DURHAM -- Late last month, the second season of the critically-acclaimed Netflix series, "Stranger Things," was released.
Described as “A love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation,” "Stranger Things" is set in 1983 in the Indiana, "where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. The second season shows the residents of Hawkins still reeling from the horrors of the supernatural forces of season one as a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived."
"Stranger Things" stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Natalie Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery and Sean Astin. In its first season, it was nominated for several awards, including Emmy nominations for Ryder and Brown.
Its creators, Matt and Ross Duffer (professionally known as The Duffer Brothers) are from Durham, North Carolina. The brothers attended C.E. Jordan High School. After leaving Durham, they studied film at Chapman University.
Despite the fact that none of the series was filmed in Durham or North Carolina (it was filmed in Georgia), a ton of references to the region are hidden in the show.
Here are a few:
1 - Jordan Lake and Eno River (Season 2)
While looking at a series of bizarre drawings by Will (Schnapp), Bob Newby (Astin) points out “Lake Jordan” and the “Eno River,” realizing that the drawings make up a map of Hawkins.
2 - Eno River Rock Quarry (Season 1)
Several times during the season, a “quarry” is mentioned. While it isn’t mentioned directly, this more than likely is a reference to the Eno River Rock Quarry.
3 - Jordan High School & Mt. Moriah Road (Season 2)
Mt. Moriah Road is a road that the kids travel down, which is a road near the Duffers’ alma mater, Jordan High School.
4 - Lochn’Ora (Season 2)
Lochn’Ora is a neighborhood in Durham, right outside of Duke University. In Stranger Things, this is the neighborhood (spelled Loch Nora) where Mike (Wolfhard), Will, Caleb (McLaughlin) and Dustin (Matarazzo) go trick-or-treating.
5 - Cornwallis and Kerly (Seasons 1, 2)
The real intersection of these Durham roads are referenced by Hopper (Harbour) in Season 2. Mike also mentions them in Season 1, saying that at the intersection of Cornwallis and Kerly is the Mirkwood. This is where Will was kidnapped by the demogorgon in Season 1, becoming a prominent location in the series.
Miscellaneous: Users on Reddit have pointed out some things: The Hawkins Lab, where Eleven (Brown) was kept looking like either the Durham Police headquarters or the old NIEHS/EPA building off of Highway 54. A Reddit user also pointed out that Dr. Brenner, the menacing doctor at Hawkins Lab at Season 1, could be a reference to Brenner Children Hospital in Winston Salem, N.C. There is also a passing mentions of Forest Hills Park (a park near Donwtown Durham) and Mt. Sinai Road (a road near Lochn’Ora)