The Mckamey Manor: How Far Would You Go For A Scare?

Warning, what you are about to read can be considered disturbing to most readers.

In San Diego, California there is a notorious haunted house known as The Mckamey Manor.  Conceived and run by Russ Mckamey, the attraction boasts a unique claim-to-fame:  Not a single person has ever gone through the full haunted house without abandoning the ordeal and making an early exit.  Several participants leave with bruises from assault, bites from live bugs that have been released on them, or drenched in animal blood and urine—not to mention the mental scars that might last a lifetime. Yes, horror lovers, this is the haunted house to end all haunted houses.  This is the Mckamey Manor.

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Russ Mckamey, owner of the Mckamey Manor (Source San Diego Union Tribune)

Scarees, or as I like to call them, gluttons-for-punisnment, who go through this haunted house are fully aware of what they are getting themselves into.  Clients must sign a contract affirming that they won’t sue the Manor for any mental issues or bruises. Russ likes to claim that any damage done is purely psychological… that the creators and actors did such an incredible job of making them think they were in danger (when in all actuality, the visitors to the house are perfectly safe. Videos from the Manor, uploaded by Russ with client permission, show otherwise.  You can see people crying and begging for their lives as they are beaten, submerged in water, or covered in live insects that craw into their mouths. This is exactly the abuse that Mckamey Manor sells.

The Mckamey Manor is a despicable attempt to fulfill a psychopaths fantasies of torture and mayhem.  -Amy Milligan, former victim

In order to get into the haunted house on your own accord, you have to be 21 years old or above. (Those 18-20 can enter with parental permission; saying a lot—as 18 year-olds are technically adults in the US, but clearly not adult enough to handle this!)  Attendees must pass a sports physical assessment and get a routine mental check-up in order to enter the haunted house, and then sign a 40-page waiver putting your life entirely in their hands. You will also need proof of medical insurance and a background check will be performed on you. And on the day of the show you will have to pass a portable drug test.

One woman interviewed by the San Diego Tribute went through the haunted house and—according to her—was repeatedly held underwater during her experience even after said the safe word multiple times. Russ denies this, stating that she seemed fine after they stopped and gladly told them to put the video of her experience on their youtube channel. Amy claims that she did this to be able to see publicly the physical abuse that she suffered. In the video, however, it cuts out at multiple points.  Russ claims that the moments that were cut out were too extreme to watch.

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Amy Milligan, self-identified “victim” of the Mckamey Manor (Source: San Diego Union Tribune)

Russ Mckamey, on video, stated that once they witnessed a real-life heart attack by one of their clients.  The person survived.  He now laughs at the thought of it and claims “those were good times.”

Do you think you could handle the extremes of terror that this attraction offers.  Though we at the eye do wish you a Halloween full of a few jump-scares, we cannot conscientiously recommend that anyone go through this hell-on-earth.   Ultimately,  entering the Manor might leave you with more than just a scare, leaving irreparable mental scars as well.

Author: Ryan Deguire

Ryan Deguire is a second year reporter of The Eye. He is a Senior at SAS and has been here for 3 and a half years. He is the son of a Platoon Sergeant in the U.S. Army and has lived in six places including Singapore. He enjoys watching movies, video chatting with his friends in San Antonio Texas, and playing with his puppy Kaya. He can be contacted at either rymater2000@gmail.com or deguire48003@sas.edu.sg

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