Stranger Things: The Demogorgon, explained by a monstrologist

Stranger Things - Credit: Netflix
Stranger Things - Credit: Netflix /

What is the Demogorgon in Stranger Things?

For Stranger Things Week’s Upside Down Appreciation Day, Netflix Life’s resident monstrologist Sabrina Reed is going to share some fun facts about the Demogorgon from Stranger Things. 

Alright, alright. Gather ’round. We don’t have all day. Monstrology is a very busy and dangerous scientific field, and quite frankly, it’s not for amateurs, but they tell me you’re the new recruits so here we are. This is Demogorgons 101. It’s your basic, entry level training.

I will give you a rudimentary breakdown of this creature’s history, appearance, abilities, and some survival tactics you can implement if you ever come across one or heavens forbid a whole pack of ’em. Take notes and listen carefully. What I tell you might just save your life.


Now, the first thing you need to know is that Demogorgons are not of this world. They are from the Upside Down. I did not choose the name, but that’s what it’s called. In any case, it’s an alternate dimension that’s a grotesque parallel of our own. The door to which was opened in 1983 by a group of frustratingly incompetent American scientists whose hubris is why we’re in this mess.

They engaged in experimentation, the likes of which produced a child capable of tearing through the not so tenuous veil between our world and that of the Mind Flayer, the evil creature that controls the Demogorgons. We will get to him in another lesson but for now, let’s stay on this devil’s spawn. See, the child, inadvertently caught the attention of these creatures and, in doing so, made the know-nothing town of Hawkins, Indiana a target.

Unfortunately, the basis of most of our information on these early days comes from records we obtained from that lab and the testimony of several children, their guardians, and a few young adults. We have yet to establish boots on the ground ourselves, so the renderings of the demogorgons we have provided to you are artist representations.

Life Stages 1-3

We’ll begin with the Demogorgon’s growth cycle. According to Dustin Henderson, a young man with no sense of self-preservation who recounted his stewardship of a Demogorgon, he had the gall to name “Dart,” these creatures go through six stages of life.

He has named these stages after what this so-called Dart looked like in his care over the course of a week coupled with his knowledge of adult Demogorgon. Stop staring at me in disbelief, yes, our working hypothesis is that a demogorgon reaches maturity in the span of seven days.

Without sufficient tests we cannot confirm the validity of this position or if there are any outstanding factors that may have expedited the process. All we know is that a middle school boy put one of these creatures in its larva form in a terrarium, kept it protected from light, and it grew.

When Dustin found Dart, it looked like a slug of greenish hue with yellow spots. Once it began its molting phase, the Demogorgon transformed into what he calls a pollywog or a tadpole for those of us that use the alternative phrase. In this stage, the creature brightens in color to an acidic yellow-green and possesses forelimbs allowing it to move quicker than in its previous form.

In accordance to the database aggregating known information on Demogorgons–what our analysts have dubbed The Stranger Things Wiki–we will now be referring to the following growth stages by what the creatures most resemble and are comparable to in terms of weight and size.

The Demogorgon’s third stage is where we complete its amphibious-like references. At this point in growth, this otherworldly being is much like a frog. It’s the color of grass, quadrupedal, small but sharp teeth have taken root in its mouth, and it retains its tail.

We recommend immediate extermination if you encounter a demogorgon in one of these three life stages. They are relatively harmless in these forms and easily manageable. Do not let this creature advance to the fourth stage! By that point, not only will you be in danger but any living creature within the vicinity will as well.

Life Stages 4-6 and Survival Tactics

At stage four, the Demogorgon is about the size of a house cat and carnivorous like one, too. Though it will most likely eat birds and mice if it comes across them, any living thing is up for grabs. This is a predator, people, not a pet. Its petal-like mouth will open like a Venus flytrap and it will try to eat you, this does include trying to maim you in order to make you an easier meal to digest.

It’s important to note that the creature’s aversion to sunlight will be completely gone by this stage. Do not, I repeat, do not engage a stage four demogorgon simply because you are outside and the sun is shining. It does not care, and I will not care about the lives of recruits who foolishly take this course of action. You will be on your own.

If you have the misfortune of coming upon a beast such as this, and it has noticed you, attempt to capture the creature. Dustin was assisted by…hold on, let me check my notes. Ah, yes. Dustin was assisted by a Steven Carrington–what? It’s not Carrington? Sorry. Steve Harrington.

Apparently, they wielded a bat with a cluster of nails embedded in the head and a package of baloney to lure the demogorgon into a cellar. In lieu of a cellar, any structure with a door that can be reinforced from the outside to keep the creature contained until additional monstrologists can arrive on the scene will do.

Now, if you are surrounded by stage four Demogorgons or are unlucky enough to come across a stage five also known as a Demodog–god, I hate these names–then pray to whatever deity you worship because a Hail Mary is all that’s going to save you.

While you are welcome to carry firearms in the field after sufficient training, a Demodog can take several rounds before going down. Its skin is thick and the creature moves fast. It has the capacity to tackle a full grown human, can dig tunnels, and climbs like a freakin’ monkey.

Fire is your best bet of deterring a Demodog but short of having a flamethrower, a weapon we do not provide outside of targeted missions, the element is not going to be effective against multiple bogeys. Also, beware of the cover of night. These creatures may be pale at this stage in their lives, but they don’t stick out as much as you’d think they would.

The final stage is the adult Demogorgon. Standing at approximately six to ten feet tall, this bipedal blood thirsty beast is frightening. It’s got senses keener than a hound, and it’s capable of detecting your presence from as far as the Upside Down if you are injured.

At this point, guns are useless as are blunt force melee weapons. No one has gotten close enough to see if a blade can pierce its skin, but if a high-velocity round doesn’t phase it most likely neither will a sharp object of any kind.

If you see one of these creatures at this stage, do not be a hero. Run. Oh, and watch out for projectiles and try to keep your feet under you. The earliest known adult Demogorgon on record had telekinetic abilities, and we’ve yet to confirm whether this is a trait they all possess.

As recruits, at this stage in your career, we do not ask you to risk your lives beyond what is reasonable. It’s why you are not asked to collect samples or wrangle any of the creatures we’ve discussed thus far. Currently, you are here for information gathering only. You are collecting anecdotal evidence for us to utilize at our discretion.

Once we’ve assessed your skill level and ability in the field, we will determine which operating teams best fit your strengths and our needs. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments box below on your screens.

This concludes today’s lesson. Dismissed.

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