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How extreme is too extreme?

Discussion in 'Halloween Haunts & Scare Attractions' started by mouse, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. mouse

    mouse Well-Known Member

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    Earlier I was reading an article about Mckamey Manor in the USA, which if you haven’t heard of is a super extreme haunted house. It takes hours to complete and involves basically being tortured with stuff like force feeding, ‘drowning’ and being attacked. I would never try it myself as personally I would find it way too extreme, but reading the article it got me thinking how extreme is too extreme? Where is the line between a theatrical scare attraction and genuine torture/abuse?

    The thing is with Mckamey Manor is there is no safe word, so you can’t determine when you will finish. That is decided by the people working there, who will only stop if you are seriously hysterical or injured. This makes it a serious test of nerve and strength, and for me not having a safe word is too extreme. I think that is where the line is, the guest should have control over whether they want the experience to end, especially if they begin to have a panic attack or are physically injured. I also think that aspects of the experience, such as the force feeding, count as abuse - particularly as the guest can’t make it stop. Is there even much of a point of it being so physical? For me the fear is in the anticipation of an event rather than the event itself, hence why being chased by a chainsaw guy in anticipation of getting hurt is scary.

    From a personal point of view I would find Thorpe’s face it alone too extreme as well. I would find being duct-taped and man-handled aggressively more worrying than scary. I can’t imagine I would come out of it smiling, which I guess is a good way of measuring whether an attraction is too extreme. If a guest comes out smiling and glad they’ve done it then its fine, but surely some of the more extreme attractions can have a psychological effect on some guests? Part of what Mckamey Manor is about is the feeling of relief at the end, when you know you’ve overcome it. But shouldn’t an attraction be about the experience itself and not the emotional outcome? I’m by no means a scare attraction fan, however I do have an interest in them and would be interested to see what people’s opinions on this are :).
     
  2. Ben

    Ben Well-Known Member CF Award Winner 2016

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    Mckamey Manor is the only one I've ever read about and just gone, nope, that's stupid.

    It's not really a scare attraction and more just an excuse to beat people up and not get done for it.

    Do It Alone was fab, it was so hot.
     
  3. JoshC.

    JoshC. Well-Known Member

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    Whenever I've looked at some of these extreme things and seen forced feeding, I've always just gone nope. For me personally, that just pushes the boundary too far. It's not so much about what I'd be fed either; it's more that I hate the idea of being forced to eat something - wouldn't matter whether it was a cockroach or a delicious apple, if you're going to try and shove it down my throat, it's a nope. It's not even that it scares me; I just hate the idea of it.

    More generally though, I think 'too extreme' is a combination of something which is very long, very physically demanding (being put in awkward / painful positions, dragged about constantly, subject to very cold temperatures, etc), mentally demanding (situations where you think 'Can I actually do this?') and so forth. And something where the only way to end it is by someone else saying you cannot continue. I'm not necessarily saying everything needs a safe word, but if I genuinely feel like I wasn't getting enjoyment out of something any more and could make that clear, I'd want to be safe in the knowledge that the experience would stop.

    I could deal with things which are long, or something which is physically / mentally demanding, but a combination of them is where I draw the line. And something like McKamey Manor is just a big fat NO from me.

    Thorpe's Face it Alone is fab and the most extreme thing I've done yet. I'd be interested to try something a bit more 'extreme' though and see how much I enjoy that.
     
  4. Lofty

    Lofty Social Media Team Staff Member Social Media Team

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    To be fair, a lot of what you hear about McKamey Manor isn't actually what happens in there. I'm working with him on a big project at the moment and know a hell of a lot about his attraction - so don't believe everything you hear/see in media (even if it's an interview with him).

    Yeah, this part is relatively true. He evaluates everyone every so often to make sure they aren't actually going to become very ill from it. If he sees that they are becoming too hysterical, he will remove them instantly. You've used the phrase 'for me', but a lot of people DO want this, they like the fact that it's going way over the top, hence why he has a waiting list of over 20,000 people.


    People react in different ways, that's a given. The extreme attractions that I've designed and produced in the past have had some incredible reactions - from people coming out screaming, through to laughing, being sick, crying and also just total bewilderment. It's just a case that every attraction will affect people ina different way, so there's no solid 'emotion' that any attraction can give, or aim to give. It's that simple.


    That's a good attitude to have and there's a couple of really good experiences in the UK that are extreme, if you wanna know them, message me.


    This topic is the perfect place to drop this:

    [​IMG]

    As I said, I'm working with him on a project and don't believe everything you hear ;)

    He's actually a lovely guy and is very helpful to work with, so yeah, if you want to go to an extreme attraction in the Summer, come to Snuffhouse After Dark omn August 13t [/Plug].
     
  5. KristofWB

    KristofWB Well-Known Member

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    Haunted houses in Walibi Belgium are known to be quit extreme overhere, specially the actors in the houses can go pretty far sometimes. However, it does depend where you come from. For example: in Holland, actors in haunted houses are not allowed to touch any visitors. In Belgium, it is allowed to touch visitors, except in the face or 'down below' or anything that might hurt visitors.

    I do remember some moments in the haunted houses in Walibi Belgium that I was pretty shocked by how far actors would actually go. Most of the time, when they see someone panic, they stop, but sometimes it is hard to see if someone is just overreacting or if it is real. I know that one time, a woman had a panic attack in Walibi Belgium's Zoo Terror, a haunted 'show' where tortured and abused animals escape their cages cause of an electric failure. The actor that scared her had to remove his costume to calm her down.

    Project Z was another ride that was described as extreme by many fans. The house was themed as some sort of bootcamp, in which visitors had to undergo several physical and psychic assignments. Your exit depended on how long it took for visitors to end these assignments. I heard stories from people who were inside the house for about 15 to 30 minutes. What made it that exteme for many was that you had to walk through this house by yourself, yet it wasn't announced anywhere and people were caught by surprise when they were sent in alone, if not being seperated at certain scenes in the house. There was one part in the ride where tens of visitors were locked up in a very small cage and were litteraly dragged out in an agressive way by the actors whenever they wanted you to get out. They also got visitors out of their comfort zone by letting them crawl through tunnels where they were attacked by actors with chainsaws, or make them do humiliating things, like making them sit on their knees against a wall, make them do pump exercises or push ups in front of other visitors. Other behaviour from actors in Project Z was screaming very loud to visitors or blow whistles close to their ears.

    I think for Belgian visitors, this kind of extreme works well enough, however, I heard people from Holland and Germany say that in their country, this behaviour from actors is described as too rough and extreme.
     
  6. silenthillXD

    silenthillXD Well-Known Member

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    That's really interesting to hear that is the approach to extreme haunts over in Europe. In the UK that sort of stuff is quite usual now, attractions like Sub Species: The End Games have seen aggressive handling, yelling and screaming in your face become part of regular haunts.

    There's definitely quite a big difference between countries with how far things can go. If you look at McKamey Manor and The Freakling Bros Victim Experience in the US, there's some seriously impressive stuff, that you wouldn't ever see me doing. When it comes to tazer guns and 'water effects' it starts to push my limits quite a bit. That being said, I have huge respect for both Russ and the Frealking Bros, what they've both produced is something quite impressive, and in all honesty I don't think either has gone too extreme. It's all about what people are willing to subject themselves to. I would arguably say these experiences aren't necessarily designed to be pleasant, it's more to do with how far you can push yourself, and the extreme haunts in America certainly push you!

    In the UK it seems like extreme haunts are growing in popularity after Psychomanteum kinda lead the trend. There's now stuff like Cracked, which some people see as a scare attraction, but it's more a survival event in the same style as Tough Mudder. Twisted Attractions also tried out extreme haunts with Ward 78 back in 2014, which I personally experienced and was very impressed with. Then obviously there's the infamous Psychomaneum at Scare Kingdom, which I would say was the most extreme attraction I have yet experienced, and also one of my personal favourites.

    To me Psychomanteum was a really unique experience, it was utterly disgusting, but boy was it enjoyable! It felt to me the whole thing was around pushing your boundaries, and testing what you were willing to endure. I'm assuming most of you have heard about it, but as a brief background to the attraction, it's focussed around a Victorian clinic for the sexually perverse. Throughout my trip I experienced everything from being restrained on a bed, simulated waterboarding, being trapped in a coffin and a finale that had you simulating oral sex.

    It's really difficult to describe to somebody who hasn't experienced it, but whilst it was gross, the whole thing was such a positive experience. It's weird, but it's really pushed my boundaries further than I thought I could go, and that was actually really rewarding to experience. Personally I think the more extreme the better. Whilst I do have my own personal limits, I know that attractions are pretty open about what sort of things you'll be subject to once inside. Like I have said, without visting either Freakling Bros or McKamey manor, I allready know both of their extreme offereings aren't for me. As long as attractions are open and honest, which they all are, then I don't see any issue in ramping up the extremity.

    Also defintitely give a look at Snuffhouse After Dark, everything i've heard about the attraction sounds incredible and I genuinely can't wait to experience it for myself in August!

    I'm guessing there's quite a few people here interested in extreme attractions here, so i'm just going to leave this video here, as it's where I have learnt a ton about Blackout, McKamey Manor and Freakling Bros.

    https://youtu.be/cj1lj1Hdxew
     
  7. KristofWB

    KristofWB Well-Known Member

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    I do think it is something personal aswell. Of course these haunted houses are ment to freak out people, but everyone experiences these things their own way.

    Walibi Belgium -which I mention because it's the Halloween event I visit the most - also has minimum ages for people to visit the haunted houses. Most of them are 16+, however, it is an age they advice. They say that everyone can do their houses, but it is up to the visitors to decide how much they can take. For example, I once saw an adult man coming out of the parks Virus Z1 maze, looking pale and nearly crying, and he later fainted because he was attacked by an actor in one of the last scenes and was shocked that much. But a little bit later, I saw a 12 year old kid exit the house with an impression like 'I didn't care'. Walibi Belgium once had a haunted house named 'Hotel Fant'ôme' and had a scene where a freaky looking guy was playing with animal intestines. Another scene had a man hanging over a toilet, vomiting real loud. You could hear some people say they were disgusted by the vomiting scene, whilst the bloody and gory scene didn't disturb them at all, or the other way. So I guess it is all up to what you can have...or not!
     
  8. Lofty

    Lofty Social Media Team Staff Member Social Media Team

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    All of these attractions are based in singularities though, a well designed attraction will include them all to hit every potential member of the group (although this is impossible).

    For example: an attraction themed on ghosts and paranormal, could potentially be boring for those who are scared of gore.

    To better explain it, a rough case study is below:

    When it comes to Psychomanteum (which was an extreme 18+ alone based experience) - guests were subject to restraining, hooding, partial removal of clothing, full nudity from performers, drinking, eating and simulated sexual interaction with performers.

    Revulsion: Having blood (simulated) squeezed from a tampon into your mouth.

    Gore: A nun stabbing herself (in her intimate area) with a crucifix made of sharp sticks whilst she was riding you and bleeding on you.

    Psychological: Sub/Don culture of restraining and lack of control from the guest - mixed with not knowing what was going to happen next.

    These are just three content pieces that happened of a show of at least 8 different scenes. But, it shows that one scares/grossed out one, won't work on another.
     
  9. Serena

    Serena Miss CoasterForce 2016 Staff Member Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    I loved Face It Alone at Thorpe Park, because it was the first time I ever felt truly shocked by a scare attraction. The hands on stuff is great, it makes you feel so much more immersed, because you literally feel what is happening to you rather than walking past the scares. It's a great 'level up' for people who have done lots of scare attractions who may be growing numb to jump scares.

    From what I've seen about McKamey Manor, it doesn't appeal to me. However the guy is clearly a marketing genius, it's an exemplary form of reverse psychology. "This is so scary you do not want to do it" - cue massive waiting list!

    I'd be intrigued to see how much the McKamey Manor experience differs from what you see of it online. Is it true that Russ has live streams to Vegas where people bet on how long contestants will last? Because strangely, that was the McKamey Manor rumour that made me feel the most uneasy.

    In general, would love to see more hands on extreme haunts in major theme parks though. Love the ramped up factor of them!
     
  10. CianJay

    CianJay Member

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    Too extreme is when force-feeding comes into play.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. silenthillXD

    silenthillXD Well-Known Member

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    So I experienced my second extreme attraction the other week, Scare Kingdom's Snuffhouse: After Dark. It was incredible, very different to the previous Psychomanteum. This focussed on psychological scares and mental manipulation. *shameless plugging* Here's my review of the event for those interested: https://controllersandcreds.wordpress.c ... rk-review/ *shameless plugging*

    Anyway, it definitely pushed my boundaries further than I had gone before. Funny you mention it CianJay, but force-feeding used to be something that was a hard limit for me. Used to be being the key word. Snuffhouse featured one scene where fake sick was placed in your mouth and you had to endure it for a couple of minutes. Very unpleasant, but worked really well within the attraction. I was quite surprised actually, it ended up being one of my favourite scenes.

    The actors were again really impressive, they were brutal, and dragged you around a lot, but you felt safe in their hands. There were certain physical scenes which I was clearly struggling with, collapsing a couple of occasions. It was great to see the actors recognise this and give me a moments breather before starting up again.

    I think too extreme is when the actors don't pick up on these sorts of things. It's always important for me that the actors push me further than my limits, but respect my physical/mental capabilities. Funnily enough I have been contacted by Russ McKamey to run through McKamey Manor, but I just couldn't ever see myself doing it. I respect what Russ does, but it's not for me. I wouldn't be able to endure 5 minutes in there, let alone the full 8hrs.
     
  12. sKrATcher

    sKrATcher Member

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    McKamey Manor would be too extreme for me, but *IF* I entered the idea of doing it, I'd either need to be paid a LOT .... or be on a film crew, exempt from stuff, but filming some brave soul attempting it. Force feeding? Uhm, nope!

    This thread is the first I've heard of Thrope's "Face It Alone" - yet this intrigues me. That sounds like the kind of haunt that is just pushing the limit enough to be scary and not like the tame, hands off, well themed stuff I'm used to.

    Last year (2016 - I know this thread is a year old), Knott's Scaryfarm had an attraction where you have laser tag guns and shoot the zombies - interactive, and I think that was one of my favorite attractions I have done on a haunt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  13. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    I'll agree that the force-feeding aspect of Snuffhouse was too much - and it wasn't scary, just extremely unpleasant.
    I wasn't far off throwing up after the infamous 'fishy water' and had to ask to be let out.
     
  14. caffeine_demon

    caffeine_demon Well-Known Member

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    I think for me, too extreme would be having to get through one of those ghastly call centre menus!

    getting back on topic - I like extreme jump scares and creepyness, I could probably cope with being bound/gagged or caged - but forced eating and handling snakes/spiders is a no no!
     
    WhollyRudeTech likes this.
  15. sKrATcher

    sKrATcher Member

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    I'm watching a video on YouTube on McKamey Manor- I am no longer intrigued, and it's a huge HELL NO!!!!!!!!! Not for me (I'd have to be paid a lot to try something that awful... and people are on a wait list to try it??? Wow, Crazy!)
     

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