The Most Frightening Season of Stranger Things: Ranking the Chilling Episodes

Choose the season you think is the most frightening!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 9, 2024 06:43
Step into the eerie world of Stranger Things, and join thousands of fans in determining which season of this spine-chilling series leaves you trembling with fear. StrawPoll presents the ultimate ranking showdown: "What is the most frightening season of Stranger Things?" Will it be the terrifying and mysterious introduction of Eleven and the Upside Down, the spine-tingling unraveling of the enigmatic Shadow Monster, or the petrifying invasion of the Mind Flayer? The choice is yours, and we need your vote to crown the most hair-raising season. If you think we've missed an option that deserves a spot, don't hesitate to suggest it. So, grab your flashlights and gather your courage, as we embark on this supernatural journey to uncover the darkest corners of Stranger Things. Vote now and beware - the truth may be stranger than you think!

What Is the Most Frightening Season of Stranger Things?

  1. 1

    Season 1

    Sarah Kane
    The first season of Stranger Things sets the tone for the series with its eerie atmosphere and suspenseful storyline. The disappearance of Will Byers and the appearance of a mysterious girl with telekinetic powers keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
    Season 1 of Married at First Sight was the groundbreaking reality TV show that started it all. It followed the journey of six brave individuals who agreed to marry a complete stranger on their very first meeting. The season was filled with intense emotions, unexpected twists, and unforgettable moments as the couples navigated the challenges of building a relationship from scratch.
    • Number of couples: 3
    • Number of episodes: 11
    • Filming location: New York City, United States
    • Premiere date: July 8, 2014
    • Broadcast network: FYI
    Season 1 in other rankings
  2. 2
    The third season of Stranger Things brings the horror of the Upside Down to the forefront, with the Mind Flayer unleashing its full power on the citizens of Hawkins. The tension is high as the characters fight to save their town and each other.
    Season 3 of Married at First Sight is known for its intense drama and emotional rollercoaster. The season follows six brave singles who agree to enter into a legally binding marriage with a stranger, chosen for them by a team of relationship experts. The couples have just a few weeks to decide whether to stay together or get a divorce.
    • Number of couples: 6
    • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    • Duration: 10 weeks
    • Wedding budget: $35,000 per couple
    • Relationship experts: Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Joseph Cilona, and Pastor Calvin Roberson
    Season 3 in other rankings
  3. 3

    Season 2

    FYI Television Network
    While not as frightening as the first or third season, the second season of Stranger Things still has its moments of terror, particularly with the introduction of the Demodogs and the Mind Flayer's increasing control over Will.
    Season 2 of Married at First Sight was an intense and highly dramatic season that kept audiences on the edge of their seats. It featured a group of brave individuals who agreed to marry a complete stranger without ever meeting them before. As the couples embarked on their unpredictable journey of love, they faced numerous challenges and emotional ups and downs that made this season incredibly compelling to watch.
    • Number of Couples: 3
    • Location: New York City
    • Wedding Budget: $25,000
    • Married Life Duration: 6 weeks
    • Relationship Experts: Dr. Joseph Cilona, Dr. Logan Levkoff, Greg Epstein, Dr. Pepper Schwartz
    Season 2 in other rankings
  4. 4
    As the newest season of Stranger Things has not yet been released, it is difficult to say how frightening it will be. However, the trailer suggests that the characters will face new and terrifying threats.
    Season 4 of Married at First Sight is known for its intense emotional moments and unexpected twists. The couples faced numerous challenges that tested their compatibility and commitment to each other.
    • Season: 4
    • Number of couples: 3
    • Location: Miami, Florida
    • Premiere date: July 26, 2016
    • Number of episodes: 17
    Season 4 in other rankings
  5. 5
    Some viewers may not find any season of Stranger Things particularly frightening, as horror is subjective and varies from person to person.
    None is not an actual season of Stranger Things. It refers to the absence of a particular terrifying or frightening season in the series.
  6. 6
    This episode features some of the most intense and frightening moments of the first season, including the reveal of the monster and the characters' attempts to escape the Upside Down.
    In Season 1 Chapter 8: The Upside Down, the thrilling supernatural series Stranger Things reaches its climax. The episode follows the main characters as they explore the mysterious alternate dimension known as the Upside Down, a dark and dangerous parallel world that mirrors their own. With the creature they call the Demogorgon on the loose, tension rises as the characters and their friendship are put to the ultimate test.
    • Episode Number: Chapter 8
    • Season: 1
    • Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller
    • Release Date: July 15, 2016
    • Running Time: 55 minutes
  7. 7
    The final episode of the third season is a rollercoaster of emotions, with suspense, horror, and heartbreak as the characters face off against the Mind Flayer and its army.
    Season 3 Chapter 8: The Battle of Starcourt is the thrilling finale of Stranger Things Season 3. It is an action-packed episode that takes place at the Starcourt Mall, where the main characters confront the Mind Flayer and its army of possessed townspeople.
    • Runtime: approximately 77 minutes
    • Director: The Duffer Brothers
    • Writers: The Duffer Brothers
    • Original release date: July 4, 2019
    • Setting: Hawkins, Indiana
  8. 8

    Season 2 Chapter 9: The Gate

    The Duffer Brothers
    The season two finale is a nail-biter as the characters attempt to close the gate to the Upside Down and stop the Mind Flayer's plans.
    Season 2 Chapter 9: The Gate is the ninth and final episode of the second season of the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things. In this episode, the story reaches its climax as the residents of Hawkins, Indiana face the ultimate battle against the Upside Down. The main focus is on Eleven and her friends as they try to close the gate to the Upside Down in order to save their town and rescue their captured friend, Will Byers.
    • Episode Number: 9
    • Season: 2
    • Release Date: October 27, 2017
    • Director: The Duffer Brothers
    • Writer: The Duffer Brothers
  9. 9

    Season 1 Chapter 7: The Bathtub

    The Duffer Brothers
    This episode features some of Eleven's most powerful moments as she uses her powers to save her friends from the monster.
    In Season 1 Chapter 7: The Bathtub, the main characters of Stranger Things face several challenges as they try to rescue their friend, Will Byers, from the Upside Down. During this episode, they come up with a plan to create a makeshift sensory deprivation tank in order to communicate with Will and locate him in the parallel dimension.
    • Episode Number: Season 1 Chapter 7
    • Title: The Bathtub
    • Original Release: July 15, 2016
    • Running Time: Approximately 51 minutes
    • Director: The Duffer Brothers
  10. 10

    Season 3 Chapter 5: The Flayed

    Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
    This episode ramps up the horror with the reveal of the Flayed and their connection to the Mind Flayer. The tension builds as the characters try to figure out how to stop the upcoming threat.
    In Season 3 Chapter 5: The Flayed, things take a terrifying turn as the Mind Flayer's presence becomes stronger and more dangerous than ever. The episode explores the spreading of the Mind Flayer's influence among the town's residents and the ensuing chaos it creates.
    • Episode Number: 5
    • Season: 3
    • Title: The Flayed
    • Release Date: July 4, 2019
    • Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Drama

Missing your favorite season?


Ranking factors for frightening season

  1. Atmosphere
    Consider the overall atmosphere of the season, including the setting, color palette, and cinematography, as well as how these elements contribute to the feeling of dread, suspense, or horror.
  2. Storyline
    Evaluate the plot of each season and the extent to which it relies on frightening or suspenseful elements, such as supernatural occurrences, mysteries, or eerie locations.
  3. Monster designs
    Assess the appearance and abilities of the monsters or supernatural creatures featured in the season, and how terrifying they are to the characters and the audience.
  4. Character development
    Consider how the development of the main characters, especially their fears and vulnerabilities, adds to the sense of danger and suspense in the season.
  5. Jump scares and tension-building scenes
    Analyze the frequency and effectiveness of jump scares and other tension-building scenes that contribute to the season's fright factor.
  6. Pacing
    Evaluate the pacing of the season, taking into account how effectively the suspense, mystery, or horror elements are revealed and resolved.
  7. Psychological horror
    Consider the extent to which the season delves into psychological horror, such as mind control, possession, or manipulation, and how these elements contribute to the overall sense of fear.
  8. Emotional impact
    Assess the emotional impact of the season, particularly how the stakes, conflicts, and losses faced by the characters contribute to the audience's feelings of fear and apprehension.
  9. Sound design and music
    Evaluate the effectiveness of the sound design and music in heightening the sense of horror or suspense in the season.
  10. Reception and audience reactions
    Consider how the season was received by fans and critics, paying attention to reviews and discussions around the fear factor and horror elements in the season.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most frightening season of Stranger Things. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or season is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 192 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each season once every 24 hours. The rank of each season is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most frightening season of stranger things

Stranger Things, the popular American science fiction horror series, has taken the world by storm since its debut in 2016. Created by the Duffer Brothers, the show is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, during the 1980s. The series follows a group of friends as they uncover supernatural mysteries, including the disappearance of one of their own and the appearance of a strange girl with telekinetic abilities. Each season of Stranger Things has its own unique storyline, but all are interconnected and build upon each other. As the show progresses, the stakes get higher, and the horror becomes more intense. Fans of the show often debate which season is the scariest, with some arguing that the first season sets the tone for the series, while others argue that later seasons bring even more terror and suspense. In this article, we'll take a closer look at each season of Stranger Things and try to determine which one is the most frightening of them all.

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