Hulu Preps Doc About Worlds Most Haunted House From Cash Cab Producer Lion

EXCLUSIVE: Hulu is preparing to launch a documentary film about McKamey Manor, widely regarded as the world’s most haunted house. Scroll to the bottom for a trailer.

Cash Cab producer Lion Television US is behind Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House, which will launch next week as part of Hulu’s Halloween Season and follows the story of Russ McKamey, the Navy Veteran turned master of horror who invites adrenaline junkies to the house and puts them through their paces to the extreme.

McKamey opened the manor to satiate his love of Halloween but it grew in popularity and obtained a social media profile, as the owner gained notoriety. It has, however, attracted controversy, with one participant saying she repeated her safeword for several minutes before employees stopped torturing her, while the police have been called to the manor on several occasions by locals.

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Stan Hsue and Allison Corn, who run Lion US, told Deadline the show will tackle this controversy head on. Without giving much away, they said it will uncover new horrors.

“The film shines a light on a world that for too long has been allowed to exist in the dark and it’s in that darkness that bad actors are able to do their worst,” Corn told Deadline. “We think viewers will find it eye opening and truly unforgettable.”

Sensitivity was a major priority for Lion during production and Hsue said the team wanted to “make sure we investigated and learned people’s stories in a way that did not add to their trauma.” Contributors include a human rights lawyer who specializes in the subject of torture and has worked on cases at Guantanamo Bay.

The show’s inception goes back to Hsue and Corn coming across the manor on YouTube and being amazed by “disturbing and upsetting” footage.

“So we dug in and found that the story is so much more than its shock value,” added Hsue. “There is an extremely rich psychological layer that explores why people subject themselves to extreme activities and the topic raises fascinating questions about the limits and complexity of consent.”

Upon the departure of Tony Tackaberry, Hsue and Corn were upped to run All3Media-backed Lion nearly two years ago, and McKamey Manor is the indie’s first Hulu commission. Hsue said the premium true crime show is “an example of the direction that we would like to go in, dealing with moral ambiguities and shades of grey,” while Lion continues to simultaneously forge “bread and butter investigative series.”

Matthew Shepard

With that in mind, Lion is also making an ID show about Matthew Shepard, a gay student who was beaten, tortured and left to die in the late 1990s, which will feature contributors including Rosie O’Donnell and Adam Lambert.

The case attracted significant media coverage at the time as Shepard’s sexuality appeared to have been a factor and Hsue said Lion’s show comes as “hateful rhetoric skyrockets.” “It feels exactly the right moment to honor Matthew’s life and legacy, as well as introduce his story to a new generation who might not be familiar.”

Elsewhere, Lion has been producing Bravo’s Cash Cab for most of the past two decades and the format is still going strong. Alongside the premium and true crime shows, Hsue and Corn are keeping Lion’s format game alive by taking a number to market including an “art relationships” project inspired by rom-coms and two social experiment competition series.

The past couple of years have been “extraordinarily challenging” for indies, Hsue added, and he backed up other big names from the unscripted sector by saying that the dual labor strikes have not led to a boon in the genre, unlike in 2007-08.

“Now is a time of change and instability so [commissioners] are being extraordinarily conservative,” he added. “I don’t believe the strikes have changed that.”

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