Stranger Things Wiki


Read at your own discretion...


Stranger Things Wiki
Stranger Things Wiki
PO House Square final-1
Spoiler Warning!
This article or section reveals details from Stranger Things: The First Shadow. Read at your own discretion...

It's time… for your suffering... to end.
— Vecna to Chrissy

Vecna, portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower, is the main antagonist from the fourth season of Stranger Things. Vecna also appears in Stranger Things: The First Shadow and Stranger Things VR.

A fearsome humanoid creature aligned with the Upside Down, Vecna had humble origins as the human Henry Creel. As a child, Henry had an unexpected encounter with stolen experimental technology and an entity from another dimension, leading Henry's parents to notice a permanent shift in their son's personality.

After moving to a new home in Hawkins in 1959, the young Henry discovered he had developed remarkable psychic and psychokinetic abilities. Henry used his powers to psychologically torture his family, eventually killing his mother and sister. After Henry’s father, Victor, was falsely presumed to be the killer, Victor was imprisoned and driven further into madness.

These events attracted the interest of Dr. Martin Brenner, who took Henry to Hawkins National Laboratory to be studied; he was designated 001, becoming the laboratory's first child test subject. Brenner implanted "Soteria" into Henry's neck, a miniature device that suppressed his powers and apparently tracked his movements; in Henry's own words, he had become a "prisoner". In time, Henry became one of several orderlies who assisted Brenner and attended the lab. Brenner would go on to replicate Henry's powers in seventeen other child test subjects, who also had their movements and lives restricted to the lab's confines.

In 1979, Henry tricked test subject Eleven into removing the Soteria chip with her powers. In a fit of rage, Henry used his restored powers to brutally murder the other test subjects and workers, and attempted to do the same to Eleven. However, Eleven stood her ground and ultimately overpowered him, sending him through a gate to an alternate dimension; there, he gradually transformed into the being known as Vecna. He became an explorer of the realm, discovering an exotic, storm-like mass of particles, and used his powers to reconstitute it into a giant, spider-like entity; a being that would come to be known as “the Mind Flayer”.

In 1983, Eleven accidentally opened a gate to the Upside Down when she was forced to make contact with the hive mind. Vecna, acting through the Mind Flayer and the hive mind, made two separate attempts to eradicate humanity in 1984 and 1985; he first possessed Will Byers and sent a army of adolescent Demogorgons to attack Hawkins Lab, before going on to possess a large group of humans and using their flesh to create a gigantic spider-like monster in the image of the Mind Flayer. In both instances, Eleven and her allies ultimately thwarted Vecna’s plans by closing the gates to the Upside Down.

In 1986, Vecna resurfaced, taking a more direct approach in his attempts to destroy humanity. He began murdering a host of Hawkins residents, tormenting his victims with his curse power and using their deaths to open a series of new gates. Dustin, Nancy, Max and others began investigating the murders, nicknaming the murderer "Vecna" after a character from Dungeons & Dragons. The group’s efforts to defeat Vecna culminated in a dual assault; Eleven used psychic projection to confront Vecna within his own mind, while Nancy, Steve and Robin traveled to the Upside Down version of the Creel House to attack his real body. Despite heavily wounding him, the group could not stop Vecna from furthering his plans to annihilate both Hawkins and the wider world.

Quick Answers

Who is Vecna? toggle section
Vecna is the main antagonist from the fourth season of Stranger Things. Vecna, also known as Henry Creel or One, is a humanoid being with psychic powers; his blood is the source of Eleven's abilities. Vecna appears to be the ruler of the Upside Down, though he has an ambiguous relationship with the "Mind Flayer" entity, the main villain from seasons two and three.
Provided by: Community
What are Vecna's origins? toggle section
Vecna was originally a regular human, Henry Creel. At some point in the late 1950s, Henry discovered he possessed remarkable psychic and psychokinetic abilities. According to one account, Henry gained these abilities after being accidentally transported to "Dimension X" as a child.
Provided by: Community
What happened to Henry's family? toggle section
Henry's mother and sister were killed by Henry in an incident at the Creel House on March 14, 1959. His father, Victor, survived the attack and was presumed to be the killer. However, according to one account, the Mind Flayer possessed Henry in this moment and made Henry kill his family members.
Provided by: Community
What happened to Henry after his family's death? toggle section
Dr. Martin Brenner took Henry to Hawkins National Laboratory to be studied. Brenner implanted a device called 'Soteria' into Henry's neck to suppress his powers. Brenner also took samples of Henry's blood, which Brenner used to create a series of child test subjects with the same powers.
Provided by: Community
What happened in 1979? toggle section
In 1979, Henry tricked test subject Eleven into removing the Soteria chip with her powers. He used his restored powers to brutally murder the other test subjects and workers, and attempted to do the same to Eleven. However, Eleven overpowered him and sent him through a gate to the Upside Down, where he gradually transformed into the being known as Vecna.
Provided by: Fandom


SPOILERS AHEAD  for  The First Shadow

Birth and early life

Henry Creel was born sometime between 1945 and 1950 to Victor and Virginia Creel, and had a sister named Alice. He did not fit in with his peers; his father described him as a "sensitive" boy. According to Henry, his teachers and doctors said he was "broken".[2][3][4][5]


Multiple accounts of Henry's childhood and teenage years exist. One account outlining some of these events came from Henry himself. Henry's account of his life took two forms: both as a speech he delivered to Eleven, and as a "mindscape" version of Henry's thoughts and memories that Nancy Wheeler was forced to experience.[5] However, a second, apparently objective account of Henry's life appears to contradict parts of Henry's account. Since Henry was a man with "broken memories", his account of events can not necessarily be trusted or assumed to provide a complete picture.[4][6][7]

According to the alternative account, Henry spent much of his childhood living with his family in Rachel, Nevada. One day, Henry explored a nearby cave system while playing with a spyglass. While exploring, Henry stumbled across pieces of scientific equipment stolen from the Nevada Experiment. The equipment unexpectedly activated; Henry and the scientist who stole the equipment were temporarily transported to Dimension X, killing the scientist in the process. In the alternate world, Henry saw glimpses of strange creatures and was exposed to the influence of a shadowy entity.

Henry survived the ordeal and eventually returned home after 12 hours, but with wildly different blood, and an altered personality. Another scientist working on the Nevada Experiment, Dr. Martin Brenner, later recovered the stolen equipment, also finding the spyglass belonging to Henry.

Following the incident, Henry apparently lost control and paralysed another boy, which was one factor behind Victor and Virginia deciding to move the family out of Nevada.

According to this account, it was Henry’s exposure to the Mind Flayer at a young age that led him to develop special psychokinetic abilities. This appears to contradict Henry's own account of events, in which Henry discovered the Mind Flayer and Dimension X at a much later stage in his life.[4]

According to yet another account, the Creels lived in South Bend before relocating to Hawkins.[1]

A fresh start


The Creels enter their new home

Some time between 1957 and March 1959[8], Virginia's great-uncle had passed away, leaving her a small fortune that was used to buy a large house in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. Victor and Virginia hoped the move could mark a fresh start for Henry and Alice, but Henry was pessimistic: he didn’t see how Hawkins would be different to any other place he had lived.

Henry's illustration -S4E9

Henry's illustration

But to his surprise, Henry found solace when he discovered a nest of black widows living inside the new house's bathroom vent. Henry was both comforted by the spiders and fascinated by them; he related to how "misunderstood" they were, deeming them to be "most important of all predators" for how they provided structure for the weak. Henry was inspired to make illustrations of a fantastical super-predator, which he envisioned as a giant spider-like beast.

Henry grandfather clock

Henry manipulates the grandfather clock

According to Henry's account of events, Henry grew to loathe human civilization at this age, most specifically its artificial structuring of days, weeks, months and years. Henry did not want to be part of what he called society's "mindless play" of eating, sleeping, working, reproducing, and dying, but one day, he realized he didn’t have to. Henry discovered he possessed, or had somehow developed, remarkable psychokinetic abilities, finding he could manipulate the grandfather clock downstairs with the power of his mind alone.

Henry further tested his abilities by mutilating and killing various animals, including rabbits, chickens, squirrels and dogs.[9] As Henry went about the killings, he figured out how to "reach into" and manipulate the creatures' minds and memories.

According to Henry, he used his powers to make his father hallucinate his own experiences as a soldier in the Second World War; Victor, who had ordered the shelling of an innocent household while serving in France, was tortured by visions of a baby burning alive in their cradle.

Victor's paranoia drove him to believe a demon lived inside their home, though Virginia began to suspect these happenings were somehow the doing of her son. She wanted to send Henry to a psychiatrist, which Henry believed to be ridiculous, since in his view, he "wasn't the one who was broken". Virginia got in contact with Dr. Martin Brenner, hoping for him to take Henry away; Henry learned of his mother's plans, and decided he had "no choice" but to act.[5]

The shadow

However, according to the alternative account, Henry did not consciously choose to kill the animals, but was forced to do so by the shadowy influence he had encountered thanks to the incident in the Nevadan caves. According to this same account, Henry befriended and dated Patty Newby at this time despite otherwise struggling to make friends upon joining Hawkins High School; upon learning about Henry's powers, she tried to convince him his powers could be used for good. Henry created a "vision" for Patty, where she could express herself through song while being supported by everyone around her. However, throughout their relationship, Henry was haunted by visions of a humanoid monster, and was terrified that he would be made to kill Patty.

Patty convinced Henry to use his powers to track down her biological mother. However, while using the power he called "the battlefield", he lost control and frightened Patty. When her father walked in and witnessed the scene, he was attacked and almost killed by Henry, being controlled by the shadowy presence. With Patty encouraging Henry to fight back, Henry was able to end the situation, but not before Patty's father was blinded and seriously injured.

Around this time, Dr. Martin Brenner manipulated Virginia by supplying her with drugs; under the influence of these drugs, Virginia told Brenner everything about her son. After the incident involving Mr. Newby, Virginia agreed to send Henry to see Brenner.

Brenner took Henry to Hawkins National Laboratory; Brenner explained that he was able to track Henry down due to him dropping his spyglass in the caves, and that Henry had gained a unique blood type due to the incident. Henry, using a sensory deprivation chamber and "the battlefield", showed Brenner a humanoid creature, displaying the image of the creature via a screen. Later, Brenner tried to force Henry to kill a prisoner, but Henry broke down and ended up stabbing two guards. After this, Henry insisted that he left the laboratory, and Brenner let him go. Upon returning home, Henry sensed that his family was unhappy about his return. Using his powers, he read his mother's thoughts and learned that she wanted to send him back to Brenner.[4]


Tragedy strikes

As the Creels sat around the dinner table on March 14, 1959,[10] Henry used his powers to turn on the radio, distracting his father. As the lights began to flicker, Virginia was launched into the air and mutilated, the bones in her limbs breaking and her eyes imploding in their sockets, before she lifelessly crashed onto the dining room table. Ignorant of his son's bloody nose, Victor grabbed his children and attempted to escape through the front door, but Henry used his powers to jam the lock, while making Victor hallucinate back to the war. While Victor was hypnotized, Henry killed Alice the same way as their mother.

Henry intended to kill Victor in the same manner, but he had inadvertently ruined his plans to do so by turning on the radio. The music playing on the radio provided Victor with an anchor to reality; he thought he heard "the voice of an angel", allowing him to break free of his son's control.[9] Upon snapping out of the trance, Victor collapsed. Henry also collapsed and passed out, as he had greatly overexerted his powers, and entered a coma.

Some time later, Victor awoke as the sole family member left relatively unscathed from the massacre. Victor was arrested for the murder of Virginia and Alice and sent to Pennhurst Mental Hospital. There, Victor's mental health deteriorated; he attempted suicide by gouging his eyes out, but was stopped from ending his life.[5]

Though Henry later described how he "had no choice" but to kill his family members, the alternative account of events again conflicts with his description, with the shadowy entity apparently possessing Henry as he committed the murders. According to this same account, Henry eventually awoke later that night and headed to Hawkins High, as he had learned Dr. Brenner was attempting to find Patty. A confrontation between Henry, Patty and Brenner then took place at Hawkins High atop the stage of Joyce Maldonado's attempted school production of Dark of the Moon. Brenner tried to convince Henry that Patty was his weakness while Patty desperately told Henry to ignore him. Feeling overwhelmed, the shadowy entity once again took control of Henry, and Henry threw Patty off the stage. After this, Henry fell unconscious once more, and Brenner took him back to Hawkins Lab. Patty was later hospitalized.[4]

Creel tragedy

The aftermath of the Creel tragedy

1959 - 1979

Papa's intervention

Victor was told that Henry died a week later due to shock, but in truth, his death was a hoax orchestrated by Dr. Brenner. Henry awoke from his coma to discover he had been transported to Hawkins National Laboratory, under the watchful eye of Brenner.

Brenner intended to both study and closely supervise the boy. Henry was designated the first of a new group of Hawkins Lab test subjects; at some point in April 1959, Brenner tattooed "001" on Henry's forearm to mark the occasion.[5][11]

For some length of time, Brenner conducted tests on Henry's abilities. In one experiment, Brenner tested Henry's ability to imagine and destroy within the Void before instructing him to use his remote viewing ability to track down a Russian spy in Hawkins.[12] However, Brenner later inserted Soteria into Henry's neck, a miniature device that suppressed his powers. In time, Henry became one of several orderlies who assisted Brenner and attended to the lab. Brenner deeply distrusted Henry, however, and would occasionally order the other orderlies to torture him to keep him intimidated.[13]

Henry tattooed

Brenner applies to the tattoo to Henry

Hoping to recreate Henry's powers in other individuals, Brenner commenced a series of new experiments and programs. In Project MKUltra, Brenner gave volunteer test subjects experimental drugs and placed them inside sensory deprivation tanks, while also giving them transfusions of Henry's unique blood.[4][14] Some of these volunteers, such as Terry Ives, were pregnant when they underwent the experiments; their newborn children would later be abducted by Brenner to be raised at Hawkins Lab, and would prove to have psychokinetic abilities similar to Henry's.

During Henry's time as an orderly at Hawkins Lab, he took a particular liking to one of Brenner's test subjects, Eleven. After witnessing her being bullied by the other test subjects, he believed both of them were similarly misunderstood, and also believed Eleven to be the most powerful of the test subjects. Henry helped Eleven during times when her peers ridiculed her, offering encouraging words and advice.[13][5]


The massacre at Hawkins Lab

StrangerThings StrangerThings4 7 00 45 14 08

Henry tells Eleven to meet him in the basement (Eleven's memory)

On September 4, 1979, Henry briefly interacted with Eleven in the Rainbow Room before Brenner rounded up the test subjects and escorted them to the training room.[15]

On September 7, Henry talked with Eleven in the Rainbow Room prior to combat training, telling her she reminded him of the mythical test subject One. Though Brenner had told the children that One did not exist, Henry insisted that One was real. Henry went on to advise Eleven to use negative emotions, such as anger and sadness, to better channel her abilities in the combat training. He also revealed that Brenner had lied to her about her mother's death.

After Brenner realized Henry had helped Eleven make better use of her powers during the combat training, he decided to punish him and instructed the other orderlies to taser him. Eleven overheard his screams and secretly watched as an incapacitated Henry was dragged by his arms across the corridor floor.[13]

On September 8, as Henry and Eleven played a game of chess in the Rainbow Room, Henry claimed in hushed tones that the other children were planning to kill her. Henry offered Eleven a chance to escape from the lab, sliding her a key card under the table and telling her to meet him in the basement. There, he showed her an escape route through a drain pipe, before convincing her to use her powers to remove the “Soteria” suppressant chip from his neck, restoring Henry’s long-dormant abilities. Shortly after this, security guards stormed the basement; the two reached a corridor but were surrounded by the guards. Henry used his restored powers to maim and kill the guards; he took Eleven to a storage cupboard and told her to wait there, revealing his ‘001’ tattoo before leaving.

Henry proceeded to go on a murderous rampage throughout the laboratory, killing all the other test subjects and various Hawkins Lab personnel, and indirectly knocked Dr. Brenner unconscious. Eleven entered the Rainbow Room and watched in horror as Henry finished killing Two. Henry explained himself to Eleven, telling her of his origins and philosophy; he asked her to join him in his goal to eradicate humanity.

1979 Gate opens

A Gate unexpectedly opens in the Rainbow Room.

But Eleven refused. She used her powers to fling Henry into the wall; angered and disappointed, Henry stood back up and outreached his hand, with Eleven doing the same. The two test subjects engaged in a psychokinetic duel, with Henry initially overwhelming and almost killing Eleven. However, Eleven, finding strength in a distant memory, ultimately overpowered Henry, pinning him against the wall of the Rainbow Room. She began disintegrating his body, but somehow, she opened an inter-dimensional gate in the wall, through which Henry was transported.[5]

The gate sealed up, and just after the membrane separating the worlds finished healing, Brenner, having recovered consciousness, entered the Rainbow Room. Though he initially believed Eleven was responsible for the massacre, he later learned Henry was to blame after reviewing surveillance footage. Brenner was bewildered by Henry's disappearance, and wondered if he was still out there somewhere, "hiding in the darkness".[16]

1979 - 1986

A discovery in purgatory


Henry is struck by lightning

After Eleven sent Henry through the gate, he was jettisoned to a strange inter-dimensional space beyond the human world. For an indeterminate period of time, he fell between two parallel planes, marked by mountainous terrain and raging storms; he was constantly electrocuted by lightning leaping across the twin planes. The mutilation inflicted by the lightning strikes marked the beginning of a bodily transformation; from this point on, Henry slowly morphed into a form no longer recognizable as human. When Henry would later re-emerge, he would be initially known to "The Party" as a monster nicknamed "Vecna".[17]

Some point after surviving his fall, Henry exited the inter-dimensional space and entered a mysterious alternate dimension; though one account showed that Henry had visited this dimension once before as a child, Henry seemed to have no memory of this as an adult.[4]

At first, Henry believed the dimension to be a kind of "purgatory", but he soon changed his mind, coming to view it instead as "a realm unspoiled by mankind". Henry began to traverse the alien terrain, encountering "so many things", including a species of faceless humanoid predators.

Eventually, Henry encountered "the most extraordinary thing of all": a swirling, storm-like mass of shadowy particles, a being through which various lifeforms could be psychically connected through a shared hive mind. Henry used his powers to reconstitute the mist-organism into a form that satisfied him: a giant, spider-like entity with a flame-shaped head. In time, this entity would become known as the Mind Flayer.[18][19]

Birth of the Mind Flayer - S4E9

Henry gives form to the Mind Flayer

When Henry initially encountered the shadowy entity, the entity first took the voice and form of Alice, Virginia and Victor before eventually adopting the persona of Dr. Brenner; the entity claimed it wanted to "study" Henry, and that he was the "most magnificent thing" it had ever encountered. The entity encouraged Henry to take control of the various Demogorgons that roamed the landscape, which Henry achieved by systematically penetrating the mind of each individual creature.

Henry and the entity developed a complicated relationship via psychic connection; Henry repeatedly attempted to seize full control over the entity and the hive mind, but the entity would retaliate, forcing Henry to re-experience troubling memories.[12]

The hidden enemy

On November 6, 1983, Brenner ordered Eleven to make psychic contact with a Demogorgon she unwittingly encountered while immersed in an altered state of consciousness. This action accidentally created a gate to the Upside Down, a dimension with an unclear relationship to Dimension X.[14][5][20]

ST 1x08 – Will snaked

Will Byers, found attached to a vine

This new gate, dubbed the "Mothergate", allowed the Upside Down to begin to spread through. Will Byers, a child resident of Hawkins, was captured by the aforementioned Demogorgon and brought to the Upside Down's version of the town's public library. Though the Demogorgon was defeated, and Will safely recovered by friends and family, he began to have visions of the Upside Down; a psychic connection between Will, the other world and the creatures that lived there had been established.

In 1984, Vecna made his initial attempt to take over the world. He exploited the psychic connection to Will, possessing him via the Mind Flayer, while sending an army of adolescent Demogorgons, or "Demodogs", to attack Hawkins Lab. Eleven interfered by closing the Mothergate, severing the psychic link between the worlds, and killing the Demodogs and the Mothergate's outgrowths in the process. As Eleven closed the Gate, Will's friends and family worked to force a piece of the Mind Flayer out of his body, which in turn became dormant after the Gate's closure.[21]


"The Flayed" at Brimborn Steel Works

The isolated piece of the Mind Flayer remained dormant at Brimborn Steel Works until 1985, when a new gate opened by Soviet machines reestablished the psychic link to Vecna. Via this fragment, Vecna began kidnapping and possessing multiple humans and rats known as the "Flayed", feeding them chemicals and melting their bodies into puddles of biomass. This biomass was then combined to create a proxy form, through which Vecna could directly act in the human world; like the Mind Flayer, this proxy form also resembled a spider, and had the same flame-shaped head. The proxy form succeeded in wounding Eleven, causing her abilities to become neutralized. However, the proxy form was rendered useless after the new Gate was shut by Will's mother Joyce Byers and Chief of Police Jim Hopper, and the psychic link disabled once again.[22][23][24]


Vecna's curse

S04E02 Vecna

Vecna in the attic

At some point, Vecna traveled to the Upside Down's version of the Creel House; in the attic, he could attach to vines connecting to various points in his back, lifting him into the air. When connected to the vines, Vecna entered a kind of meditative state, through which he could access an imaginary space within his own mind.[7]

Following Eleven's resistance, Vecna sought after Eleven's 'power', which he identified as "a means to open [his] own doors" (gates).[18] In the same way that the “powerful psychic connection” between Eleven and the Demogorgon triggered the Mothergate's creation in 1983, Vecna could form similar psychic connections, exercising these connections to open new gates between dimensions.[5] Vecna seemingly stole Eleven's ability to influence minds from across dimensions after a piece of the Spider Monster bit Eleven in July 1985, a being that the possessed Billy Hargrove said was "made for" her.[25][23]

When attempting to open gates through this method, Vecna would strategically prey on teenagers with trauma, or experiencing mental health issues. He would go out of his way to psychologically torture his victims, making them experience disturbing and disorienting hallucinations, before ultimately killing them. The victim's suffering, panic and eventual death seemed to be key to Vecna's ability to open gates, likely maximizing the strength of the psychic connection. Vecna's ultimate goal was to open four gates.

Vecna first employed this tactic in March 1986, against Chrissy Cunningham, a popular student and head cheerleader at Hawkins High School. Despite Chrissy's popularity and outward cheerfulness, she was secretly suffering at home; Chrissy's mother would frequently verbally abuse her and make hurtful comments about her weight. After choosing to target Chrissy, Vecna started to make Chrissy experience severe headaches, nosebleeds, and nightmares. On March 14, Chrissy first reported these symptoms to the school guidance counselor, Ms. Kelley.

On March 21, Chrissy's condition worsened; she hallucinated a version of her mother standing outside the girl's toilets. Later, she saw a mysterious grandfather clock while walking in the woods; she watched in horror as countless black widows appeared from within the clock and shattered the clock face, before Eddie Munson unknowingly snapped her out of the vision.

Levitating Chrissy

Eddie Munson witnesses Chrissy levitating

Later that night, Chrissy started hallucinating again while at Eddie's trailer; she suddenly saw herself in a bizarre version of her own house. Chrissy attempted to escape, but found herself face-to-face with the monstrous Vecna. Chrissy became overwhelmed with fear, exactly as Vecna intended. In the real world, Eddie tried to wake Chrissy from her trance, but it was too late; she started to levitate, bewildering Eddie. Finally, Vecna struck the killing blow; he used his powers to snap Chrissy's limbs and gouge out her eyes, horrifying Eddie and prompting him to flee.[26] A gate then began to slowly open up in the trailer's roof.

Fred 1

Vecna preys on Fred

Fred Benson, another Hawkins High student, was Vecna's next target. The previous year, Fred had crashed a car and accidentally caused his friend's death; Fred was haunted by survivor's guilt ever since, making him a perfect target for Vecna. Fred, like Chrissy, reported the curse's symptoms to Ms. Kelley; he first reported the symptoms the day after Chrissy first did, on March 15. The day after Chrissy's death, Fred saw hallucinations of his friend's grieving family, and was forced to relive his memory of the car crash. While the afflicted Fred stood where the accident had happened, Vecna struck the killing blow, killing Fred and opening a second gate beneath the cement.[27]

Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan of the U.S. Military arrived in Hawkins to survey Chrissy Cunningham's corpse, and concluded Eleven was to blame for her death. Chrissy's boyfriend, Jason Carver, was shocked and enraged after learning of the murder, and suspected Eddie Munson was responsible; Jason and his teammates on the Hawkins High basketball team decided to track Eddie down. Jason's friend and teammate, Patrick McKinney, was another of Vecna's targets; Patrick had been verbally abused by his father, who berated him for drinking and called him a ‘disgrace’ and an "embarrassment". While the group searched for Eddie, Patrick experienced a nosebleed in the back of Jason's car, unnerving him.[27][28]

The attack on Max


Max sees the clock

That same day, Max Mayfield decided to help her friends investigate Chrissy and Fred's murders. The group broke into Ms. Kelley's office to learn more about the killings. While looking through Ms. Kelley's notes, Max realized she was experiencing the same symptoms as Chrissy and Fred; soon after, she started wandering through the school hallways, bewildered to see Vecna's grandfather clock protruding from the wall.[28] Moments later, the clock disappeared, and Max realized she had been hallucinating.[9] Max was struggling with the loss of her deceased stepbrother, Billy Hargrove, suffering through nightmares where she would re-experience his death.[26][28][9] Though Max and Billy had a tumultuous relationship, she felt guilty for wishing for "something to happen to him";[18] Max's festering grief made her a prime candidate for Vecna's plans.

The next day, Max's hallucinations intensified, and she realized her death was fast-approaching. While visiting her mother, Vecna made Max see him instead in her mother's place, terrifying her. Max's friends and allies scrambled to find a way to stop Vecna's plans; her older friends Nancy and Robin Buckley traveled to Pennhurst Mental Hospital to question the imprisoned Victor Creel, who claimed to have survived an attack by the "demon" that killed his family. Victor told Nancy and Robin that "a voice of an angel" led him to safety. After learning Victor was saved by the sound of his radio, the pair speculated that music acted as Victor's anchor to reality, and could be used once again to break Vecna's spell.

Max and her friends went to Roane Hill Cemetery, where Max read out a written farewell at Billy's grave, believing she was doomed to join Billy in death. Upon finishing her read-out, Vecna's hallucinations kicked in once again; the world went dark, and Billy appeared from the shadows to torment Max. However, Max realized that this Billy was only an illusion; it was truly Vecna lurking beneath. Max retreated from the cemetery, running towards a scarlet haze in the distance; suddenly, she found herself in the surreal expanses of Vecna's mind: a blood-red psychic terrain, with a fractured version of the Creel House at its center.[9] At the fractured house, Vecna appeared to Max once again, pinning her to a pillar using vines; the death ritual was about to begin.[18]

Max levitating

Max rises above Billy's headstone

Vecna watches Max escape

Vecna watches as Max runs to safety

Back in the real world, Max's friends panicked, trying to wake her from her trance. Dustin contacted Nancy and Robin over his Supercom, who shared their theory that music could save Max. The group raced to play Max's favorite song over her Walkman and headphones, before watching in horror as she started to levitate above Billy's grave. Back inside Vecna's mindscape, Max's consciousness struggled to resist against Vecna, but upon hearing music, a mental window to reality appeared on the terrain's horizon. Through the window, Max saw her real body levitating above the cemetery, her friends panicking on the ground below. Bracing herself, Max pulled at a vine in Vecna's neck, causing him to writhe in pain and accidentally release her from the vines' grasp. As Max dashed towards the window, a disgruntled Vecna regained his composure. He sent fragments of the house flying at Max in a last-ditch attempt to stop her, but it was too late: she had returned to reality.[9]

Buried memories

Colonel Sullivan traveled to Ruth, Nevada to question former Hawkins Lab director Dr. Sam Owens about Eleven's whereabouts. Owens did not give Sullivan the information he wanted, but after seeing the images of Chrissy's mutilated corpse, Owens recognized her murder as the work of Henry Creel.[28]

Eleven + Henry

Eleven remembers

After Sullivan departed, Owens decided to initiate the next phase of the "Nina Project", a scheme he created with Dr. Brenner, designed to re-activate Eleven's dormant powers. On March 23, Owens tracked down Eleven and convinced her to take part in the project. At the Nina facility in the Nevada desert, Eleven was placed inside an isolation tank, injected with experimental drugs and exposed to old Hawkins Lab CCTV. This caused her to "re-experience" her memories from 1979, including her interactions with a mysterious orderly.[15] Eventually, Eleven remembered that the orderly was actually Henry Creel, and that he was responsible for the September 8 massacre of her fellow test subjects. She relived her battle with Henry, in which she ultimately overpowered him and banished him to the Upside Down.[5]

Nancy's vision

Steve surveys the jar

Steve surveys Henry's old jar

On March 25, Max struggled to describe Vecna's domain to her friends, drawing an illustration of the fractured house. Though Max didn't know it, Nancy realised she had drawn a fragmented version of Victor Creel's house. Some time later, Max, Nancy and their friends broke into the abandoned home, looking for clues that could shed light on Vecna's identity.

That same day, Vecna shifted his attention back to Patrick McKinney. While at Chrissy's funeral, Vecna made Patrick see the Creel's grandfather clock in the corner of the church hall. After the funeral, Jason, Patrick and Andy continued looking for Eddie Munson at the abandoned home of "Reefer Rick" near Lover's Lake. Eventually, they spotted Eddie desperately trying to escape in a motorboat. Jason and Patrick chased after Eddie, swimming furiously as Eddie struggled to paddle further away. The pair had almost caught up, when suddenly, Patrick plunged beneath the water, before being launched into the air. Striking the killing blow, Vecna used his powers to twist Patrick's limbs and dislocate his jaw, horrifying both Jason and Eddie. As Vecna launched the attack, the teens at the Creel House noticed their flashlights surge with energy, indicating that Vecna was inside the version of the house in the Upside Down.[15]

Jason retrieved Patrick's body and brought him to shore, while Eddie rowed away and out of sight. While talking with the police, Jason became more convinced than ever that Eddie was the murderer. Meanwhile, Vecna's third gate opened at the bottom of Lover's Lake, directly below the spot where Patrick was killed.[13]

Nancy in 1959

Henry shows Nancy his memories

The next day, Nancy, Robin, Eddie and Steve entered the Upside Down by swimming through the gate at Lover's Lake, fending off swarms of attacking Demobats. One Demobat spotted the group as they travelled to the trailer park, alerting Vecna to their presence. He decided to target Nancy as she attempted to leave the Upside Down via the gate at Eddie's trailer. Momentarily falling through a black void, Nancy suddenly found herself at the bottom of an empty pool. She stood and re-oriented herself; she seemed to be back in the Upside Down, but to her horror, she saw the corpse of her long-deceased friend Barbara Holland lying against the pool wall. Climbing out of the pool, Nancy was now suddenly in Vecna's mindscape, standing atop the fractured Creel house. Nancy heard Vecna's voice resound all around her, taunting her. Nancy's surroundings transformed once again, and she witnessed Henry's memories as a child exploring his new home in Hawkins; Vecna showed her how he discovered his powers, the truth behind his family's death, and how Dr. Brenner intervened and took him to Hawkins Lab.[5]

Nancy and Vecna

Vecna shows Nancy a vision

While Nancy witnessed Henry's memories at the lab, Brenner suddenly turned to her and addressed her by name. Realizing it was Vecna speaking to her, she ran out of the room and into the lab corridor, but got trapped down a dead-end with a barricaded door. Vecna slowly approached, telling her he now wished to show her the future. Suddenly, Nancy found herself bound to a chair, with Vecna standing before her. Instead of killing her, he instead told her to tell Eleven what she sees, before out-stretching his clawed left hand above her face; Nancy's mind was flooded with cataclysmic images of Hawkins being torn apart by four gates, and of a "giant creature with a gaping mouth" looming over the town. After Nancy started screaming in pain, Vecna finally let her go, releasing her from the trance.[16]

The battle of minds

Meanwhile, in Nevada, Brenner and Owens told Eleven the truth about Henry, informing her he had returned to terrorise Hawkins. Shortly after this, Colonel Sullivan and his forces led a full scale assault on the Nina facility. Brenner was killed in the attack, but Eleven escaped with the help of her adoptive family and friends. Eleven informed them they needed to travel to Hawkins immediately, if she were to have any hope of stopping Vecna.[16]

Elsewhere, in Kamchatka, Jim Hopper escaped a Soviet labor camp, with the help of his friends Joyce Byers and Murray Bauman. After evading a captured adult Demogorgon, the group discovered a room full of Demodogs preserved in oxygenized tanks, along with a fragment of the Mind Flayer.[16] Despite reaching Yuri Ismaylov's safehouse in Kyrzran, the group decided to return to the camp after hearing that their allies and loved ones in Hawkins were in danger. They hoped that by destroying the fragment of the Mind Flayer, they could deal damage to the Upside Down's hive mind, and assist their friends in need.

Back in Hawkins, Max, Nancy, Eddie and the others geared up to fight Vecna, hoping to eliminate the threat he posed to humanity. Max, Lucas and Lucas's sister Erica Sinclair returned to the Creel house, where Max would act as bait to draw Vecna's attention. Meanwhile, Nancy, Steve and Robin ventured back into the Upside Down, intending to attack while Vecna was distracted; additionally, Eddie and Dustin sought to distract the Demobats, and further disrupt Vecna's concentration.

Storm in Max's memory

Eleven watches Max's memory becoming corrupted

Unbeknownst to the group, Eleven had used psychic projection to listen in on her friends as they devised their plans, and grew especially concerned for Max. Realizing that physically returning to Hawkins in time to help was impossible, Eleven instead decided she would attempt to "piggyback"; it was possible she could enter Max's mind while Vecna attacked her, meaning she could fight him without having to physically be in Hawkins. Using a makeshift sensory deprivation tank, Eleven projected her consciousness to the Creel house, entered Max's mind, and began navigating her memories.

Vecna and Eleven at Snow Ball

Eleven fights Vecna inside Max's memory

At the Creel house, Max made herself vulnerable to Vecna's influence, turning off her cassette player. With Lucas watching over her, she began hallucinating again, and Vecna stalked her through her mind once more. For a moment, Max escaped into her memory of the 1984 Snow Ball at Hawkins Middle, but Vecna eventually broke through and cornered her. Vecna started the gate-death ritual, only to be interrupted by Eleven, who had found her way inside the same memory. Eleven and Vecna became engaged in conflict, using their powers to throw objects at each other. Vecna managed to incapacitate both Eleven and Max, taking them into his mindscape and using vines to bind them to the fractured house.

Back in Hawkins, the teens' plans were derailed when Jason Carver arrived at the Creel house to investigate what they were doing. Upon seeing Max in her trance, he assumed Lucas was committing a ritualistic sacrifice to Satan, and refused to listen when Lucas desperately tried to explain what was going on. Jason threatened Lucas with his gun, and the two ultimately ended up in a fistfight. Jason accidentally crushed Max's cassette player during the scuffle, leaving Max's fate solely in Eleven's hands.

In the Upside Down, Eddie used the power of heavy metal to distract the swarms of Demobats; he would ultimately sacrifice his life in a bid to further lure the bats away. Arriving at the Upside Down version of the Creel house, Nancy, Steve and Robin started ascending the staircase, carefully avoiding dense thickets of vines covering the floor. However, Robin slipped, and the vines suddenly sprung into action, forcing the three against the wall and began suffocating them to death. Meanwhile, Hopper, Joyce and Murray returned to the prison camp, where they learned the Mind Flayer had escaped its cell, reviving the paralysed Demogorgons, which in turn slaughtered the remainder of the base's personnel. They set out to kill the Demogorgons, still hoping to inflict pain upon the hive mind.

Vecna taunts Eleven

Vecna taunts Eleven

Meanwhile, Vecna prepared to kill Max, attaching her unconscious mental avatar to a pillar with his vines. Eleven spoke up in a last-ditch attempt to save Max; she tried to empathize with Henry, telling him about Dr. Brenner's death, saying Brenner was at fault for Henry becoming "a monster". Vecna turned to face Eleven, and told her she was wrong; not only he had chose this path for himself, but it was actually Eleven who had made his transformation possible. Vecna elaborated, explaining that he found the mists of the proto-Mind Flayer and transformed it into its current incarnation as a giant, spider-like beast; a shocked Eleven realised the Mind Flayer had been Vecna's puppet this whole time, with Vecna and the Mind Flayer's will being one and the same. Vecna then turned his attention back to Max, leaving Eleven in a state of despair. Moments later, she heard the voice of her boyfriend Mike break through from the real world. Mike, standing at Eleven's side as she floated in the makeshift isolation tank, encouraged her to keep fighting. Inspired to re-kindle her concentration, Eleven used her powers to slowly make the vines restraining her unravel.

Max floats in the attic

Max begins to float again

Vecna pushed back

Vecna is pushed away by Eleven

Back in the Creel attic, Lucas had ended up restrained and choked by Jason; unable to move, he watched in fear as Max started to rise above the floor. In a fit of rage, Lucas took Jason by surprise and smashed his face into a window, knocking him unconscious. Lucas turned back to face Max, but was horrified to watch as Vecna broke her limbs, one by one. Upon finally being released from the vines, Eleven unleashed her full power, pushing Vecna up against a pillar before he could finish killing Max.

After chasing Hopper and Joyce around the Soviet base for a lengthy period, the Demodogs and Demogorgon gathered in the same spot, allowing Murray to burn the Demodogs to death with Yuri Ismaylov's flamethrower. The fully grown Demogorgon survived, but moments later, Hopper used a sword to behead the creature. The deaths of the Demodogs and Demogorgon weakened everything else connected to the hive mind: the bats, the vines, and even Vecna himself. The vines restraining Nancy, Steve and Robin writhed in pain, releasing the three and allowing them to reach the alternate version of the attic. There, they finally witnessed Vecna in the flesh, his body eerily suspended above the floorboards.

Nancy attacks Vecna

Nancy attacks

Vecna set aflame

Vecna set aflame

Steve threw a Molotov cocktail, setting Vecna ablaze; Robin then threw another, and Nancy shot at him with a shotgun. Instantly after being set on fire, the vines disconnected from his back, breaking Vecna's concentration and causing the mindscape to dissolve around Eleven. Vecna had no time to gather his bearings and fight back, having been weakened by Eleven, Murray and the Molotovs all at once. Nancy's last gunshot sent Vecna flying through the boarded window, his body crashing to the hard ground below. The trio rushed outside to make sure of his death, but found he had disappeared.

Following Nancy, Steve and Robin's attack, Eleven's consciousness returned to the mental void through which she entered Max's memories, and for a moment, Max's consciousness returned to her body in the attic. Although Vecna's attack on Max had not gone to plan, she nevertheless succumbed to her injuries, and her heart stopped. Nancy, Steve and Robin heard the grandfather clock chime eerily from within the house; moments later, a fourth and final gate ripped open in the attic, bisecting and killing Jason in the process. All four curse gates then rapidly expanded, creating the cataclysm Nancy saw in her vision; the gates converged upon the Hawkins town square, creating an earthquake-like effect killing dozens of residents. Eleven used her abilities from afar to restart Max's heart, reviving her, albeit in a comatose state. Two days later, Eleven, Will and the others arrived in Hawkins, and were shocked to discover the scale of destruction that Vecna had inflicted on the town. While visiting Max in hospital, Eleven reached into her mind, but could not find her consciousness. Meanwhile, Will, who possessed a lingering psychic connection to the Upside Down, sensed Vecna was alive upon returning to Hawkins, and insisted to Mike that Vecna must be killed. Not long after, the Upside Down's spores began to fall from the sky. Walking to a nearby hill, Eleven, Will and their allies watched in fear as plumes of smoke and spores emerged from the four gates; Vecna's plan was coming to fruition after all.[18]

The gates and plumes

The curse gates become active


Henry Creel was an individual with a highly warped psychology; after encountering a shadowy entity as a child, his family noticed a permanent shift in his personality.[4] Henry was also a man with "broken memories" and had conflicting accounts of his past, making it difficult to keep track of his motives and traits across time.[7]

Though the shadowy entity seemingly forced Henry to murder his family members in 1959, the fully adult, "orderly" version of Henry appeared to be motivated by a genuine lust for violence.[4] Immediately prior to his initial confrontation with Eleven in 1979, Henry revealed himself as deeply misanthropic, deeming the whole of humanity to be a race of corrupt, deluded parasites and "a unique type of pest". He condemned human society as an artificial, pointless construction which denied the underlying order of nature.

Henry deemed powerful creatures to be inherently superior and better than the weak, a perspective reflected in his admiration of black widow spiders, which he viewed as the "gods" of the animal kingdom. In his view, the predatory black widows brought "balance and order to an unstable ecosystem". Henry saw himself in a similar light due to possessing special abilities.

Henry dismissed all aspects of society - specifically mentioning units of time, like "seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks [and] months" - as nothing more than elaborate lies. Similarly, sufferers of Vecna's curse would see the Creel grandfather clock eerily imposed upon their surroundings, unusually embedded in the side of a tree, or in the side of a wall. Through this subverted image, Henry articulated his disdain for the concept of ordered time, and on a broader level, the constructed nature of human society in general.

Furthermore, Henry possessed a sadistic and cruel nature; he would go out of his way to torture and torment his victims, forcing them to re-live their trauma. After Henry transforms into the being known as Vecna, he becomes even more malevolent, delighting in the torment he inflicts upon others. In his mindscape, corpses of his victims are displayed in a horrific fashion, showing that Vecna prides himself on his unspeakable actions.

Henry would prove to be highly manipulative and cunning when he convinced Eleven to remove the 'Soteria' neck chip suppressing his powers. Although his kind demeanor proved to be a facade, he seemed to show genuine interest in furthering his friendship with Eleven; however, Eleven had no interest in helping Henry and quickly turned against him.

Despite his hatred of humanity, Vecna begrudgingly developed a shred of respect for his defiant victim, Max Mayfield, even describing her as "brave", and "much braver" than her 'brother'; nevertheless, Vecna remained dead-set on killing Max, viewing her death as a means to an end to achieve his goals, as with his other victims.


After Eleven forcefully transported Henry to the Upside Down, he fell through the dimension for a lengthy period, during which he was horrifically burned and disfigured by lightning strikes. As Henry explored the mysterious realm, what remained of his Hawkins Lab attire degraded into rags, and his pupils, one after the other, turned pale and mist-like.

After coming into contact with the pre-formed version of the Mind Flayer, his appearance transformed in an even more dramatic fashion. Though his figure remained mostly humanoid, his internal biology became deeply intertwined with the roots and vines of the Upside Down, replacing much of his original body. In addition, his human nose disappeared, and his left hand became elongated, with talons for fingers. Only a measly patch of pale, exposed flesh on Vecna's chest - healing skin deprived of sunlight - suggested that this being could have ever been human in origin.[7][29]

Powers, Abilities and Mindscape

Telepathy and Psychic Projection

Vecna connected

Vecna while connected to vines in the Upside Down Creel House

Henry Creel could reach into the minds of others, using his victims' memories and fears against them. He could cast his consciousness beyond his body to explore the private lives of the townspeople of Hawkins, Indiana.

Vecna's telepathic ability rested within him, but by physically connecting to the vines of the Upside Down via juncture points in his back, he would become immersed in a meditative state, strengthening his powers.[7]

Mental Manipulation

Main article: Vecna's curse
Grandfather Clock - Vecna's Curse

Vecna's curse

Vecna would cause his victims to hallucinate against their will; he would augment or replace their usual perception of reality with non-existent phenomena of his choosing. He hoped to psychologically 'break' his victims by exploiting their memories, trauma and mental health issues; he would tailor and personalize each hallucination to maximize the destabilizing effect on the victim's mental state.

Though the hallucinations varied greatly from victim to victim, Vecna had a 'calling card' of sorts: as the curse ritual entered its final stage, Vecna's targets would see an antique grandfather clock - a peculiar relic from Henry's childhood - eerily imposed onto the world around them.

Mindscape Creation

Main article: Vecna's Mind Lair
Vecna and Max in the Mind Lair

Vecna's mindscape

At some point, Vecna gained the ability to conjure vivid imaginary locations, and through his curse power, could make his victims hallucinate themselves inhabiting these locations. The most distinctive of these locations was a representation of Vecna's own mind; this realm was enveloped in crimson fog, and littered with organic black structures with a spire-like appearance. Most notably, a deconstructed and fragmented version of Henry's childhood home laid at the realm's center.

Gate Creation

Henry opened gates between the Upside Down and Hawkins, Indiana by exercising psychic connections across dimensions, eventually killing the victim on the other side. The build-up of energy generated by the psychic connection would violently explode upon the victim's death; a power which could be used to blow a hole through the dimensional barrier.

Psychic Absorption

According to Dr. Brenner, Vecna would take "everything" from his victims and "everything they ever will be", including their memories and abilities. The psychic avatars of his deceased victims remained within the Mind Lair upon their deaths, tied up by vines to various pillars and tree trunks.

Hive Mind Connection


Vines attack Hopper in the tunnels

With the Mind Flayer at his side, Vecna’s powers greatly expanded. The Mind Flayer’s body could split into smaller pieces while sharing a collective consciousness. These smaller pieces could possess other creatures and beings, tying them to the same core consciousness; through the Mind Flayer, Vecna could connect various lifeforms to a shared hive mind, with Vecna's will at the top of the chain. Through the hive mind, a diverse range of beings fell under Vecna's control, including "demogorgons", the "Flayed" of 1985, and "demobats", as well as the roots and vines strewn across the surface of the Upside Down.

Furthermore, through his command of the hive mind, Vecna approached a near-omniscient understanding of his territory. If a Demobat became aware of a trespasser in the Upside Down; Vecna would instantly know. Similarly, if an unlucky visitor were to tread on a vine, Vecna could immediately react and disseminate his will, making the vines spring into action and attack. However, at times, Vecna's connection to his thralls proved to be a glaring vulnerability.

Telekinesis and Pain Inducement

Henry lifts Eleven

Henry lifts Eleven

Henry could control and manipulate solid matter with his mind. At first, this power was limited to lightweight objects, such as small animals and the hands of a grandfather clock, but through practice and training, Henry quickly grew powerful enough to influence fully grown adults and solid steel doors. Henry used his power to make his victims levitate, proceeding to break all of the bones in their body, before finally crushing their eyes into the back of their skull.

Additionally, Henry inflicted minor forms of injury or discomfort on his victims, such as nosebleeds and headaches. However, these symptoms might be side-effects of the deeper psychic connection at play, rather than anything intentional.

Psionic Resistance

As demonstrated in Eleven's memories, psychics can resist each other's influence if their will is powerful enough. However, this resistance can be overwhelmed by whichever psychic has the stronger willpower.

Regenerative Healing Factor

Following his bodily transformation, Henry developed the ability to quickly heal from non-fatal injuries. When Max tore out a vine in Vecna's neck, his non-human biology reacted and healed almost immediately; the vines in his neck reconnected near-instantaneously with little sign of damage. Later, when being shot at by Nancy Wheeler, an already-weakened Vecna still had the raw endurance to survive multiple gunshot wounds. Furthermore, Vecna survived in the Upside Down for years, in spite of the toxic atmosphere otherwise being dangerous to humans over prolonged periods.

Verbal Manipulation

Even without his powers, Henry proved to be highly manipulative. He tricked Eleven into removing the "Soteria" inhibitor through a carefully devised plan: he befriended Eleven, told her the other test subjects were planning to kill her, showed her a way she could escape the lab, before revealing his inhibitor implant to her. By that point, Eleven felt indebted to Henry and offered to remove the inhibitor, just as Henry intended.



Soteria implanted

A miniature device of unknown technology that neutralizes a person's psychokinetic abilities when implanted.

See also: Soteria


If Henry makes excessive and continued use of his psychic abilities, he risks becoming severely fatigued. Henry explained to Eleven how he over-exerted himself as a child, causing him to pass out and enter a coma for several weeks.


Mindscape window

The mental window created by music

Music can reach sensitive areas of the human brain that words alone cannot. If Vecna's victim is exposed to music from the real world, it will likely disrupt or influence their hallucinations; by gaining "a lifeline to reality", a victim may find the emotional strength to survive and escape Vecna's wrath, and return to reality. Victims Victor Creel and Max Mayfield were exposed to music, and thus found the strength to escape their deaths.[9]


Psychics with a stronger force of will can overpower Henry and attack him with their own abilities.

Physical Attacks

While invading other people's minds and attached to the attic vines, Vecna is unaware of his immediate surroundings, and thus is vulnerable to attack.

Hive Mind Connection


Murray burns the Demodogs

Though Vecna's control of the hive mind made him powerful, the two-way nature of the psychic connection was also a point of vulnerability. Any pain felt by the connected entities was shared amongst them; the physical suffering of his thralls would translate to every other being in the hive mind, including Vecna himself. This made the hive mind ripe for exploitation by his enemies.


"We're in the middle of a campaign!"
This article or section is currently under construction, being reformatted, or undergoing a vast revision.
This section is needlessly long, and should be edited down to a shorter length.
admin's note: relationship sections should be summaries of the dynamic between two characters. They should not be a simple description of the show's plot.


After learning of his father's actions during his time in the war, Henry concluded that his father was a despicable person and deserved to be tortured and forced to 'face his demons'. Victor is the only member of the family to remain alive to the present day.

Henry despised his mother for nurturing the notion that he was a troubled and broken child. Her apparent lack of understanding about his true nature fueled his desire to kill her. She was the first of the family to die.

It is unknown exactly how Henry felt for his younger sister but likely saw her as he saw everyone else; abhorrently ordinary and unexceptional, a child who fit the societal mold of conformity. Alice was the last member of the family to be attacked and killed before Henry slipped into a coma.


Though Dr. Brenner promised to help Henry, the boy saw nothing redeemable in the doctor, believing him to have only his own interests at heart. Henry felt controlled and held back as a test subject and sought to fight against Brenner's authority. This, however, led to Brenner suppressing Henry's powers with Soteria and removing him from the testing group. He kept him on as an orderly so that he could monitor his actions and would occasionally resort to torture to keep him in control. Eventually, Henry was freed of Brenner's control through the help of a young Eleven and massacred the majority of his fellow test subjects before knocking Brenner unconscious. Henry was ultimately defeated by Eleven and teleported to an unknown parallel dimension, causing Brenner to grow even more interested in Eleven's capabilities.

Though resentful of Henry for murdering his other test subjects, Brenner felt guilty and believed to have failed to "help" his first test subject, which drove him to test Eleven's abilities through various experiments when in reality he was actually concerned with locating Henry in the "darkness." It was during one of these experiments that Eleven accidentally opened a gate between Hawkins and the other dimension eventually known as "the Upside Down," allowing Henry, later known by Eleven and her friends as Vecna, to send the creatures of the Upside Down under his control to wreck havoc on Hawkins.

Henry held the younger test subjects, particularly Two and his friend group (Three, Four, and Five), in contempt, with the sole exception of Eleven. He despised the way her peers had ostracized her, which he believed was due to their own fears and impotence. Henry kept his spite to himself; however, after his powers were restored in 1979, he immediately committed a massacre, killing all the other test subjects except Eleven.

For several years, Henry worked as an orderly in Hawkins Laboratory under the orders of Martin Brenner and developed a particular liking to Eleven, sympathizing with her for being frequently bullied by her peers. Unbeknownst to Eleven and her fellow test subjects, Henry was actually test subject One and the first of their kind, with Brenner having kept his existence from the younger test subjects a secret. Henry gave Eleven the advice of tapping into her darkest memories and channel her rage and grief to augment her powers, an advice that allowed her to beat Two in a combat-based exercise. Despite generally respecting Eleven, Henry nevertheless had no qualms with manipulating her into removing the chip that suppressed his powers. Once his powers were restored, Henry massacred the other children upon regaining his abilities, claiming he did it to save Eleven when he only did because he saw the other subjects as being weak. However, Eleven was disgusted and horrified by Henry's actions, with their relationship quickly becoming antagonistic; Henry and Eleven became engaged in psychokinetic combat, with Eleven using her powers to banish Henry to an alternate dimension. From this point forward, the transformed Henry treated Eleven as his sworn enemy, continually seeking to destroy her and her friends.

Henry Creel had a complex relationship with the "Mind Flayer" entity; it was not necessarily clear which being had a greater influence over the Upside Down and its hive mind.

When Vecna initially re-emerged as a threat to Hawkins in 1986, Dustin believed he was akin to the Mind Flayer's "five-star general". However, when Vecna psychically trapped Eleven within his Mind Lair, Vecna told Eleven that he had been control of the Upside Down the entire time. Vecna explained that he had discovered a dormant version of the Mind Flayer entity upon being trapped in Dimension X, describing it as “the most extraordinary thing of all”. Using his psychic powers, Henry gave the Mind Flayer its gigantic, spider-like form and established a psychic connection with the entity, forming a kind of symbiotic relationship. Furthermore, Vecna had apparently been acting through the entity in both 1984 and 1985.

However, according to one account, the relationship between Henry and the entity began much, much earlier, in the 1950s. According to this account, Henry spent much of his childhood living with his family in Rachel, Nevada. One day, Henry explored a nearby cave system while playing with a spyglass. While exploring, Henry stumbled across pieces of scientific equipment stolen from the Nevada Experiment. The equipment unexpectedly activated; Henry and the scientist who stole the equipment were temporarily transported to Dimension X, killing the scientist in the process. In the alternate world, Henry was exposed to the influence of the Mind Flayer entity; from that point on, the entity served as a negative influence on Henry, forcing him to kill various animals and eventually kill his family members.

For reasons unclear, Henry seemed unaware of the entity's influence over him when he spoke in 1979 and 1986, with him describing how he consciously chose to kill his family, and that he had apparently never been to Dimension X before 1979. Though Vecna clearly believed he controlled the hive mind, Dustin's initial assumption that Vecna served as the Mind Flayer's five-star general was possibly accurate after all, even if Vecna himself didn't realise it.

Since all the creatures within the Upside Down share a hive mind, the Demogorgons are all connected to Henry through this hive mind, and act according to his bidding.

Vecna played an indirect role in Will's kidnapping at the hands of the Demogorgon before possessing him via the Mind Flayer. Through the Mind Flayer, Vecna tried to destroy Will, Eleven and their loved ones in 1984 and 1985, only for the protagonists to thwart their plans, in part thanks to Will's connection to the Upside Down's unique hive mind, which enabled him to anticipate when the Mind Flayer would attack.

It was not until spring 1986 that Will was finally informed of Vecna's existence and he tried to help Eleven fight him by building a makeshift sensory deprivation tank, enhancing her abilities to a point so she could fight the creature from their current location in Nevada. Upon returning to Hawkins, Will explained to Mike that he originally believed it was the Mind Flayer to have connected him to the Upside Down, but he finally understood that Vecna had been behind the attacks and trauma they and their friends had endured these last years, with the Mind Flayer and the other creatures of the alternate dimension under his control. Will could sense how badly Vecna had been injured by Nancy, Steve and Robin and feel his rage and sheer determination to eradicate all of humanity, which led Will to declare that they needed to destroy Vecna for the sake of the residents of Hawkins and the rest of the world.

When a fragment of the Mind Flayer was reawakened from its dormant state by the Soviets opening a gate to the Upside Down in Hawkins, Vecna had the Mind Flayer possess Billy and turned him into his loyal minion; Billy was used to kidnap dozens of Hawkins civillians, who were sacrificed in favor of creating a proxy form for the Mind Flayer, which would allow Vecna to eradicate humanity. However, Eleven managed to reawaken Billy's humanity, and he was mortally wounded by the Mind Flayer's proxy form during his attempts to protect Eleven from it.

Months later, Vecna was revealed to be in control of the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer and all the other creatures connected to the hive mind, making him responsible for the deaths of many Hawkins citizens, including Billy. In his plan to weaken the barrier between the human world and the Upside Down, Vecna targeted Billy's stepsister Max Mayfield, who was left with depression and survivor's guilt as a result of witnessing Billy's gruesome death. After possessing and cornering Max, Vecna mocked her and stated that while she was braver than Billy, she was ultimately weak and fragile, and nothing could stop him from "breaking" her.

Despite her popularity in Hawkins High as the captain of the cheerleading team, Chrissy became the first victim of Vecna's curse. She secretly suffered from bulimia and her mother was a controlling woman who abused her physically and emotionally, causing Vecna to use these secrets to slowly drive Chrissy to a breaking point through horrifying illusions. After a week of torment and desperate for a cure, Chrissy met with Eddie Munson to acquire some drugs but Vecna placed her under his spell and chased her through an illusion of her home until she reached a dead end. He asked her to not be afraid and promised to make her suffering "end" once and for all, which ended up with him making Chrissy's real body levitate in the air before snapping all of her limbs and crushing her eyes in front of a horrified Eddie. Chrissy's murder led to the formation of Vecna's first gate, part of his plan to merge both worlds.

Fred initially looked like a smart and brilliant teenager with an interest in becoming a reporter but soon enough, he became Vecna's second target. The creature forced the boy to experience paranormal hallucinations of the world around him, having a police officer and several people in a funeral calling him a murderer for inadvertently causing the death of one of his friends in a car crash. Eventually, Vecna lured Fred into the road where said crash took place and executed him, allowing his second gate to form in the pavement.

Max was the former stepsister of the Flayed's leader, Billy Hargrove, and Vecna chose her as his final target as a result of her tremendous guilt for being unable to save Billy from being killed by the Mind Flayer. Vecna tormented Max with hallucinations of both her mother and Billy and managed to trap her in his grasp but Max's friends used her favorite music to give her an anchor back to the real world, allowing Max to find the strength to break free and escape back to reality. When Vecna revealed his plan to invade the human world via the curse gates, Max demonstrated courage when she volunteered to bait Vecna into possessing her again. Unfortunately, Vecna managed to corner Max and while he appeared to show a small degree of respect as he complemented her for her bravery, he ultimately deemed her weak like Billy, her friends and the rest of mankind. Vecna wounded Max, snapping most of her limbs; despite Eleven's last minute interference, Max succumbed to her injuries, and her heart stopped; this triggered the creation of his final curse gate, which in turn merged with the other gates to form a gigantic rift between worlds. However, since Max's body was not totally beyond disrepair, Eleven successfully restarted Max's heart and revived her, albeit in a comatose and vulnerable state.

Patrick became Vecna's third target as part of his plan to merge the Upside Down with Hawkins and the rest of the world, with the boy having been chosen as a result of his fights with his parents, who berated and abused him physically for his alcoholism. The creature caused Patrick to experience terrible headaches and a nosebleed. After failing to execute Max Mayfield, Vecna turned his attention back to Patrick, causing the boy to see the Creel family clock during Chrissy Cunningham's funeral, which meant Patrick did not have much time left. When Patrick and his teammate Jason Carver found and chased Eddie Munson through the Lover's Lake, Vecna struck the killing blow and killed Patrick right before Jason and Eddie's eyes. Patrick's death created Vecna's third gate in the bottom of the lake and convinced Jason more than ever that Eddie and his Hellfire Club were responsible for the murders.

Through the hive mind and one of the Demobats, Vecna became aware of Nancy, Steve, Robin and Eddie's presence in the Upside Down. Before Nancy could return through the gate at Eddie's trailer, Vecna chose to possess Nancy; he tormented her by reminding her of her indirect role in Barbara Holland's death. His voice resonating all around her in the mindscape, Vecna told Nancy he knew she had been looking for him, and taunted her for being "so close to the truth". He proceeded to reveal his secret origins through a series of visions, discombulating Nancy as she lived through scattershot points from Henry's past.

After cornering Nancy, he asked her to relay to Eleven what he was about to show her: an apocalyptic vision of Hawkins being ripped apart by four gates; "downtown on fire"; hordes of monsters, including "a giant creature with a gaping mouth"; the deaths of her family members, Mike, Holly and Karen. With his warning delivered, Vecna freed Nancy from his thrall. Later, Nancy, Steve and Robin went to the Upside Down's Creel House to attack Vecna's physical form. Despite sustaining grievous physical and mental injuries - both from the teenagers, and through the hive mind - Vecna ultimately escaped, with his plan to invade Hawkins proceeding precisely as he had foreseen.


March 14, 1959


Victim Description
Virginia Creel Bones snapped/eyes gouged out on March 14, 1959. Subjected to visions of black widow spiders.
Alice Creel Bones snapped/eyes gouged out on March 14, 1959.


Victim Description
Victor Creel Targeted on March 15, 1959, but survived. Later attempted suicide once incarcerated, but survived.

September 8, 1979


Victim Description
(lead Hawkins Lab guard)
Neck snapped.
Blackmon, Selee, Thacher and one other Hawkins Lab guard Attacked, incapacitated and presumably killed.
Two unnamed Hawkins Lab orderlies Attacked and killed.
Dr. Ellis Attacked and killed.
Ten Injuries apparently sustained from being hit by a door.
Two Bones snapped and eyes gouged out.
Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Nine, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen and Eighteen Attacked and killed.


Victim Description
Dr. Martin Brenner Injured after being hit by a door.
Eleven Attacked.


Targets of Vecna's curse

Main article: Vecna's curse
# Victim info Status
Chrissy ST4
Chrissy Cunningham
Gate location: Munson trailer
Trailer Gate
Fred Benson
  • Student reporter at Hawkins High School
  • Haunted by survivor's guilt after causing his friend's death
  • Attacked and killed by Vecna on March 22, 1986
Gate location: Unknown road
Road Gate
Max - Season 4
Max Mayfield
  • Student at Hawkins High School
  • Haunted by grief and guilt after wishing for the death of her stepbrother, which she regretted when it later came true
  • Survived an attack by Vecna on March 24, 1986
  • Attacked, wounded and momentarily killed by Vecna - but later revived - on March 27, 1986
Gate location: Creel House
Creel House - Papa
Creel House Gate
Patrick McKinney
  • Basketball player at Hawkins High School
  • Subjected to verbal and physical abuse by his father
  • Attacked and killed by Vecna on March 25, 1986
Gate location: Lover's Lake
Lovers' Lake
Gate 3


Victim Description
Nancy Wheeler Targeted on March 26, 1986.[5] Subjected to a vision involving Vecna's Mind Lair, the corpse of her deceased friend Barb, and the secret origins of Henry Creel. Survived.
Eleven Attacked and incapacitated during a 'mind-fight' in Max's memories; she later overpowered him and survived the encounter.


Stranger Things appearances
Season 4 The Hellfire Club Vecna's Curse The Monster and the Superhero
Dear Billy The Nina Project The Dive
The Massacre at Hawkins Lab Papa The Piggyback

Family tree

note: family trees are only visible on desktop.

Victor Creel 1959
Victor Creel
Virginia Creel
Virginia Creel
Young Henry Creel 2
Henry Creel
Alice Creel port 01
Alice Creel


As Henry Creel

To Eleven

Most people fear spiders. They detest them. And yet, I found them endlessly fascinating. More than that, I found a great comfort in them, a kinship. Like me, they are solitary creatures, and deeply misunderstood. They are gods of our world. The most important of all predators. They immobilize and feed on the weak, bringing balance and order to an unstable ecosystem.
You see, humans are a unique type of pest, multiplying and poisoning our world, all while enforcing a structure of their own. A deeply unnatural structure. Where others saw order, I saw a straitjacket. A cruel, oppressive world, dictated by made-up rules. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, each life a faded, lesser copy of the one before, wake up, eat, work, sleep, reproduce, and die. Everyone is just waiting. Waiting, for it all to be over. All while performing in a silly, terrible play, day after day. But I could not do that. I could not close off my mind and join in the madness, I could not… pretend. And I realized… I didn't have to.
The truth is just the opposite. You are better than they are. Superior. It is why you frighten them.
He found his strength in a memory from his past. Something that made him sad. But also, angry.
Well, well, look who decided to join us. Someone's a sleepyhead this morning.

As Vecna

To Chrissy Cunningham

It's time... for your suffering... to end.

To Max Mayfield

Nothing will happen to you... Nothing that you don’t deserve!
You are brave, Maxine, much braver than your brother, but in the end, you are weak and fragile, just like him, like all the rest of them, and you… will… break.

To Fred Benson

Join me.

Through Billy Hargrove

He can't hear you. You shouldn't have looked for me. Because now I see you. Now we can all see you. You... let us in. And now, you are going to have to let us stay. Don't you see? All this time, we've been building it! We've been building it... for you. All that work. All that pain. All of it for you. And now it's time. Time to end it. And we're going to end you. And when you are gone, we are going to end your friends. And then we are going to end... everyone.
— Vecna torments Eleven via the possessed Billy Hargrove[30]

Behind the scenes


From "the early days" of the show, the Duffer Brothers knew that "Number One" was the "entity controlling everything". During Stranger Things 2's development, the Duffers developed ideas for a separate villain, inspired by classic horror antagonists Freddy Krueger, Pennywise, and Pinhead. In the writers' room for Stranger Things 4, the Duffers decided to merge the two concepts into one character.[31]

Concept artist Michael Maher, Jr. worked with the Duffers to develop Vecna's design.[32]


With Vecna, the Duffers sought to reiterate the first season's use of practical effects, with his effects ultimately being a blend of practical and digital. Makeup artist Barrie Gower, who previously worked on Game of Thrones and Chernobyl, created the prosthetic items for Vecna. Gower and his team created a fully-functional mechanical left hand with finger extensions, which was in turn covered in a foam-latex prosthetic.

The prosthetics were then digitally augmented using a "UV Texture Crawl" effect providing subtle movement to the vines within his body; with this technique, the Duffers could dial in the amount of movement in every shot, making sure the eerie vine movements were noticeable while ensuring they didn’t detract too much attention from the performance and story.

CG was also used to remove the actor’s nose, and the attic vines extending from Vecna’s back are fully CG. Some shots of Vecna are full CG replacements, with details from the original footage allowing VFX artists to accurately simulate how light bounces off the costume.[33][32][29][34]

On July 4, 2022, the Netflix Geeked Twitter account posted a tweet incorrectly claiming there was "no CGI" in the making of Vecna; the tweet was later deleted.[35]


A alleged casting call for Stranger Things 4 described a character called "Ashe", a "mid-20s American male of any ethnicity" that would have a "integral" role, and an arc "not [to] be resolved until Season 5". In retrospect, it is clear that "Ashe" was a psuedonym for Vecna.[36]

The human version of the character was first revealed on November 20, 2020 via the show's official social media accounts, along with several other new characters.[37] In the announcement, the character was named Peter Ballard. This, like "Ashe", was later revealed to be an alias, likely used to prevent important story elements from being spoiled. Peter was originally described as "a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital. Tired of the brutality he witnesses day after day, will Peter finally take a stand?"

In January of 2021, Jamie Campbell Bower was first spotted filming at the studio with other cast members.[38]

The transformed version of the character was officially revealed on April 12, 2022 via the show's official trailer.[39]


View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see Vecna/Gallery.


Henry's age

  • Henry Creel's exact age and date of birth is a point of contention:
    • Multiple sources indicate Henry was born in 1947:
    • In an interview published on June 2, 2022, the Duffer Brothers said they had estimated Henry to be in his late 20s in 1979, with Matt Duffer specifically saying he believed him to be 29 (meaning he would be only 8 or 9 in 1959). However, the Duffers also admitted a lack of confidence in their age estimates, and that "someone on Reddit" saying otherwise "could be right".[3]
    • Henry is a 14-year-old high school freshman in Stranger Things: The First Shadow, a stage play set in 1959. Going by this, Henry would've been born in 1945.[4]
Due to the wiki's rules surrounding canonicity, Henry's date of birth is listed as between 1945 and 1950.[canon-rationale 1]


  • The Duffer Brothers told the writers of the Stranger Things comics that they could explore the other Hawkins Lab test subjects, but that they had to “stay away from One”.[31]
  • Vecna is the third character in Stranger Things to be nicknamed after a character from D&D, following the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer.
    • Vecna wasn't added to D&D lore as a character until 1989.[40] However, two artifacts, the Eye and the Hand of Vecna were added in 1976. They were described as being the remains of a powerful Lich[41], providing a source for his name within the show's timeline.
  • In the build-up to "Papa" and "The Piggyback"’s release, the Stranger Things social media accounts posted a photograph showing 1979-style Henry Creel, dressed in his orderly attire, standing in one of the Nina Project corridors. This is strange, since Henry never set foot at the Nina facility at any point in the story.
  • Henry's orderly outfit and overall demeanor is reminiscent of Alex from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.
    • In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jamie Campbell Bower mentioned that he wanted to bring a "Kubrickian stare" to the role.[42]
    • A Clockwork Orange was released in 1971, with the orderly version of Henry appearing the same decade, in 1979.
  • Jamie Campbell Bower listened to death metal bands like Sunn 0))), Darkthrone and Mayhem to help him get into character.[43]
  • By the time the Stranger Things crew had to film Chrissy Cunningham's first hallucination in the girls' bathroom, Vecna's prosthetic was still being finalized. As a result, Grace Van Dien had to react to "the ugliest shoes" on-set - deemed to be a muddy pair of boots - instead of Vecna's feet, which were digitally replaced at a later stage.[44]
  • It is currently unknown what - if any - relationship Henry may have had with Kali Prasad/Eight, though he references her escaping the lab in "The Dive".
  • Prior to his disfigurement, Vecna's powers caused to his nose to bleed, similar to Eleven, Terry Ives, Kali, and the other test subjects.
  • Vecna is the only new character that was introduced in Stranger Things 4, appeared in every episode of season 4.
    • "The Dive" is the only episode of the season where Vecna doesn’t make a present day appearance, only appearing via the NINA memories.


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Weekly Watcher - "Ancient Demon Killed Family" (variant from Hawkins Memories: Vecna's Curse)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ancient Demon Killed Family
  3. 3.0 3.1 "‘Stranger Things’ Creators Answer Burning Questions About Eleven’s Origins, Will’s Sexuality (and Birthday!) and More Ahead of Volume 2" Variety. June 2, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Stranger Things: The First Shadow
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 "The Massacre at Hawkins Lab"
  6. In SFX Magazine #372, the following is said:
    While some of Creel's origin story has been told, [Kate] Trefry emphasises that the version of events seen on screen may not be reliable; we were, she notes, told what happened to the Creel family by Henry himself. '[The First Shadow] is a different perspective,' she says. 'We're reaching back into Henry's past to understand why he is the way he is.'
    — Excerpt from SFX Magazine #372

  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "‘Stranger Things’ Season 4: How the Duffer Brothers Channeled Freddy Krueger for the Vecna Monster"
  8. The Indianapolis Gazette article 3 Dead as Police Probe Deadly Scene (from "The Monster and the Superhero") states that the Creels had lived in the home for two years at the time of the murders; however, no dialogue or scenes from the show re-iterate this.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 "Dear Billy"
  10. Articles & News/3 Dead as Police Probe Deadly Scene
  11. 11.0 11.1 The official teleplay for "Papa"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Stranger Things VR
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "The Dive"
  14. 14.0 14.1 "The Monster"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "The Nina Project"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Papa"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 "The Piggyback"
  20. "Spotlight: Production Design with Chris Trujillo" -
  21. "The Gate"
  22. "Suzie, Do You Copy?"
  23. 23.0 23.1 "The Bite"
  24. "The Battle of Starcourt"
  25. "E Pluribus Unum"
  26. 26.0 26.1 "The Hellfire Club"
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Vecna's Curse"
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 "The Monster and the Superhero"
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Becoming Vecna: A Behind the Scenes Look" -
  30. "Stranger Things 4: Ending Explained", from the Netflix Geeked YouTube channel.
  31. 31.0 31.1 “The Duffer Brothers Think They’ll Stay Away From New Characters in ‘Stranger Things 5’” IndieWire. August 5, 2022.
  32. 32.0 32.1 "Stranger Things Season 4: Exclusive Trailer Breakdown With The Duffer Brothers" IGN. April 12, 2022.
  33. "Behind Vecna’s ‘UV texture crawl’ vines, the fight of a Demogorgon, and the de-ageing of Millie Bobby Brown" befores & afters. June 22, 2022.
  34. "How Stranger Things' SFX Artists Created Vecna" -Vanity Fair YouTube Channel.
  35. "'NO CGI' is really just INVISIBLE CGI (1/4)" The Movie Rabbit Hole on YouTube.
  36. "EXCLUSIVE: Stranger Things Season 5 Plans Revealed"
  37. Official Twitter thread revealing characters introduced in Season 4. November 20, 2020
  39. ST4 Trailer
  42. “Jamie Campbell Bower breaks silence on top-secret Stranger Things role in season 4” Entertainment Weekly. May 30, 2022.
  43. “Stranger Things’ Jamie Campbell Bower Listened to Placebo’s “Running Up That Hill” Cover While Playing Vecna” Consequence of Sound. June 13, 2022.
  44. "My Experience on Stranger Things" YouTube. March 14, 2023.

CanonCanon hierarchy

  1. Multiple Tier 2 sources paint an unclear picture of Vecna's age. Since the Tier 2 sources are equally weighted, a possible age range is in effect on this page.