September 15, 2022
Philadelphia's newest haunted experience will be arriving just in time for the start of Halloween celebrations, putting a spooky twist on an old textile mill's storied history.
Lincoln Mill Haunted House will be open Thursdays to Saturdays from Oct. 6 through Nov. 5 in Manayunk at 4100 Main St. Tickets are available now and start at $29. VIP tickets, which grant access to balcony seating and let visitors skip the line, cost $55-$99.
The story goes like this: the Lincoln Mill opened in 1860 as one of many textile mills along Main Street in a largely industrial Manayunk. After it closed, a new developer purchased the space and began doing interior renovations.
On Sept. 2, 2021, Hurricane Idea hit Philadelphia, putting a large portion of the Schuylkill Expressway under water and flooding much of the Manayunk business corridor – including the mill.
According to the legend, the flood significantly damaged the mill's interior, revealing a hidden chamber beneath the basement level. It was discovered that in the 1930s, Viktor Kane, the owner of the mill, was experimenting on his workers. Countless bodies were found.
The legend behind Lincoln Mill Haunted House is a mix of fact and fiction, crafted by creators Brian Corcodilos and Jared Bilsak. The two previously operated a haunted house at Philadelphia University (now Jefferson University) when they were college students.
The attraction, which features more than 40 live-scare actors, horror sets, props, animatronics and other special effects, is designed for fans of Halloween who want to be spooked ahead of the holiday.
"We're so grateful and blessed that there has been such overwhelming support for what we're doing," said Corcodilos. "Nothing like this has been done in Manayunk, and we think it's really needed here. There should be something to do other than eat and drink. It's something unique and fun that people haven't experienced yet."
Corcodilos purchased the former Mad River building at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though he may have chosen a different tenant to take over the space, flooding from Hurricane Ida ultimately gave him and Bilsak the idea to open Lincoln Mill as a haunted house.
The decision — which Bilsak was originally not excited about — was made with the understanding that the building is prone to major flooding multiple times each year. Rather than opening another restaurant or bar, Corcodilos believes that this kind of multi-dimensional experience will complement the other activities available along Main Street.
Visitors to Lincoln Mill Haunted House will be able to purchase food from vendors, or grab a quick bite to eat at one of Main Street's popular restaurants before heading into the 45-minute experience. Afterward, guests can buy merchandise at the gift shop or head back out to Main Street to enjoy everything else the neighborhood has to offer.
While this version of the haunted house will be open through Nov. 5, Lincoln Mill will operate throughout the year. There will be a series of holiday-themed events for Christmas and Valentine's Day, as well as escape rooms and a celebration of the halfway point to Halloween.
For those who want to celebrate the holiday but don't want the added frights, Lincoln Mill also has a daytime scavenger hunt. Designed to be more family-friendly, the event will be held each Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
When Corcodilos and Bilsak were hosting their haunted house in college, they used the attraction as a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. With Lincoln Mill, the organizers hope to expand that partnership by donating $1 from every ticket sold to the organization.
For more information about Lincoln Mill Haunted House and events to follow after its inaugural Halloween season, check out its Instagram account.
Thursday through Saturday from Oct. 6 through Nov. 5
6:45 p.m. through 11 p.m. | Tickets $29
Lincoln Mill Haunted House
4100 Main St., Philadelphia, PA 19127