Anyone who is looking for a truly extreme haunted house experience should add McKamey Manor to their bucket list. This might just be the world’s scariest haunted house, and it’s almost certain to leave you psychologically and physically battered. Originally located in San Diego, CA, the McKamey Manor haunted house can now be found in locations like Huntsville, AL, and Nashville, TN. Whichever spot you choose, you should be prepared to descend into a living nightmare.
You may have heard urban legends about intense haunted houses that seem to last forever, discouraging even the most hardened of horror enthusiasts. McKamey Manor firsthand accounts make it clear this legend has come to life. This experience is so intense that you have to sign a detailed waiver to get in, and you should expect to encounter horror and grotesque scenarios inside. Sure, you’ll be traumatized, but you’ll get a creepy story you can tell forever about being one of the few people who dared spend eight hours in a haunted house with no rules.
McKamey Manor utilizes a seven-step process to vet potential participants. First, attendees must be 21 or older. They must also present a letter from a physician that clears them physically and mentally. A background check comes next, and the haunt owner conducts Skype interviews to screen his willing victims. Then, they must provide proof of medical insurance, sign a 10-page waiver, and pass a drug test on the day they're scheduled for the full experience.
Many have braved the McKamey Manor experience. To date, though, no one has made it to the end. Although there's technically not a safe word, participants can beg actors to release them. But anyone who signs up for the "no mercy" version of the haunt has to wait for the actors to decide when to release them. In other words, someone could beg for the end and still endure several hours more of chaos. Attendees who give up receive cookies, water, and a blanket to help them calm down.
No one has died at McKamey Manor, but there have definitely been some emotional and physical injuries. In a few cases, people who took the McKamey Manor tour attempted to take legal action against the owner. But, due to the waivers they signed, police said there was nothing they could do.
Incredibly, McKamey Manor doesn't charge admission. This means that the owner and actors don't make any money for their efforts, nor does the haunt recover any of its operating expenses. Instead, the fee to enter the haunt is a few cans of dog food. All of the food collected goes to Operation Greyhound.
That's even more remarkable considering the price of running such an extensive operation. The haunt's owner estimates that the San Diego location had $500,000 worth of props and supplies, and the nightly operating cost was approximately $500.
When it's time to enter McKamey Manor, participants are brought to an off-site location and instructed to wait there. Actors show up and begin the emotional and physical assault by simulating an abduction. The exact experience varies, but you can expect to have a soiled rag pushed into your mouth, a hood placed over your face, and your hands duct taped behind your back. This is just the beginning, which helps explain why no one has made it to the end.
Some have compared McKamey Manor to gratuitous horror movies like Saw. This reputation is at least partially due to the numerous "breakers" located throughout the haunt. Attendees are forced into traps that are reportedly practically impossible to escape.
One disturbing example is the eel trap. People are locked in a tank that's eight feet deep and swarming with live eels. There's a cage top so participants can breathe, but they aren't given any other special equipment to help them survive or get free.
There are a variety of horrific encounters attendees can be chosen for, according to McKamey Manor's waiver. For example, you might find yourself submerged in a 60-foot pool of water without a breathing apparatus. There's also an insane plank walking stunt that puts people 25 feet above the ground without a safety net or harness. Attendees might be forced to drink their own vomit, or come into direct contact with raw sewage.
Despite everything that's known about McKamey Manor, it's still impossible to predict the content of each experience. That's because they change it every time.
Do cockroaches freak you out? Are you arachnophobic? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you probably shouldn't get on the McKamey Manor waitlist. Previous haunt participants have faced tarantulas and cockroaches while locked into a coffin. Even worse, an unknown gas pumps into the coffin while participants attempt to keep their fears and the critters at bay.
As the site's waiver points out, all of this takes place buried under 12 feet of dirt and rocks. The waiver has another nasty reveal: the tarantulas and other animals are poisonous, and it's up to attendees to protect themselves from getting bitten by not making any sudden moves.
In one particularly unsettling haunt tour video, actors have to call in medical assistance for two men. They're on the ground with blindfolds on, and are almost completely unresponsive. It's unclear what happened to the Marine veteran and his adventure fanatic friend. There's speculation, though, that at least one of the men actually went into shock as a result of the extreme experience.
Only people who make it through McKamey's extensive screening process receive a copy of its legal wavier. Some sites claim to have copies of the waiver, though, and an examination of its contents have led people to question its legality.
There are many stipulations attendees must agree to, including allowing McKamey Manor's actors to physically and emotionally abuse them. Participants also agree not to touch or harm the actors, no matter what they're dishing out. Perhaps most disturbingly, the waiver requires signers to acknowledge they may end up with broken fingers or even be buried alive. And, the kicker: they're required to waive all rights to sue, even if the experience kills them.
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