down a long passage lined with statues covered in dust-sheets leading to a library, where you cross paths with a maid, who is surprised you have survived your encounter with the master. She takes pity on your group and pushes open a book case to reveal an escape route through a freezer filled with hanging body-bags.
Beyond the freezer, the maze of gothic arches leads into a new finale, in which you are trapped within a cage and attacked from all sides (including above). At the last moment the cage door swings open, allowing escape from the Towers into Her Ladyship's Garden.
Terror of the Towers did not return for the 2004 Spooktacular but after a few years of hiatus the Bloodfest Banquet returned in 2007 as part of the brand new Scarefest event. The story remained familiar but with additional investment, including an impressive new oven set piece in the kitchen scene. The new version of the maze also introduced long scripted scenes for several cast members, though these were cut back shortly after the event started to improve the overall experience.
The Bloodfest Banquet had its final run in 2008, in which guests were introduced to the master's extended family, including the master's deranged son, who took up residence in the attraction's finale, which had now become the familiar cage maze.
What Lies Within
In 2009 Terror of the Towers was reimagined to introduce the What Lies Within plot line: a group of urban explorers had gone missing whilst exploring the gothic ruins at the heart of Alton Towers, and now you are part of the team sent in to find out what happened to them. Of course the ruins have lain empty for the best part of a century, so what is the worst that could have happened?
As part of the new storyline, the entire route of the attraction was reversed. The queue now ran through Her Ladyships Garden, where the confines of the high walls complimented by pounding music and flickering lights really built up tension as you head towards the entrance.
A new pre-show scene plays the final video submission of the urban explorers before you begin your exploration in a restoration site, winding your way through scaffolding and through a storage room filled with statues clad in dust-sheets.
A series of winding corridors lead you to the stairs down into the basement of the building, where a room filled with body bags reveals the fate of the urban explorers. Finally as you try to escape from What Lies Within a hoard of vampires descend on your group in the cage maze finale.
2015 saw some significant changes to the maze, which saw the familiar plot line rerouted to take explorers along a different path through the Towers to allow new mazes to be brought into the Scarefest line-up. The new route saw guests enter the Towers over a bridge in the Star Garden and navigate their way through rooms that had formerly been part of The Sanctuary. The finale now occurred in the Drawing Room of the Towers and guests exited through the former entrance into the house conservatory.
Over the years, many fans hoped that Terror of the Towers would get another refresh with a new story line but these hopes were never realised and 16 years after it first opened the last urban explorers entered the Towers at the end of 2017.
The area used by Terror of the Towers was not used during the 2018 Scarefest, but after a year off the maze returned with a new storyline and route for the 2019 event.