The Shadow Monster, a.k.a. Oh, buddy, wait until you get to season three. Just checking. In the same prison where the Russians are keeping a Demogorgon! It’s why she freaks out in the sensory-deprivation tank after coming face-to-face with a Demogorgon, causing a rip (also known as “opening the gate”) in the fabric separating our world and the hellish underworld we’ve come to know as the Upside Down. He makes Max’s life a living hell, he is definitely racist and hates that Max and Lucas have a thing going on, and he partakes in the age-old tradition of beating the shit out of Steve Harrington. But hang on! Papa

Season 1

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Known for: Doing a ton of shady shit as head of Hawkins Lab for the “U.S. When the Mind Flayer wants him to kill El, he fights it as hard as he can and then sacrifices his own life to protect her. Billy gets big-time possessed by the Mind Flayer, who forces him to carry out some pretty nasty deeds. Sure, Joyce and Hopper blow up the laser gun that’s opening the Upside Down, but in the chaos of it — thanks to Grigori — Hopper gets trapped next to it when it explodes. Demodogs

Season 2

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Known for: KILLING BOB NEWBY, THOSE BASTARDS!!!What’s so scary? is still to eradicate all living things in our dimension, but first he has to take out Eleven, whom he now knows is the only thing that can stop his mission. THIS GUY. More From This Series

What Summer TV Experience Are You Looking for? He still seems like a pretty shitty dude, but we will give him that one. Hop’s not dead — he’s now a prisoner trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Photo: Netflix

A lot has gone down in Hawkins, Indiana, that small midwestern town with the most interdimensional catastrophes per capita, since we first met superhero–child experiment–Eggo connoisseur Eleven and her cohorts in season one of Netflix’s Stranger Things. The first three seasons of Stranger Things have been filled with heroes and heartbreak and, perhaps most important for a show billing itself as a spooky supernatural drama, really scary bad guys. Sorry, he’s just the body.Is he still a threat? For all our sakes?? Billy Hargrove

Seasons 2, 3

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Known for: Being such an asshole that no one questions why this high-school student looks like a 35-year-old man; taking out the abuse he receives from his father on his step-sister, Max; tight pants; being possessed by the Mind Flayer and used to create an army; making the moms in Hawkins feel things again.What’s so scary? I mean, eventually, they reaffirm their love because fighting a flesh monster made out of your misogynistic bosses will do that, but still, it was a real roller coaster with a lot of feelings.Are they still a threat? Dr. Everyone thinks he’s dead, and it is heartbreaking, not just because Hopper adopted El (she’s Jane Hopper, remember?!) but because he and Joyce were supposed to go on a real date to Enzo’s and could these two just kiss already?? Before we head out on whatever journey awaits the gang in Stranger Things 4, let’s take a deeper look at the villains — both otherworldly and human — we’ve met along the way. It’s not just the fact that the Mind Flayer now has a body made out of melted humans and rats alike; it’s what he does with that body. How do you kill a shadow monster? Can Stranger Things Reverse Netflix’s Bad Headlines? the Mind Flayer

Season 2

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Known for: Hive-mind powers; wanting to kill all races of other dimensions; being super into vines; taking over Will’s mind and adding him to his “flayed” army; creating those killer tunnels under Hawkins; breeding demodogs; living for that cold-weather life.What’s so scary? Goliath situation here, and it could go bad quickly.Is it still a threat? Poor Alexei, he just wanted Slurpees, man.Are they still a threat? Eventually, she has to use all of her strength to summon her powers and pull that mini flesh monster out of her body. At the end of season one, Brenner and Eleven finally meet again in the halls of Hawkins Middle School after Chief Hopper trades info on her whereabouts for access to the Upside Down to save Will. Alexei to figure out how to stop them. In season two, Billy is presented as a real-world menace. Now, when you think of the monsters that have inhabited Stranger Things, you, like Will Byers before you, probably feel a creepy-crawly sensation. Most likely. If there’s anyone you don’t want getting their hands on the monsters that live in the Upside Down, it’s these dudes. Joyce Byers’s nerdy boyfriend saves everyone with his IT skills only to become the trough during Demodog feeding time.Are they still a threat? The Russians

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Season 3Known for: Opening a new gate with a big energy blaster; underground bunkers located under malls; sending giant henchmen to attack Hopper and Joyce; borscht, I guess?What’s so scary? For being made mostly out of shadows and smoke, this giant spider-looking thing has a ton of power to wield. There’s a big fight in Hopper’s cabin, in which the Mind Flayer tries to destroy El, but with a combo of her powers and the power of friendship, the gang fights it off — however, it does take a nice bite into El’s leg, leaving a piece of itself living inside of her. government weapon. Department of Energy”; stealing people’s babies to develop their telekinetic powers; torturing children by running experiments on them but also manipulating them into thinking he is some sort of father figure; giving kids numbers as names; honestly, really pulling off that white hair.What’s so scary? Demogorgons

Season 1 and a special appearance in season 3

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Known for: Having a slimy, humanlike body, but instead of a face, has fleshy flower petals that open up to a giant mouth hole full of teeth; bloodlust; taking people from our world to feed on them in the Upside Down; entering rooms in Kool-Aid Man style; terrorizing children and others.What’s so scary? Well, Brenner really does a number on Eleven, pushing her to the limits physically and emotionally in hopes of using her as a U.S. Henderson’s cat, Mews, and then joining up with its other Demodog friends to feed on humans. In short, these guys have opened another gate in a giant bunker deep under the pride of Hawkins, the Starcourt Mall. Plus, once Eleven escapes and tries to find freedom with Mike Wheeler and his friends, Brenner is relentless in trying to find her and lock her up again. And this isn’t just some dinky gate, as you’ll recall: It’s a huge tear with a monster inside it and an army of Demodogs flanking it for protection. Obviously, this dude’s M.O. No one on this show is safe from Hormones. You may think that with the Byers family and Eleven moving to California, things could even out. The Mind Flayer 2 Fast 2 Furious gets a nifty new trick in season 3, in which it enslaves people (with the help of Billy) and then uses their melted bodies to become bigger, stronger, and fleshier, so I’d say it’s mostly known for that.What’s so scary? He pays for this with a gruesome death right in front of his sister! (Okay, fine, no one forgets their first melted rat.) We’re here to help with that. I don’t care how many gates are opened and closed — as long as there’s an Upside Down, I will never count out the Mind Flayer, in any form. Hormones

Season 3

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Known for: Turning once-cute tweens into goddamned monsters; inciting awkward kissing; making Hopper have to yell about keeping the door open three inches; acne.What’s so scary? Eleven gets to watch as he’s attacked by the Demogorgon. It’s a real David vs. Martin Brenner, a.k.a. When Eleven inadvertently opens the gate to the Upside Down, she enables the Demogorgon to travel between the two worlds, which means this slimeball is the one who kicks off all the chaos in Hawkins by taking Will to the Upside Down (and later, taking and killing dearest Barb). Max and Lucas Sinclair are together but always fighting. You remember how freaked out you felt the first time you met a Demogorgon or a Mind Flayer, but the details surrounding those encounters may be a little hazy. Duffer Brothers Have Alleged Hissy Fit Over Spoilers in Stranger Things Monopoly

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Tags: The craziest thing about Billy’s story is that, in the end, he tries to right his past wrongs with one final act of bravery. Watching it put a trance on Will and then use its smoke tendrils to force its way inside him is one of the more harrowing images from this whole shebang. Dusty-buns and Suzie-poo seem solid, but she’s so out of her mind with love that she won’t reveal Planck’s constant to him until he sings the theme to The NeverEnding Story with her, even though Planck’s constant will save the world. If you think the Mind Flayer possesses people, you should meet Hormones. So, really, when you see Billy attacking his lifeguard friend and her parents so that they too can become possessed, you can’t really blame it all on him, even if you really want to. So that’s fun and will most definitely be dealt with in the near future. There’s also something extra-scary about how nebulous this thing is. They all die when Eleven closes the gate and cuts the Mind Flayer off from its army, but there could still be some of these creatures lurking around the Upside Down, so never say never! You mean aside from the fact that, in general, the guy just loves doing drug-fueled experiments on people and will electroshock a woman until she’s a vegetable just to take her baby from her for more experiments? Oh, also they do a number on Steve and Robin Buckley after they’re caught down in the bunker trying to suss out the Soviets’ evil plans — and one of them by the name of Grigori gives Hopper and Joyce a lot of trouble while they work with Murray and Soviet scientist Dr. Oh no, wait, the most unsettling thing these monsters do is stand there and go to town on poor Bob’s body. Monsters have been fought, gates have been opened (and closed and opened), people have been taken prisoner by the Russians without telling the person they love how they really feel even though they totally held hands on the Gravitron and we all saw it, Hopper, God!!! And by “relentless,” I mean he’ll take out anyone standing in his way. What started out as a cute, mysterious lizard-type thing in Dustin Henderson’s trash (he named it Dart) molted and molted and grew and grew until it was eating Mrs. Well, it turns out the only way to stop it is to cut it off from the army it controls with its hive-mind powers; to do that, Eleven has to close the gate to the Upside Down. Yes, of course. Unknown. The gang figures out how to bait the thing, but in the end, it’s so strong that only Eleven can defeat it. The most unsettling thing about these Demogorgons-on-all-fours is that they aren’t in control of their actions — they’re called on by the Mind Flayer–Shadow Monster to do things like eat a bunch of government agents who go into the tunnels to try to eradicate the thing, or try to attack Eleven as she begins to close the gate. And Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler may think they’re cute interning at the local paper, but a few melted rats later, even they are questioning what they’re doing together. In season three, however, things get weird. Although the flesh monster “dies” when Hopper, Joyce, and Murray Bauman close the Russian gate, it’s still successful in its mission to stop Eleven because, um — code red — after all those run-ins with the Mind Flayer, Eleven has lost her powers.Is it still a threat? So, yes, Russia’s new pet could make a return at some point. The Mind Flayer, Melted-Flesh Flavor

Season 3

Photo: Netflix

Known for: Oh this guy. (R.I.P., Benny!)Is he still a threat? You read the thing about the mouth hole with the teeth instead of a face, right? But we all know distance is no match for Hormones. So many things. We never get confirmation that Brenner is fully dead, but we do get confirmation that he’s creepy as hell. It’s no match even for a baseball bat full of nails.Is it still a threat? Well, aside from the normal, terrifying Cold War stuff, there is now the supernatural, terrifying Cold War Stuff. Although no Demogorgons show up to terrorize Hawkins again in their adult form, the end of season three transports us to a prison in Russia where prisoners are being fed to one. Eleven and Mike can’t keep their hands off each other, upsetting Hopper, Will, and a whole nation watching. That’s so cute.