Stranger Things 4 is scarier, darker, and operating at its largest scale. The show is taking us all over America and beyond and expanding the Upside Down in incredible ways. With that expansion comes a host of new characters and separate storylines that will all converge in some way. One of the most important—and most anticipated—new characters is Victor Creel, played by the horror icon himself Robert Englund. In Volume One, we meet him and his family members: Virginia, Alice, and Henry Creel. So, who is Victor Creel in Stranger Things 4? Why is the Creel family important? We finally have some definitive answers about the Creel family, why Victor is in Pennhurst Asylum, and how the Creel House fits into all of this Vecna terror in both volumes.
The History of Victor Creel on Stranger Things 4
We first hear about Victor Creel from Eddie Munson’s uncle Wayne in episode two. “I guess you’re too young, but back when I was a kid, everybody knew the name Victor Creel,” Wayne says to Nancy Wheeler during an impromptu interview. “He lost his mind. Killed his whole family. Kids and wife. Took their eyes. Cut ‘em right out.” Well, that’s quite the small town horror story. He notes that Chrissy was killed in a similar way by someone who must be “pure evil.” Wayne believes that Victor Creel broke out of Pennhurst Asylum much like Michael Myers did in Halloween.
Of course, this information (and Fred’s subsequent death) leads Nancy on an investigation in episode three. She brings Robin along for the fun to the local library where they pull old newspaper articles from The Weekly Watcher. The conspiracy laden publication doesn’t fail them, revealing an article where Victor Creel claims a vengeful ancient demon killed his family. According to the post, Victor hired an exorcist to rid his house of the spirit but it did not work. The demon got angry, killed his family, and left him alive as a punishment.
Nancy and Robin lie their way into Pennhurst Asylum and interview Victor Creel to find out what happened to him. He gives them his chilling background story as only Robert Englund could deliver it. In 1959, his wife’s great-uncle left them a small fortune. (This is 14 years after the end of World War II, which Victor fought in.) So they bought a beautiful home, which we now know as the Creel House, in Hawkins for themselves and their two children Alice and Henry.
Sidebar: For those who are wondering, the Creel House is a real place. It is actually the Claremont House, a historic residence in Rome, Georgia. Built in the 1880s, the 6BR/7BA house is now privately owned so maybe don’t try to break in like Robin did.
Back to the story: Their dream home became torturous after just one month with dead animals showing up, flickering lights, nightmares, and visions of things that were not there. Victor said he could feel the demon hiding in his home and cursing the town. His flashback ends with Ella Fitzgerald’s “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” playing while he sees his wife die in the same grotesque way as Chrissy, Fred, and Patrick.
A memory takes over him and Alice dies as a result. Meanwhile, Henry is still alive but dies from his injuries a week later. Victor ends up in Pennhurst and tries to die by suicide, causing permanent damage to his eyes with a razor. He’s been in the asylum since the murders with regret and pain looming over him. Victor Creel does help save Max from dying, even though he doesn’t know it. Nancy realizes hearing music brought Victor out of his trance, so they blast Kate Bush’s fantastic “Running Up That Hill” in Max’s ears. And yes her favorite song saves her life.
Stranger Things Volume One doesn’t circle back to Victor Creel anymore. And, we don’t see nor hear anything about him in Volume Two, but that’s because of what we know about his son Henry, who is also One AND Vecna. (More on that later.)
Hawkins’ Very Creepy Creel House in Stranger Things 4
After speaking with Victor, Nancy and Robin reunite with Steve, Max, Lucas, and Dustin. They eventually piece together that there must be a connection with Vecna and the Creel House. Of course, we know this house is in Hawkins so they can easily investigate. The crew heads into the abandoned and dilapidated Creel House to gather some clues. They realize something is going on in the Upside Down as lights begin to flicker in various rooms. And Max spots that ominous grandfather clock that everyone sees before they die. They truly don’t get much information from their peek inside.
Of course, the Creel House returns in Volume 2. Dustin realizes that, like Eleven, Vecna goes into a trance-like state when he’s in someone’s mind and is completely vulnerable. So the crew—Dustin, Lucas, Eddie, Steve, Nancy, Robin, Max, and Erica—decide to concoct a plan to kill him. Max and the Sinclair siblings head to the Creel House to allow him to access Max’s mind again so that Steve, Nancy, and Robin can kill him from the Upside Down Creel House. When Max “dies” it is the fourth gate he needs to rip through to Hawkins. We see the real Creel House form a split and begin to consume things. And, at the end of Stranger Things Volume 2, it’s clear that the Upside Down is leaking over into Hawkins to eventually kill every living being. So, we will certainly see the Creel House and Vecna once again in Stranger Things 5.
The Orderly in White Is Henry Creel, a.k.a. Vecna, a.k.a. Number One
Episode seven throws a major curveball at all of us with some huge revelations. Most of us were wondering exactly who that weird yet helpful man in white is in Stranger Things 4. He’s someone we’ve never seen before but played a big role in Eleven’s life while at Hawkins Lab. In fact, he’s one of the few friends she has outside of Eight. We revisit the Hawkins Lab massacre while simultaneously seeing Vecna reveal his origin story to Nancy, who is trapped in a trance.
It turns out the Creel family came to Hawkins because Henry was “different.” Well, that’s an understatement. Henry hates everything about humanity and, after connecting with black widow spiders, he decides that he will use his powers to manipulate time. He can make his own rules and “restore balance” to the world by killing people because their socioeconomic and other life systems suck. His mother Virginia contacted Dr. Brenner to “fix” Henry and he wasn’t having it. He used his family’s memories and fears to complete his plan to be free.
But Henry Creel did not die in the hospital like Victor believes. Brenner took him and made him a confined human lab rat. Brenner wanted to use/control Henry but he couldn’t. So, he decided to recreate kids like Henry, thus kicking off the program. Yep, Henry Creel is the infamous and mysterious One. Henry got a chip in his neck to inhibit his powers and eventually became an orderly. He befriends Eleven under the false pretense of trying to help set her free, but really he wants her to join him in wiping out humanity. She “kills” him, flinging him into the Upside Down realm where he burns and turns into Vecna. We find out in Volume 2 that he is the first person to ever enter this uncharted realm and he uses it to his advantage.
This also perfectly explains why Vecna’s Upside Down spot is the Creel House. It is the place where he discovered his “purpose” and he can hang out there with his deadly spiders and gain strength from taking lives. Perhaps there will be a way to uncover the truth about what happened so Victor can be free. Or maybe it’s better that he doesn’t know that his son is the pure evil that killed his wife and daughter. And that he’s a literal monster in a hellish place. What a family story.
What Happens to Vecna in Stranger Things 4 Volume 2?
Through his encounter with Nancy, we discover that Vecna plans to kill four people and open four gates to rip through to Hawkins and consume the world. Eleven is able to piggyback into Max’s mind and locate her as well as Vecna. She tells him that Papa is dead and pleads for him to stop but it is to no avail. There’s not a good bone in his body. Eleven struggles to defeat him the way she wishes to, though. She throws him off of a dying Max long enough for Nancy, Robin, and Steve to deliver a detrimental blow to him. But Max does die temporarily, allowing Vecna’s plan to start progressing. However, Vecna is not dead and will return, hungry for more blood and destruction. We can’t wait to see Eleven defeat him for good in the final chapter of Stranger Things 5.
Originally published on May 27.