Ominous Hints That ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Will Involve the Satanic Panic of the ’80s

When Stranger Things premiered in July of 2016, audiences were captivated by the feelings of nostalgia it evoked in so many. It was right at the beginning of the ‘80s nostalgia craze. It offered up a show that reminds many adults of their childhoods in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. The series has worked in cultural touchstones like the Cold War into the plot. Now, it looks like folks might be getting even more of that in Stranger Things Season 4. However, this time, it seems like it might focus on what is known as the Satanic Panic of the ‘80s.

A road sign saying "Welcome to Hawkins" with the word "Hell" spray painted over the word "Hawkins" in a scene from 'Stranger Things' Season 3
A scene from ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 | Netflix

What is the Satanic Panic?

For a time in the 1980s, Americans believed that there was a bevy of satanic cults bubbling beneath the surfaces of Small Town, USA. Fear caused a large part of the craze, but these beliefs had severe repercussions. The media seemed to fuel the fire and figures like Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, became more well-known. 

Anything outside the realm of what most people considered “normal” suddenly seemed suspicious. People were claiming everything from Metallica to Dungeons and Dragons was the work of the devil and a part of the occult. Eventually, things calmed down over the years. However, Stranger Things Season 4 will take place during the height of the Satanic Panic. It would make sense the series would touch on the topic.

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Some fans believe the Satanic Panic will be a significant plotline in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4

In the final episode of Stranger Things Season 3, a news clip explains what went down in Hawkins, Indiana, on July 4th. Of course, the news reporter blames everything from a chemical leak to a corrupt mayor. However, in a brief shot, viewers see a stack of Dungeons and Dragons books, and the reporter says, “Some say a rise in Satanism is to blame.” Stranger Things showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer are known to leave hints for upcoming storylines, so fans didn’t let this line go by unnoticed.

With the massive filming delays due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, fans have been on overdrive looking for hints about what’s to come in Stranger Things Season 4. Some photos leaked earlier this year showed part of the cast filming at a church close to Atlanta. In at least one of the photos, Argyle’s (Eduardo Franco) van from Surfer Boy Pizza is seen in the background. Surfer Boy Pizza is based in California. That means at least some of the California crew make their way to Hawkins at one point or another.

From the beginning of the series, a large part of the plot has been connected to Dungeons and Dragons. With that particular role-playing game being one of the main ones mentioned as having a connection to satanic rituals, it would make sense for this to work its way into the plot. Could this be how officials explain some of the murders in Hawkins?

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‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 won’t premiere until the summer of 2022

Many fans were hoping Stranger Things Season 4 would premiere in the first quarter of 2022. Some even believed we might be lucky enough to get a New Years Day release. Others thought it would be March or April. The announcement of a summer release date on Stranger Things Day left many fans disappointed. However, at least we have an idea of when we’ll be reunited with our favorite characters from Hawkins, even if it is a lot later than anyone expected. The first three seasons of Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix.