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Every Stranger Things monster, ranked

Over the course of its time on the air, Stranger Things has delivered fans a lineup of pretty excellent creatures. Some of those creatures have proven to be more menacing than others, but all of them have posed a threat of one kind or another to the residents of Hawkins.

Now, with the full knowledge of who Vecna really is, we know that all of these creatures are extensions of him in one form or another. Even so, that doesn’t make any of them less threatening in their own right. With all that in mind, we’ve ranked the many monsters of Stranger Things from best to worst.

7. Demodogs

Demodogs Stranger Things
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dustin may try to keep one as a pet, but that doesn’t mean we have to like demodogs. The monster itself may be getting some points docked because of how stupid Dustin is in taking it in, and it’s true that the creatures can be genuinely horrifying.

Bob’s death, in particular, is a reminder that no creature on Stranger Things can be classified as anything other than dangerous. Because they’re controlled by the Mind Flayer, they can be especially dangerous in numbers, even if they’re not the most dangerous threat that the residents of Hawkins face.

6. The Vines

Vines Stranger Things
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Look, it can be difficult to make vines menacing under any circumstances, and Stranger Things certainly does what it can. Even so, the series does an admirable job suggesting what a threat they can pose, especially because they’re all connected and can strike in force.

The vines also possess a strength that makes them formidable, although they do thankfully seem to be vulnerable to fire and brute strength. They get docked a bit simply because the design isn’t all that interesting, and sentient vines are not exactly something that Stranger Things invented.

5. Demobats

Demobats in Stranger Things

Another enemy that is scariest at a large scale, the demobats are part of one of the very best sequences of season 4. When Eddie Munson decides to sacrifice himself to save his friends, we get a fitting Metallica tribute, and also a firm understanding of just how deadly these creatures can be.

Although Vecna himself can fly, other than him, the Demobats are the only villains our core gang has battled with that ability, which makes them a uniquely potent threat given how often our heroes have nothing more than a few bikes at their disposal.

4. The Spider Monster

Spider Monster in Stranger Things
Netflix / Netflix

It’s made of meat for crying out loud! The Spider Monster is really just another extension of the Mind Flayer, and it even looks like that creature, but what makes the Spider Monster so chilling is that he is a collection of rats and people that our heroes know or knew at some point.

In combination with Billy, the Spider Monster was a pretty potent threat and a reminder that the villains of the Upside Down can do real and material damage to our world. It’s a really gross weapon, and also the beginning of a shift for Stranger Things into a much more adult version of itself.

3. The Mind Flayer

The Mind Flayer in Stranger Things.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The main villain of the show for seasons 2 and 3, the Mind Flayer seems to be much stronger than any foe our heroes faced in the first season. Not only is it capable of taking residence in a wide array of different life forms, but it also seems like the best weapon Vecna has ever created for his mission of destroying the world above.

The Mind Flayer is also a very well-designed creature, with a unique combination of elements that make it feel both of this world and entirely separate from it. It may not have been the big bad we all thought it was at the time, but it was certainly a worthy opponent. Let’s hope Stranger Things season 5 has a monster as fearsome and ugly as The Mind Flayer.

2. The Demogorgon

The demogorgon in Stranger Things.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Demogorgon is not the strongest opponent our heroes have faced, but it gets major credit for being the first. Pulled right from Dungeons and Dragons, the creature’s unsettling design is part of what earned it such prime placement on this list.

Its humanoid design only makes the gaping hole where its face should be all the more threatening, and its battle with Eleven throughout the season feels like a perfect showcase of what this show can be at its very best.

1. Vecna

Vecna in Stranger Things.
Netflix / Netflix

An easy choice for the top slot, Vecna is the former human who has been pulling the strings this whole time. As it turns out, he possesses powers equal to or even greater than Eleven’s, and it was Eleven’s banishment to the Upside Down that ultimately transformed him into the nefarious creature he is now.

He is hellbent on destroying the world of the living, and if the end of Stranger Things season 4 is any indication, he might be on his way toward succeeding. More powerful than any other creature in the show’s history, and someone who feeds on the pain of the living, Vecna is the villain Stranger Things has been building toward all along.

Stranger Things seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix.

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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