Meet Vecna, 'Stranger Things' new monster that's here to haunt Hawkins...and your dreams

'He’s a true big bad that we’ve needed in the series,' star David Harbour revealed

vecna stranger things
(Image credit: Netflix)

Move over, Mind Flayer. Vecna, Stranger Thing's new monster, is the scariest creature we've seen this side of the Upside Down. 

Now that Netflix has brought us back to Hawkins, Indiana, our sci-fi crew has undergone some changes and the situation seems a whole lot more menacing, to say the least. 

"This season, as with every new season, we wanted to do something very different,” the Duffer brothers, creators of the series, told Variety (opens in new tab). “Our kids aren’t kids anymore, so we wanted to put them in the middle of a horror film, one that was more psychological in tone."

Vecna seems more than happy to do the honors for Stranger Things season 4. Allow us to introduce you to your worst nightmare. 

Who is Vecna, 'Stranger Things' new monster?

“Vecna makes a Demogorgon look cuddly,” executive producer and director Shawn Levy told Variety (opens in new tab).

Well, we're off to a good start already! 

Vecna, like other Upside Down villains, takes inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons. In the popular game, Vecna started out as a wizard, but turned into a lich after becoming undead. He's eventually destroyed, but his his left hand and left eye manage to survive his death. 

He's lived throughout each new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and now his spirit will transcend to Hawkins, where he takes the sci-fi show to a new level. In the same Variety interview, David Harbour (Hopper) echoed Levy's sentiment about the frightening creature. 

“Vecna is a psychological horror that I don’t think we’ve really seen,” he told the publication. "He’s a true big bad that we’ve needed in the series."

According to Collider (opens in new tab), the Duffer brothers wanted to add more horror elements to the penultimate season, therefore took a little inspo from Freddy Kreuger, Pinhead, and Pennywise to create the Vecna of Netflix fame. 

On that note, anyone up for the best scary movies on Netflix? (After your Stranger Things marathon, of course.) 

Vecna stranger things

(Image credit: Netflix)

What's particularly upsetting about the whole situation—you know, despite Vecna himself merely existing and wreaking havoc—is the fact that our friends are split up and Eleven is all the way in California—without her powers—and truly unable to help defeat him. 

We have a feeling the whole issue with Vecna won't be resolved until volume 2 of the show drops on July 1, but we're certainly anxious to see what the slimy, nefarious character has up his sleeve. (Well, he is without an arm, but you get where we're going with this.) 

'Stranger Things' season 4 trailer

A sneak peek dropped in early November 2021, and it showed Eleven in sunny California, adjusting to a new school, though not terribly well. We heard her read aloud a note to Mike, promising him a great spring break when they reunite. At that point in the montage, all hell breaks loose...literally.

In the official season 4 teaser, we hear that a war is on its way to Hawkins—likely bring Vecna along for the ride—and it cannot be won without Eleven's help. How will things unravel?

See you in the Upside Down! Careful in your travels.

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)