If you're over the escape room trend, don't worry - you can always pay to have yourself kidnapped. For some, it's the ultimate adrenaline-pumping experience.
Multiple services, including Extreme Kidnapping, allow people to arrange their very own kidnapping experience or fantasy. Henchmen or an all-women team can abduct you when you least expect it, and you'll then undergo... well, anything you've chosen. You could be waterboarded, stunned with a stun gun, be bound and gagged, or anything else. The kidnapping can last a few hours or a few days.
These services are perfectly legal, and you can have a safe word to end the experience early if it gets to be too intense. However, police and mental health professionals see this kind of fantasy experience as troubling, and say that those who partake in it could potentially suffer long-term consequences.
Though fans of kidnapping experiences liken them to skydiving or other adrenaline-pumping activities, mental health professionals aren't so sure about that. Clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg called the trend a "bizarre and very unusual phenomenon," and said it "speaks to the high level of risk and sensation that people need to be entertained."
Adam Thick, founder of Extreme Kidnapping, said, “This service caters to the extreme sports adventurer who is bored with what’s currently available; this takes it to a whole other level."
Raymond T. Moody, founder of Kidnap Solutions, said, “These [clients] have snoozed through every roller coaster, breezed through every haunted house and horror movie known to man. They're looking for something more immersive, more visceral.”
Lewis Chiu, who went to Extreme Kidnapping in Detroit before the company moved to Louisiana, said, "I wanted to do it because I always have fantasies of being kidnapped by a bunch of women." Chiu went to Detroit a total of three times for this very particular kidnapping service.
What I got out of it, it made me stronger. It made me think about my family and my mother during the experience. I realized that when you are kidnapped, you are completely vulnerable and totally at the mercy of the kidnappers.
Here's how to schedule an experience with Extreme Kidnapping. After choosing which scenario you want (such as a ransom situation), a price is set. This can be as low as $150, or range to over $1,000. Extreme Kidnapping offers two teams: the Elite All-Girls Kidnapping Team and the Henchmen. The Henchmen offer a movie-style abduction and kidnapping experience; the All-Girls group is more of a fantasy experience.
You'll be abducted at any time, in any place. The company will often avoid crowded places so that fake kidnappings don't get reported to the police.
The Extreme Kidnapping team isn't afraid to get creative when it comes to making the experience as miserable as possible. A GQ contributor documented his time getting fake kidnapped and revealed that the pre-experience Q&A asked if he was fine with getting hit with trout, summer sausage, or a piranha. They also asked if he would consent to getting shot with a stun gun.