Starcourt Mall, the safe on the surface but secretly sinister setting for the villainous threat of the new season of STRANGER THINGS is, as I have previously reported, actually Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, Georgia. The latter has sadly returned to a large extent to its pre-STRANGER THINGS existence, which is to say it’s mostly empty now. (It’s curious how things are cyclical. One of the subtextual factors addressed in season three of STRANGER THINGS is how the advent of the mall in American culture spelled the end of the mom-and-pop downtown of yesteryear, and nowadays the mall is itself fading, replaced by newer shinier things.) It’s a shame they didn’t leave it the way it was in the show. They could have let it become a sort of museum instead of tearing it down, which is what is reported to happen, at least in part.
I remember reporting for our sister site vampires.com back in 2017 about a dead body sitting in the food court of a mall for two weeks before anybody discovered it. Who knew that the mall where this happened would go on to become Starcourt Mall, but that’s exactly what happened. That mall was Gwinnett Place. The body was that of murder victim Silling Man, a 19-year-old college student. Her boyfriend was arrested for the crime. Does this real-world tragedy explain why some of the actors on the hit show reportedly claimed the mall is haunted?