Inside McKamey Manor: The Most Extreme Haunted House In the World

Haunted houses are universally appealing — anyone keen on a few harmless scares gets a rush from their simulated danger. McKamey Manor in Summertown, Tenn., however, may have crossed the line. McKamey Manor is a haunted house that requires both a doctor’s note and a signature on a 40-page waiver to enter. Owner Russ McKamey even originally offered a $20,000 prize to anyone who could complete the challenge of going through the entire house, but not a single person has ever succeeded in winning. Most lasted just a few minutes before begging to leave. At McKamey Manor, guests are offered an all-immersive “extreme” haunted house experience, but there are a couple of ground rules. All participants must be at least 21 years old (18 with parental approval), must pass a physical, drug test, background check, and provide proof of medical insurance. Participants must also read aloud and sign a 40-page legal waiver. This isn’t just any legal waiver — it's packed with possible scenarios that range from pulling out someone’s teeth to shaving their head to having their fingers shoved into mouse traps. Though participants can choose two — out of more than 100 — challenges that they want to avoid, everything else is fair game. For some, that’s enough to back out of the challenge right away. Most people last an average of eight minutes before begging for it to stop. McKamey Manor is so frightening that it’s been described as “a torture chamber in disguise.” So what could be so awful? How about being blindfolded and submerged by your ankles in water, being buried alive with a straw to breathe through, having your face shoved into rancid water, and being locked in a coffin with insects and spiders? The cost of admission to such atrocities might surprise you. All you need for admission is a bag of dog food for McKamey’s five dogs. Considered one of the world’s scariest haunted houses, McKamey Manor is a magnet for endurance junkies and horror aficionados.