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Petition started to shut down Tennessee haunted house neighbors call ‘torture porn’

McKamey Manor requires a 40-page waiver and promotes an “extreme” 10 -hour experience, but critics call it a torture chamber in disguise.
Screen shot of a video from the McKamey Manor Youtube. [McKamey Manor]
Screen shot of a video from the McKamey Manor Youtube. [McKamey Manor]
Published Oct. 29, 2019
Updated Oct. 30, 2019

McKamey Manor promotes itself as an “extreme” attraction and “haunted survival experience” that can last up to 10 hours, but critics of the Tennessee-based haunted house said it’s nothing more than a “torture chamber under disguise” and want it shut down for good.

A petition on change.org rallying against the attraction had garnered more than its goal of 35,000 signatures late Tuesday morning.

“It’s a torture chamber under disguise,” Frankie Towery said in the petition. “They do screenings to find the weakest, most easily manipulated people to do the ‘haunt.’ If Russ (McKamey, owner) doesn’t think you’re easily manipulated, you aren’t allowed to go.”

On its website, McKamey promises to be more than a “typical boo haunted house.” Participants must be 21 and older, or 18-20 with parental approval; complete a physical; provide a doctor’s letter stating they are physically and mentally cleared; pass a McKamey Manor-provided background check; get screened over the phone; have medical insurance; take a drug test the day of the show and sign a 40-page waiver.

McKamey offers thousands of dollars to anyone who completes the tour, but says no one ever has. The cost? A suggested donation of some dog food. The website warns of physically demanding environments, but McKamey says the manor is a mental game.

He records each tour on video for his own protection, then posts them online, showing participants giving up under the harsh conditions. In one segment, McKamey is pulling the hair back of a man blindfolded with duct tape. McKamey smiles as he forces the crying man to quit and apologize for wasting time and letting down his friends. He tells him to “start begging now.”

Some in the videos are tied up and bloody as they quit. And even after they give up, the humiliation continues.

According to Nashville Scene, McKamey now has to call police to let them know when he plans to start a show. During his second show, authorities were called after a woman was seen kicking and screaming while being dragged from a van in front of the house.

Reddit users have torn into McKamey. User trevordunt39 said “the manor is tip-toeing on some kind of line between a haunted house and Russ’s perverse need to torture.” Others have said the house shouldn’t be considered a “haunted house” because it removes the haunting, fantasy element and is mostly sadistic.

“Everybody knows that they are not going to be attacked or eaten by werewolves or hacked up by a big scary guy in a hockey mask,” Reddit user tenkei wrote. “McKamey Manor does not bother with the fantasy aspect. They do not pretend that they are some scary creature who is going to hurt the customer, they just straight up torture you for a few hours.”

Russ McKamey did not respond to a request for comment.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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