ByRebecca Raymer, writer at Creators.co
I am a writer and director. #WomenInFilm #WomenDirect
Rebecca Raymer

Neflix's original series, Stranger Things, is a pop culture phenomenon. Channeling classic films from the 1970s and '80s has made the new science-fiction show a smash hit. Chock full of both suspense and nostalgia, Stranger Things has been blowing our hearts and minds.

Although set in Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things is primarily filmed in Georgia. The scenes featuring a quaint small town square were filmed in Jackson, an economically depressed city about fifty miles southeast of Atlanta. Jackson, population 5,000, is located in the middle of Butts County, and is the closest town to Georgia's death row and execution facility.

The Butts County courthouse sits in the middle of the square, and can be seen in a number of scenes from Stranger Things.

Butts County Courthouse
Butts County Courthouse

You can see the courthouse in the background of the confrontation Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) is having with his mother (Winona Ryder) over whether or not Will (Noah Schnapp) is actually dead.

Butts County Courthouse, left side background.
Butts County Courthouse, left side background.

The building on the right side of the background of the above shot shows a vape shop on the corner. Although vapor smokers are newly developed devices, the name of this shop was not changed for filming, as you can see from my photo below.

Vapor Shop and Computer Repairs
Vapor Shop and Computer Repairs

The computer store next to the vape shop, however, was relabeled as a television repair shop for the show, which you can see in the shot below if you zoom in above the blonde looky-loo.

Vapor Shop and Television Repairs.
Vapor Shop and Television Repairs.

Another of the stores that was not changed for filming purposes was the local Radio Shack.

Radio Shack on the right.
Radio Shack on the right.

It apparently still displays its sign from the chain's heyday in the 1980s, although in my photo, you can see that they also offer computer repair services now.

Radio Shack Computer Repair
Radio Shack Computer Repair

The Royal Furniture Co. is another of the storefronts they did change for Stranger Things. It is actually a music store that also offers gourmet coffee.

Music and Gourmet Coffee
Music and Gourmet Coffee

We were in Jackson on a Sunday, so the downtown was pretty empty, giving it an eerie feel. The eeriness was compounded when we went over to see the alley (shown below) where the fight scene between Jonathan and Steve (Joe Keery) took place.

Fight in the alley.
Fight in the alley.

The alley itself is kind of timeless, making it really easy to see why Jackson was chosen as a filming location for a storyline taking place thirty years ago. It was very quiet in the alley, again, I assume, because it was the weekend, and no one was working.

Quiet, timeless alley.
Quiet, timeless alley.

About halfway into the alley, we started seeing these adorable little kittens. There were at least four, although there could have been as many as six. Sitting nearby, drowsy with the exhaustion of a mother of four to six toddlers, was the mama cat. She was in no way disturbed by our appearance, or intimidated when we approached.

Her absolute absence of alarm caught my attention, which is why it took me so long to realize the kittens were playfully plucking the exposed innards from a dead bird's belly right in front of me.

Mama resting, babies feasting.
Mama resting, babies feasting.

I understand nature, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. It was such an odd sensation, simultaneously yearning to hold one of the soft, little kittens, and gagging at the nonchalance of their feeding from the gaping abdominal cavity of another animal. (Why, yes, I am a vegetarian.)

After leaving the alley, we explored some of the beautiful original architecture of the homes in Jackson. The most splendid example is the Carmichael House, built in 1898 (the same year as the Butts County Courthouse), and currently undergoing renovation.

The Carmichael House
The Carmichael House

Even with the completely believable rumors that the house is haunted, I found it immensely less creepy than the dead bird and cat family in the alley. The Carmichael House hasn't been featured in Stranger Things, though it certainly may be in the future.

The first season of Stranger Things on Netflix now!

The title image and all images from the show were taken from Netflix.com.