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Mallgoth (also colloquially called Spooky Kid or Alternative Kid) is a term that was originally used as an insult to describe the fashion style of "Wannabe Goths" in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s who try to imitate the Goth fashion style without fully understanding the subculture beyond its stereotypical looks. Unlike the original Goth subculture which had its origins in Gothic Rock, Mallgoths were fully inspired by Goth's simple fashion and can often be found listening to Nu-Metal, Industrial Metal, and musical artists such as Marilyn Manson.

"Mallgoth" is a portmanteau between "mall" and "goth", referencing how many participants of the subculture would often spend time at shopping malls. In particular, it often references them purchasing items from Alternative stores such as Hot Topic and Spencer's. The term began as pejorative, connoting solely being interested in Goth for its fashion, rather than the subculture itself, similar to the use of "poser".

They are not actually considered apart of the Goth community because they share more in common with Metalheads. They can be considered to be one of the first communities using the “Goth” suffix who have wrongfully been lumped in the Goth community (such as Pastel Goth, Health Goth, etc.) but are involved in an entirely different musical subculture.

They were usually found being inside of malls (hence their name), But they did exist in other as well obviously. Their main target was to scare people, They were often found snarling and hissing at the people that weren't alternative. They existed through hot topic's goth/nu-metal run, which slowly faded in the late 2000s, thus making mall goths a lot more absent.

They used websites like MySpace, who was heavy in alternative people, and VampireFreaks (which was essentially a goth myspace.) Since Mall goths were a thing when internet was still in its early stage, you often see mall goths making their own websites on Angelfire, Geocities, Tripod, etc.

They still exist and, for a little while, had fallen by the wayside as Nu-Goth and Witch House had taken its place as the Baby Bat culture of the modern era. However, in recent years, the Mallgoth aesthetic has been brought back into fashion as part of the overall Y2K revival that has been gaining more and more prominence, especially on social media sites such as TikTok, where they made a comeback.


Visually, the style is an attempt to imitate Goth and shares similarities to the style, like dark clothing, dark makeup, and certain gothic accessories like necklaces and bracelets. There are many differences, however, noted by Goth DJ and scholar Andi Harriman, in an article for Refinery29, stating that "Most Goths don't wear a lot of neon, face masks, or those over-the-knee stripy socks, basically anything Mallgoths wear." While Goths sometimes wore generic branded and DIY clothes, Mallgoths often wore popular alternative brands.

When it comes to visuals of Mallgoth involving films or music, almost anything involving a parody of a horror film, book, web series, etc. is a Mallgoth-esque visual.


Fashion items such as platform boots and oversized sweatshirts and trousers are common amongst Mallgoths, as well as striped and checkered prints. They are often associated with wearing brands such as Lip Service, Tripp, JNCO, and Demonia. Chunky and platform sneakers were common, especially Buffalo. Platet skirts are also common in the Mallgoth community.

Mallgoths' hair is often dyed, particularly using Manic Panic dye. They can also be seen wearing the iconic Tripp pants and combining aspects of other alternative fashion with theirs by adding studded bracelets and spiky collars.

Black band tees displaying the teen's favorite musicians are common, with pretty minimalistic makeup, usually black eyeliner "done in a way that can only be described as raccoon-esque" and simple black lipstick.


  • Frequenting malls for activities such as shopping, dining, going to the cinema (including animation, PG-13, and R-rated movies), and playing Arcade games.
  • Exploring the internet and social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitch, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.)
  • Spending time at diverse restaurants (including fast food, sit-down, takeout and buffets)
  • Immersing themselves in pop culture through 80s-2000s Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel, as well as anime.
  • Listening to mainstream Metal and other heavy music genres (most notably Nu-Metal, Industrial Metal, Death Metal, Goth Metal, and Heavy Metal) and attending concerts.
  • Hitting up nightclubs, bars, and occasionally casinos for social interaction.
  • Engaging in leisure activities like sporting events, arcades, bowling alleys, and billiards.
  • Visiting college campuses, even if not enrolled, for a specific social atmosphere.

Regional Variants[]



An example of a Herka

In Russia, the term for Wannabe Goths is Herki (Херки). Originally, it was a pun used as a derogatory word for fangirls of the Finnish band HIM. In the late 2000s, the fans of HIM stopped considering themselves Goth, although some fans kept calling themselves "Herka" as a joke, and the term rather became associated with the Russian band Otto Dix. The extremely toxic behavior of the singer Michael Draw contributed to keeping up the band's negative reputation. He also created (or popularized, because some sources claim this term already existed) the term "Stalker Goth" (the word stalker is used as a slang term for a Chornobyl urbexer and modern ruin urbexer) which is a mix of Mallgoth with the Rivethead, Cybergoth, Post-Apocalyptic and Trashcore aesthetics.


In general, Herki listens to the same kind of music as Mallgoths, with some local additions and variations.

  • Белый пепел by Otto Dix
  • Gilles De La Tourette by AKADO
  • Join Me In Death by HIM
  • Nemo by Nightwish
  • Искупление by Flёur
  • Hello by Evanescence
  • Alleine Zu Zweit by Lacrimosa
  • Nymphetamine Fix by Cradle Of Filth
  • Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson
  • Зарази меня жизнью by DEFORM



  • Marilyn Manson
  • Slipknot
  • Kittie
  • Korn
  • Coal chamber
  • Jack off Jill
  • Static-X
  • Orgy
  • Type O Negative
  • Deftones
  • My ruin
  • The Birthday Massacre
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Evanescence
  • Kidneythieves
  • Rob Zombie
  • Mudvayne


  • Wait and Bleed by Slipknot
  • The Fight Song by Marilyn Manson
  • Freak on a Leash by Korn
  • Dig by Mudvayne
  • This is the New Shit by Marilyn Manson
  • Eyeless by Slipknot
  • Dragula by Rob Zombie
  • Loco by Coal Chamber
  • Heresy by Nine Inch Nails
  • Toxicity by System of a Down
  • The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson
  • Bodies by Drowning Pool
  • Blind by Korn
  • Sick With It by My Ruin
  • Spit It Out by Slipknot
  • Brackish by Kittie
  • Last Resort by Papa Roach
  • (You Drive Me) Crazy by Sugarcoma
  • Pisschrist by Fear Factory
  • Social Enemies by Orgy
  • I'm With Stupid by Static-X
  • Horrible by Jack Off Jill



  • Beetlejuice
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer
  • Daria
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Evil Dead
  • Goths Doing Things
  • Growing Up Creepie
  • Invader Zim
  • Monster High
  • Ruby Gloom
  • Tales from the Crypt
  • The Addams Family
  • The Crow: Stairway to Heaven
  • The Munsters
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Just about any cartoon or sitcom that has Goths and/or darkly-inclined characters or monsters


  • Beetlejuice
  • Bride Of Chucky
  • Coraline
  • Corpse Bride
  • Donnie Darko
  • Evil Dead
  • Friday the 13th
  • Ghost Ship
  • Halloween
  • Hellraiser
  • Nightmare on Elm street
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • ParaNorman
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • The Addams Family (Live-action)
  • The Addams Family Values
  • The Craft
  • Scream
  • The Crow
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

Video Games[]

  • American McGee's Alice
  • BloodRayne/BloodRayne 2
  • Corpse Party
  • Emily the Strange: Strangerous
  • Manhunt
  • Saints Row 2
  • Saya no Uta
  • The Path
  • The Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff
  • Resident Evil franchise
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines


The following stores are stores associated with Mallgoths and are often referenced by them as being their favorite store. Hot Topic in particular is the most well-known Mallgoth store.

  • Hot Topic
  • Journeys
  • Newbury Comics
  • Spencer's
  • Spirit Halloween
  • Tilly's
  • Zumiez


  • Demonia
  • Emily The Strange
  • Lip Service
  • Living Dead Souls
  • Morbid Threads
  • Omen
  • Royal Bones
  • Ruby Gloom
  • Sweetypuss
  • Tripp NYC

Notable Figures[]

Some persons or fictional characters who influenced the Mallgoth subculture include:

  • Amy Lee
  • Alice Liddell from American McGee's Alice
  • Emilie Autumn (Enchant/Opheliac era to be specific)
  • Jay Gordon from Orgy
  • Jessicka Addams
  • Joey Jordison
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Meegs Rascon
  • Otep Shamaya
  • Rayna Foss
  • Sara "Chibi" Taylor
  • Tairrie B
  • Talena Atfield
  • The Dro from DeadStar Assembly
  • The Minions from BloodRayne 2
  • Tobey Torres
  • Anybody from Kittie
  • Anybody from Murderdolls