Were They Seeking Contact With Real Demons Inside Alternate Dimensions?
The hit Netflix series Stranger Things was clearly influenced by Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, with a heaping helping of The X-Files and Twin Peaks thrown in for good measure.
But some of its creepiest source material comes from the real world. Past the plot points about the Upside-Down and the slime monsters among us are references to government mind-control programs and covert experiments in telepathy that actually took place in the U.S. throughout the 20th century – like MKUltra and Stargate Project. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Matt and Ross Duffer, the brothers behind the show, mentioned some of this inspiration: “We wanted the supernatural element to be grounded in science in some way,” Matt says.
“As ridiculous as it is, the monster [in the alternate dimension] doesn’t come from a spiritual domain and it’s not connected to any religion. It made it scarier. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe in aliens and alternate dimensions.”
But which elements are more fact than fiction? Here are five examples from the show that had real-life equivalents – some of them freaky enough to make monsters look like an appealing alternative. Obviously spoilers abound, so come back later if you’re not done with the show yet.