McKamey Manor

Coordinates: 35°25′04″N 87°15′42″W / 35.41778°N 87.26154°W / 35.41778; -87.26154
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McKamey Manor is an American haunted house attraction in which survival horror-style events are enacted.[1][2] It is considered a pioneer of "extreme" haunted attractions.[3] Founded in San Diego by Russ McKamey, it was originally located on his property until it was moved to Tennessee in 2017.[4] The house operates year-round, offering visitors tours that can last up to eight hours.

To participate, guests must sign a liability waiver that includes the inability to leave the experience without the staff's permission, and being subjected to various forms of physical and psychological torture, including having bones broken, teeth removed without anesthesia, and being drugged.

McKamey Manor has attracted significant controversy, criticism and media scrutiny.


The house permits just a handful of patrons each weekend. There is no conventional entrance fee; instead, McKamey accepts dog food for his pet dogs. At the Tennessee location, guests must be at least 21 years of age, or 18 to 20 years with parental consent. The Alabama location allows only guests 21 and older.

The tour lasts from eight to ten hours, but no guest has made it all the way through. McKamey originally did not allow safewords for the tour,[3] but has since reportedly allowed them, so guests have the option of ending the tour immediately.[5] The house operates year round, and there is reportedly a waiting list of over 24,000 people.[6] The newest iteration of the tour, a ten-hour experience called Desolation, offers a prize of $20,000 for successful completion. McKamey deducts $500 from the prize for every failed challenge or use of profanity.[7]

During the tour, employees of the Manor may physically assault patrons, waterboard them, force them to eat and drink unknown substances, have them bound and gagged, and engage in other forms of physical and psychological torture.[3] Participants may also be drugged during their experience.[8] Journalist Tara West has reported that in the communities where the tour is staged, residents question how it remains legal, even with waivers.[9]

A volunteer guide testified that the 40-page waiver signed by participants listed such possible risks as having teeth extracted, being tattooed, and having fingernails removed.[10]


According to participant Laura Hertz Brotherton, on a visit to the Manor in 2016, she repeatedly used her safeword for several minutes before employees stopped torturing her. She was later treated at a hospital for extensive injuries.[8]

McKamey Manor in Summertown, Tennessee, has been the subject of many complaints in Lawrence County. County Commissioner Scott Franks described an incident where deputies were called to the property after a neighbor saw a woman dragged screaming from a van as part of the experience: "Staged or not, this is simply something that none of us want anywhere near us." District Attorney Brent Cooper said the program was legal because people subjected themselves to it voluntarily, though participants could withdraw their consent at any time according to Tennessee law.[8]

Nashville Scene journalist Megan Seling has questioned many of the Manor's claims. "Here's the thing: There is no $20,000," she wrote, saying that nobody has completed the tour by design. "No one has made it to the supposed Huntsville portion of the show. ... McKamey knows what will break people, and after stringing them along ... he can simply pull out what's needed to shut down the show when it's ready to end."[8]

On October 31, 2023, the Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter Jonathan Skrmetti notified McKamey Manor that it was under investigation over concerns about its business practices and whether they might violate the state's consumer protection laws. Specific concerns include the allegations that withdrawn consent is not honored, lack of access to the waiver, and the inability for contestants to win the purported prize money.[11]

Media coverage

McKamey Manor was featured extensively in the 2017 documentary film Haunters: The Art of the Scare, and on the Netflix original series Dark Tourist.[12] It is also the subject of the 2023 Hulu documentary Monster Inside: America's Most Extreme Haunted House.


  1. ^ Iati, Marisa. "An 'extreme' haunted house requires a 40-page waiver. Critics say it's a torture chamber". Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "warning - mckameymanor". Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019. MCKAMEY MANOR, is not your standard (boo) haunted house. This is an audience participation event in which (YOU) will live your own Horror Movie. ... The next evolution in intertactive 'SURVIVAL HORROR' theartre.
  3. ^ a b c Carroll, Rory; Ryan, Mae (October 30, 2015). "Extreme haunted house: inside the real life kingdom of masochists". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Cook, Morgan. "Terror attraction McKamey Manor is leaving San Diego for the south". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 11, 2023.
  5. ^ Brentzel, Chelsea (August 4, 2017). "Extreme controversial horror house 'McKamey Manor' comes to Huntsville area". WHNT 19 News. Archived from the original on May 28, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  6. ^ World's scariest and most exclusive haunted house with a 24,000-person waiting list Archived October 29, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, New York Daily News
  7. ^ McKamey, Russ (August 9, 2019). "MCKAMEY MANOR Presents (And Then There Were None) REVISED". YouTube. Archived from the original on June 5, 2022. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "Tennessee's McKamey Manor: Torture on Demand". Nashville Scene. Archived from the original on May 28, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  9. ^ "'Extreme' Haunted House Or Legal Torture? McKamey Manor Allows You To Live A Horror Movie [Video]". Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  10. ^ Yasharoff, Hannah. "'There's a chance of death': Extreme haunted tour employee explains their terrifying 40-page waiver". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on October 30, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  11. ^ Rains, Sierra (November 1, 2023). "McKamey Manor: TN AG looking into claims against 'extreme haunted attraction'". WKRN. Nexstar Media. Retrieved November 26, 2023.
  12. ^ Sorokach, Josh (October 28, 2019). "Netflix's 'Dark Tourist' Tackles McKamey Manor, The World's Most Extreme Haunted House". Decider. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2021.

External links

35°25′04″N 87°15′42″W / 35.41778°N 87.26154°W / 35.41778; -87.26154