‘Stranger Things’ Directly Inspired by Montauk Urban Legends

Winona Ryder in 'Stranger Things'
Winona Ryder in ‘Stranger Things’ Photo: Curtis Baker/Netflix

You need to watch Stranger Things.

Stranger Things is Netflix’s latest smash hit original series, a supernatural drama that takes place in the 1980s about a small Indiana town rocked by the disappearance of a young boy and the conspiracy that begins to unravel as a result. Winona Ryder stars as Joyce Byers, a harried single mom of two boys, Will (who goes missing) and Jonathan, and David Harbour plays Police Chief Jim Hopper, who begins to uncover the truth about strange secret experiments happening on the outskirts of town. To say anymore would be to ruin the delightful surprise that is Stranger Things.

But the most fascinating thing about Stranger Things is that it was originally set not in a fictional Indiana town, but a very real place with its own real conspiracy theories and urban legends—Montauk. Many of the ideas explored in the show, such telekinesis, were directly inspired by urban legends surrounding the Camp Hero military base. The original script of the series’ pilot episode, which was originally just titled Montauk, actually opens with a quick history of Camp Hero and the alleged experiments that went on there, leading to its closing.

The reason for the change, according to co-creator Matt Duffer, came down to budget. Duffer told Tech Insider, “We liked the sort of coastal setting that [Montauk] allowed, and for production reasons it started to look more and more unfeasible.” Hey, Stranger ThingsRevenge (sort of) made it work!

Watch Stranger Things on Netflix and click here for more on Camp Hero.

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