For the last few years, Netflix has treated us with trips to Hawkins, Indiana, a small town with a dark secret. Thanks to a nearby lab messing with things beyond their understanding, the city is linked to a terrifying alternate dimension known as the Upside Down, which is full of hungry monsters. But where is Stranger Things filmed?
We don’t think Netflix punched a hole in reality just to film a cool TV series. I mean, we know it’s competitive for streaming services these days, and there’s a lot of talk about filming in space (mainly from Tom Cruise, to be fair), but even Netflix doesn’t have the resources to jump between dimensions (Editor: That we know of)
So where is Stranger Things filmed? Don’t worry; we’ve done some digging to find where the hit sci-fi series is filmed. We’ve broken down all your favourite locations, from the ominous Hawkins Lab to the bright and vibrant Starcourt Mall. We’ve even included Hawkins High School because education is important, kids. Warning spoilers ahead.
Like a lot of fictional towns, Hawkins isn’t one location. It’s several places glued together through the magic of TV editing. Unsurprisingly, as the show shoots in Georgia, a lot of the town is located in the state, with Jackson (a town about 40 miles from Atlanta) filling in for Downtown Hawkins.
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Douglas County has also provided more than a few filming locations, including Hawkins Police Station, Palace Arcade, and Family Video (the video store where Steve and Robin work in season 4). Meanwhile, Leafy East Point South West of Atlanta is where the exterior of the Wheelers, Henderson, and Sinclair homes were filmed.
Hawkins High school
I told you we’d include Hawkins High school. Patrick Henry High School in Atlanta is where they shoot the exterior high school scenes, and it’s the exact location Netflix used for Hawkins Middle School. Not the most exciting entry we know.
In the show’s reality, Hopper lives away from the rest of the town so he can keep Eleven from prying eyes. A cabin at Sleepy Hollow Farm, Powder Springs, Georgia, was used for the exterior of Hopper’s home. You can visit the cabin, and the owners have turned it into a Stranger Things-themed escape room.
Hawkins National Laboratory
Hawkins National Laboratory was the home to Dr Brenner and his experiment to create psychic children that led to Eleven developing psychic powers. In reality, the lab has a far more benign purpose.
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The lab is part of Emory University Briarcliff Campus near Atlanta, Georgia and was a psychiatric hospital operated from 1965 to 1997 (no Demogorgons have been seen in the area). Only the exterior of the building is used for shooting, and all the interior sets are filmed on a soundstage elsewhere in Georgia.
Starcourt Mall was a central location in Stranger Things season 3. The mall had everything you could possibly want; stores, a theatre, an arcade, and even a portal to the Upside Down being run by the Soviet Union. It truly was a one-stop shop for the savvy consumer.
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Gwinnett Place Mall in Georgia (a largely abandoned shopping centre) played Hawkins’ first mall. Unlike other locations, Netflix actually used some of the interiors and restored the mall to its prime for filming. Unfortunately, once they were done, the streaming service had all of the restoration work undone to prevent Stranger Things fans from raiding the mall for souvenirs.
The quarry where ‘Will’s’ body was found in Stranger Things season 1 is a real location. It’s Bellwood Quarry in Atlanta, and you’ve probably seen it before on other shows like The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries.
Pennhurst Mental Hospital
The imposing Pennhurst Mental Hospital is where Victor Kreel has been kept after being accused of murdering his family. In real life, the building used for Pennhurst is called Mary Hall, and it’s part of Berry College.
Despite looking like it should house the criminally insane, the building is used as female-only student halls. Apparently, it’s named after Henry Ford’s mother, a random fact Berry College included on their website, and I felt the need to share it.
Kamchatka Prison is the name of the prison where Jim Hopper was kept for most of Stranger Things season 4. The Duffer Brothers and Netflix actually left Georgia for this location, although they didn’t go to Russia.
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Instead, they shot the prison in Lithuania, specifically Lukiškės Prison in Vilnius. The prison has a pretty tragic history, to be honest, and was used to hold political prisoners for a number of years. More recently, though, it’s been used as a cultural centre, and you can stay in a Stranger Things-themed Air BnB in the building.
If you need to know more about Hawkins, then check out our guide on Stranger Things season 5.