The tour, which lasts about 10 hours, promises an experience unlike any other and a prize of thousands of dollars to anyone who completes it. No one ever has.
Not just anyone can partake in the experience. Those interested in testing themselves must undergo a background check, offer up a letter from a doctor proving they are mentally and physically fit, pass a portable drug test on the day of the tour, and sign a 40-page waiver. Signing the waiver means the person agrees to being shocked, submerged in water, slapped, tied up, held in a cage, shaved, or get anesthetic-free dental work.
Critics say people have been traumatized by the experience and that the McKamey Manor is simply a front for a "torture chamber." That's exactly why Frankie Towery started a petition to get the manor shut down. It will be sent to the Tennessee Senate once it gets 150,000 signatures. As of press time, the petition had approximately 88,000 signatures.
Owner Russ McKamey says the tour is a mental game that preys on people's worst fears and only is meant to entertain. In addition to the waiver and other requirements, he records everything that happens on the tour and posts the footage online. After meeting the requirements, the only payment accepted for entrance is a bag of dog food.
The petition rises out of the numerous possible actions that participants agree to in the waiver and that they are given safe words to get experiences to end but they are ignored.
Some of the highlights of what participants agree to experience include the following:
"Participant fully understands and agrees that if they are selected to visit the 'Dentist' that they may have a tooth extracted without Novocain and will not hold MM [McKamey Manor] libel [sic]."
"Participant fully understands and agrees that medication may be given that induces hallucinations or sedatives given in pill form or by hypodermic at MM's discretion."
"Participant fully understands and agrees that, if chosen, they may receive a tattoo or piercing. It is the responsibility to care for such tattoo in order not to get hepatitis or other infection."
"Participant fully understands and agrees that they may be in an enclosed chamber with live animals, which may include, mice, rats, roaches, tarantulas, millipedes, centipedes, snakes, spiders, potato bugs, worms, larva, snails, slugs, grubs, crickets, etc."
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