Extreme Haunted House Comes With $20,000 Prize and 45 Page Waiver


By Jimmy He, Staff Writer

McKamey Manor, the widely controversial haunted house in Summertown, Tennessee, subjects patrons to up to 10 hours of physical and mental torture, requiring participants to sign a 45-page waiver in order to enter.

The extreme “torture house” attraction was originally founded in San Diego by Russ McKamey. McKamey, formerly serving 23 years in the navy, does not seek money from his visitors, only accepting payments in dog food for his dogs and the local animal shelter.

Each patron of the haunted house is required to sign a waiver before entering, as well as getting a background check and a note from a doctor stating that he or she is mentally and physically fit. The waiver gives McKamey Manor employees the right to physically and mentally torture patrons, including the possibility of having teeth pulled out, fingernails removed, and getting accidental tattoos.

“I would go to a different haunted house,” commented Senior Justin Reicher after hearing about the waiver, “I personally like my teeth and would not want them pulled out.”

One common approach the haunt takes to psychologically torture participants is through hypnosis, which can be used to give participants hallucinations and panic attacks. Such forms of torture often leave visitors mentally scarred.

While the haunted experience does not end unless the participant is severely injured, patrons are allowed to create a safe word then when used, would end the experience immediately.

McKamey Manor is already facing extreme backlash from the public, being called a “torture chamber under disguise” as patrons recount the terrifying experiences they underwent in the attraction.

The manor cannot be legally prosecuted because all participants are required to sign the 45 paged waiver before entering. However, a petition started on Change.org to shut down the extreme haunted house, already gaining over 77,000 signatures as of October 31st.

However, there are also repeat patrons who find the experience trilling, returning to McKamey Manor to try to beat their record time.

Brandon Vance, an army veteran, says that he turned to McKamey Manor seeking extreme thrills.

“I don’t get that adrenaline rush from jumping out a plane anymore,” Vance commented, “It’s not the same as when you’re sitting in a Humvee, locked and loaded, you’ve said your last prayer and go outside the wire — it’s very hard to replicate that. With McKamey Manor, that’s the closest I’ve ever come. I get to experience that feeling again — it’s almost euphoric.”

In the sixteen years McKamey Manor has been open, no one has been able to endure the full experience and claim the $20,000 price that comes with completing the haunted house.

We interviewed some Wayne Hills seniors on whether or not they would take part in McKamey Manor and their thought on the controversial attraction.

“I would not do something like that because it sounds crazy,” said Adriana Osella, “I don’t see why people would like to be tortured. I don’t see the joy in it.”

“I think that’s ridiculous,” commented Maya Kachroo, “I would never for any amount of money sign up for that. I don’t like haunted house, to begin with, so like out there pulling out teeth, I would never do it and can’t understand why anyone would. They should shut it down.”

McKamey Manor has been featured on multiple Netflix documentaries, including Dark Tourist and NetFlix: Art Of The Scare. The haunted house, whether an illegal torture house or a location for extreme thrill-seekers, has turned eyes from all directions on the controversial horror attraction.