The owner of the “most terrifying haunted house experience in America” has spoken out about criticism against him and his newest tour.

Russ McKamey owns and operates Summertown Tennessee’s McKamey Manor, or what some people have referred to as a “torture house.”

In an interview with WFLA News, McKamey said his shows are all “smoke and mirrors” and the Manor is just something “fun to do.”

Those brave enough to participate must sign a 40-page waiver, create a safe word, get a doctor’s note, and more.

An online petition is aiming to shut down McKamey Manor and has over 165,000 online signatures to cancel this year’s show. The petition claims the haunted house is a “torture chamber under disguise.”

“Russ repeatedly says ‘it’s all smoke & mirrors,’ then why are people leaving with fractured bones, mental trauma, & covered in bruises accompanied by facial swelling?” the petition states.

“I don’t care if you sign a waiver or not, you’re not allowed to torture people. That’s illegal,” Russ told So with all the eyes watching us and all the people trying to shut us down, including the state of Tennessee, and every law enforcement branch you can think of… if we were torturing somebody, I’d be in jail right now, or the thing would be shut down. So clearly that’s not really happening.”

This year, his newest tour will be called “Descent,” and McKamey describes it as a six-hour show that is a complete mental game between him and the participant.

Below you can watch the 2019 official ‘DESOLATION” trailer from McKamey Manor, a 10-hour experience.


Katherine Viloria is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Content Manager. She loves to write, snap photos, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Connect with her on Instagram @alittlethisalittlekat