If you're like us, you savor and dread the advent of another Halloween season. Halloween traditions like dressing up in macabre attire, finding excuses to watch Evil Dead II on VHS and eating mountains of candy are great, but the ones that involve running down a darkened corridor from a clown wielding what appears to be a working chainsaw is murder on the nerves.
Call us whatever you will, but seeing what it feels like to almost die in one of the worst ways possible while ruining a perfectly good pair of pants isn't in our entertainment wheel.
There's a way to enjoy the upcoming Halloween season regardless of your feelings toward playing virtual murder victim, while still getting your fix of the dark side of human existence. The Horror Museum & Chocolate Bar will open on Friday, Sept. 27, on 3408 Main St. in Deep Ellum.
"Growing up, I've always been a big fan of horror movies," says Ali Sheikh, the founder and owner of the new Horror Museum & Chocolate Bar. "I almost watched all the horror movies that came out. I'm originally from New York and every Halloween, we used to go to all the haunted houses for Halloween and there are millions of people interested in visiting these places."
When Sheikh moved to Dallas, he thought the city could use something that offers a little something disturbing for all Halloween fans — whether they are there for the scares or the sweets — and his concept was born. The museum and sweets shop will be located in the space formerly occupied by the Magical Dessert bakery.
The place will be strewn with bloody and dark decor such as replicas of horror movies' most terrorizing monsters, like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and the evil Annabelle doll, as well as some items with dark and sordid histories behind them. The sweeter side of this dark installation will let guests get their fill of tricks with a small menu of chocolatey dessert treats, Sheikh says.
Make sure that your camera's battery is charged because you'll also be able to grab shots of yourself in recreated scenes from iconic film scenes, like Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
"There's that scene where Jack Nicholson is looking through the door and says, 'Heeeeere's Johnny,'" Sheikh says. "We're gonna break through a door so people can put their face in and take a picture."
Guests can also stretch out on a hospital table and pretend to be a butchered patient in the "Haunted Asylum," and even jump into a casket with a skeleton for their social media followers' amusement.
One of the most unique additions to the space are the "Anger Rooms" where guests can grab some dishes and smash them to pieces without injuring anyone, or being asked to leave the Cici's Pizza. If you've ever eaten there, you know why you'd do that.
Sheikh says his Horror Museum & Chocolate Bar wanted to offer some Halloween fun to a broader audience without skimping on the dark stuff that makes it the most entertaining holiday.
"We have a lot of haunted houses and stuff like that where they have people pop up and get scared, but we don't have any haunted museums, so this is something different," Sheikh says. "There's plenty of people who like getting scared and being chased with a chainsaw, but there's no place where people can come in costume and take pictures of themselves and being involved with the theme of it."
UPDATE (9/30/19): The attraction has opened and some customers aren’t pleased with the results. You can read all about it here.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.