McKamey Manor

Shera Brady, Photojournalist

Russ McKamey is the mastermind behind the newly popular and bone chilling haunted house, McKamey Manor, a home where its surroundings and actors have but one cause: to bring to life your worst fears.


Those who enter must be at least 18 years of age, and sign a waiver that they are in ideal physical condition. Those who are pregnant or claustrophobic are strongly encouraged not to enter, due to the physical and psychological effects of the Manor. Because Russ McKamey is technically an amateur, he is legally allowed to do everything the professionals are not: bind and gag the visitors, hold them captive, force them into coffins, refrigerators, snake cages, and much more, ignoring any and all screaming or pleading that come from the guests. They are instructed to only let up when someone is about to pass out, or appears to be “mentally wiped” from the experience. The “tour” lasts anywhere between 4-7 hours, but no one who participated in this year’s test run made it all the way through.


Senior Sydney Nowak (12) says, “I would not go in there because I would literally have a panic attack…I don’t even like visiting Halloween costume stores…I wouldn’t go in even for a million dollars.” It’s safe to say that the Manor is not for everyone, especially those that scare easy.


The McKamey Manor is an extremely exclusive operation. It’s located in the San Diego area, and although it’s open year round, they only take guests on Fridays and Saturdays. In order to land a ticket inside, one must have a reservation, which is obtained only by joining a private group on Facebook of over 3100 people, and then being randomly selected. Being nearly impossible to get into is part of what makes it so appealing.


There is no entrance fee, and all actors are there on a volunteer basis. Russ McKamey has put an incredibly large amount of money into transforming his typical, middle class Californian home into a house of terrors. McKamey’s point in doing all of this is to create an up close and personal horrifying experience. Those who have entered have described it as “walking into your customized horror movie.” Basically, if you’re afraid of it, they have it.


So if today’s scary movies and Knott’s Scary Farm are suddenly boring, check out McKamey Manor – the nation’s most extreme Halloween exhibit.