When and where does ‘Stranger Things’ take place?

stranger things 4
Image via Netflix

It’s been almost three years since the last new episode of Stranger Things came out. A lot has happened since then, including a global pandemic, a new president, and a slew of new shows that have filled the void in our hearts left by Stranger Things’ absence. But it’s time to get back in the saddle, because Stranger Things season four is officially coming out May 27, 2022.

With such a large gap between seasons, it’s time to brush up on the facts, because the Duffer Brothers have announced that season four will be broken up into two parts. That’s right, season four is going to be a hefty one, which means that we need to get all of our information in order if we have any hope of keeping up with what will undoubtedly be a doozy of a season.

Where does Stranger Things take place?

It’s back to the basics, and it’s as good a question as any given how long it’s been. But don’t hop in your car and plan a road trip just yet, because even though Hawkins looks real, it doesn’t exist in Indiana. It’s a fictional town actually filmed in the real-life town of Jackson, southeast of the city of Atlanta, Georgia. There are no demogorgons or lab tests on children happening in the far-off corners of this town.

While Jackson fills in whenever the story needs glimpses of downtown Hawkins, other locations were also used. For starters, the Starcourt Mall, home of the famous Starcourt Battle at the end of season three, is also real and it’s called the Gwinnett Place Mall, which is based just outside Duluth, northeast of Atlanta.

How much of Hawkins we’ll see in season four remains to be seen. As we know, the Byers family and Eleven have all packed their bags and left Hawkins behind. But where did they go, you ask? California, of course.

The new season will find Eleven acclimating to her new home in California and in the trailer, she reads a letter sent to Mike in which she fills him in on everything that’s happened since leaving Hawkins. She ends the letter by saying “we will have the best spring break ever,” which leads us to believe that the gang will reunite somehow, and if or when that happens, drama, mayhem, and suspense will naturally ensue.

When does Stranger Things take place?

Seasons one through three of Stranger Things all took place between 1983 and 1985, spanning exactly two years. If you were worried that the three-year gap between the filming of season three and season four would put us too close to the ’90s, don’t worry. The time jump between seasons is only six months, so we’ll still be comfortably in 1986 with our jam shorts, shoulder pads, neon colors, and teased hair. That’ll put our favorite band of nerds right in the middle of freshman year of high school.

In their announcement for season four, Netflix and the Duffer Brothers dropped the big bomb that season four will be the penultimate season, concluding the series with season five. That’s not all. In a lengthy letter to fans across the globe, the Duffer Brothers also announced that season four will be split into two volumes, with the first airing May 27, 2022 and the second airing July 1, 2022.

That’s huge news, but now we’re itching to know what about season four is so big that it needs to be split into two volumes. Will it take place during the same timeframe? Will season five give us another jump? Also, what on earth happened to Hopper?

All of those questions and more will hopefully be answered on May 27 when season four of Stranger Things finally airs on Netflix.

About the author

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge, which he has done absolutely nothing with ever since.