You've been reading a lot of Edgar Allan Poe, you can't stop listening to Sisters of Mercy, and the smallest glimpse of sunlight makes you weary. It's time for a change, and you're ready to embrace Gothdom full-time. So what does S.F. have to offer you dark artists?
First of all, pick up some animal skulls at Paxton Gate (824 Valencia at 19th St., 824-1872) to fill your home. Then run up to Loved to Death (1681 Haight at Belvedere, 551-1036) for unusual accessories, creepy stuff in jars, and a variety of household decorations that are made of dead things (or, at the very least, parts of dead things). Wardrobe-wise, your first stop should be the practically legendary Stormy Leather (1158 Howard at Eighth St., 626-1672), which provides a variety of sexy rubber and leather goods for both men and women, followed by Stomper's Boots (323 10th St. at Folsom, 255-6422), which carries every type of boot humanity has dreamed up.
If you're a lady, you're going to need to hit up New York Apparel (1772 Haight at Shrader, 751-8823) and Multikulti (539 Valencia at 16th St., 437-1718) for all your stocking, fishnet, and garter belt needs, before you purchase at least one of Dark Garden's (321 Linden at Gough, 431-7684) breathtaking, beautifully made corsets. Five & Diamond (510 Valencia at 16th St., 255-9747) and Gypsy Streetwear (1474 Haight at Ashbury, 948-4158) will also provide you with a variety of badass clothing and accessories made of leather and/or frills. We'd also recommend you hit up Fluevog (1697 Haight at Cole, 436-9784) for top-quality footwear.
Of course, if you're more Gothic Lolita than Elvira, you're going to want to check out the intricately tailored costumery of Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (1746 Post at Webster, 525-8686), H Naoto (also at 1746 Post, 525-8617) and Black Peace Now (15 Kearny at Geary, 754-8202). And if you still need some fun (or evil) accessories after those, head over to Yumi Boutique (1737 Post at Webster, 346-8288).
Or maybe you're more inclined to BDSM than the darkly cute. In that case, obey these orders: Hit up Leather Etc. (1201 Folsom at Eighth St., 864-7558) for clothing kink as well as a fantastic array of multicolored collars and cuffs. If that ain't extreme enough for you, pay Mr. S (385 Eighth St. at Harrison, (800) 746-7677) a visit for some hardcore S&M-related gear, as well as a fine range of spandex, latex, and leather gear, mostly for men.
Finally, now that your home and wardrobes are complete, a wicked little thing like you has to hit the town. Death Guild (Mondays) at the DNA Lounge (315 11th St. at Folsom, 626-1409) is the longest-running Goth/industrial night in the country, so that should be your first port of call, but we also recommend Dark Shadows (every other Friday), Strangelove (first Fridays) and Dancing Ghosts (third Fridays), all at Cat Club (1190 Folsom at Eighth St., 703-8964), as well as Shutter (third Wednesdays) at Elbo Room (647 Valencia at 18th St., 552-7788) and Club Nocturne, which happens mostly at the EZ5 Bar (682 Commercial at Kearny, 362-9321). For those of you ready to commit, take on a familiar or two by adopting black cats from the SF SPCA (2500 16th St. at Alabama, 554-3000).