This article, “The Origin of the Gate Between Upside Down and Right Side Up,” contains spoilers regarding Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4.
For twenty-five episodes, gates that lead to the Upside Down have popped up all over Hawkins, Indiana. We had one in a tree at the Hawkins lab and under the giant Starcourt Mall. In this season, several pop up, including at the bottom of a lake and in the ceiling of Uncle Wayne’s trailer. But have you ever asked yourself how did the gates start in the first place? The masterful fourth season of Stranger Things reveals how the Right Side Up connects to the Upside Down and vice versa.
Stranger Things season 4 – how are the Gates opened in Hawkins?
In the fourth season, Gates began to pop up when characters were killed by a dark wizard named Vecna. When the demon kills Chrissy, she was touching the trailer’s ceiling, which left an organic material that began to build and create a gate to another dimension – the Upside Down! When Patrick was killed in the lake, they found an entrance there. (Please note, when Fred was killed and smashed into the highway, it was never revisited if a gate opened there).
What is happening is that Vecna uses a powerful psychological connection to connect to teenagers in Hawkins who are suffering from depression, nightmares, and having trouble sleeping. Once he finds those weaknesses, he possesses the person in a trance and gains control of their thoughts. While the person remains physically on the Right Side Up, they are terrified in the Upside Down.
Stranger Things season 4 – The Origin of the Gate Between Upside Down and Right Side Up
Yeah, but now you are saying get to the point. Okay, I’ll pull the band-aid off. Vecna is creating all these gates all over town, so can we assume he made the first one in Hawkins? Well, he is partially responsible. Because before Vecna was the baddest, scariest spellcaster in the world — he was Peter Ballard. That’s right, the orderly at the Hawkins lab who, years prior, was Henry Creel.
What we have is a standoff between Peter and Eleven. Eleven uses the memory of losing her mother to overtake Peter’s powers. She pins him against the wall and begins to almost separate Peter atom by atom. Eleven, by killing Peter, led to the unintended consequence of creating a portal to the Upside Down. When she is done, all that is left of Peter is a pulsating, glowing red wall in the center of a cement tile. That is how the gate was created in 1979.
The last we see of Peter he is falling through a red abyss, being struck by lightning, and slowly turning into a dark monster with vines for hair. He has turned into Vecna, the dark wizard.