McKamey Manor: All Fun and Games or Pure Torture?

Karyna Hetman

During the fall season, as Halloween draws near, people all over the world visit haunted houses and spooky trails at night to get a sense of what it would be like to be in real life horror movie. However, for some people, these fun and game activities are just not enough to scare them. This rare breed of people are some of the 24,000 on the waiting list for McKamey Manor, an extreme eight hour fear attraction that no one has yet to pass all the way through. Russ McKamey, a retired man from the U.S. Navy, runs an extreme horror attraction which travels around the country to states such as California, Alabama, and Tennessee. Fear craving visitors of McKamey Manor enter in pairs, voluntarily to be pushed past emotional and physical limits.

There are many requirements needed in order to go through this ordeal, such as: getting a sports physical from your doctor, being 21 years of age or older, a background check on your physical and mental health, and to top it off, partakers in this event have to sign a 20 page waiver stating that they give full permission for the actors to do whatever they want to the patron.

 If the participant agrees, Russ McKamey takes footage of the expedition, edits it to make it more cinematic, and uploads it to his YouTube Channel. After watching the videos, you can see the participants being gagged, beaten, held underwater, shaved, and having gross substances shoved into their mouth. The visitors scream out in pain and fear while this is all done, but still continue on to letting the actors, dressed as scary characters, torture them. Participants leave the Manor with physical wounds such as broken bones, bruises, bites, and cuts. Two people who have been through the manor, Nadiya and Lindsay, were interviewed by some of McKamey’s crew a few years after their experience. When asked why they took part in this strenuous ordeal, they said it was to “push [their] limits”. They also said how they think it’s “horrible when you quit and [McKamey] actually take us out”, referring to how Russ lets the participants leave when they’ve had enough. In their case, they don’t want him to do this, but instead challenge them even further. The people that are on board with what McKamey is doing want to try it because they want to see how far they can get before breaking in this game of survival, which Russ says is “all smoke and mirrors”.

On the other hand, there are people who disagree with what McKamey is doing, and even have petitions signed to try and end this incorporation. One individual in particular, Amy Milligan, once experienced McKamey Manor as a participant. In a video that was posted of her experience on McKameys YouTube channel, she praises her experience at the Manor and says how she never felt she was held against her will. However, a while later she uploaded a video on her own YouTube channel exposing McKamey Manor in disagreement with it, saying, “McKamey Manor rips you to pieces and they don’t care, and it’s something that’s not good.” She said the reason why she praised the Manor in McKamey’s video was so that her footage of what went down would be revealed to the world in order to spread awareness of the awful torture as Russ only uploads the videos of participants who praise the Manor and had a good experience.

 In my opinion, McKamey Manor should be outlawed for the criminal acts that go down there that the camera only shows a glimpse of. Brutally beating, no matter if the person gave consent or not, is still a crime. A signed document saying the participant agrees to letting anything happen to them and they will not sue does not change the fact that it is criminal. The McKamey Manor crew even had instances where bystanders called the cops on them, and they now have to clear it with the police every time they do a session, saying that it is all a game they agreed to. This crazy ordeal can really affect the participants and actors’ brains after going through with this. The horror from the videos I have seen on Mckamey Manors YouTube channel will never leave my mind, which makes me wonder how negatively it impacts the people who actually partake in it. Some claim McKamey Manor to being one of the most scariest haunted houses in America, however there is a fine line between fictional haunted house attractions for fun and a real life slaughterhouse that is legal. McKamey Manor should be shut down for all the heinous crimes and torture that goes down without a further concern from the police.

McKamey Manor is without a doubt a very risky ordeal to sign yourself up for, because of the extreme emotional and physical strain. Some believe this to be a great organization that helps people push their limits and get over their fears while some argue it should be outlawed for the awful crimes that go on there. In conclusion, if you enjoy going against your fears, especially this time of year, think wisely about how much you are willing to sacrifice and go through before signing your will away on a piece of paper.