LOS GATOS, Calif. — Producers of the popular Netflix series Stranger Things surprised have revealed that they filmed most of the show’s third season at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as an economical but realistic simulation of Hell on Earth.
Set in the mid-1980s, the series depicts a gruesome underworld known as “The Upside Down” populated by demonic creatures. To cut costs, producers sought a location with the atmosphere of a dank, dilapidated pit of despair with no escape, preferably with 1980s styling. Location manager Naomi Cole explained, “Camp Lejeune was our first choice but wasn’t available because they were already filming ‘Sharknado 7: Alien Teeth’ there. But Fort Bragg fits the bill!”
Bragg required little to no modifications as a Hell stand-in. For scenes requiring terrifying dark basements, crews used Bragg areas with flood damage dating to the post’s founding during World War I. The architectural design and most of the products available at the North Post Main Exchange also made it an easy location for suburban mall scenes.
“Plenty of retired NCOs who have been selling prints and tchotchkes since the 80s are still there,” Cole said, “so we needed very few props to get a realistic Max Headroom-sort-of vibe.”
Producers were most surprised by a “stampede” of dependents who offered their family quarters as settings for Hell world scenes.
“Who knew that looking down the gullet of a giant slime monster is a just a day in the life of family housing?” said Cole.
Some families offered their quarters’ vermin as extras for no cost. The show’s face-eating, multiple-legged “Mind Flayer” demon was played by one family’s black mold pet.
“His name was ‘Sergeant York’ and he worked harder than all the field-grade extras, as long as we fed him MRE jalapeño cheese spread,” Cole said.
Series script writers also benefited from friendly input from the Fort Bragg community for plot lines featuring teenage angst.
Cole said, “For advisors on the teenage mindset and insecurities, its tough to beat the adolescent geeks of the 82d Airborne junior officers or pretty much anybody in the Special Forces community.”
In response to the Netflix announcement, Fort Bragg Public Affairs officer Maj. Bill Suarez said, “The support from soldiers, families, and vermin was awesome.
“The money we received from filming will help us replace funds diverted for the Southern Border Wall. Now we can modernize our facilities to reach state-of-the art, 1990’s levels. And by the way, the contract to repair the World War I flood damage is in legal review.”