Some people go to haunted houses for a few scares, some laughs, and view it as a fun way to get in the Halloween spirit. Others go to haunted houses to get the bejeezus scared out of them and potentially not sleep for weeks. For the latter group, McKamey Manor in Summertown, Tennessee, is your Super Bowl. Featured on Netflix’s Haunters: Art of the Scare, McKamey Manor is perhaps the most extreme haunted house in the country. So extreme that no one has successfully completed it.
For starters, you can’t even participate unless you sign a 40-page waiver, create a safe word, pass a physical, pass a background check, provide proof of medical insurance, and pass a drug test. And the entry fee is only one bag of dog food, since the manor’s owner, Russ McKamey, has five dogs. If you do make it out on the other side, you’ll be awarded $20,000, but there’s a reason no one’s ever completed it.
Among the haunted house’s warnings are “intense audio, lighting, extreme low visibility, strobe and fog effects, damp and wet conditions, physically demanding environments, close contact with creatures (you might be touched), very real and graphic scenes of horror.”
The key to McKamey’s success is his mastery of the mental game. “You’d be surprised over the years how many people have claimed something happened to them inside,” he said, “and I need to go back and show whoever needs to see it the raw and unedited footage, saying ‘here ya go, here’s the complete show.’” McKamey films each experience mainly for legal purposes, to protect himself in court.
Allegedly, he crafts each show according to people’s individual fears, so the haunted house is never the same twice.