LAWRENCE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Attorney General is raising concerns about an infamous haunted house in Middle Tennessee that has been referred to by some as a “torture chamber.”
On Tuesday, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti sent a letter to Russ McKamey, the founder of McKamey Manor, raising serious concerns about his “business practices” in operating the “extreme haunted attraction” following new revelations in a Hulu documentary.
In the letter, Skrmetti said his office intends to investigate whether those practices violate consumer protection laws. The McKamey Manor is located about an hour south of Nashville in the small community of Summertown.
Although considered a “haunted house attraction,” the McKamey Manor has gained national attention because of the extreme experiences of participants, with thousands of people signing a petition in 2019 to shut it down. However, it remains open.
According to Skrmetti, residents in the McKamey Manor’s original location in San Diego had similar concerns. McKamey reportedly relocated the haunted house to Tennessee in 2017 after it was shut down due to public outcry.
In Skrmetti’s letter, he notes that a 2019 promotional video from McKamey Manor’s YouTube page depicts “some of the horrors visitors are subjected to,” which includes getting dragged via heavy chains or locked into confined spaces while water pours in.
However, more recent allegations triggered the letter, including reports that there are no means for participants to stop the tour. In Hulu’s 2023 documentary about McKamey Manor, McKamey is quoted as saying, “We’re known for no quitting and no safe wording.”
Deputies have been called to the property several times in the past, with concerns reaching the District Attorney General in 2019. District Attorney Brent Cooper told News 2 in an interview at the time, torture is technically legal between two consenting adults, but anyone can revoke their consent at any time.
“You have someone tied up and bound and gagged and they give the safe word…if you don’t release them at that point, then you are potentially looking at kidnapping for having them confined like that against their will,” Cooper said.
In his letter, Skrmetti also raised concerns about reports that participants do not have access to the lengthy 40-page waiver that describes the risks involved with a tour before signing up. In addition, he intends to investigate claims that the $20,000 prize offered to anyone who completes the tour does not exist or is impossible to win.
In the coming days, Skrmetti said his office will be requesting documents and information pertaining to the claims against McKamey Manor.