Nightmare Before Tinsel pop-up is back for another spooky season

Nightmare Before Tinsel
Society Hill Films

Ghosts and ghouls, witching hour approaches.

Philadelphia’s Halloween pop-up bar, Nightmare Before Tinsel, will creak open its doors starting Thursday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m. at 116 S. 12th Street in Midtown Village. The local favorite will once again have plenty of scary photo opps, witches bru cocktails, seasonal fall beers, costumed bartenders, and tons of frights and flights.

Society Hill Films

For 2022, Nightmare Before Tinsel will debut its new season theme that takes visitors through an apocalyptic zombie-scape, into a vibrant haunted mansion festooned with pirate skeletons, hulking beasts, and famous monsters from across the decades. Nightmare Before Tinsel will remain open through Oct. 31.

“Nightmare Before Tinsel this year hopes to be our most thoughtful, provocative, and exciting Halloween experience yet,” said Teddy Sourias, owner of Craft Concepts Group. “We have been working away to bring you this beloved Halloween tradition unlike any other in the region. We also are trying to constantly think out of the box and have a little fun along the way. Our team has done some amazing work for this year to change things up in a big way – the attention to detail and artistry is next level.”

For 2022, the pop-up bar has been converted from top to bottom with scenes, images and custom art that bring Nightmare Before Tinsel to life. Exhibits, props, decorations and photo opportunities will range from scary and gory, to ironic and funny, the retro and vintage.

“This year we proudly present an immersive fantasy and horror adventure, inspired by a variety of nostalgic horror and fantasy themes,” said artist and interior designer Scott Johnston.

Society Hill Films

This year marks the reunion of Johnston, now as lead designer and artist, with CCG Project Manager Alex Bokulich, and together they have enlisted the talents of dozens of performing and visual artists from across the region, while effectively increasing the wall space to create more thrills and scares than ever before.

New features this year include 17 “living” screens, showing videos with surprises around every corner, as well as custom DJ playlists for each night of the week, curated by South Philly based DJ “The Touched” on loan from the Mahoning Drive In Theater. The playlist for each night centers on specific eras and themes of horror cinema, interspersed with popular (and esoteric) music from their respective eras.

Nightmare has also added dozens of lifesize as well as “larger than life” fantasy and horror figures throughout the space, from fuzzy nostalgia to “knock your socks off scary,” with hundreds of curious artifacts and custom artworks throughout the space. The ever-popular throne room is back and full of surprises.

“Look for less quick passing thrills and much-more in depth, immersive and detailed scares in the new Halloween galleries,” said Bokulich. “The focus this year was about maximizing our space, adding more depth and on the story-telling. A lot of the things you will see in nightmare this year were not sourced, they were specifically crafted by original artists – this is the most original art and custom installations ever for Nightmare.”

Among the fiends lurking about in Nightmare, look for a smoking dragon, larger than life skeleton and zombie version of Philly favorites Gritty and the Phanatic. Additionally, Johnston, Bokulich and CCG has partnered with the Belasco Collection UK for an exhibit within the nightmare that they say is “Not for the screamish.”

For information, visit and follow @TinselPhilly on social media.