Owner Of McKamey Manor Horror Experience Says Punters Have Pulled Their Own Teeth Out
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McKamey Manor is known for one thing and one thing only: scaring the living hell out of anyone who dares to visit. LADbible spoke to the mastermind behind the experience Russ McKamey, who said punters have gone so far as to pull their own teeth out:
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have tried to make it through to the end of McKamey's 'survival, horror, bootcamp experience' that is tailor-made to each visitor's worst fears. But even with $20,000 on the line, no one has ever managed to succeed - many tapping out before they even began.
And with some thrill-seekers having left the Tennessee experience with fewer teeth and less hair than they started with, it's not hard to see why.
Russ, who spent 23 years in the navy, says he never wants anyone to get hurt, but often they just insist.
"They do it to themselves," he told us. "I don't do it myself.
"They pull their own tooth, which is very difficult to do, and they pull their own nail, and they cut their own hair. I just monitor it.
"With the use of hypnosis and other types of mind control techniques that we use, we can get them to do some crazy things - but they still have to be willing to do it, they have to, you know.
"Even though we use hypnosis and different mind control situations, they're still very much aware of what's going on. They're not like, completely out to where I can make them jump off a building or something."
Adding: "So yeah, when the times that we've had people take out a tooth, they've taken out their own tooth, which is crazy to me. That's like, that's nuts to me. But yeah, they get into it, they get into it, and they try the best they can to really succeed."
Despite the obvious terror involved, the majority of people, Russ says, love the experience and come back time and time again to test themselves against the Manor.
However, the controversy surrounding him and the show, though it has helped drum up business, has a dark side, with Russ often receiving death threats.
He says: "I still get a lot of hate mail and and hate emails, hate voice messages on the phone, crazy ones, you know, from people wanting to kill me and stuff - I mean death threats. It's crazy.
"If anything does happen to me, it's because something like that did happen. If I end up disappearing someplace or end up getting hurt, it'll be because one of these crazies did it."
He adds: "And it can be a little worrisome, but I'm well protected out here. I try not to think about it, and just kind of go on with what I do and hope they chill out a little bit and that it's just talk."
Russ now runs a much easier version of the Manor tour. He says he got rid of the $20,000 prize money because it attracted the wrong kind of people who were willing to do anything.
He says: "I was getting the crazy ones that were like, that would do anything, when the Manor is always gonna win.
"I tell him that, 'you know, you're not going to walk away with a penny, 10 hours of Manor activities is going to beat anyone, I don't care who you are or how tough you are'."
He now runs a show called 'Descent', which is much shorter than the original 10-hour 'Desolation' tour, and also has a much higher success rate, too - which wouldn't be hard.
Though Russ says that even if you do make it through, it doesn't really count.
He says: "It's a six hour show and it's more of an experience, where people can actually make it through - it's not as rough as some of them are.
"They still tap out, but we try to give them something that's a bit easier, right now at least.
"But you can't really count it, though, because it's not the real show."
Even though Russ isn't offering the grueling 'Desolation' as part of the usual schedule, he says that if you really want to do it, he can make it happen.
Russ says: "'I'll be the one, I'll be the first one to complete it'. I hear that a lot.
"And if somebody really wants that 10-hour 'Desolation' tour, we can hook them up.
"You really don't want to do it. But if you do, just be mentally and physically prepared, it's going to be a rough show."
Adding: "I recommend the easier tours first, see how you do."