Is Stranger Things Based on a True Story (Character Inspirations Revealed)

Unless you have been living under a rock, then I am sure you have heard of the hit show Stranger Things. Created by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things has become a pop culture icon since it debuted in 2016.

From its supernatural elements to humorous banter among the characters, the show has captivated every viewer. There is no denying that Stranger Things deserves all the praise since fans cannot seem to get enough since its premiere in 2016.

We are drawn into its compelling storyline and likable protagonist’s nostalgic yet unpredictable journeys.

One element that played a role in the show’s success is its multiple genres; Stranger Things can appeal to a larger audience. It combines elements of a coming-of-age story, horror serial, conspiracy thriller, and adventure. The series never relies too heavily on any one of these subgenres. And honestly, who does not love a blend of all the genres?

Also, there are little easter eggs, some obvious and some subtle, throughout the show that take you on a nostalgic trip. And don’t even get me started on the characters and cliffhangers! All in all, it’s an addictive roller coaster ride – an emotional one.

Now, let’s answer a few questions we all had in our minds since the series’ debut.

Is Stranger Things Based On A Book?

Is Stranger Things Based On A Book

Like us, and many others, did you have the same question – “Is Stranger Things Based on a Book?” Let’s find out!

Stranger Things’ debut hooked practically every viewer on Netflix; it soon became one of the most-watched series on the streaming giant. Since its debut, people have started to ponder if the series drew inspiration from a book.

The simple answer is “yes.” It drew inspiration, but the series itself was an original series created by the Duffer Brothers. Stranger Things took inspiration from many real-life events. The series took inspiration from numerous things, from Stephen King to Project MKUltra to the legend of The Montauk Project.

Gaten Matarazzo, the actor who plays Dustin in Stranger Things, said in an interview that the series was based on Montauk’s Camp Hero and on the government lab and how the secret spies were performing a series of experiments at the facility. Did you know? The series was initially titled “Montauk,” which was later changed to Stranger Things.

What Is Stranger Things Based Off?

What Is Stranger Things Based Off

Stranger Things was an instant hit after its release, and like many other shows, the series was all over social media. The one discussion that stood out the most among the fans was the series’s resemblance to an alleged real-life government experiment, “The Montauk Project.”

The U.S. military allegedly tested on children in Montauk in the 1980s, according to the long-standing conspiracy theory known as the Montauk Project.

Preston Nichols said to have been one of the experiment’s abductees, eventually wrote a book titled “The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time” to recount his experience.

The Montauk Project involved abducted kids, time travel, aliens, mind control, and a secret base; now, why does it sound all so similar? Stanger Things drew heavy inspiration from the Montauk Project.

Everything surrounding the Montauk Project is still a mystery and conspiracy theory. The CIA, however, did run a similar experiment under the name “Project MKUltra.” The purpose was to create a specialized drug that could potentially lead to mind control.

Is Eleven From Stranger Things Based On A True Story?

Is Eleven From Stranger Things Based On A True Story

If you are worried about someone coming from the Upside Down, I don’t think you shouldn’t. At least, not until the real-life Eleven opens the gate to it; that’s all very far-fetched.

By now, we’ve talked about how the series revolved around an apparent real-life experiment conducted by the government illegally. Eleven is a fictional character created solely for the show, but she does draw inspiration and resemblance from the story of these experiments.

Is ‘Hawkins’ From Stranger Things A Real Town?

Is 'Hawkins' From Stranger Things A Real Town

Stranger Things has given us many memorable moments, from the character to scary shrieks, and above all, a town we would all love to visit.

Hawkins’s mysterious yet intriguing town has become one of the few memorable towns to come out of a TV series. And as much as we like this town to be real, it sadly isn’t. The Duffer brothers created it, the creators of Stranger Things, as the fictional backdrop for the show.

The actual location was filmed in Georgia, and a fun fact, the filmmakers usually prefer this location due to tax and other incentives.

Stranger Things Characters That Are Inspired By Real People

#1 Mike Wheeler

#1 Mike Wheeler - Stranger Things Characters That Are Inspired By Real People

Based On: Michael “Mikey” Walsh (The Goonies)

When Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in 2016, it captivated audiences everywhere. The Duffer brothers created several legendary characters whose stories are exceptionally beautifully written, and they brought the town of Hawkins and its residents to live in the hugely popular sci-fi drama.

From the grumpiest police chief to the party to the leader of the Hellfire club – every captivating character plays a crucial role in the show’s success.

We could not imagine the show without the close-knit group of friends – Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, Eleven, and Max. The “Party” pretty much held the series. And among them, Mike’s the natural leader and loyal friend.

The storyline of the group of friends from Stranger Things closely lines with the movie; the movie features a close-knit group of friends, and the series’ characters mirror the adventure film. As his first name is a direct allusion, Mike’s character was initially based on Michael “Mikey” Walsh from the movie.

A little fun fact for you readers; Sean Astin, who plays Bob in Stranger Things, also played Mikey in Goonies. Even “The Gate” was inspired by the Goonies caves.

#2 Jim Hopper

#2 Jim Hopper - Stranger Things Characters That Are Inspired By Real People

Based On: Indiana Jones

Jim Hopper might be the grumpiest chief of police we have ever seen, but his the still a cop we all love! He took up the role of a father figure to look after Eleven and was also one of the first few who took the Hawkins kids seriously.

When you are in the face of danger and lose your hat, what do you do? Leave it behind, maybe?

But for Jim and Indy, that is not an option; no matter if you are going to be crushed by a boulder or in a hurry to escape the Hawkins tunnel – you don’t leave your hat behind!

There are multiple references made to Indiana Jones. His humorous banter, his fighting ability, and of course, his signature hat were all references to Indiana Jones.

#3 Eddie Munson

#3 Eddie Munson - Stranger Things Characters That Are Inspired By Real People

Based On: Damien Echols

Eddi Munson and Vecna were a welcoming addition to Stranger Things’ recent season. The official Dungeons & Dragons Hellfire Club leader at Hawkins High was Eddie Munson, portrayed by actor Joseph Quinn. The character Eddie Munson is apparently based on novelist and West Memphis Three member Damien Echols of the United States.

#4 Holly Wheeler

#4 Holly Wheeler - Stranger Things Characters That Are Inspired By Real People

Based On: Gertie (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)

Holly Wheeler is a recurring character in Stranger Things, and she is the younger sister of Mike and Nancy Wheeler. Apart from being the recurring character, she was the adorable one since the beginning, and boy, we miss her adorable blink from her high chair. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial completely dominated pop culture when it came out and is still continuing to do so four decades after. The tale of a boy bonding with a kindred extra-terrestrial was a bona fide phenomenon.

Stranger Things has many references laid to the movie, from some of the outfits to D&D games, to the kid chased by the government official; the series drew and made references to the film. The younger sibling of Mike and Nancy resembles Elliott’s little sister, Gertie, in terms of appearance and innocence.

#5 David O’Bannon

#5 David O'Bannon - Stranger Things Characters That Are Inspired By Real People

Based On: Alien (1979) Writer

Remember David O’Bannon from Stranger Things Season 1? Yeah, you don’t. And honestly, we don’t remember him either. He is the state trooper who discovers Will’s body. David O’Bannon had a minor role and was in only two episodes of Season 1.

You do, however, might remember him as the guy who got beat up by Jim Hopper at the bar; we all had a silly grin after that brawl. Stranger Things took inspiration from many classical movies; one that we see here is the movie Aliens.

Ridley Scott’s landmark film inspired the Upside Down and the character we see here – David O’Bannon. The state trooper’s name is inspired by the writer of Alien, Dan O’Bannon. A nice little easter egg.

Is the Demogorgon From Stranger Things Real?

Is the Demogorgon From Stranger Things Real

The tall creature with its creepy face and elongated limbs can scare the pants off anyone in reality. Fortunately, Demogorgon is a fictional character created exclusively for the show. In fact, Demogorgon was inspired by the hit movie Jaws.

Mark Steger, who choreographs and plays Demogorgon, said in an interview that the initial instruction he got from the Duffers brothers were – “The simple directions the Duffers gave me were, You’re basically a shark, like the shark from ‘Jaws,’ and you travel between realms to feed.”

If Demogorgon were “really” real, you’d find me on the next SpaceX flight to Mars.

That’s all for now, readers. Cheers, and let us know if you caught onto all of the references made in the show; till we wait for the next season!