Trigger warning: The following post contains graphic media that some readers could find extremely disturbing.
Recently, the internet has exploded with talk about McKamey Manor, which is said to be the most extreme haunted house in the world. Rumors and mysteries are swirling about what actually happens behind the house of Russ McKamey. But even though it’s going viral now, this ultimate adrenaline attraction has been running for almost 20 years.
Russ McKamey, who has been known to work as a wedding singer, runs this “tour” with friends and volunteers. Haunted is a bit of a misnomer because what haunts guests is not ghosts but emotional and physical trauma. It’s not your typical jump scare with people in scary costumes; it’s grown men (and sometimes McKamey’s children) torturing and abusing anyone who makes it to the manor. Russ calls the participants and asks them about their worst fears and curates their tour accordingly. The only thing standing in participants’ way is a full medical evaluation, a psychological evaluation, a drug test, a 40-page waiver, and the price of admission: a bag of dog food.
That’s right; McKamey receives no immediate financial gain from this attraction. He uploads videos of his victims, I mean guests, and his motivation is to make “good content.” He truly enjoys gathering his friends to beat the shit out of strangers in any fucked up way they can think of, and sometimes he gets the kids involved. How fun! Somehow, the waiver that these people sign while they are in the middle of being waterboarded and such allows them to do this legally.
So we know the motives of the workers, but why is there a waiting list of tens of thousands of people to attend McKamey Manor? There could be a few reasons. First of all, Russ is offering $20,000 to whoever can last 8 hours at the manor. That is a significant amount of cash, but it is very telling what the conditions of the place are if the owner is willing to pay *you* to attend. Additionally, with all of the videos that are posting of tough-looking people absolutely broken can be seen as a challenge. Probably not to most, but there is a community of people that watch those videos and feels compelled to put themselves through the same thing just to see if they could.
Even though this is supposed to be a “simulation” of some sort, the consequences of visiting the McKamey Manor are very real. People leave scalped, missing teeth, and suffering from mental illnesses such as PTSD. These actors are not trained in how to “safely” torture visitors, and that is clearly stated in the 40-page waiver. It states that among several other horrific things, death is possible and the actors are not liable.
Russ originally ran the manor in California, but moved the entire attraction to Tennessee without explanation. On Google Earth, you can see rat mazes, trailers, and trenches dug especially for torturing purposes. There is currently a petition on Change.org for the state of Tennessee to shut down McKamey Manor, citing sexual assault, intentionally faulty waivers, drugging of participants, and the purposeful hiring of men with violent criminal records among other claims.
You can see more from McKamey Manor on The Dark Tourist on Netflix or countless of YouTube videos. What do you think; are people overreacting or should Russ and his workers be arrested immediately?