Q&A: Horror-Shop creator Randy MikelsFeatures/Interviews,News Cheryl Singleton
You can get your Halloween fix twelve months out of the year thanks to Randy Mikels and his team at Horror-Shop. The owner of the Horror-themed retail and online stores based in Germany believes horror items should be part of your everyday decor, and he’s here to help make that happen.
FANGORIA: What was the inspiration behind opening a horror themed store?
RANDY MIKELS: I have always been a huge horror movie fan so when I opened a piercing studio in 1986, the decor was strongly influenced by horror movies and included masks and figures of Freddy Krueger, Hellraiser and Michael Myers. Piercings were very new to Germany at the time and so was the use of horror movie memorabilia as decoration, so it didn’t take long until the customers wanted to buy the masks and figures from our store. Because of this, I started to import more and more Halloween and horror products from the USA, and 3 years later, I opened Horror-Shop that is focused around these products.
FANGORIA: What are some of your most popular items?
MIKELS: Some of our most popular products are the classics and collectibles from Horror movies like HALLOWEEN, CHILD’S PLAY, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or SCREAM. This goes from masks to figures and merchandise. Around the Halloween season, we see a lot of demand for special make-up effects, costumes, fake blood and fangs.
FANGORIA: Have you received any strange requests?
MIKELS: One of the strangest requests was if we could stuff deceased pets or create a replica of them. We have actually received this request quite often!
FANGORIA: Do you have a physical shop as well as an online store?
MIKELS: Next to our online store, we currently have two retail stores. One is located in the center of Munich and the other, which is our huge showroom and warehouse storing over 14,000 products, is located on the edge of Munich.
FANGORIA: What makes Horror Shop stand out from other horror retailers?
MIKELS: We don’t want to sell Halloween and horror products the way the big department stores do. We want to give our customers the experience as if they are walking through an amazingly decorated theme park. Like the Rainforest Cafe or the shops in the Universal Studios, we build our own sceneries in which we can present our products. While shopping at our store, the customer already feels like they are attending a Halloween party or a haunted house and instead of just shopping for the products, they can see how the products can be used and can collect inspiration for their own Halloween or horror event. We try to deliver this same shopping experience in our online store with our horror-inspired design.
FANGORIA: I understand you’re a huge FANGORIA fan and you have a collection, when did you start reading?
MIKELS: It all started in 1983 on my first visit to L.A. when a piercing colleague gave me a copy of FANGORIA. After that, I could not wait until the new issue was available at the newspaper kiosk. I collected every issue of FANGORIA for about 15 years and I still have all of them!