LAWRENCE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tied, bound and forced underwater. Those are just some of the images depicted by McKamey Manor in Lawrence County.
It’s billed as an extreme haunted attraction and survival horror challenge, and now there is a renewed effort to close it.
More than 18,000 people have signed the petition on change.org in just a matter of days.
Those that signed it say it’s a torture chamber under disguise.
Residents in the rural area of Stephenson Street in Summertown, Tennessee, have wanted the manor shut down since it opened, saying they have heard the screams of horror.
“People come out screaming and hollering,” a neighbor told WKRN.
The manor is advertised as “an extreme haunted attraction,” but videos show it’s more than a haunt.
“It’s not a haunted house. A haunted house is about ghosts and goblins and stuff, it’s not about that right there. It’s just a torture thing,” the resident explained.
A torture house is how many describe it.
“Anybody that wants to hurt people and stuff like that is evil,” said the neighbor.
Russ Mckamey films every participant that comes in and posts them online. For many, it’s hard to watch.
He tells WKRN he is an entertainer who uses hypnosis.
“People have to use common sense and it’s just really, to me, so simple. You got to put your common sense cap on and think, 'Gee whiz, if this was really happening the way I think it is, how would I be allowed to do this operation?' The ace up my sleeve is I use a lot of mind-control techniques, I use hypnosis. So if I hypnotize someone I can make them believe whatever I want to and that’s the clever nature of the manor. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors,” McKamey explained.
Deputies have been called to his property several times in the past, with concerns reaching the district attorney's office.
“There were multiple reports; one was a neighbor seeing a woman dragged behind a vehicle, and then there was another report of screams and a person or neighbors saw a woman being put in a vehicle against her will,” District Attorney Brent Cooper told WKRN.
He says torture is technically legal between 2 consenting adults, but that McKamey is walking a fine line, pointing out that anyone can revoke their consent at any time.
“You have someone tied up and bound and gagged and they give the safe word ... if you don’t release them at that point then you are potentially looking at kidnapping for having them confined like that against their will,” said Cooper.
McKamey says he finds the change.org petition humorous and that he isn’t doing anything illegal.
He adds that there are more than 27,000 people on a waiting list to get inside the manor - and no one has ever completed it.
McKamey screens each participant personally. If accepted, there is a long list of rules which include watching a 2-hour long video, signing a 40-page waiver and passing a physical.