Is McKamey Manor Legal?
Haunted houses are fun for anyone who enjoys scaring people and a good dose of horror. They are also great for endurance junkies who want to test their mettle. But there are some haunted houses that might be more dangerous than they seem, like McKamey Manor in Summertown, Tennessee.
This “extreme” haunted house offers $20,000 to participants who can complete the 10-hour tour. The challenge stretches across two states and requires medical exams, background checks and signing a 40-page waiver.
The man who runs the haunt, Russ McKamey, screens potential participants through Facebook. He then contacts their friends and family to find out their worst fears, which he uses against them during the tour.
It’s hard to know if the experience is actually legal, however, because it’s unclear whether the participants consented to being tortured during their tour. They sign a large waiver, and it lists dozens of scenarios that could be used against them.
Some of the most horrifying situations listed on the waiver include being slapped, stomped on, water-boarded and bound and gagged. Some even say that they’ve been shaved, forced to eat rotten eggs, and shoved into mouse traps.
While he claims that the tours are meant to be a fun experience, some victims have reported that they felt physically and emotionally abused during their time at McKamey Manor. One woman even claimed that she was pushed underwater multiple times during her tour and asked to be removed from the experience.
In addition, the manor refuses to release full videos of the tour to the public and to the participants. He also admits to giving bloggers and journalists massively toned down “sissy tours” of the actual tour.
This is not the first time a haunted house has been accused of crossing the line between legal and illegal behavior. For example, New York’s Blackout haunted house has been known to harass and sexually abuse visitors.
Another haunted house in California, Haunted Valley, has a disclaimer that says “The activities in this tour are not designed to be a medical or mental health treatment or therapy.” The disclaimer is allegedly illegal, as it violates the guest’s rights and U.S. laws, according to a recent petition for the manor’s closure.
The problem is that even when guests agree to the waiver, they can always revoke their agreement. This is why it’s important to remember that consent is not a fixed thing.
Despite these restrictions, the manor still attracts many people. It is a popular attraction for tourists, and it is often the subject of news reports.
In addition to the physical and emotional abuse, McKamey has been accused of taking advantage of his guests, and he has also been sued several times for negligence and assault. Some have even filed lawsuits against him for wrongful death and other claims, including one case in which a guest was slapped on the head after he had a seizure during the tour.