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LINCOLN MILL HAUNTED HOUSE IS BACK WITH A SPOOKY VALENTINE'S



Celebrate the dark side of love with a one night only experience unlike anything else in the Delaware Valley *

Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia's scariest new haunted attraction is reopening its doors for a one-night only pop-up event on Saturday, February 10th. Lincoln Mill Haunted House presents Viktor's Valentine: A Dark Love Story featuring candlelight-only tours through the depths of the famous mill at 4100 Main Street in Manayunk. Guests will descend through the hidden chamber and into the darkness where a blackout experience will heighten the senses. Be prepared to come up close and personal with the inhabitants of the mill - and keep close watch for the ghost of Viktor's Valentine. Follow the hearts on your quest to find the ghost of Viktor's Valentine. Warning: Proceed with caution as this experience is meant to be scary. Over 30 scare-actors will bring the experience to life. Candlelight tours leave between 6:00pm and 10:00pm, with tickets only $35 per person or $65 per couple. All tickets include access before and after to the deck overlooking the Schuylkill River. Tickets are on sale now at www.lincolnmillhaunt.com.

 

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LINCOLN MILL HAUNTED HOUSE



"Valentine's Day is about romance and spending time with your significant other," said Lincoln Mill Haunted House Co-Founder Jared Bilsak. "Other than taking your date out to a restaurant or bar, what other night-out options are there in the Philly region? There's something romantic about walking through a haunted house with your date in the dark, holding hands, side by side. We wanted to offer something unique and not offered anywhere else in the region. Our team has created a dark candlelit experience that wasn't just about the traditional idea of love and romance. Instead, we wanted to combine the emotions of love and fear while walking through a haunted mill in the dark. The idea for Viktor's Valentine was born."

He added, "The Legend of Lincoln Mill is an evolving story and we want to continue telling that story throughout the year. The Legend of Lincoln Mill is an evolving story and we continue telling that story throughout the year. In the story of Viktor’s Valentine, Viktor’s death is revealed and we learn that he was killed by someone close to him back in the 1930s.. Love and fear are the strongest human emotions and have become the key inspiration for this event."

"This event is like a scavenger hunt experience.  A trail of Valentine’s day conversation hearts have been left throughout the maze and guests have to follow and read the clues on the hearts.  Following these hearts will lead guests to the ghost of Viktor’s Valentine while encountering many of our scare-actors along the way."

During the exclusive outing for Viktor's Valentine, guests will venture through the hidden chamber equipped only with a candle and nothing more. With a Valentine’s Day twist, this blackout experience will heighten the senses as you encounter the mill’s inhabitants and the ghost of Viktor’s Valentine. Follow the hearts through the chamber to see what surprises are in store - and watch out for the ghosts that come back to haunt us.

In the 1930s, Viktor Kane had several accomplices that helped him carry out his evil acts. One of them loved Viktor, but developed a deep resentment towards him. She wanted the pain to stop and so she came up with a plan to take down his operation.

On February 14th, 1939, she left a trail of hearts inside the hidden chamber.  At the end of the trail, she revealed herself; greeted Viktor with a kiss, and then stabbed him in the heart. She then took her own life, wanting to be free of her guilt, her body, and to be with Viktor forever.
 
Viktor's Valentine marks the fourth pop-up and off-season event for Lincoln Mill in Manayunk - which was always part of the plan when the building was repurposed after Hurricane Ida. After a wildly festive and successful Christmas-themed holiday haunt in December, Viktor's Valentine returns for a second year. Winter is such a dark and gloomy time of year and the co-founders wanted to offer something a unique and not done before in the region.

For the storyline, Lincoln Mill co-founders Jared Bilsak and Brian Corcodilos wanted to offer something different than the October experience, and something more interactive.

"Instead of guests being passive observers in the show, they become active participants," said Bilsak. "We thought that there would be something interesting about giving guests a candle (battery-powered) and have them venture through the darkness searching for clues. The clues are in the form of hearts that guide guests on their adventure."

He continued, "The idea of discovering who your Valentine is, is a flashback to childhood when each of the children in class brought Valentine’s day cards for the other classmates.   When you were a child, the question you might have had on Valentine’s day was if whether or not you had a secret admirer or valentine, and who might that person might be.  In this case, our main villain, Viktor knows that he has a valentine and is anxious to discover who that is…"

When asked if the experience is meant to be scarier than the October experience, Corcodilos said, "Yes, much scarier. Venturing through the darkness equipped only with a candle will significantly reduce visibility and make guests more vulnerable to our scare-actors.  This creates many more opportunities for our scare-actors to appear out of nowhere!"

In terms of the haunted house itself, the mill has been upgraded to introduce some exciting new scenic effects since 2022 and 2023. Over the past year, the experience revealed the discovery of the hidden chamber and the introduction of the mill’s ghostly inhabitants.  Viktor’s Valentine tells the story of how the mill’s main villain becomes a victim at the end of his life.  The scare-actors play different roles in this story. Bilsak said, "We are also always moving our actors around and trying new things so our guests never experience the same show twice."

For audience, Viktor’s Valentine was created for anyone adventurous that likes haunted houses, horror, and/ immersive experiences.  Although the story is themed around Valentine’s day, it is not limited to couples and date nights. It is also a perfect for galentines, friends and/or family.

Tickets are on sale now and selling fast at www.lincolnmillhaunt.com for $35 each or two for $65 - and all include access to the deck overlooking the Schuylkill River.

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.

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