6 Spooky Stranger Things Locations You Can Visit IRL—Just in Time for Halloween
If you haven't yet watched everyone's new Netflix obsession Stranger Things, you should update your queues, stat. If the prospect of Winona Ryder doesn't get you fired up, the intriguing mythology and '80s soundtrack will. An unapologetic nod to Stephen Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and all the other horror tropes of the early '80s we know and love, it's an addictive and electrifying eight-episode ride (with nine new episodes coming in 2017!) that will satiate your weekly binge craves.
While Stranger Things was originally set to shoot in Montauk, Atlanta proved to be a more practical setting for winter shooting, where they were then tasked with turning modern-day Georgia into 1983 Hawkins, Indiana. The team scoured the area for locations and to perfect and capture the rustic small-town feel the show portrayed so well. Even better, you can soak in the spooky vibe of these places in real life just in time for Halloween; the majority of these filming locations are open to the public. And while none of us wish to get sucked into the Upside-Down with the Demogorgon, these mystical sites are giving us serious wanderlust. Check out our favorites below.
EUE Screen Gems Studios
The eight-episode Netflix sci-fi drama series is an homage to all things Spielbergian—broken families, kids having secret adventures, supernatural beings, government conspiracies, and heartfelt endings. Considering all the drama and mayhem that occurred, we can safely assume a spectacular movie studio must be used. Production designer Chris Trujillo created the interiors of the lab, as well as the Wheeler and Byers family homes, on the soundstages at Screen Gems Studios in Atlanta.
Tiffany's Kitchen in Lithia Springs, Georgia
This is where Eleven entered the diner in a hospital gown and stole fries, and where Benny clothed and fed her before calling social services. On the show, Benny's Burgers is a diner style restaurant located at 4819 Randolph Lane in Hawkins, Indiana. Family owned and operated since 1965, it was last owned and run by Benny Hammond until his death in 1983. In real life, it's an adorable diner in Lithia Springs, Georgia where you can indeed snag a plate of piping hot french fries (not for free unfortunately).
Former Georgia Mental Health Institute
One of the most compelling characters of Stranger Things, Eleven, a young girl who's been subjected to scientific experiments by her "father," is caged in Hawkins Laboratory by the U.S. Department of Energy. As the location where Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) conducts his questionable research, Hawkins is at the core of the strange happenings. The exterior of the lab was shot at the former Georgia Mental Health Institute, which was once a 141-bed psychiatric hospital and now part of Emory University's Briarcliff campus.
Patrick Henry High School in Stockbridge, Georgia
Patrick Henry High School in Stockbridge, Georgia served as the shooting location for scenes at the middle and high schools. The shuttered building remains a prime spot for the Stranger Things kids' social scene. Both exterior and interior shots of the school are used, and it's here that Mike and his friends access the ham radio, attend a memorial service for Will, and battle the monster in the final confrontation.
Stone Mountain Park
When following their compasses north to try and find the gate into the other dimension, the boys walk along some incredibly aesthetic train tracks with Eleven. Most shots of the woods and the pond are from Stone Mountain Park. One of Georgia's most popular attractions, the 3,200-acre park boasts a full adventure course, train ride around the mountain, skyride aboard a cable car, museums, and lots more. Hours vary by season.
Bellwood Quarry, which has also made its cameo in The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, was used in several major scenes throughout. You'll recognize it from where Will's fake body is discovered and when Eleven saves Mike from the pants-wetting bullies. Bellwood Quarry was purchased by the city of Atlanta in 2006 and will be open as a public park as part of the Atlanta Belt Line.