Philadelphia's First Holiday Haunted House To Debut In Manayunk At Lincoln Mill

Experience A Twisted Christmas - a unique blend of Halloween and Christmas, featuring scare actors and a dark Santa Claus.

By: Nov. 28, 2023
Philadelphia's First Holiday Haunted House To Debut In Manayunk At Lincoln Mill

Philadelphia's scariest new haunted attraction is opening its doors for a special one-night only exclusive holiday haunted house. Lincoln Mill Haunted House at 4100 Main Street in Manayunk presents the region's first Christmastime haunt with A Twisted Christmas, on Saturday, December 16, 2023, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Christmas has always been the season of joy, even during the darkest of times. While the town was distracted by the holiday festivities, Viktor Kane knew this was the best time to lure his naughty workers down to the mill's basement. After the basement was decorated for Christmas, the workers were lured into the chamber to see the display. One by one, they were trapped and then programmed into Viktor's little helpers. Before they realized what was happening, it was already too late.  Viktor's version of Christmas was more twisted than anyone could imagine. Warning: This event features over 35 scare-actors and is intended to be very scary. Tickets are $32 a person for general admission and $75 for VIP entrance. Tickets are on sale now at www.lincolnmillhaunt.com.

"Lincoln Mill Haunted house is an immersive story-telling attraction. We wanted to continue telling the Lincoln Mill story throughout the holiday season," said Lincoln Mill Haunted House Co-Founder Jared Bilsak. "Most people have heard of or are familiar with the story of Krampus.  In German Christmas tradition, Krampus punishes naughty children by whipping them or dragging them to the underworld. Our story's villain, Viktor Kane, was inspired by the story of Krampus.  Our attraction tells the story of when and how the mill owner, Viktor Kane, punished his naughty workers by luring them to and trapping them in the Lincoln Mill basement.  Viktor Kane sees himself as a dark Santa Claus and he programs his naughty mill workers into his elves so they can conduct his dirty work for him."

He added, "We always thought it would be interesting to mesh together our two favorite Holidays, Christmas and Halloween! We also have many elaborate sets, scenes, and props that are sitting and collecting dust throughout the off-season.  It only made sense that we utilize our haunted house space, sprinkle it with a Christmas essence, and offer something new and exciting to the community!"

During the debut of A Twisted Christmas, guests will venture to the darkest and lowest levels of Lincoln Mill Haunted House. The interior of the mill has been decorated for Christmas.  Christmas lights, tinsel, ornaments, trees, stockings, and anything that you can think of Christmas has been added and overlaid on top of the existing sets.   The story contains the same cast of characters but all characters will have a Christmas essence to them.  

There will be over 35 scare-actors featured for this event.  Most of the mill workers have been turned into Viktor's evil elves and some of them have been transformed into some special characters that guests will recognize through popular Christmas lore.  

A Twisted Christmas follows the largest Halloween season ever for Lincoln Mill Haunted House, as well as successful haunts for Valentine's and for Halfway to Halloween.

For the storyline, Lincoln Mill co-founders Jared Bilsak and Brian Corcodilos wanted to offer something different than the October Halloween experience, and something different than this year's other pop-up events.

"Considering our attraction has naturally been designed to be scary, It only made sense that our Christmas experience be a dark twisted one that continues to build upon the Lincoln Mill story," said Bilsak. "There are also not many scary themed Christmas events out there and we are always looking to offer new and exciting experiences to our guests. Yes, offering a Christmas themed event was always a part of the plan.  We began to float the idea of it this past Fall season and there was plenty of excitement around it. So it was the perfect time to move forward."

He added, "We designed and built the attraction in a way that we are able to reconfigure the layout.  We are always changing things up so guests will never have the same experience twice.  We are excited for our second annual Valentine's Day event entitled Viktor's Valentine this upcoming February as well as some additional events that we are working on."

In terms of the haunted house itself, the mill has been upgraded to introduce some exciting new scenic effects. The soundtrack, the lighting, and the characters will make our Twisted Christmas event very unique compared to our Fall season.  This event has a very joyous vibe to it with a dark twist.  

Owners/partners Jared Bilsak and Brian Corcodilos hope that A Twisted Christmas will become an annual holiday tradition - and the two are already working on new experiences for 2024.

For audience, A Twisted Christmas is good (or bad, if you will) for all the dark Santa's, devious elves, date nights, and outings with family and friends. It is the perfect activity for those that had enough light shows and Christmas bars - and perfect for the grinches in every crowd.

Tickets are on sale now and selling fast at www.lincolnmillhaunt.com.

For those visiting A Twisted Christmas, don't forget to take in the Manayunk Gets Lit light show on Main Street and the Manayunk Jolly Trolley. For more about the holidays in Manayunk, visit https://manayunk.com/events/holidays-in-manayunk.html

TRANSPORTATION

By Car – If you are traveling by car, there are multiple parking lots and side street parking in Manayunk.  You can prepay parking for nights of events by purchasing a parking ticket on our ticket website.  There is a limited amount of parking in the lots per night.  The parking will be valid until 6am the following morning.

By Train – One of the best ways to arrive at the Haunted House is by train utilizing SEPTA.  There are two train stops within walking distance, Wissahickon Station and Manayunk Station, both on the SEPTA Regional Rail.

By Bus – Please refer to the Philadelphia SEPTA bus schedule

Uber and Lyft – We recommend you enter the address 4050 Main Street for your Uber and Lyft rides for the destination so you can arrive not at a busy intersection.  You can then walk 100 feet to the entry at 4100 Main Street.

THE CO-FOUNDERS AND BACKSTORY

Lincoln Mill Haunted House is a partnership between owners Brian Corcodilos, who owns the building, and Jared Bilsak who is the creative mastermind behind the design and storyline.

Corcodilos oversees 25 employees at Designblendz, recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in America in 2020 on the INC 5000 list at #579.  Brian has a passion for teaching and loves to help drive others to success. Whether he is speaking in front of thousands of people, mentoring 1-on-1, or business coaching a small group, he captivates his audience with his energetic truth-telling stories. He runs a podcast on Apple Itunes called the New How Podcast, interviewing business owners around building businesses through the use of new technology.

Bilsak is a licensed architect at Breslin Architects in Allentown, Pennsylvania specializing  in K-12 School Architecture. Jared is also LEED Accredited Professional, WELL Accredited Professional, Construction Document Technologist and an FAA Certified Drone Pilot.  

The two met in 2009, at Philadelphia University (now Jefferson University). Corcodilos was a sophomore at the time while Bilsak was a Freshman.  They met through Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity (AXP) where Corcodilos was Bilsak's “Big Brother”.  In 2012, the Fraternity was seeking new ideas for charitable events on campus.  Bilsak had a background in creating Haunted Houses at his childhood home each October season. He floated the idea out to Corcodilos about doing a haunted house on campus in the historic Ravenhill Mansion.  The likeliness of the school ever letting two fraternity guys turn their most historic and valuable building on campus seemed very unlikely at the time… Corcodilos decided to pitch the idea to the school's leadership and somehow they let them move forward with the idea!

They successfully ran the haunted house entitled “Ravenkill Mansion” during the last weekend in October for the remainder of their time in college. Each brother in the fraternity was an actor inside of the haunted house.  They divided up the mansion into smaller rooms and introduced many special effects and characters throughout.  The haunted house attracted hundreds of college students and members of the community and all proceeds were raised towards the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  After they both graduated, they returned each October season and led the Fraternity to continue carrying out the event until about 2018.

During these college years of running “Ravenkill Mansion”, they thought it would be fun to one day open up their own professional haunted house. They will realize this dream with the opening of Lincoln Mill Haunted House.

When asked how the idea came together, they said to flash forward ten years when  Corcodilos  purchased the old Mad River in Manayunk, Philadelphia during the COVID-19 pandemic and was seeking a tenant for the first floor.  It wasn't long after when Hurricane Ida struck Philadelphia and flooded the Lincoln Mill to historic water levels. The building suffered significant water damage and he was concerned about finding the right tenant for the space.

Somewhere along the line, he had a flashback to their old college days of operating Ravenkill Mansion and saw a new business opportunity. He reached out to Bilsak about the idea.. Bilsak had been running a haunted house at his residential home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at the time and had been content with his home haunt operation.  After seeing the photos from the flood on facebook specifically of the Lincoln Mill under water, Bilsak saw high risk in the venture and was not interested.

They met several months later and after a few drinks, discussed the idea again. They analyzed the flood maps over the course of 200 hundred years and discovered that the latest flood was one of the worst in history and after weighing the odds, they decided to give it a go!

They decided to use their biggest fear, the potential of another flood, to their advantage.  The flood became the premise to the backstory for the debut of Lincoln Mill Haunted House in October of 2022. The new attraction garnered critical raves from local, regional and national press, as well as guests. Now, Lincoln Mill is back again bringing together everything Philadelphia loved about spooky season and pairing it with a new experience just in time for Valentine's Weekend and Halfway to Haunted House - and now for the holidays.




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