Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Horror Films of the Inland Empire - Cinema

Home sweet, uh, I mean, sweet and sour, home.

Although I was born on a nuclear Air Force base in Michigan, most of my life has been spent in the Inland Empire. Between growing up punk there to eventually working as a law clerk and then finally as a process server for the San Bernardino County legal court system, as a veteran of the landscape my opinion is that the I.E. is best described as a massive, dusty yin-yang. 

The yang being the wealthy parts of the place that make money juxtaposed by the rather horrific, yin regions that end up making criminal statistics swell. It's the 14th most dangerous city in America, and dozens of people die there every year. I tell my friends the worst parts of the I.E. are basically Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome...but there ain't no Thunderdome. 

I still miss you, Spanky's!

Inland Empire Weekly called me one merry October and requested that I write a whole lot of words about horror films made in the I.E. "Sure." I said. "But it's going to cost you so much money you won't even be able to keep your website going by 2019." They laughed at my weird prediction and basically left me to my own devices until I hit the deadline weeks later. Vita brevi, ars longa!

While Halloween occurs only once a year, horror films are something we can celebrate every season…as long as we don’t die before the arrival of that next blockbuster. An oozing chunk of the gruesome delight in watching all of that screaming on celluloid is the thrill of witnessing your own town host all of that terror…if you dwell within a place Hollywood finds fearsome.

The scary news is, when it comes to terror Los Angeles gets more film than the thriving metropolis known from here to hell as the Inland Empire. Maybe it’s because of the cancerous smog, the deadly traffic, or just the constant, eerie Kafkaesque dread of being face-to-visage with LAPD. 

Occasionally though, all of the omens line up and some lost, mad soul does decide to shoot something sinister amidst the haunted hills and dusty domiciles of the Inland Empire, where even the blandly bright suburbs have gutters that can stream scarlet, thanks to monsters, malefactors, or everyday murder.

Invaders from Mars, Palomar Observatory, San Diego County

Invaders from Mars, made in 1953 and directed by William Cameron Menzies, is a cosmic sci-fi thriller that is radioactive with paranoia since it was made at the height of the Cold War. Decades ago every adult knew that if WWIII happened it would be nothing but nukes from Rhode Island to Russia, and until then every American citizen was a secret communist spy, sent from the USSR to infiltrate and destroy.

In this silver screen screamer, evil Martians invade a small town and start to mind control the populace, brainwashing their leaders into cold, sadistic drones trying to enslave humanity for their monstrous green masters. Before they succeed the good guys find out, the bad guys get taken out, but the space age menace remained, spawning numerous 50’s flicks that promised moviegoers everything in the universe couldn’t wait to journey across the cosmos to slay us all.

Palomar Observatory is a part of San Diego worth stitching on to any piece of cinematic excellence. Before the place was hit by Invaders from Mars film noir got there first in the form of 1947’s Nightmare Alley, a brutal story about one man’s sadistic greed and the mayhem he leaves in his wake. Not exactly a cauldron of gore, through.

In 1977 this beautiful section of San Diego County ended up on the big screen again, thanks to 1977’s Crater Lake Monster, a tale about a dinosaur that wakes up from suspended animation and tries to destroy and devour a city. The legendary David Allen supplied the claymation magic that made the monster, but after watching space marines fight acid-spraying xenomorphs in Aliens or seeing Godzilla stomp Tokyo concave, the fear you’d normally feel is far, far away.

Slaughterhouse, Lakeside, San Diego County

This cool little chopper hits the road red for fans that that demand large men with cutlery turning small ones into hamburger. Slaughterhouse, filmed in 1987 within Lakeside (also in the county of San Diego) is about a small business owner who goes insane when evil bankers threaten to take his property. Instead of filing a civil lawsuit he tells his muscle-bound, 300+ lb. mentally challenged son to turn the opposition into crimson coleslaw with anything heavy and choppy that will do the job.

While this movie is dreadfully acted, a little bit awful and rather low budget, the fact that Lakeside ended up in this bucket of gore is not surprising. A cyclopean, rural domain containing several bodies of water (including Lindo Lake and Lake Jennings), and vast stretches of brooding forests sliced into sections by running rivers, those deep, dark environs are also stalked by woodsmen who like it wild, scary and far from safety.

Rick Roessler, who also wrote Slaughterhouse, made a monster that transplanted the Inland Empire into the blood-streaked mausoleum of cinematic history while at the same time introducing a villain with a motivation more intricate and fathomable than, “I’m a killing machine.” If evil bankers were attacking and your kid was roughly the size, shape and mental intent of Jason Voorhees, wouldn’t it be fun seeing them end up like meat on a hook, instead of watching our politicians keep them off of it?

Hell Night, Redlands, San Bernardino County

Films about teenagers and co-eds going someplace awful to get brutally slaughtered one-by-one are a proud tradition in American horror. Whether it is camping near Silverlake or ending up in the wrong house in Texas where chainsaws are standard-issue, wacky kids are always going to somehow end up on a chopping block somewhere when it comes to entertaining the masses. Everyone appreciates it when someone improperly adventurous dies.

A group of teenagers are challenged to spend the night in a gigantic mansion, only to be murdered by the survivor of a massacre that happened there decades before. Filmed all over Southern California for a horror-hungry public who weren’t content just seeing Linda Blair possessed by the devil, Hell Night was made not only in Los Angeles and South Pasadena but also throughout the County of Redlands within the Inland Empire.

It’s unusual how the Inland Empire hosts so many movies about homicidal maniacs. When crazy meets cutlery, the blood usually flows if there are unaware victims nearby, and the screams sound better against the quiet, rough hills and suburban sprawl Redlands is heir too. Even the name of the place sounds lethal, as if the ground itself was carmine from slaughter. Someone needs to write a script for a slasher flick called Redlands.

"REDLANDS." Sounds like a title to me.

Hell Night is replete with affordable fears and fun kills, but watching one psycho just whack a bunch of young, dumb trespassers gets kind of lame, quick. I’m sure every foreboding, dilapidated mansion deserves a mass murder, but in an age of pepper spray, smartphones, MMA training, a proliferation of firearms and a militarized police force armed with APC’s, it is hard to imagine a lone suburban maniac successfully stabbing so many ignorant kids to death uncontested without anyone calling 911.

The Hills Have Eyes, Victorville, San Bernardino County

In 1977 a fun-loving family went camping in the desert, only to encounter a fiendish pack of violent, radioactive cannibals. Wackiness ensued. Wes Craven, the writer and director of this gritty, bloody beast, made cinematic history with an almost plausible story about a road trip gone so horribly wrong well before he created A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Shot in the brutal, rocky landscape anyone in Victorville can find if they wander into the wilderness miles from their backyard, it doesn’t take long for the film to fill you with fear as our hapless, lower middle-class family realizes they aren’t alone in the lonely, dusty hills they camped out in. By the violent end they are fighting for their lives against gruesome thugs that look like they wandered in from The Road Warrior.

Apart from the wonderful casting choice of using the big, bald, terrifying Michael Berryman as Pluto, the meanest-looking mutant in the movie (Berryman’s career is the envy of any professional…he’s also in The Devil’s Rejects, directed by the immortal Rob Zombie), some of the sorcery of this film is its realism. Anyone who has camped out in the boonies knows that there just has to be evil people out there, licking their chops, and they’d be your bogeyman, if unleashed.

The real horror, however, is observing the family debase themselves in an orgy of violence to beat their aggressors. As mom, dad and the kids start to get their murder on, too, there’s a feeling by the end of the creation that although the monsters have been fought and brutally beaten down, new ones have replaced them.

Inland Empire, Los Angeles County (?)

While David Lynch (the director of masterpieces such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Lost Highway) is always lurking on the bleeding edge of modern cinema, Inland Empire, created in 2006, has one very serious hang up: the film wasn’t made in the Inland Empire at all, despite its name.

While it is a psychological horror film (which means its more like Angel Heart or Psycho instead of Scream or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) about a young woman relentlessly pursued by an evil, murdering ghost haunting a cursed screenplay, Inland Empire should be called something else because it was made in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Poland. Imagine if Chinatown took place in Sacramento. It may as well be called Southern California, sans San Bernardino. Thanks a lot, Lynch.

Paranormal Activity, San Diego County

Unliving proof that low budget can still equal big box office bucks, 2007’s Paranormal Activity is a work replete with dread because of the fact the horror happens in a suburban home, not in a graveyard, mansion or mausoleum. Directed by Oren Peli and shot in the thriving metropolis of San Diego, the film contains scares anyone living in the modern era can relate to because the demonic nightmare happens in a seemingly normal house. When the familiar becomes frightening, nowhere feels safe.

A young couple is haunted by an evil spirit, eventually leading to insanity and murder. The documentary nature of it merges with the sensation that what you are seeing really happened, as supernatural occurrences surmount, dark shadows move in the corners, and something wicked comes their way until fear and madness gives way to gore. Pass the popcorn, please.

Let's just say after Poltergeist III the girl who played little Carol Anne was done with horror flicks.

Not that it’s the first time suburbia got it’s slay on in the cinema, but when Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg teamed up for Poltergeist (if a cute little blonde girl tells you, “They’re here,” leave), the fear came from having an electrically-charged sledgehammer of big-budget special effects pound your psyche into oblivion. By contrast, the more sedate Paranormal Activity has still waters that run deep, lulling you down into the calm before a corpse reaches up from the murk to drown you.

The young couple in the story doesn’t always see the unnatural darkness lurking dangerously behind them, but the audience does. As their doubt dies when they realize the terror is real, a small part of your mind wonders if this is film footage left over from a real demonic attack. The fact it takes place in a house like yours, instead of the skull-like domicile in The Amityville Horror, makes it uncertain if going home is safe at all.

Why aren’t there more horror films made in the Inland Empire? It has to be way cheaper than it is in Los Angeles or San Francisco. Wouldn’t you like to see a werewolf roaming the marble halls of the San Bernardino courthouse, or witness vampires feasting under a freeway overpass in Fontana? 

Here’s to hoping the Inland Empire has a cinematic future far ghastlier than before.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Stranger Things 2 Autopsy, Part V - The Weird


We've all seen the brand new trailer for Stranger Things 3. As I've predicted, there is a full-blown possession with Billy. The rot has turned into black ooze, so there's going to be vampires and zombies and some serious body horror. The robotic, lantern jawed man wandering around with a pistol is certainly a reference to The Terminator. The giant blob of flesh, eyes and teeth that seems to be a physical threat in the form of a monster is not only a reference to The Thing, it's also a reference to a Gibbering Mouther from AD&D. This makes sense.

This movie is fuuuuuuuuucked up...

From Eleven's perspective, she's going through those physical changes that turn a child into an adult. This is why the body horror genre, which involves the transmogrification mutilation of flesh, is so important. We are used to our bodies. Attached to them. If our body becomes mutated, diseased, and horrifying, this is a terrible fear to face. Suddenly the horror has gone from being outside to within. Bodies merging with bodies (sex), strange fluids (puberty), the protean nature of our own flesh (becoming an adult) is all something that is happening to Eleven, and we can expect her world to reflect this factual nightmare.

You really, really don't want to fight a Gibbering Mouther. Or become a part of one.


My theory about Kali & Co. being a big illusion is that in their very first scene, all of them are living out some action sequence that Eleven would see on television at the time. They even have an A-Team type van. This initial sequence is a dream...Eleven's dream. When she meets Kali, all of the characters seem to be flipped and warped opposites of her friends back home, only their colors and sex have been flipped. It's like the Thessalhydra too everything it saw through Will, mixed it with Eleven's own dreams from watching too much TV, and then tried to tempt her into staying in Pittsburgh with another group of friends, so back home the portal could stay closed.

It knows she wants a family so offers her another.

This also explains the odd, dream logic of the episode that made everyone who watched it feel like it didn't seem to be in synch with the rest of the show. Kali and her crew exist in the psychosphere, the realm of dreams, the astral plane, The Upside Down, and Eleven almost got lost forever in there.

Check out the background, it's important.


When Kali and Eleven have their big moment where an illusion of her father is conjured to say very nasty things to his daughter (confirming the molestation theory), there is a big neon sign right behind them. "SPIRITUAL ADVISOR", it says, but certain letters don't work. This is not a mistake. The spiritual part is obvious...the ISOR part takes a little research.


The first ISOR is an Indian institute dedicated to oilseeds research. Not very scary, but it is an Indian institution, and Kali is definately Hindi. Continuing with the research, disturbing results show up.

The next ISOR has to do with research into Game Theory. To give you an idea, Game Theory is simply the observation that there are different levels to any game, from board games to video games to economics and social darwinism. The trick is to look at the game from a perspective going beyond a mere player to see the real game being played, in order to avoid falling into an intellectual rut. ISOR is apparently another name for the university that discusses a lot of Game Theory.

Following Game Theory, Pee Wee Herman evolves and rises above it all. He's not a pawn, Pee Wee's a player.

Eleven really is doing this when she's working with Kali. Even the illusion of her father is simply facing her dark side, the whole reason she's angry, hurt and confused. This scene is pretty much the final evolution for Eleven. After that she realizes it is important to leave the group behind to save her friends back home.

Yet another ISOR relates to a research group that studies religion, identity and memory involving pedagogy, which I will explain later. ISOR is very interested in the interstitial nature of religion, culture and the meaning of life when it comes down to the individual in society. Religion? Identity? Memory? Reconstructing mental processes? Now you know why those neon letters are probably there. Eleven's mind needs fixing. Her primordial self can do the repairing.

The final ISOR relates to something called pedagogy. Basically, when dealing with people who have suffered serious mental trauma, there is a whole list of things you have to do to help them heal. ISOR is an investigative procedure for treating people who are having psychological problems, especially when the initial diagnoses and therapy has ceased to be effective. By searching the patient's background for former trauma by interactive dialogue with the patient, success (that is, healing) can be achieved.

Sounds like Kali talking to Eleven to fix her mental problem, to me.


I am now going to admit to you that when Eleven's father appears, there is strange, loopy writing scrolling down on the walls next to him. I can't tell what it says and don't know what it means. Sorry. Hey, at least I didn't try to fake it.

Kali and Eleven's father, a.k.a. Thessalar, the monster maker.

Moving on, the dark, lecherous nature Eleven's father exhibits (via Kali's ability to research a person's mind and produce images from inside of it...you know, kind of like a tulpa...) proves the theory that Eleven's father moonlighted as Chester the Molester. He even tries to use her sexual infringement against her...something child molester's often do when psychologically manipulating a victim into silence.

We get a lot of things from this meeting. First off, Kali points out that he is still alive. How does she know that? Second, Kali says that he not only claimed to be their father (claimed to be is a clue that he might not be Eleven's father) but seems to indicate that he is Kali's father. Why would she think that? Because she was at the facility and was raised by Eleven's father, too, or because she is Demogorgon, or at least the leftover energy of Demogorgon...a tulpa intentionally created to kill people Eleven hunted down.

Yes to the can, no to the cat.

Remember, Eleven refused to kill the cat in the first season, when we saw flashbacks of her experiences. Over the rainbow (The Rainbow Room) represents the creation of alters, splinter personalities. A monarch butterfly (The Monarch Program) conjured by Kali is a reminder of this procedure. Of course Kali feels like Eleven and her are sisters, and if her father created the tulpa to kill Russian spies he is Kali's father as well.


Before I go further, I'd like to point out something. "El" is a term that means gods in general, or an assembly of gods (in the Bible gods and angels are the same). So the B'nai Elohim is sort of like congress. "Kali" is the title of a specific goddess. So saying Kali is like saying congresswoman. If El is the whole, Kali is part of that whole. It's like comparing the Senate to a specific senator within the organization.

Careful viewers noted that when Eleven banished the Demogorgon, energy seemed to flow out of it, dispersing into the atmosphere. Some even saw a small, spiritual figure inside the monster, reaching out to El. I cannot say for sure that my eyes are seeing the same thing as these people when watching that part. I just can't see a little glowing figure, although it's obvious energy is released from the exploding creation.

See the light? Why can't Eleven blow up people like that?

According to physics, energy is neither created nor destroyed, only although it can be dispersed and reintegrated. If Kali is a real person, my theory is destroyed. If she is Eleven's dark side, Kali certainly does a very Jungian job of helping Eleven face her own evil and overcome it...although Eleven rejects Kali in the process.

In the show Eleven kills people. However, there is a stark difference between hunting down and killing people just doing their job when they are not attacking her (like the worker Kali and Eleven hunt down, or the Russian spy) and killing people fighting you. Sure, Eleven killed people, but they had guns and had already murdered innocent people.

As above, so below.

Eleven realizes she doesn't want to kill the worker responsible for her mother's electrocution years later. Kali isn't very happy about this, and just when the argument comes to a head the police show up and everyone has to escape. Eleven leaves her, but she has faced her dark side and is a stronger person for it. Because she had a conversation with her shadow. Jung would be pleased.

If Kali is real, she's basically doing the job we've seen repeated in previous 80's films we've already discussed. Even Rey, in The Last Jedi, basically went into The Dark Side to realize she is a female clone created by Palpantine (uh, sorry, spoiler alert) just like he created Annakin (it's why you see many copies of her, until she faces a shadowy figure in a cloak that could only be Palpantine). Luke Skywalker went into the cave in Degobah to confront his dark side. He wasn't ready, and lost to Vader. Eleven confronted her own dark side, was ready, and beat the Thessalhydra.

"My possessed clone and cloned female copy shall rule the galaxy as father and daughter!"


Remember what I said about the Lich Thessalar? He makes monsters. Kali say's he's her Papa, too. Eleven is a monster. She even said so. Her Papa made Kali by either by the same way he made Eleven, or he made Kali because she is the Doppleganger, the lost sister of Eleven, her splintered personality, make-believe friend that eventually became the Doppleganger...or just another girl that ended up with pyschic powers just like Eleven. Either way, the name sticks.

Is Papa still alive inside The Vale of Shadows? The Demogorgon jumped on him. It probably drained his blood, but never got a chance to teleport him and shove a tentacle into his mouth. Maybe he survived the loss of blood and is in the real world. Who knows what other monsters he's made?


Like we talked about earlier, what's going on in the background is very important. To really go over "The Lost Sister," a chapter everyone agrees is kind of odd, I went over every background glypho I could. There are a few I couldn't figure out. The ones that could be researched say very significant things about the scene.


Appearing in the right hand corner at 8 minutes and 58 seconds into the episode. This is a psychological program for international students who want to treat American patients. Is this a hint of how Kali is going to treat Eleven? Hmmm...I dunno...kind of a stretch. Let's keep going.

A word is worth a thousand pictures.


The crazy white girls with the bow in her head has a giant LOLA painted above at one point. What is Lola? Our Lady of Sorrows, a Spanish spirit that serves as an intermediary between this realm and the next, kind of like a Catholic version of the Voodoo loa (spirit, or god in Voodoo), Legba. Pretty thin, however, the spiritual and occult symbolism is there.


MENA appears over the head of another one of Kali's friends. A search of MENA indicated that it stands for Middle East and North Africa. The young woman in question obviously is that ethnicity, which is why it is there, to teach the audience that these random background letters are there for a reason.


A picture of the goddess Kali can be seen above the staircase when she first appears. That is not much of a clue to her being a tulpa or anything, but it's still something in the background that tells us who someone is. Rather odd that Kali and Eleven both agree that she was a piece of her that was missing. Kali meets up with Eleven, and now feels whole. As if she is a piece of Eleven's puzzle. What did Eleven do to the Demogorgon in Season 1? She touched it on the shoulder when she was in The Upside Down. Kali touches Eleven on the shoulder when she's in The Upside Down, listening to the Sheriff.


8:53 in, you also see "hel" in blue letters. This is the realm of the dead in Norse mythology, and is also a god of the dead in the same pantheon. Hel also means hidden in the same language. This glypho (I keep using that word instead of "glyph" for a reason) keeps showing up around the punk rock guy.



The Moon features prominently in the night sky above when Eleven embraces Kali. In the Kabbalah, The Moon is Yesod, a sort of go between area after the material realm but before you get anywhere else. It's dark side in the Qlipoth (the opposite, evil twin of the Shepiroth in the Kabbalah) is Gamaliel, whose demon queen is Lilith. In other esoteric Western occult beliefs The Moon is the dwelling place of Maya, which is illusion.


This phrase shows up a lot when Kali's friends are assembled. It means "of bedlam," as in these individuals are related to a place. Bedlam is a word that can mean Pandemonium. This word can also mean Hades, Hell, i.e. The Underworld. So these characters are basically of the dead. They're ghosts.

"PAWN." Who's the player controlling the pieces?


This term appears over Kali's head in one scene in blue and red letters. Why put that there? I thought that place was a factory? Why is it also a pawn shop? That word is there to tell you Kali is a pawn. Eleven is in a trap. She's being tempted by a new family to give in to her dark side and hunt down people to murder them, just like Demogorgon in the last season. If she stays there, she can't close the portal. Kali is just another tentacle on the Thessalhydra, following orders. Just like when you are playing a video game, the monsters you face are just pawns to the machine.

It's all in the mind.


At this point I've jackhammered my tulpa theory to undeath, I'd like to point out two glyphos tagged on the wall when Eleven walks in on Kali's crew. They both appear at the same time, they are both important, and they both relate to the same story and person: Grant Morrison.

Aside from writing more comics than you can shake a hookah at, Grant Morrison is also a practicing occultist, specializing in something many of us old skool occult types kind of hate called "Chaos Magic," which is basically an anything goes kind of approach to magic where instead of sticking with Voodoo, LeVay Satanism, Freemasonry, Goetic or even Thelmanic, a person using anything they can to summon the arcane forces of whatever, using anything available, from mythology to film, television and comic books.

Barbelith, The Invisibles.

This arcane history of Morrison is important to what happens next. The two words written on the wall that are important in The Lost Sister are "Berbelith" and "King Mob. " Each are two words written by one man that could only come from him and are from the same comic books series, The Invisibles.

To explain the comic book The Invisibles to you would take a stack of books on the occult and 23 hours. Simply put the comic series, published by Vertigo comics (DC's dark side), is about an organization of anarchistic, rebellious, iconoclastic occultists who are trying to destroy an evil occult group that runs the world, all the while trying to usher in a New Age so indescribable anyone who sees it can't even fathom the nature of it. Whatever this glorious future is, the bad guys employ evil magic to keep it from happening. The comic book is about that conflict as it ranges across the planet and even time.

Grant Morrison

King Mob is a character in that comic, and even Morrison has admitted that the character is him. In an interview with Disinfo.com the writer talks about how over time, he became the character. He also has mentioned that in real life, he has met a tulpa of this character, i.e. a realistic double of an imaginary being, as mentioned in the works of Blavatsky. Hell, even the creators of Superman admitted to meeting the character in real life, so Morrison is not alone.

So King Mob is an imaginary being created by a person who has described the character as a tulpa. Where it gets more complicated is that while Stranger Things 2 takes place in the Orwellian year of 1984, The Invisibles wasn't released until 1994...ten years later. That's a decade. The person who wrote that on the wall wouldn't be able to in 1984 because the term DIDN'T EXIST YET.

That's just one reference. However, Berbelith is another that connects to The Invisibles. It's one thing to have a single reference, but two? That's a clue to the audience that the choice is not an accident, because I'm pretty sure The Duffer Brothers don't get paid big bucks to fuck up.

Berbelith is a stranger symbol created by Morrison, although it is really supposed to be, brace yourself, a massive satellite hidden behind the Earth's moon that looks like a gigantic pink fake boob. Each of the important characters in The Invisibles sees it. The term even appears on a wall in the astral plane at one point as a character experiences an epiphany.

What's spookier is that Morrison has said that he came up with the term in a dream. He saw it written on a wall in his sleep and decided to use it. Berbelith is a term that does exist, though, but what it represents in the comic is a positive, feminine force, guiding each of the characters, as well as humanity, into a new evolution and a better future.

Barbelith is a combination of two names, Barbelo, a goddess of thought in Gnosticism, and Lilith, a dark goddess of magic in Wicca and other occult disciplines. Lilith is also a dimension overlapping our own in Jewish Kabbalah. This makes sense because in The Invisibles, characters only see Barbelith in a dream. Morrison claimed he saw the name in a dream. So Eleven was dreaming, which is why she saw it.

King Mob & Co.

Remember, Stranger Things is about other dimensions. You are used to four, three dimensional space (which you can travel around a perceive), and time (which you can only travel in one direction, forwards, while perceiving the dimension in only one direction, backwards). The fifth dimension, which occultists simply call the astral plane (Eleven would probably refer to it as The Upside Down), is the imagination. Dreams, day dreams, fantasies...to the occult this takes place in a dimension beyond space and time, connected by all minds. Sort of like the Internet.

Yes, it sounds crazy, but we are talking about the occult. So a 1994 reference (or two) in a 1984 story line would make sense...if it took place on the astral plane. Otherwise "King Mob" and "Barbelith" are rather unique in that they are artificial words made up by a person ten years later, which means the words couldn't exist in real life.

By the way, O'Bedlam is also a character in The Invisibles.


Here is something worth mentioning in reference to the Demogorgon, Kali and King Mob. When I mention, "the occult" I'm referencing a pattern of beliefs constantly repeated in books written on the subject by hundreds of individuals across hundreds of years, even up until today. One of these books is Theosophical Manual No. 5, The Astral Plane, It's Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena, by Charles Ledbetter.

A heavy read that is no joke to think through, the book describes many different supernatural subjects, what happens when you die, what happens when you are dead and everyone forgets about you completely (it ain't pretty...), vampires, necromancers, ghosts, graveyard hauntings, angels and artificial elementals.

An artificial elemental is not like a person. It is something created by a person, whether it is intentional or not. So far we have not seen another Demogorgon, like the one encountered by Eleven in The Upside Down, the deep black space in her head that is separate from The Vale of Shadows. The Pollywogs looked like the Demogorgon for a reason...they come from the same source but are related to humans.

What happened to the Russian spy? Did he end up like Barbara?

Remember, Eleven's evil scientist father couldn't get her to kill living things. So he made a split personality that became Demogorgon to kill the Russian spy. After that, Eleven was forced to make contact with this demon from inside her mind...and the resulting shock opened a portal into the place where it came from, causing the creature to appear in our world. To Theosophy, it's an unconscious artificial elemental.

These things can be good or bad, but the bad ones are terrible in that once freed from their creator, they will go about trying to exist by basically terrorizing people and eating their life force...kind of like the Demogorgon, Eleven's personal demon, ended up doing. Kali is that artificial elemental, according to my tulpa theory, and she's trying to get back to Eleven. How?


Look at "The Lost Sister" this way, now that you know more about The Shining, the occult, and psychic powers in Stranger Things. Eleven sees a picture of a girl. The girl is in her memory. It's just an image. We have no proof Kali is that exact girl. The opening sequence in the show, where Kali and co. escape from the cops, is a dream Eleven is having, formed from a strange mish-mosh of the TV shows she's watching.

Eleven gets off the bus and wanders around until she gets to an empty warehouse. She hallucinates everything, changes her clothes, hair, makeup etc. and then has a mental epiphany. Kali tempts her into wandering around lost and crazy. Eleven resists her dark side, resists going crazy and probably dying of a brain aneurism, and then gets back on the bus. The Thessalhydra controlled Demogorgon just like it controlled the remaining energy that became Kali.


As Eleven strolls down the Hades-like path to where Kali is, a random, crazy homeless person is yelling "You're all dead." If Eleven fell asleep on the bus, and her soul is free to travel in the astral plane, or psychosphere (the realm of dreams, imagination and higher truths, like numbers and symbols) it makes sense she'd get a warning along the way. When Eleven first meets Kali's mates, they are scary, mean people, who steal money and kill individuals Eleven wouldn't. Kind of like ghosts. Or demons.


The characters around Kali act odd. Aside from the words all around that tell us these people are dead, in the realm of the dead, and are now haunting Eleven's imagination, they talk about how they were dead until Kali found them.

In spiritualism there is an understanding that just as humans are basically flesh batteries for electrical charges the people used to call spirits, spirits can stick around and amplify themselves by sticking together, like oil in water, bacteria, and other microscopic life. The Bible even talks about a spirit reinforcing itself with others like it before going back to possess a person. A powerful spirit will dominate lesser spirits, allowing it to function.


Never forget a source material for Stranger Things...H.P. Lovecraft. This means that the Duffer Brothers are taking angels, demons, Hell, monsters and spiritual possession and repackaging the whole nightmarish affair for a materialistic, rational, atheist, scientific reader, just like Lovecraft. While the kids use AD&D imagery and the adults use scientific thought to figure out what in the Hades they are encountering, it's worth noting that other that randomly scream, "Jesus Christ!" none of the character turn to spiritualists to figure out the problem, even when Will gets possessed by the Devil or something.

All in the mind. Notice the golden ray of light, indicating telepathy. The film poster is that color for a reason.

So Demogorgon is a demon...repackaged as something horrific out of Eleven's head, made flesh by an arcane, pseudo-scientific process. Kali is a ghost, trying to tempt Eleven into doing evil things and not closing the portal into where the Thessalhydra dwells. The entity possessing Will is nothing like the demon Pazzuzu possessing Regan in The Exorcist. Instead, Will's personality change is more like memory loss and brain damage.

We are never going to know for sure in Stranger Things when we encounter the classic horror movie monsters you and I grew up with. Vampires, demons, spiritual possession and ghosts are going to end up like the hauntings in The Shining, where it's not specters, it's mass telepathy, though time and space. When Jack Nicholson walks into The Gold Room, and then into the bathroom to talk to the phantom waiter, everything he sees and experiences is an illusion, much in the same way Eleven does in Chicago. It's the Thessalhydra, shining at her, using Kali (an evil spirit/split personality) and Will (he's unconscious when she's unconscious, so it's a mental assault somewhat like Dream Master).

Why make contact with it?


When Mike appears to Eleven, he yells his line, which is a reference to Empire Strikes Back. This line is repeated to Eleven twice. Why? Because one trap is what he and his friends are in. The other is Eleven's. Notice how Kali even interrupts communications between Eleven and her friends. Eleven is trapped by a demon, and her attachment to Mike saves her.


If I am wrong about Kali than she'll show up in Stranger Things 3 and other characters will see and interact with each other. I have a feeling that instead, Eleven is going to once again end up being separate from her friends when she hangs out with Kali.

Jungian psychology for the females.

Even if all the references written on the walls in the abandoned warehouse Kali is dwelling in are just random, it does not matter. Kali can be real and still represent mythical, literary archetypes and Jungian concepts of a psychological dark side that allows Eleven to overcome her abusive background and take on Thassalhydra. The Duffer Brothers don't have to explain everything because it's supposed to be unknown anyhow, to properly reference it's source material, Mr. Lovecraft.

If Kali was a splinter personality of Eleven's created to kill people that was made flesh by a psychic electromagnetic pulse (a strange gestalt of many conspiracy theories, from The Monarch Program to MKULTRA to The Philadelphia Experiment to The Montauk Project) which eventually lost it's body but haunted her former creator (Eleven) to the point of momentary delusion, we'll probably never know for certain.

"Double, double, toil and trouble..."

Many will believe that Kali is real because of her photograph. According to the occult, evil spirits can pretend to be a anybody in someone's memory, and masquerading as a photograph of a person you know can be done. Eleven's mother seeing Kali in her memory along with Eleven? We don't know if she's looking at Kali or Eleven (Eleven's mom completely ignores Kali), so it's as if the image has been injected into the memory artificially. Aside from a bad photo and someone else's bad memory, we don't see a single flashback from Eleven's memory proving Kali's existence.

Her make-believe friend.

Also, Eleven hasn't seen Kali since her young childhood. Since there were at least eleven children involved in the Hawkins lab experiments, it is reasonable to conclude that they are all dead. Kali could be a ghost. Or she could be real, hiding out someplace, while the Demogorgon presumes her identity (in the same way the Thessalhydra pretends to be Will) and attempts to trick Eleven into being an evil person that kills people, which is what the government tried to mind control her into doing, anyhow.

The government mind control conspiracy theories touched upon by The Duffer Brothers are important to recognize, and the background imagery, words and clues wouldn't exist unless they were important.

Her make-believe friend.


If I am wrong about Kali, she will appear in the flesh in season 3 and socialize with the other characters. That might be the case, and that's OK because the symbolism is still there and consistent with 80's film concepts regarding the Hegelian Dialectic and enlightenment via a conservation with the shadow. This is also a reference to Dr. Carl Jung and the writings of Joseph Campbell, who in turn influenced films like Star Wars

The Duffer Brothers continued their pattern of referencing source material from the 80's to form a film pastiche that is both the old and the new, horrifying the audience with monsters, psychic powers and conspiracy theories, while at the same time telling a tale that is very new. As before, the second season took occult material and overlapped it with science and child-like observations and logic.

Nobody talked about the occult or the supernatural. The show is still grounded securely in H.P. Lovecraft's godless, materialistic, scientifically-minded philosophies by showing us the terrors of The Unknown while at the same time avoiding a precise definition of the supernatural. We can expect more of the same from season 3.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Stranger Things 2 Autopsy, Part IV - The Weird

Is that you, Something Wicked This Way Comes? Is it me?

"Downe in the bottome of the deepe Abysse
Where Demogorgon in dull darknesse pent,
Farre from the view of Gods and heauens blis,
The hideous Chaos keepes, their dreadfull dwelling is." 

-Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene

"Demogorgon: Greek name for the devil, it is said (this) should not be known to mortals." 

-Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible


Good news, my lovely audience! Stranger Things 3 is going to roll out soon, so at this point all of us will be discussing that show FOREVER until we are all DEAD. So let's get started! As usual, a lot of my initial research is spent reading up on subjects related to the show and watching YouTube videos of the more unexplored elements you are here to learn more of. I deeply admire the work of the researchers this blog links to, and part of that respect is not just repeating what they've said in order to give you more knowledge.

So what follows is some very deep material that really shows how the creators of this show truly did their own work to hide these reference gems in the catacombs of the show for us to find...and wow, you can't believe what I found. Hopefully my humble writing skills are up to the task of explaining this shocking stuff so that you can enjoy the show even more from an angle most people don't have.

Did you notice how this shot looks like a giant, demonic face?


The Vale of Shadows in the show is a scary, dark place that seems to drain the life out of everything from our world that enters it. Strange motes of light, like spirits, drift everywhere.The invasion into our world from that place is similar to cancer, creating biological growths out of that fissure in reality made by Eleven represented by a crack with tentacles splaying everywhere. 

We never saw a Demogorgon, but it and the Pollywogs (I should say Demodogs, but I don't want to) produced by Will all drain blood, which contains energy. People in the place too long seem sickened, as if energy is being drained from them. Now we know that the Demogorgon was draining blood, too. The whole plane is just a big, chthonic (most people don't know what "chthonic" means, just like my spell checker doesn't and H.P.Lovecraft did) vampire monstrosity, eating our world.

Remote control.


One thing we learned from Will's possession is that The Thessalhydra, Stranger Things 2's main antagonist, is in charge of everything. Unlike a room full of people like the last party you went too, where everyone has their own mind and can do what they want, The Vale of Shadows seems to lack internal divided sentience, leaving us with the impression that everything is ran by one entity.

Demogorgon grabs people and drags them there. Tentacles are produced from somewhere in the plane that go into the mouths of people. The Pollywogs all operate as if they are robots controlled by the same AI. When Will is possessed, the entity that is him, the Pollywogs and the Demogorgon invading from the Vale of Shadows all operate according to the same plan, sharing information learned by Will throughout the network.

At the same time, The Vale of Shadows seems like a mirror of our own world. It's not the past or the future (people in that other place interacting with electrical lights in our dimension cause them to shine simultaneously) and doesn't seem to have any people living there, despite the buildings, streets and other constructions similar to our own. 

Since there are no humans there, nobody built them. The Demogorgon didn't come from there (it came from The Upside Down, which is the extremely dark place in Eleven's mind), and aside from tentacles and motes of light, we didn't see any other monsters, including the Demogorgon. One story, two worlds.

One CPU and one million monsters versus you.


What are the kids doing throughout the show? Playing video games. What is a video game? An electronic image displaying a conflict between you (a singular, independent consciousness) and a vast collective of baddies, from space invaders to mutants to gorillas to fireballs to multicolored monsters to hordes of space ships, all working together, sacrificing themselves to murder you, controlled by one consciousness, the CPU. It's the same struggle they have against the Thessalhydra and it's ability to conjure up and control many different monsters to destroy them all. In the 80's fighting communism was a big idea (the U.S.S.R. was still a thing) so this concept is understandable. 


At the end of the first season of Stranger Things one of the kids asks, "What about the Palace of the Silver Princess?" A few YouTube researchers mentioned that line, and after Stranger Things 2 not much was said about it. There's a lot to be said about that question, and I'm going to give you the info to enlighten your mind and impress your friends.

Palace of the Silver Princess is one of the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons modules written by a woman that was very controversial. Recalled as soon as it was released, the claim was that the art inside the original, which had an orange cover, was too erotic for children to stare at (this is odd considering that the original AD&D Fiend Folio was nothing but bare boobs). So a new version was released that was green, with different art.


"The Silver Princess" was actually the alter ego of Jean Wells that she used in an organization called the Society of Creative Anachronisms. The Silver Princess in the module is a poor woman who lives in a castle that suffers from a curse that imprisons her inside a magic ruby. The magic from the curse poisons the land around the castle, while monsters roam the countryside, birthed from the evil arcane energies released by the cursed magic ruby which is actually the prison of a demon that is behind the arcane energies poisoning the land with a grey mist. Sound familiar?

This was apparently the big fuckin' deal. 

The real controversy behind that destruction of the orange version by TSR was that in the module there are three-headed giants called Ubues which had artwork that resembled people who worked for the company, including Gary Gygax. They were offended by the caricature so the art was changed, as well as the writing. In one version, the princess is good and has been imprisoned in the ruby. In another the princess is an evil, undead monster that consumes life to maintain her existence.


Another feature of Palace of the Purple Princesare blood-drinking leaves. In the original orange module there exists a monster called the Jupiter Blood Sucker. It is basically a big plant with blood sucking leaves that grabs you, smothers you and pretends the corpse is a slurpy. This explains why the Demogorgon, as well as the Pollywogs, drink blood. Plus the fireball. What? Will's wizard uses a fireball to destroy the Thessalhydra. The scientists use fire to destroy the webwork of tunnels, writhing with biological growths, where the monsters roam.

Palace of the Silver Princess

A second reference is Purple Moss, which knocks out the victim with a cloud spray and suffocates the poor sleeping character in order to eat him or her. Good times! A third is a creature called the Decapus, a giant tentacled monster that uses illusions (!) to fool its prey into getting closer before eating them up. Even the concept of a princess being locked up in a castle (Eleven inside the Hawkins Facility) is a callback to the long forgotten module.

The Decapus, looking awful.


This means that, just like Stranger Things, there are two universes comprised by the title, "Palace of the Silver Princess." The original orange covered version and the strange, alternate, green covered version. The references don't stop there, though. While you are already familiar with The Thessalhydra because of Stranger Things 2, there is more to it, with disturbing implications.

"What can I say? It's an unliving!"

"Thessal" is a term that is used a lot in AD&D. Various monsters end up with it in their name. It turns out that all of these monsters are the creation of a Lich (an undead wizard) called Thessalar, who apparently had nothing better to do but create monstrous creatures that ate adventurers. Hmmm...a mad scientist creating monsters...sounds like Eleven's former father to me (thank you, Four Sided Guy), especially since, according to Kali, Eleven's evil scientist child molesting father is still around.

I already told you the plot of the AD&D module Palace of the Silver Princess. Sure enough, shortly before Will has his daydream about the Thessalhydra, the kids are playing Dragon's Lair, and there is the plot we discussed in that game. A princess is trapped in a gem and a dragon is nearby, keeping her hostage. 'Nuff said.


When a Dungeon Master was finally tired of your candy ass, he would hit you with many things, like Type V Demons, Gigantic Black Puddings, Venerable Green Dragons (worse that Red Dragons because they breathed carbon monoxide gas...who is immune to that?), a Demi-Lich (nothing short of a nuclear blast kills 'em) and, finally, a Mind Flayer.

"Time to roll some new stats, PC!"

The Mind Flayer had psionic powers, which nobody really understood, including the Dungeon Master. A mind blast from those fucks usually stunned enough of the party (especially the dumb fighters) enough for the them to eat their brains (hit points didn't matter, their tentacles just ate your brains). Magic didn't work on them, either, because of a 90% magic resistance that made clerics and wizards look stupid. When the fighter's player whined that it was unfair the Mind Flayer ate his brain first, the DM could point out he had an intelligence of 20 or more so it's not like the monster wouldn't have a winning strategy.

"I heard Aragon was going to explore a dungeon. I wonder how he's doing?"

Mind Flayers were ruled over by a mass consciousness of sorts that ate the brains of Mind Flayers after they died (ironic, considering what they did to player characters), making the monsters a mass consciousness, once again. This theme was very prevalent in the latest season, which makes sense considering the looming Cold War and the threat of communism, which was seen as a mass consciousness of sorts, too, mind controlling unwilling participants similar to communist China, today. Will is "The Mind Flayer", of course. He even has a mind blast. Did you notice it?

To us it is horrifying, but to them it is Mind Flayer heaven.


Only bad directors ignore the background in their films. While the foreground is noticed on a conscious level (you are paying attention to the characters, their conversations and actions) the unconscious notices this background, and processes it accordingly. For this reason film directors are very, very conscious of this background, and manipulate it to back up the story they are telling or at least analyze it carefully so the back ground doesn't muck up the story if it is not enhancing it.

"CUT! Who put that gold statue in my FUCKIN' SHOT?! Oh, I did."

Imagine a love scene where a man tries to convince a woman to marry him, except that there is a STOP sign in the background. Even if the director didn't want you to see this as a bad omen (the bright red STOP sign, even if it is a blur, is still noticeable on at least a subconscious level) you would, and probably see the male character as being untrustworthy.

It isn't going to be safe knowing Angel.


Check out the shot from Buffy the Vampire Slayerright after Buffy first meets Angel. Notice that big sign? It's there for a reason. Throughout the scenes with Eleven, Kali and her crew, there are words that stand out, and to be perfectly honest, should not be there. Remember, the show takes place in the year 1984. We are both going to break down some big clues that the warehouse was one big mind-funk.

See the dinosaur?


Back to Stranger Things 2Notice the black, shadowy, dinosaur figure in the upper-right hand corner? That's the Thessalhydra, of course. It makes you wonder if the creature always looked like that, or, because it seems to be a figment of Will's imagination (since nobody else can see it), maybe the evil force possessing him chose that form because Will is familiar with it. When he sees the entity, it appears as an image that already exists in his mind.

Shadowy tentacles.

Dinosaur skeleton. I.E. Undead.


Dinosaur. Not a coincidence. 

Will's dinosaur.

The Exorcist. Notice that the statue resembles Will's dinosaur. In the film the object is a calling card for the demon, Pazuzu, so the reference is intentional. I don't think many people have noticed that the Pollywog's shape was not random. The Duffer Brothers deserve more credit than they are given.

They caught a ghost, i.e. evil spirit, or demon. Get it?

EL = 11 = ANGEL

In the Hebrew language El means god. This term is used repeatedly in The Bible, from the B'nai Elohim (a council of angels ruling the Earth) to El Shaddai, which is one of the names of God. El can also mean rather nasty deities (in The Bible other deities are fallen angels), such as Moloch or Arioch. So Eleven isn't just numerology for angel, her name (which other people occasionally refer to her as) can also mean god. 

In fact, to the ancient Jews there was God, the head honcho, and the gods, which could be Zeus, Athena, Baal, etc., which are also angels. Even Satan is an angel of light, according to the New Testament (so basically Satan is our Sun). With this in mind we can see that Eleven's name, and the nickname she gets from her friends ("El") both point to her being, well, an angel...and a god. 

I wonder who her real father was?

Disney's OG psychic kid movie.

In Chinese mythology The Yellow Emperor, basically the greatest person whoever lived in their ancient past, was born from a woman who was hit by a ray of light from a star. Even the Native Americans believed that Star People were supernatural, heroic individuals born from women made pregnant by celestial bodies. 

You already know the story of John the Baptist, Jesus, and how the wise men found him by following a star. Take away the religion, add a touch of UFO conspiracy theory, and there's a very real chance all the epic heroes of the past were just children born from stars. We haven't seen Eleven's real father yet. Maybe he's from outer space.

See the flying saucer? Why is it on the object Eleven moves?

11 = E.T.?

Because Stranger Things mines 80's horror and sci-fi films for references and story lines it is only logical to presume that the extraterrestrials are on their way. Escape from Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain was about little kids who are related to aliens from outer space. Starman, E.T., The Hidden, They Live, and Flight of the Navigator (featured a DMT machine elf-looking alien entity/UFO that apparently enjoys stealing children) all had kids teaming up with UFO's and ET's to do whatever. Maybe Season 3 or 4 will reveal that Eleven's parents are not of this world.

"Beyond the Wall of Sleep"


"Beyond the Wall of Sleep" is a weird tale about a man in a mental institution that gets attached to a machine that somehow causes his brain to transmit the mind of a star currently fighting another entity called Algol. The star-possessed man explains that all human beings are actually light trapped in human bodies that can visit other strange, astral realms in their dreams while asleep. If the Hawkins Facility created a device that got a woman pregnant from a UFO that made Eleven, there is the story it could reference.

Algol, a.k.a. The Demon Star. Yeah, they called it that. 
"The Demon Star" would be a great name for a heavy metal band.


It is important to remember that only Will is possessed by the Thesselhydra because only he can see the entity since it was produced from the detritus left over from the Pollywogs, who were produced by Will. In this way the cloud is a genetic by product of the life force siphoned by the parasitic slugs before Will coughed them up. 

After it possessed Will, the Thesselhydra still had to deal with adversity from it's alter ego and dark half, which was Will, trapped in his Thesselhydra-controlled body. The cloud is like a disease, infecting the boy, but unable to affect others in that current state. 

Since it was from him it could possess Will.

When Will is knocked out by sedatives, he is asleep at the same time Eleven is asleep on the train. I really do believe that knocking out Will while he was possessed was a bad idea because now the Thessalhydra was free to exert it's control through Will on a level it couldn't before...the realm of dreams, the imagination, the psychosphere (check out the first season of True Detective to get this reference), the astral plane. 

Now it can start to control and delude the minds of the characters opposing it, which is why Will got possessed in the first place. Remember, the entity does not want that door to close. If it does, the evil force can't keep invading. Stopping Eleven and her friends is going to be a priority.

Mind control through mirrors, just like The Shining.
'Member Jack's restroom scene with the ghost?


It is a trope in many, many, Stephen King books, from It to Christine, that bullies are usually terrible, psychotic people which beat up weaker children no matter what the legal repercussions in a way that goes beyond the usual gaslighting and physical abuse. In It Pennywise the Clown mind controls a bully into attacking the protagonists. 

Billy sure goes off at the right time on the right people for the Thessaldydra, so much so that I believe his parents were an illusion. We never saw them up until that point. Billy's parents show up, tell him to get his sister (which makes no sense...if it is that important, shouldn't her parents go looking for her, too?) and leaves. If that is not the case it is a Hell of a coincidence.

An 80's horror film about a demon that 
attacks people, but only in their sleep.


When Will is forced to go to sleep, Eleven is on the way home inside a train, and falls asleep. This occurs in the episode, "The Lost Sister," which featured Kali, one of the other patients from the Hawkins facility. At this point, I have a theory. That whole part where Eleven gets off the train, meets those wacky people and hangs out with Kali? It didn't happen in real life. What?


Never forget that the conflict from the very beginning has been between The Vale of Shadows (since the whole plane of existence seems to be a mass consciousness, which is what a Thessalhydra is) and her. She opened the gate, it wants to stay open and invade. Fairly simple. Before it possessed Will, the shadowy entity was stuck in the sky, following him around after being created from the rot left over from all of the dying plant life the Pollywogs corrupted.

D&D's The Thessalhydra. One mind, one monster, many faces.


To watch Kubrick's The Shining with an informed mind you must remember that in that movie, there are no ghosts. It is all just telepathy and hallucinations. 'Member the part where Nicholson walks into the weird purple and green room, sees a naked lady in a tub, and then she gets out and turns into a monster? OK, let me explain, and please understand that this is a spoiler alert and I am about to fuck your mind up with this information.

Now that it is in Will's head, it can use psychic powers against the group (by making Billy go nuts) and trying to trick Eleven into getting off of the train in Chicago and staying there, so she won't come back, close the portal and shut down the evil entity's operation. Will is asleep. His conscious mind is shut down. His dreaming mind, however, is still dangerous. That's why he's called The Mind Flayer...because of his mental blast.

In the mirror.

The Shining is about a man who is molesting his kid, so the kid kills him. This was very intentional on Kubrick's part and is the source of a lot of the background imagery (remember what we talked about...) that is leading the way to that harsh, evil truth. When Jack hugs Danny, they are reflected in the mirror. As Jack molests his kid, he imagines a tryst with a beautiful woman in a hotel room. Danny uses telepathy to turn the fantasy into an ugly nightmare.

The nightmare world of Jack's imagination.

That is why the color scheme in the room is so psychedelic and bizarre. It's why Jack's character keeps talking to ghosts...he's really just talking to The Hotel, which is shining at him. When characters shine they place images inside the heads of others, which is why in that film the scenery, location of objects, colors and even the damn bear skin rug keep moving around or changing. Jack's character is projecting his dream into the minds of others. Other times, the hotel is doing it. Danny also does that. Notice how the color of the strange room where Jack encounters the rotting woman parallels the color scheme reflected in the mirror.

Because the mirror reflects the bed.

See the bear?

Danny is the bear.

See the bear? Understand the parallel? 
Notice the color scheme when Danny is brushing his teeth.

Notice the man getting the bear BJ is in a tuxedo.

Dad is wearing a tux for a reason. Kubrick was a genius.

Kali gives Eleven psychotherapy. What evil did Dad do? Why does Kali call him her father, too?

When Kali's illusion of Eleven's father says "spread," it is is a reference to what Danny did to his dad in The Shining. He traumatized her to summon the Demogorgon. MKULTRA was about mind control and sex slaves. The Montauk Project was about summoning a demon. Put the two together and you have mind controlled demons. What government wouldn't want that?


My point is that with the whole Netflix series being a shout out to Stephen King, it would only naturally follow that the psychic effects projected by the Thesselhydra-possessed Will (in the Palace of the Silver Princess the evil force responsible is called "Arik," not the Thesselhydra...another mistake by the children so obvious we have to notice it) would be hard to notice. First the evil force sets up Billy to go whup some character ass. It directs the Pollywogs to attack the second problem, and now it has to deal with the third problem, Eleven, the once character that can close the portal...and she is on her way back. How to stop her?


Eleven does fall asleep on the train, because when she wakes up her clothing and hair is changed. This means that she had to get off the train in Chicago, wander around, and then get back on the train and arrive just in time to save her friends. This is where the Thessalhydra makes its move, tempting Eleven off the train to hang out with her evil alter-ego, her familiar spirit, her quareen (every human's personal demon, in Islam), her fetch, her dark side...Kali.

Two faces, one person.

Never forget that if Eleven had stayed with Kali, all Hell would have consumed her friends back home. Eleven's return not only saves her friends just in time from the Pollywogs, she also shuts down the portal at the exact same time Will stops lying in bed possessed by the Thessalhydra to get some exorcise. At the moment the exorcism works the portal gets closed. Ain't that one Hades of a coincidence. Eleven had to return, and anything that got in the way of that goal is suspect.


At the start of the series Eleven has problems. After defeating Demogorgon she's basically acting like the thing. In Season 1 Eleven opened a door into another place (the supermarket), opened another door to get her waffles (the refrigerator) and then closed a door behind her to escape. Now she's wandering the woods, using her powers to beat animals to death to eat and people to unconsciousness to escape. The parallel is there for a reason.

Once she ends up with the Sheriff, her situation hasn't changed much. Instead of being locked in the laboratory imprisoned by Papa, she's locked in a cabin imprisoned by the Sheriff. As the episodes continue, and nobody has bothered to give this child to a decent psychologist to put her mind back together, she starts to unravel, using her powers to abuse others and going on angry rampages. In Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker confronted his dark side (in the cave on Degobah) to gain knowledge. It is time for Eleven to do the same.

Over the rainbow, an MK-ULTRA reference.

Never forget the original sources of the conspiracies behind this show...The Montauk Project, a story about a psychic that summoned a monster from his mind, and The Philadelphia Experiment, a story about a government operation that opened a portal into another dimension, and MK-ULTRA, which is about mind control. If I'm wrong the Duffer Brothers won't make any references to any of those concepts and we can move on. They did, so here we are. Please be patient, it gets deeper than your subconscious and is important to Eleven's evolution.


There is a movie from the 80's called WisdomEmilio Estevez is the main character. He doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. He's a teenage man, angry at the system, and proceeds to strike back by robbing banks, destroying files so that people in debt end up with theirs erased, and eventually (spoiler alert) gets killed by the cops. Surprise! It was all a daydream. Estevez wakes up and decides to strike back at the system in a more mature, adult, business-minded way. The point is that he becomes enlightened in a dream.

80's style feminist film.

Another film is called The Legend of Billie JeanA young woman ends up nearly raped by an evil man whose two sons stole her brothers motor scooter. (The movie is pretty low stakes.) What follows is a back and forth, good versus evil narrative weaving occult symbols with public opinion, self image with spiritual possession, and a female character that finds inner strength through personal enlightenment and spiritual possession. In the end, the young woman finally encounters her own higher self unleashed to the point of mass manipulation, and makes a choice.

The rapist villain of the film Notice the tie.

Much like Eleven in Stranger Things 2, what gives Billie Jean the power to take on her nemesis is that she embraces her dark side, making it a part of herself. At first the young woman alters her appearance after the film's antagonist uses a picture of her in a bathing suit to sell merchandise. Eleven changed her appearance to look more like Kali, from the shading around the eyes, jacket type, hair style and such. Billie Jean changes several times, at first like Joan of Arc (she's fighting for a cause against corruption) until she looks somewhat like the antagonist in the film's final act.

Billie Jean before. 

Joan of Arc's image in the TV beams to Billie Jean, possessing her.

Billie Jean is embracing her dark side. 
Notice the hair and makeup transformation.

Billie Jean confronts her nemesis (who is symbolically nude
by his clothing) for the final showdown. Notice the shirt and tie.
She has merged with her dark side. Hegelian dialectic complete.

A deep occult film with massive symbolism and huge parallels to the occult Tarot is...Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure. What?! No, seriously, each scene in the film corresponds with a card from the Major Arcana of everyone's favorite occult past time, from The Fool when Pee Wee has his bike to The Hermit to The Devil.

Zero, The Fool. Just him and his bike, i.e. lion.

The Fool. That ain't a dog, it's a lion...
humanities bestial nature. The dark side.

Notice the lion. 

You see, Pee Wee is chained to his bike, which represents the temptations of the world (wealth) and his own bestial nature (the bike has a lion on the front, The Fool features a small lion, Strength features a man grappling with a larger lion) until finally there is a fusion. In the end, Pee Wee gets his bike back and fuses with his bestial nature, as represented by the film where a man with a lion like appearance, dressed like Pee Wee, becomes the unstoppable hero in the narrative.

Chained the your dark side.

Notice the chains. In Italian opera, clowns represented
the devil. Pee Wee is too chained to something. Time to
become enlightened.

Pee Wee is The Hermit.

Judgement. Notice the cross.

What will our hero do? Notice how the animals are in boxes like the people rising up out of the boxes in Judgement. What does that make Pee Wee?

The joke is, though, Pee Wee didn't just get his bike back. He's above it all, watching the film screen from a higher dimension, hanging out with all the friends and people he's met that love him so much. Pee Wee has become enlightened. He doesn't even need the bike, and just like Jesus he's serving the people, feeding the masses, because enlightenment = benevolence. Just like Eleven.

Pee Wee has merged with his bestial side. 
Hegelian dialectic complete.

Pee Wee has evolved and is above it all. He even 
gives up the bike because he's learned to let go.


Each of these people, including Eleven, represent an ages old concept used in philosophy, mass manipulation, Freemasonry, hypnotism, politics, the occult and Jungian psychology. The concept is simple. A character wants one thing. However, life events and changes force the character to do something else very different. It's either one or the other, and it can't be either. So a new way, a third way, is created from the synthesis of the two. This embracing the dark side is usually indicated by a change in appearance, just like Billie Jean, Pee-Wee Herman and Eleven when she gets a cosmetic makeover from Kali's minions.

Freemason imagery. The left and the right, the dark and the light.

This encounter with the dark side doesn't always means a fusion. In Scott Pilgrim Versus The World, Scott's last adversary seems to be his dark half. In the end, an agreement is reached between the two, and there is no conflict. This is what Eleven needs to deal with before she can stop the Thessalhydra. 

You have probably seen this concept at work in many other stories before. In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker only defeats Darth Vader when he is wearing all black with cybernetic parts (like Darth Vader). He even uses the dark side of the force to defeat Vader. When Luke lost his temper, he stopped fighting like a cool, calm Jedi...and won.

Eleven's journey to self enlightenment is a common trope in 80's films. Her makeup, hairdo and clothing all change (to look like Kali's style) because that's what happens to characters in 80's films...they can't win until they enter into darkness, get power from it, and then emerge to beat the bad guy. It's another 80's reference. 

Have you noticed how Billy...looks like Kali? Same controller, different person.


Many viewers complained that this episode felt off, somehow. A vast departure from the previous episode, which featured Will being possessed and then rendered unconscious. Free to operate on the psychosphere (before that all the entity could do was haunt Will) the Thessalhydra does so, and Eleven is the target. Don't forget it all started in Eleven's head. Later on Will's visions of the monster clearly indicate the entity is now in his.

Strange things happen to Eleven on the way to the warehouse as she searches for Kali (straight out of psychology, her name is a reference to Jungian theories regarding the dark side and feminine archetypes). A homeless person screams out that she is dead. Archon-like cops stare at her harshly.

Into the dream.

While most believe at this point that Eleven ran into Kali, I'm going to tell you that she just wandered around in an empty warehouse in a daydream, changed her hair, clothes and makeup, experienced an epiphany only to get back on the train and go home. It probably took just a few hours. Everything else was an illusion. The Thessalhydra played it's last card, fired off a mental blast, and Eleven survived. The clues are there.


I've written about it a lot in my previous Stranger Things posts so the recap will be brief. A tulpa is an entity that started out as a mental image which eventually becomes real through force of will by the creator or because so many people believe in the image it manifests. Many occult writers, even modern ones, claim to have created tulpas when they ran into their creations in real life. Grant Morrison, Alan Moore and even the creators of Superman mention the tulpa, as does the occult writer, adventurer and practitioner known as Helena Blavatsky. Even the X-Files had an episode about it.

Eleven and her dark side.

Never forget that according to science, reality is a hologram. Your eyeballs photograph the real world, but the image is upside-down. Your brain than flips that image over, fills in the blind spot between your eyeballs and under your nose with background imagery, and that's what you see. The world you see is never the real world that actually exists. Kali's ability is a lot easier to pull off, when you really think about how everything you see is really just an illusion your brain gives you.

Kali summons an illusion from Eleven's head, like a tulpa. 
Even another character tells Kali to "get out" of his head.

A tulpa is really just a very, very powerful illusion created by many minds all emotionally working together to create the hallucination, according to Tibetan mystics and Hindu yogis who teach their acolytes that all reality is just a hallucination, anyhow. Just like any other living entity, the tulpa will eventually obtain free will and try to survive independent of the creator. The writings of Blavatasky make it very clear that her own tulpa, a man dressed like a friar, eventually became out of her control and exhibited a very sinister nature as time went on. What does Kali do? She makes tulpas. This reference is there for a reason.

Notice the symbolism. 


Stranger Things uses a lot of background imagery. We've already seen that with Will's dinosaur, the poster of The Dark Crystal and The Thing, etc. A whole lot of symbols and slogans show up in this episode. It all points the way to mind control, conspiracy theories and the occult. Kali represents Eleven's dark side. I believe that Kali is the spirit of the Demogorgon, a fragment left over from the programmed alter ego Eleven was tortured into making so Papa the Lich can make monsters.

See the butterfly in the background? Hopper's head ain't right.


Many other journalists like myself have written articles about the government mind control programs referenced in the first season of the show. Kali is seen as a small child with Eleven in The Rainbow Room by her mom. "Over the rainbow" is a term that can be found in the conspiracy theory that subjects must first have their minds warped and made malleable before they can be brainwashed and have their personalities fragmented into splits that do what they are told to do. 

Rather odd that Kali is in that room. Was that the split personality? Did you notice that Eleven's mom doesn't even look at Kali? At all? Eleven sees Kali in her mind's eye. Why doesn't mom?

Eyes Wide Shut, another Kubrick film about mind control.

Kali entrances Eleven with a blue monarch butterfly. This symbol is a reference to The Monarch Program, and supposed government conspiracies related to the subject. You will see it over and over again if you look up books and films regarding the conspiracy theory. The butterfly is a reference to a person's awareness feeling as if they are floating away when the psychologists are tightening the screws to induce a split. Ugly stuff.


This movie is about a psychologist (played by Robert DeNiro) and a mentally abused young girl (played by a young girl who is good at staring at everybody with giant eyeballs) who has a split personality. DeNiro treats her as a patient until (spoiler alert) he realizes he has a split personality of his own that is responsible for the abuse, although a clever viewer will notice the whole town seems to be some sort of MKULTRA experiment.This movie features a lot of the MKULTRA and Project Monarch imagery. The rainbow, two heads on the little girl to show the split, a monarch butterfly, etc.

In Hide and Seek the little girl has two personalities.

The monarch butterfly. The doctor has two, too.


Millions of people around the world, especially India, practice Hinduism. Kali is a goddess in the religion and a wikipedia search will show you she is not a very nice deity, luxuriating in severed heads and baths of blood. Her followers, an outlaw cult called the Thuggee, practiced murder and robbery, just like Kali's followers in Stranger Things 2.

Kali and Kali.

It's worth noting that the goddess Kali is actually a dark aspect of another goddess, Parvati. The Duffer Brothers could have picked a lot of names, they could have picked a lot of goddesses. And, hey, did you notice that El and Kali both have the names of goddesses? I really, really want to know who Eleven's father is. 


Jungian psychology has a concept called the shadow. This is your hidden, dark side, and can be quite destructive when you don't work out your hidden desires, negative emotions and selfish aspirations. Many people don't face or suppress this darkness, according to Jung & Co., so one type of therapy is for a person to have a written dialogue with their own shadow (Holy Ouija Board Therapy Sessions, Batman!) to find out what it wants and why it is there.


Sure sounds like what happened between Eleven and Kali. We were shown in the previous season that Eleven's mind is a landscape full of people and things. Her job was to track down the Russian spy and kill him. But Eleven doesn't like to kill...so she was programmed with a splinter personality (known as an alter) to do the job. That's the Demogorgon. When Eleven ended up in the Vale of Shadows after Demogorgon blew up in a blast of energy, that energy wasn't destroyed. It's still in her head, her mind and her dreams.

Kali in the TV?

Plus...why is the title called, "The Lost Sister?" Kali and Eleven are not related. At all. They just went to a screwed up place together. Unless Kali is related to Eleven...because she got out of her head.


The numerology of Kali's number, 8, is consistent with the symbolism of Eleven's name. In the occult 8 represents a lot of things, but mostly destruction. It's a good destruction...the old being swept away for the new, which is why 8 is also the number of power, authority and karma. In Hinduism Parvati's essences merged with Shiva, The Destroyer, in order for her to become Kali, so having the number 8 makes perfect sense.

See the 8? See what it means, now?

Eight also balances the spiritual and material. The character Eleven has a lot of psychological trauma. This PTSD has to be dealt with so it doesn't keep affecting her actions in the real world. On the flipside, a person who has big dreams of pursuing a career they are incapable of needs to have those dreams destroyed so they can pursue a vocation that will bring them even more success and happiness, and in numerology 8 destroys false illusion, inducing enlightenment.

In The Poltergeist, they were here because
they were in the TV. That's what ghosts do.

By the way, did you notice that Channel 8 appears on the television in front of Eleven's mom right after Eleven leaves, right before the opening credits? Maybe it wasn't her mom that wanted Eleven to find Kali. Maybe it was her. Eleven can send her mind into the TV airwaves. Poltergeist taught us those airwaves are haunted, people can get stuck in there, and it is where demons dwell (cue Bach's Toccata and fugue in D minor).

Eleven was in a room with a rainbow. 
Where they make split personalities.

I am already done with the next part. It shall be up within a week. It just needs to be edited and exorcised.The next post will give you even more evidence, including photos from "The Lost Sister," to prove that Kali and that episode was more than meets the mind's eye. By the time you are done reading it everybody you know that talks to you about Stranger Things 2 will think you are smarter than a Mind Flayer.