Halloween is just around the corner, and the time is nigh for spooky stories, horror films and perfect excuses for dramatic fancy dress.
Many thrill seekers will flock to simulated haunted house experiences, where actors in creepy make-up jump out and scare visitors witless.
I’ve been to such places and had a brilliantly scary time. However, it’s always a relief to know things won’t get too frightening. The actors won’t really touch you and most of what you’ll see is just an illusion.
However, at McKamey Manor in San Diego, California, it’s a much different story indeed….
Ran by Russ McKamey, this blood curdling attraction takes things to a whole different level. As well as facing the usual gruesome special effects, animatronics and actors, visitors are subjected to being slapped, stomped on, and are even held under water.
This chilling experience – which can last up to eight hours – includes the use of live creepy crawlies, including snakes and tarantulas. Guests can have their heads shaved and are forced to eat their own vomit.
McKamey told Fox News:
It really is like watching somebody live their own horror movie right there, six inches in front of their face.
You want to see true fear? You put live spiders crawling on somebody’s face, and the tears are just flowing down their eyes in silence.
It’s like you’re watching a silent movie.
The reactions to this real life horror show are fittingly extreme. It isn’t unusual for guests to pass out, with one person even suffering a heart attack back in 2008, as reported by The Guardian.
Even more horrifyingly, McKamey Manor differs from others of its ilk as there’s no safe word, meaning it’s not so easy to call it quits.
McKamey will only let visitors escape once it becomes medically necessary. So far, nobody has been able to make it through the full eight hours.
Self professed ‘masochist’ McKamey said:
Everyone is so blasé about what happens in the world. They need a safe release. It’s about creating a cinematic experience and making people feel they’re living their own horror movie.
Movies can’t fool us anymore. It’s really hard to get emotions out of people.
Despite the extremity of this experience, people are queuing up to enter McKamey’s house of horrors. There’s currently a waiting list of approximately 24,000 horror fans, waiting for their turn on McKamey’s notorious morgue table.
Those who are ‘lucky’ enough to bag themselves a visit to McKamey Manor, volunteer to be videoed for one of McKamey’s mini-films, which is then uploaded to Russ’ monstrously popular YouTube channel.
Take a look at one for yourself below, if you dare:
Those who watch the videos have mixed opinions of McKamey and his manor. Some love how terrifying it is, while others think he’s taken things way too far.
One viewer enthused:
This guy is a CREEPY sociopath who uses his evil fantasies against random people as a joke. I LOVE IT [sic]
Here is my take on this place. I agree with all the people that say this is not illegal, and that the people know what they are getting themselves into, and how the waiver allows them to be 80% aware of whats going to happen. [sic]
BUT I 100% think the owner/creator of this place is a masochist, and the people entering are very close to being sadist. This place is legal cause of the waiver, but the creator is one truly f*cked up person. [sic]
Intriguingly, McKamey doesn’t ask for any payment upon entry; simply requesting a donation of dog food for Operation Greyhound.
Will you be paying McKamey Manor a visit this Halloween or in the near future?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.