It’s Halloween season, which means that Americans (and Halloween fans elsewhere) will be dropping their money on candy, costumes, yard decorations and, of course, haunted-house attractions. What started as a quaint way for local civic groups to raise money has now become a billion-dollar industry, with professional attractions cranking up the frights to 11 to scare the pants off paying customers.
But where is the scariest haunted house in the U.S.? How about the world?
That may be hard to answer, as “scary” is subjective, and what’s scary to you may not be scary to me. Nevertheless, people who get paid a lot of money to figure these things out have collectively landed on a San Diego attraction that might possibly be the scariest in the world. It’s certainly the scariest in the U.S.
McKamey Manor In California
As First Coast News reports, McKamey Manor is so scary that participants must sign a waiver and have a safe word before even entering. But is it really that scary, or is it just marketing hype? Probably both, but consider this: very few people are able to finish it.
Think of McKamey Manor as less like a common haunted house attraction and more like live-action torture porn in the vein (no pun intended) of the Saw or Hostel franchises. In this case, “torture porn” is a good descriptor, because you will actually be tortured in this attraction. You’ll be bound and gagged, have your head shaved, be forced to eat unknown substances, and generally be roughed up by the actors.
If haunted houses could take steroids… you have to pass a physical AND mental evaluation, it’s up to 8 hours long & nobody has ever made it through?! Gia Gibson you can’t hide behind me in this one!! https://t.co/5xnOA8vu9D
— Nicole Ellis (@THE_NicoleEllis) October 1, 2018
In fact, so extreme is the experience that owner Russ McKamey records everything on video, in case you come back and sue him for assault, as some people have done.
Thanks But No Thanks
If you’d rather not be a participant in live-action torture porn role-playing, but still want a good scare, head away from San Diego and to, well, take your pick.
According to Escape Here, you could do a lot worse than any of these six places. There’s The Beast and The Edge of Hell in Kansas City, which features on open floor plan, meaning the scares come at you from all directions. Bennett’s Curse in Maryland, features four different attractions. The Cutting Edge in Ft. Worth, holds the record for the longest walk-through haunted attraction. New Hampshire’s Spooky World is considered the main haunted house destination for all of New England. The Haunted Hotel in San Diego is just like how it sounds, and features emergency exits. Finally, North Carolina’s Kersey Valley Spookeywoods has been in operation for 30 years.
Whatever you decide to do for your Halloween scares, you won’t have to go far, as there are now haunted house attractions in all 50 states.