Project MKUltra: The horrifying real-life CIA experiment that inspired Netflix's 'Stranger Things'

Project MKUltra: The horrifying real-life CIA experiment that inspired Netflix's 'Stranger Things'
Matthew Modine as Dr Martin Brenner and Millie Bobbie Brown as Eleven/Jane in Netflix's 'Stranger Things' season 4 (IMDb)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Netflix's 'Stranger Things' takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana with the plot of the show taking place during the '80s. From suspicious activities at the Hawkins National Laboratory to the exposure to the Upside Down, the show has come so far in establishing the world of Hawkins and it has been the crucial plot point of the show so far. However, it seems that not all of the plotlines on 'Stranger Things' are fictional. A jarring detail from the show reveals the real-life experiment by the CIA called the 'MKUltra' that has made several unwilling people participate as the test subjects for a deadly experiment, similar to the experiments conducted at the Hawkins National Laboratory.


The globally acclaimed Netflix series has an amazing ensemble including Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Jim Hopper, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers and Matthew Modine as Dr Martin Brenner.


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What was Project MKUltra?

The real-life Project MKUltra or simply MKUltra was a deadly experiment conducted by the CIA as a human experimentation program during the year 1953 and it lasted for two- decades. The program stopped in 1973. The aim of the program is to develop drugs and techniques that would make the enemy weaker during the investigation and get the confession through the means of brainwashing and psychological torture. In order to get the intended results, several members were made volunteers to go through as the test subjects, including the participants from USA and Canada. Several American veterans also became unwilling to test subjects. The experiments took place at several institutions including universities, hospitals, and prisons, and people were put into several forms of torture without consent including electroshock and hypnosis. The mind-controlling experiment was so rigorous that the test subjects were exposed to high doses of psychoactive drugs like LSD. Though most of the files of the experiment were destroyed by the CIA, the remaining main elements of this horrid experiment were made public in 2001.



Project MKUltra in 'Stranger Things' 

The experiments conducted at the Hawkins National Laboratory under the administration of Dr Brenner hold the key plot point of 'Stranger Things'. Much like in real life, the illegal experimentations began at Hawkins in 1953. One of the participants, a pregnant college goer, Terry Ives' over usage of psychedelic drugs led to her daughter Jane being born with abilities including telepathy and telekinesis. Jane was numbered as '011', which would become her name in the lab. Eleven is subjected to vigorous tests, from crushing a soda can with her mind to killing a cat. It is due to the experiment of Dr Brenner that leads Eleven to open the gate to Upside Down which subsequently causes the death of several people from Hawkins. It is also to be noted that there were several kids being subject to various experimentations every day only to be killed by Vekna AKA Henry Creel, on whose powers these experiments were conducted. And if the show has followed real-life horror, then it definitely adds some eerie tone to it. 



The first four seasons of 'Stranger Things' is available to stream exclusively on Netflix. And the fifth and final season of 'Stranger Things' is currently under work.

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 CIA's horrifying project 'MKUltra' inspired Netflix's 'Stranger Things'