By Jaimz Dillman
One man’s passion has now become a gift to fans of ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night with Atomic Horror- a new store opening in Orlando, Florida later this week, just in time for spooky season!
That man with the dream is Jacksonville Beach native Bryan Murphy. A UCF grad, Murphy worked for years as a senior political affairs specialist. After he left and took a year off, it was while he was retraining for data analysis that he realized it wasn’t where he wanted to be. “I didn’t have kids or anything holding me back so I thought If I’m gonna come to work every day, at least have a little bit of fun 'cause I made it.”
Leaving his digs in the big apple, Murphy came back to the sunshine state where his parents still live, and collaborated with his brother, Jason, to bring an idea to life. A full-service store stocked for unconventional conventionalists.
While plenty of merch exists for fans of slasher films and b-movies, Murphy said the niche group is really underserved. “There’s so much merch constantly coming out and no problem getting stock, but I wanted to do something very craft- it’s not all major franchises, there’s Jason (Voorhees) and then there’s They Live and the Cheddar Goblin.”
Usually, cons often serve as seasonal shopping a one-stop for those wanting T-shirts, action figures, and custom art, yet there really isn’t a spot to get these things year-round until now.
And with sets built by brother Jason and walls covered by Bryan in all sorts of eye-catching posters, what they’ve created is a TikTok and social media dream.
Shelves are lined with T-shirts of your favorite monsters, an Elvira velvet couch just begs for a photoshoot, and serial killers lurk in corners just waiting for a stab at their next victim. You’ll spend plenty of time just snapping selfies.
Murphy says, “I’m just a geek. I love horror but I’m also a Trekkie. If people would ask, I could open a sci-fi restore but there’s so much more merch for horror.”
Plans are in the works for the tiki bar to become the place to be with craft coffees created to provide an even more warm and welcoming space for those browsing. “It’s not done. It’ll never be done. It’ll always have something new to work on.”
Soft opening hours for this week are being announced on the store’s social media just to kick the tires a bit. Grand opening announcements will happen soon. Also in the works is a web store for those not able to make it to the store in person.
“I have a fondness for the 50’s atomic era. It was such a good time for horror, rockabilly, etc. I like a good call back and a celebration of how ridiculous this all is.” And so do we! More info can be found at atomichorror.com