Thousands sign petition to shut down controversial haunted house: ‘A torture chamber under disguise’

A haunted house that lasts 10 hours and requires its visitors to fill out a 40-page waver is now the subject of a petition calling it a "torture chamber" that needs to be shut down. 

McKamey Manor, which stretches from Summertown, Tenn., to Huntsville, Ala., has drawn national interest for years due to its extreme conditions: Attendees can reportedly be subjected to having their fingernails pulled off or even getting a tattoo, according to one volunteer employee

The circumstances inside are reportedly so intense that owner Russ McKamey has promised a $20,000 reward for anyone who completes the tour — a feat he says no one has ever accomplished. 

"Not your typical 'Boo' Haunted House. You've been warned!" the house's website states

But now McKamey Manor's radical reputation is being challenged. A Change.org petition — which calls on both the Tennesee and Alabama state senates to permanently close the attraction — has earned more than 63,000 signatures since launching five days ago.

The petition, titled "Shut down McKamey Manor," claims the haunted house is actually a "torture chamber under disguise" that "uses loopholes to get out of being arrested."

"They do screenings to find the weakest, most easily manipulated people to do the 'haunt'... McKamey Manor is a shame to all haunted houses, and needs to be shut down," the petition reads. 

Frankie Towery, who started the Change.org page, alleges that the attraction often includes waterboarding and visitors being forced to eat things, adding that attendees have even reportedly been injected with drugs in order to cause hallucinations. 

"It's literally just a kidnapping and torture house," the petition's description also says. "Some people have had to seek professional psychiatric help and medical care for extensive injuries. I propose that all locations where this is happening be shut down immediately."

McKamey has defended his haunted house from those claims, saying the attraction is nothing more than a wild — but legal — experience. 

"I’m a very straight-laced conservative guy," KcKamey told WFLA-TV. "But here I run this crazy haunted house that people think is this torture factory, fetish factory. All of these things that it’s not, but people believe that based upon the films that I have made."

The owner, who claims he's never had alcohol, drugs or a cigarette in his entire life, said he films everything happening inside the house. That way, he can go back and show attendees exactly what they believe happened to them.

"You’d be surprised over the years how many people have claimed something happened to them inside," McKamey told WFLA. "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.'"

In addition to the 40-page waiver, McKamey also requires his visitors to show proof that they are in "excellent health," both mentally and physically. That also includes attendees showing proof of medical insurance and even passing a drug test

But despite the logistics, there is no fee to enter. McKamey has five dogs, and he simply asks that any potential "contestants" bring him a bag of dog food — in addition to meeting his rigorous entry standards. 

The petition, however, claims this is one of the "loopholes" the attraction uses to get away with its "torture."

"People don't pay money to get in, which is technically the loophole — that they're 'doing it for fun' (and it's not fun after about 10 minutes of getting duct tape wrapped around your head, [being] forced to eat things [and getting] waterboarded and forced underwater)," the petition states. 

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