The 'Stranger Things' Mall Has A Dark Real-World Backstory

The 'Stranger Things' Mall Has A Dark Real-World Backstory

Stranger Things 3 will be remembered for many things: Those “Baywatch by the pool” moments, Maya Hawke, some funky tunes, probably … oh, and Hawkins’ brand new ‘80s monument, the Starcourt Mall.

Yeah, the show even made a teaser trailer that looks like an advertisement for Hawkins, Indiana’s brand new mall “coming soon.” A cute gimmick, for sure, but one with a dark backstory. Yes, darker than Billy being possessed by the Upside Down or whatever happened during the season. We probably need to do a rewatch soon.

Anyway, formerly known as The Gwinnett Place Mall, this center in Duluth, Georgia had pretty much been abandoned by the time the show came around, searching for the perfect mall that screamed both ‘80s and portal to Hell, supposedly. They may have picked a little too well because, only five months before they started filming there, a young woman was found murdered in the vacant Subway restaurant in the food court. Silling A. Man (19) had apparently been laying there, dead, for a full two weeks before someone discovered her body. That’s how abandoned this mall was.


The only way to get people inside a small town mall these days: Pay them to be extras.

Man’s body was so badly decomposed by the time someone finally smelled her that it took authorities a while before they could identify her. The story here is sad, of course — much sadder than the Hawkins gang all falling into the depths of Hell at the end of the season (we think). Man seemed to have gotten involved with a dangerous new boyfriend who made her cut off all the people in her life. Co-workers said she started dressing like him and getting matching face tattoos, wore sunglasses at night, and evidence told the story of them living out of hotels in the months leading up to her death. It isn’t clear why Emmett Davis brutally murdered Man inside that mall, but so many murders seldom are.

So yeah, that’s dark. Even darker than … whatever the hell is happening here.

Zanandi is on Twitter and also on that other platform.

Top Image: Netflix


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