A new business right outside Baldwin Park is a horror fan’s paradise.
Atomic Horror, which opened on East Colonial Drive last September, brings nightmares to life with its merchandise inspired by iconic horror movies and television shows.
Visitors are surrounded by a horror horde of creepy creatures as they browse a massive selection of unique and terrifying items. The shop offers everything from art, collectibles, shirts, pins and stickers, to stationery, bags, decor, candles, rubber ducks, and much more.
Owner Bryan Murphy says he has always had a fascination with horror.
“I was an 11-year-old dressing up as Freddy Krueger,” Murphy says. “It was a deep interest — something I always thought was fun, especially decorating for Halloween which was the highlight of the year. … I just have never gotten tired of this stuff.”
After living in New York City for the past 20 years, Murphy decided to move on from his political research job and was looking for a new opportunity.
He considered data analysis, but when he thought about what he truly loved being around, the answer was simple: horror.
Murphy decided he wanted to open his own horror shop, but he knew it would be too expensive in NYC.
Murphy and his girlfriend, Erin Webreck, moved to Baldwin Park a little over a year ago and said they love it.
Murphy grew up on Jacksonville Beach and attended the University of Central Florida, so he knew the area would be the perfect spot to kick start his new business, especially being near the theme parks.
With the help of his brother, Jason Murphy — skilled in both movie-making and special effects — the pair crafted the entire store from scratch with the help of a few friends.
One of the store’s main draws is its rooms dedicated to different films and eras, complete with a multitude of photo opportunities.
Noticeable props include Basket Case and Michael Myers, as well as an Elvira-themed room and a Tiki-themed section.
“People have told me the store accurately describes some of their favorite things in their head,” Bryan Murphy said. “It’s a lot of fun; there aren’t any rules. Eventually, I’ll run out of room, but for now I just keep adding on.”
IT’S A LIFESTYLE
Bryan Murphy appreciates a range of horror types but especially enjoys serious films and classics such as the 1931 Dracula with Bela Lugosi. He also has a special affinity for 1950s, 1960s and 1970s films.
“It was just so fun to watch as a kid,” he says. “I just really appreciate people putting something like that together without the money, without the resources — just going out and making something. It’s art for art’s sake, because they were passionate about something and took a chance and they made their own bad movie.”
The shop recently began participating in local events such as Mills Mart, and has been at big fan conventions including Spooky Empire and Spookala.
In the future, Bryan Murphy would like Atomic Horror to host events of its own.
“It’s a labor of love just as much as it’s a business, and so far, I just keep putting the money back in,” he says of the business. “We’re young, but we’re doing well — but we’re also still trying to grow.”