We need to clarify what this list is all about. We’re not talking about paranormal hauntings here and we’re not talking about your run of the mill theme park ghost houses either, the kind that come with a few ‘boos’ from half-arsed minimum wage actors. No, these are demented, extreme, full-contact experiences designed to strip you of your sanity. They make you sign waivers, suffocate you and push you teary eyed and screaming into pitch black unknown. These are the most extreme haunted house attractions in America!
- Shocktoberfest – Scared and Naked Challenge
To ease into this list of extreme experiences let’s start with some flagrant nudity! The Scared and Naked Challenge at Shocktoberfest in Pennsylvania requires guests that are 18 and over to strip down to their underwear before entering the attraction. They are then subjected to a walkthrough of a dark and creepy house filled with jump-scares from live actors. They are sprayed with water, grabbed and shoved. The designer, Patrick Konopelski, originally intended participants to be fully naked but local residents rallied to stop the attraction. Konopelski wanted to experiment with vulnerability. He thought stripping people bare would heighten their sense of fear and exposure.
- The Freakling Bros: Victim Experience
Okay this one kicks things up a notch. They sell only 5 tickets per night to the Victim Experience and you must be 18 or over. The event is designed for a niche audience that wants to succumb to a horrifying and traumatic test of will power. You must sign a waiver before entering, there’s a safe word and only 30 percent of participants make it to the end. What happens inside varies from survivor accounts. After getting knocked over and dragged down pitch black corridors, victims have reported full-contact physical and emotional torture, water boarding, suffocation and simulated criminal sexual content.
Here’s a quote from their website: ‘This experience is not “fun.” …When you’re trapped with us, somewhere in darkness, screaming for your life, wishing you were never born… remember this: YOU ASKED FOR IT.’
- Alone – An Existential Haunting
This one does away with the fake blood and guts and aims for a kind of twisted psychological journey. You must be 18 and over, sign a waiver and enter completely alone. The co-creator Lawrence Lewis wants to play with your internal fears and exploit the mechanisms of fight or flight. Things get personal in this haunting experience as they’ll often use your name while they unravel your psyche with claustrophobic spaces, sexual content and all-out unnerving visuals. One participant recalls running full-pace down a pitch black corridor with a bag taped over their head. Hmmm, sounds delightful.
This is the most popular horror experience in America. It’s deranged, sadistic and downright terrifying. There’s a waiver, you must be 18 and of course a safe word which becomes all too tempting to use. No two Blackout experiences are the same and are always extreme. Voluntary victims have reported being left with with bruises and cuts, have been water boarded to near suffocation, forced to walk down a corridor covered in condoms and even eat tampons covered in an unknown liquid. That’s right, this experience is beyond cruel. It’s designed for a certain kind of thrill-seeker. It’s traumatic and will leave you physically and emotionally distraught.
- McKamey Manor
This is the most extreme experience legally possible. Designed by eccentric millionaire Russ McKamey this event aims to draw out the most deep, terrifying emotions from its victims. First off, it should be noted that it’s free to participate, all you have to do is make a donation to a charity called Operation Greyhound. McKamey does it purely for sadistic pleasure, not profit, which is unsettling from the get-go. Oh and there’s a 17,000 person waiting list to get in.
This is for ages 21 and older. There’s a waiver as usual but this demented attraction dials it up a notch with NO safe word and the experience goes for 4 to 7 hours!
This is an extreme, full-contact event. Participants have reported being threatened with power tools, forced to eat things, being water boarded and suffocated, they’ve had live tarantulas walking on their faces, there’s even accounts of people being stuffed into a clothes dryer!
Participants leave this experience as shivering, emotional wrecks, covered in blood and tears. Some even pass out.