After a delay of several months, the hit supernatural / sci-fi series Stranger Things is finally back on track. But, as we know, it's likely going to be quite a while before we see anything from Season 4 that isn't Hopper working his (probably) partially frozen butt off in a Soviet labor camp. Any show that's as creepy and mysterious as this, though, has a wealth of theories to go around, and there's one dark fan theory which, if true, will make you see the whole show differently.
If you've been keeping up with Stranger Things you will know that pretty much everything which happens on the show and doesn't get an on-screen explanation is subject to speculation by our fellow fans. While Season 3 showed us that both the United States and the Soviet Union have been trying their damnedest to break through to the Upside Down and use the dimension (and, probably its creatures) for their own nefarious purposes, things haven't been going quite so well. But, we've never gotten any explanation of the dangerous plane of existence or how the two governments knew it was around to begin with.
According to a theory from reddit user bloodylollipops, poor Will Byers is the answer to both of these lingering questions. Here's how this dark fan theory goes. Will, being the creative, Dungeons & Dragons obsessed, picked on kid that he is, accidentally created the Upside Down using his subconscious. We've already seen that Will enjoys drawing and telling stories, and, because Hawkins is all that he knows, he very well may have created an alternate version of it in his mind, and filled it with monsters like those in D & D, just for the fun of fantasy.
The reddit user goes on to theorize that Will could have actually put enough attention into this new world to write about it or draw it, even though we haven't seen evidence of that so far, and it doesn't explain how Will may have totally forgotten about such a big thing by the time Stranger Things started up.
So, why does this fan think that Will created the Upside Down? The kid's kidnapping by one of its hungriest denizens, the Demogorgon, was what set off the entire show, after all. Well, that abduction is actually one of the reasons for this theory, because it's pointed out that Will manages to survive the Upside Down for several days while, apparently, literally no one else who spends a significant amount of time there does. The thought is that the creatures of the alternate world recognize Will as their creator and wanted to keep him safe once he was there.
I mean, the Demogorgon never caught up with Will, so it is possible it just wanted to hand him some Upside Down cookies and milk. Which would have almost certainly been rancid, but a monster's gotta try, right?
Our new friend bloodylollipops also suggests two things about Will's possession in Season 2. The first is that, because Will is bullied right before his first flashes of the Mind Flayer, the creatures of the Upside Down actually want to protect him and kill everyone who's hurt him (all other people, basically). And, the second is that his very possession was their way of keeping him connected to their dimension so that they could take him back, keep him alive in their world, and also have another window into our world so they could do lots o' murdering.
As for how the government would know about the Upside Down in the first place, this theory also posits that Will's no-good dad took money from Hawkins Lab (without Joyce knowing) so that they could experiment on the boy. If he created the Upside Down while with them, it makes sense that they would have known it, and once there was activity there, any government on Earth could have picked up the disturbances and started poking around (not to mention potential Soviet spy intel).
Can you imagine how rocked the gang of Stranger Things would be if it were discovered that little Will Byers is actually the cause of all their trouble, even accidentally? And, what would Will do if this proves to be accurate? I now can't think about any of the major things which have happened across three seasons without cringing a bit, and I bet if I re-watched the whole show right now, I would see every moment with Will very differently.