4 ‘Stranger Things’–Inspired Halloween Decorating Ideas to Try This Year

We turned to the real pros—the team behind Stranger Things: The Experience—for their top tips for bringing Stranger Things: Volume 4 home this year.

Stranger Things: The Experience photos of Vecna on rail and Demogorgon scaring crowd
Photo:

Courtesy of Netflix

The kids of Stranger Things stole everyone’s hearts when the show premiered more than five years ago, and they’ve had them ever since (especially after Steve and Dustin became besties). While everyone’s love for the Stranger Things kids hasn’t faded—Stranger Things: Volume 4 Part 1 had the biggest premiere weekend yet for an English-language Netflix series—the show’s atmosphere has escalated from spooky to sinister since the first season. That’s not great news for the beloved characters, but it does make for sensational Halloween decor inspiration.

Along with watching the show for ideas, you can actually experience what it’s like to be in an episode firsthand through Stranger Things: The Experience, an immersive popup adventure for fans in select cities worldwide. The Experience is an opportunity to participate in an interactive storyline and indulge in ’80s nostalgia with merchandise, food and drinks, photo ops, and sets with special effects—and of course the decor there is completely in line with what appears on the show.

The Netflix Live Experience Team—the group that created Stranger Things: The Experience—worked closely with the show creators and writers to make the Experience feel like walking into the show, reps for the team say: “We used everything from the storyline from the scenic and set decor to special effects to the actual characters from the show, which allows guests to feel like they are truly co-starring in an episode of Stranger Things.” 

People are drawn to the show (and therefore The Experience) because it evokes a sense of nostalgia and plays on themes of friendship and adventure, which attracts a multi-generational audience. This is what makes it an ideal decor theme to tackle—there’s something for everyone, and there are multiple avenues you can take.

We got advice from experts on the Netflix Live Experience Team on how to bring the magic of Stranger Things to your own Halloween festivities this year. Whether you transform your home into the Creel House or Hawkins Lab, use these tips and ideas to make guests feel like they’re part of the show themselves.

Stranger Things: The Experience Mixtape Room with 80s theme, arcade, Scoops Ahoy, etc.

Courtesy of Netflix

Recreate the Rainbow Room

In Stranger Things: The Experience, the creators took notes from the Rainbow Room in the show. They brought in double-sided mirrors, puzzles and games, proctors, and a rainbow vinyl on the floor to recreate the Rainbow Room.

While some aspects of the Rainbow Room may be difficult to recreate in your space, you can put rainbow vinyl in your entryway, bathroom, or another small space to scatter small Stranger Things–inspired decorative touches everywhere.

Take Subjects (aka Guests) Through the Hawkins Lab

The Experience also brings the Hawkins Lab to life as a dark, sparse basement with flickering lights and stains on the walls. You can achieve this with U.S. Department of Energy and “Authorized Personnel Only” signs, strobe lights, caution tape, and clear plastic tarp to section off certain areas.

End with the Upside Down

The Upside Down is the “finale” of The Experience, made to look as real as possible with 3D effects. During it, participants walk through a rift, which features slick, glowing walls and counterweights that make it semi-difficult to squeeze through. At home, try out a smoke machine to evoke that eerie feeling, fake cobwebs, green string lights, and glow-in-the-dark stickers or wallpaper.

Add ’80s Nostalgia

After the interactive bit of Stranger Things: The Experience, visitors enter the Mix-Tape, where they can take photos, order drinks and food from the Upside Bar, and visit the Hellfire Club complete with red, orange, and black drapes. Designers leaned into the bright colors of the ’80s and recreated some fan-favorite moments from the show in this space: the holiday lights in Joyce's living room, Rinkomania's bright pink decor, and neon palm trees flanking a retro van at Surfer Boy Pizza.

To bring Stranger Things to life in your own home, try out one of the previously mentioned scenes, use neon light strips to cultivate the ’80s vibes, or go full D&D and include the original Demogorgon and Vecna in your decor. Other spaces you could recreate or take inspiration from include Vecna’s Lair, the Creel House door with its stained glass window, and the infamous grandfather clock. 

“All it takes is incorporating the various colors and textures that relate to the areas [you’re] decorating, whether it’s focusing on a fun retro feel or a spooky Upside Down feeling,” the pros behind the experience say.

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