CHICAGO — The Avondale neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side is quickly becoming the epicenter for horror movie fanatics. Fans flock to Bucket of Blood Records, The Brewed Coffee Shop, Bick-ABrac Records, The Alley, Kuma’s Corner and DMen Tap. And now the newest edition, Horror House, is set to open on June 3.
Brothers Vinny Malave and Moses Gibson have always been horror movie fans. They would have horror movie marathons together when they were kids. They took that passion and in 2016, started a clothing brand inspired by their love of horror, music, media and wrestling.
“It all started in 2016 when The Cryptic Closet formed and eventually snowballed into a bigger vision,” Gibson said. “Over the years, we have met many talented artists and people who share the same passion and love for horror as we do. We knew we wanted to eventually open up a shop but didn’t know what direction.”
Through those endeavors, they quickly developed a reputation for their unique T-shirt style of blending horror and pop icons into something truly original for their brand.
Some fan favorites include the Fanny DeVito and mashups of “Candyman” and “Friday The 13th,” to Chicago band Alkaline Trio mashed up with actor Danny Trejo. In 2019, they had their first official Horror House pop-up event and things began to take off.
The brothers quickly realized that having all these unique artists and brands together under one umbrella was something truly special. It gave fans and customers something similar to what they would experience at a horror movie convention.
“With the gaining popularity of our shirts, we really wanted a place to showcase our original brand,” said Malave. “We started up our own comic book line called “Tales from the Cryptic Closet” as an homage to ‘Tales from the Crypt.’ It made more sense to have our own permanent location where we can see our brand that isn’t accessible anywhere else.”
Horror House is set to open on June 3 at 2911 W. Belmont. It will fit right into the melting pot that is the Avondale horror scene. They’ll stand on their own by selling original works by Malave and Gibson while weaving in fan favorites like Neca and Terror Threads. Its mission is to create a one-of-a-kind experience with items not found anywhere else.
To see the progress of the building and news of the opening, click here.
For more Chicago Scene fun, follow @tomwgnchicago on Instagram.