Apply for the 2022 Hauntathon at
March 17, 2023

Creature Trends with Allen Hopps and Stilt Beast Studios

Creature Trends with Allen Hopps and Stilt Beast Studios

Allen Hopps owns and is the Director of During this year’s, Allen brought several new costumes with an anti-reality theme, and he’s also been experimenting with...

Allen Hopps owns Stilt Beast Studios and is the Director of Dark Hour Haunted House. During this year’s Transworld, Allen brought several new costumes with an anti-reality theme, and he’s also been experimenting with gamification and off-season events at his haunt. Here’s Allen live at the show with more. Support for this episode comes from Gantom Lighting and Controls. See what you’re missing with a free demo. Subscribe to everything from the Haunted Attraction Network here.


Allen Hopps: Allen Hopps with Stiltbeast Studios. One of the things that Stiltbeast Studios does is, we do a line every year. We did kind of a continuation of last year's line where we last year we had a lot of plants and carnivorous plants, and this year we added in fungus monsters and creatures and we have a myconid stilt costume, we have a ground version as well. I think that's an element that's going to pick up as far as haunted houses go. I think we're going to see, not zombies, but all these variations of zombies in order to kind of keep that going but not be as rote as zombies can be. Keeping with plants, we actually did a quadruped creature this year, so this is a stilt quadruped vine monster. He was actually very popular at the show, I think anybody with an outdoor setting, that's going to be pretty useful. 

Allen Hopps: One of the things that I end up. Saying to my crew is that. I'm not worried about people buying the things here at the show. What I want to happen is, we make stuff, they can see that we can make stuff, and then they give us their ideas. Because, in all honesty, I don't think I've sold any of these guys with this paint job, it's "can you paint it like this? Can you do this to it?" And I love that because that means haunted houses are customizing, and the less McDonald's haunted houses the better. Products that are a little bit outside the box, and the crazier their ideas, the better, the more fun it is to make. 

Allen Hopps: I did see a little more werewolf stuff here this year. Werewolves are on an uptick, you know, and I love werewolves, so I don't mind that at all. Another thing that I think is kind of happening is, over the past couple of years, and with Gen Z being a little bit darker mentally and a little fatalistic, what I think is happening is that we're a little bit rebelling from reality. So, I think we're going to see a little bit less realism in attractions, maybe less asylums, maybe more fairy tale forests, less hospitals, and more Mad Hatter tea party stuff. I just think that you're going to see this really weird offshoot of just different things. Yes, now you're in a mouse hole, but they're all mouse zombies attacking you, like, that's crazy. But I think you're going to see some anti-reality stuff. 

Allen Hopps: Haunted houses haven't hit a ceiling in any way, but I do think that the bigger shows, they kind of tested the waters with escape rooms. That's only like a 15-year-old industry, they haven't been around a long time. So, really, escape rooms are, "OK we kind of have a grasp of escape rooms. Well, let's do other stuff." You're seeing them reach out to these other things that were traditionally done by FECs. 

Allen Hopps: I think that we'll eventually see go-karts tracks that are heavily themed as opposed to just, well, it's novel because it's go-karts. I think that that novelty is going to go into, now you're go-karting through a mine shaft, and that's the theme. Then you have to race and beat a boulder, or whatever it is. But I think you're going to see a lot more of the traditional things getting kind of a haunted house skin put on them as these bigger haunted houses that have a budget are able to flex a little and try new weird things. 

Allen Hopps: Gamification is also going to be huge. We did a gamifying event at Dark Hour on Friday the 13th, and it went smashing. We're doing it again.

Philip Hernandez: You sold out.

Allen Hopps: Absolutely. So, we're doing it again and that's on its way to selling out. So, I think that whole concept of, again it's a bit anti-reality. It's, "reality kind of sucks, let's escape for a while." I think haunted houses have been that. I'm kind of pushing for a trend of getting haunted houses recommended as a good activity for mental health. Because, honestly, the more prepared your brain is for shock, the better it handles shock. That's proven. So, just get that out there. Right now they say, "go for a hike, get out in nature." I want that third sentence to be, "go to a haunted house."

Speaker 3 Looking at ordering timelines and whatnot for Stiltbeasts. People will be listening and watching this after Transworld, and they'll be able to go to the website and order?

Allen Hopps: They'll be able to go to the website, and a lot of our traditional stuff is on the website, there are always masks and things. Some of our icon characters might not be there because I do cap those. But I do have room for custom projects, but it's going to be a little bit later down the road so I can take care of my own haunted house and just make sure everybody that I've already taken orders from it is well in service. I had a health scare last year, so this year I brought in a bunch of staff to make sure that everything gets done no matter what's happening to me.


Allen HoppsProfile Photo

Allen Hopps

Show Director

A Show director at Dark Hour Haunted House, Allen also enjoys building and designing products for haunted attractions. He also runs a YouTube channel showing how to DIY for haunted houses called Stiltbest Studios