Petition to close 'extreme' haunted house garners over 63K signatures
A petition to close an "extreme" haunted house is gathering steam online.
McKamey Manor is reportedly so scary that the owner, Russ McKamey, makes visitors sign a 40-page waiver and provide a doctor's note before entering. But if you're brave enough to make it through without once uttering your safe word, you'll be rewarded with $20,000 (£15,560).
These sisters won Halloween with their creepy 'Hocus Pocus' costumes:
Suffice to say that no one has ever completed it, despite the enticing prize.
Now, the attraction, which operates in two locations, in Summertown, Tennessee, and Huntsville, Alabama, is the subject of a petition to shut it down. As of Wednesday afternoon, the house which dubs itself as the USA's "one and only extreme haunted attraction" and "survival horror challenge", has garnered over 63,000 signatures for it to cease operations.
Posted just days before Halloween, the Change.org petition is urging Tennessee's governor, the state Senate and Alabama's state Senate to take action. "[McKamey Manor is] advertised as “an extreme haunt” when in fact it is NOT a haunted house. It’s a torture chamber under disguise," the petition's organiser, Frankie Towery, stated.
The petition claims that the owner, McKamey, uses "loopholes" to avoid being apprehended for practices that reportedly take place, including "getting duct tape wrapped around your head, [being] forced to eat things, be waterboarded and [being] forced underwater".
Towery goes onto say that the manor is a "shame to all haunted houses", and goes so far to allege that there have been "reports of sexual assault".
"It’s literally just a kidnapping and torture house. Some people have had to seek professional psychiatric help and medical care for extensive injuries."
The entry fee to the attraction is pretty unconventional: a bag of dog food for one of Russ's five dogs. But that's not the only requirement, to nab a spot on the challenge you need to be at least 21 - though if you're 18-20, you'll need parental permission.
You'll also have to undergo a "sport physical" and provide a doctor's note stating that you are physically and mentally well.
Additionally, prospective challenge-goers have to pass a background check carried out by Russ's team, and will be screened over FaceTime or via phone call. You'll also have to bring proof of your medical insurance and sign a hefty 40-page waiver.
Finally, there will be a drugs test on the day to check that you're not under the influence.
Participants must watch a video titled And Then There Were None prior to entering the attraction. It's a two-hour long compilation of all the people who have failed to make it to the end of the experience, and a voice can be heard over the top, repeating "You really don't want to do this".
On Tuesday, Fox 59 reported that McKamey is unfazed by the petition, saying that it's "humorous", and that he's not doing anything illegal.