HOLLYWOOD—Episode three of “Stranger Things” has me questioning why I choose to watch this show before bed. Get prepared, people, because it seems this show only gets scarier with each episode.

Barb wakes up in what appears to be the monster’s lair at the start of this episode. She sees the weird, fleshy, humanoid monster, and the monster spots her. She tries to find a way out of the lair and finds a pool ladder. Now this is strange, it seems like she is almost in an alternate version of Steve’s pool. The monster gets Barb as she screams for Nancy who is too busy losing her virginity to Steve to hear her.

Jonathan wakes up at home and finds his mom, Joyce, in Will’s bedroom surrounded by lamps and trying to communicate with Will. Jonathan tries to talk some sense into her, but he doesn’t seem to be getting through Joyce’s crazy. Back at Mike’s house the boys have brought “weapons” to help rescue Will from the monster.

Nancy finally notices that Barb is not at school. At Nancy’s house, Eleven is examining the living room and figures out how to work the television. A commercial for Coca-Cola causes Eleven to have another flashback. The older white-haired man in the suit, who I am starting to believe is Eleven’s father, is watching his little experiment as Eleven, with some sort of contraption on her head, crushes a Coca-Cola can with her mind.

Joyce heads to the general store to buy Christmas lights to hang throughout her house. Chief Hopper heads to the Hawkins Laboratory to see if Will is there. He doesn’t find any signs of Will at the other end of the pipe within the laboratory grounds, but he does notice that the surveillance videos he is shown of during the night of the search party lacks the rain of the storm that had happened. Within the lab, the glowing, pulsing vine thing continues to grow.

Hopper with his partner does some research at the library on Hawkins Laboratory and finds articles stating the lab has blocked investigation inquiries, is involved in human tested experiments, and some of the employees have had lawsuits against them.

Mike’s mom and little sister, Holly, stop by Joyce’s house to drop off a casserole. As Joyce and Mike’s mom talk, Holly notices the Christmas lights lighting up and she follows them to Will’s room. The lights flicker around the room then shut off as the monster starts to push against the wall towards Holly. Joyce saves her just in time, questions her about what she saw, and then kicks both her and Mike’s mom out of her house.

Steve, Nancy, Tommy and Carol find out about the pictures Jonathan had took of Steve’s party. Nancy witnesses Steve’s mean side as he purposely breaks Jonathan’s camera. Nancy tries to help Jonathan pick up the dropped pictures and takes the one he had of Barb sitting by Steve’s pool. She later goes to Steve’s house to look for Barb, but only finds Barb’s empty car and catches a glimpse of the monster.

Another flashback of Eleven’s, this time a cat outside was the trigger. Her possible father watches as she struggles with the task of killing a cat in a cage. She won’t do it and as the two men in white coats drag her to the dark room she uses her mind to kill them. Her possible father says she’s incredible and carries her out of the room.

The Christmas lights start to flicker again and Joyce follows them to a crawl space. I think this is a nod to “Poltergeist” as Joyce is actually successful in communicating with Will using the lights. The next step for her is to paint a Ouija board on her living room wall with one light to match each letter.

As Hopper talks to his partner about a possible conspiracy at the Hawkins Laboratory, and that Will might have witnessed the wrong thing there, he receives an emergency call. Eleven takes Mike, Dustin and Lucas to Will’s house saying that Will is hiding there. Lucas flips out claiming Eleven knows nothing. Inside Will’s house Joyce asks “Will” where he is. “Right here,” the lights spell out. She asks, “What should I do,” to which the lights respond, “Run.” The monster is able to claw out from inside the wall and starts to chase Joyce.

Outside the boys notice sirens heading down the road and follow them to a lake. Cops are pulling a body out of the lake and the boys think it is Will. Mike yells at Eleven for lying to them about Will being alive and leaves. Personally, I think the body is Barb’s not Will’s, but we will see Friday if the body is actually shown in episode four.

Sleep tight horror fanatics!