It Turns Out That ‘Stranger Things’ Was Inspired By Terrifying Real Life Experiments


Stranger Things season 2 was released on Friday, and if you’re anything like me (a.k.a with no life) then you’ve probably already binged the whole thing.

But fear not, I’m not about to launch into a spoiler filled article detailing all the creepy goings on in Hawkins. Let’s just say it didn’t disappoint.

And if you haven’t got round to watching yet and need a little reminder about what went down in season 1, you can catch-up here.

Instead of looking forward and wondering what might happen next, have you ever stopped to think about the inspiration behind the 80s themed show?

Some of the best TV series out there have been inspired by real life events. The Crown, The Fall, and Mindhunter have all benefited from their association with true stories and characters. It just gives the plots that bit of extra depth.

And it turns out Netflix original sci-fi drama Stranger Things is no exception, being based – rather eerily – on true events that happened in the US.

All those disturbing experiments you see Dr. Brenner traumatising Eleven with in season 1 actually have some grounding in real life happenings.

While Eleven was forced to undergo frankly terrifying experiences to test her mind-control abilities by a man she called ‘Papa’ (gross), The Guardian have revealed that the real life inspiration behind these experiments was in fact government run Project MKUltra.

Project MKUltra is one of the most bizarre and disturbing footnotes in US history.

The CIA covert programme allegedly started in the 1950s to research mind control, telepathy, ESP, and psychic warfare. Unsettlingly, the government even conducted illicit experiments using LSD to act as a kind of truth serum that could act as an interrogation technique against enemy agents.

So. Creepy.

It was believed that it was possible to use the power of your mind to actually see events happening thousands of miles away – a technique known as ‘remote viewing’. Remote viewing is actually demonstrated in Stranger Things through Dr. Brenner’s belief that he could use El to spy on the Soviet Union.

When police chief Jim Hopper discovers a reference to MKUltra in Dr. Brenner’s past, it’s actually a nod to viewers that the creator of the show were drawing on fact. Other references to MKUltra have been seen in pop culture with the Jason Bourne franchise, the X files, and Fringe all featuring allusions to the project.

As with most dark spots in history that the government is embroiled in, basically all of the records and files of MKUltra were conveniently destroyed after the project was shut down in 1973.

However, in 1977 a Senate select committee pretty much confirmed all of the most controversial aspects of the research and that agents “drugged American citizens without their knowledge”.

If this is true then who knows, perhaps fluoride actually is a pacifying substance and maybe man didn’t really go to the moon. I mean, the flag did move.

It really just makes you wonder exactly what’s going on under our noses at this very moment.

Images via Netflix / GIPHY / iStock / YouTube / Stranger Things Wiki 

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