Why Eleven Killed Everyone in the Lab

eleven kills

From the day Stranger Things was released back in 2016, it gained massive popularity among viewers as it didn’t only bring back that nostalgic feel of the 80s, but surely also brought some “Stranger Things” in the series that piqued the audience’s interest.

With strange occurrences in the small town of Hawkins because of strange creatures, the storyline of Stranger things was no less than a good old horror movie and fans loved it.

While many strange things occurred in the series throughout the years and surrounding such occurrences at the center was the main character of the series- Eleven.

While it was common for strange things to happen around her, the incident at Hawkins Laboratory had to be one of the biggest mysteries lurking around Eleven as everyone believed she was behind it.

However, the latest season of the series, Season four, not only opened the Upside Down for the new monster, Vecna but also opened up a portal to the truth behind the massacre.

Everyone thought it was Eleven’s doing but not until chapter seven of the latest season of the series that everybody found out that it was not Eleven but One (Vecna ), who was behind the massacre.

Surprised? Well, so were we. It took us quite a while to wrap our heads around the fact that it had been Vecna behind the massacre all this time but not Eleven.

It could still be quite confusing for some. Hence, we suggest you stick to the end of this article to find out what really happened at the laboratory and why was Eleven accused of such a crime.

But first, let’s take a look at Eleven and how was she related to the massacre.

Eleven: Recap


Season 1:

Jane El Hopper, born Jane Ives or Eleven, was the main character of the series, who had supernatural powers or psychokinetic abilities to be exact.

Since she was born with such powers, she was kidnapped by Dr.Martin Brenner, who was the head of the Hawkins National Laboratory, so that he could experiment on her powers.

However, Elven was successful in escaping the lab and made it to Hawkins, where she met  Mike, Lucas, and Dustin. Since, they were looking for their friend Will, who was taken by a supernatural creature, they thought that Eleven could help them find him using her abilities.

During their time together, Eleven formed a strong bond with Mike and even grew close to him ultimately starting to like him.

It was then that it was revealed that Eleven had made a contact with a creature from another dimension, and accidentally opened a portal to another world.

Eleven decided to protect and help her friends in solving the mysterious killings happening in the town.

In an attempt to protect her friends, Eleven went up against Demogorgon, a tall, humanoid creature from the Upside Down, and destroy it. Eleven did defeat the monster but while defeating it, she vanished as well.

Season 2:

After her fight with the Demogorgon, Eleven was thought to be dead but she survived, and secretly was living with Jim Hopper at his grandfather’s old cabin.

Eleven was very frustrated from being separated from her friends, so she decided to defy Hopper’s orders, and went on a journey to discover herself and uncover her past.

However, after a short period, she came back to Hawkins as she had missed her friends very dearly. But things weren’t the same as she had left them back at Hawkins.

As soon she was back in Hawkins, she was confronted by yet another supernatural creature known as the Mind Flayer. Eleven was taken in by Hopper as his adopted daughter and changed her name to Jane Hopper.

Season 3:

Eleven in season three made up some new friends like Max, while her romantic relationship with Mike was still blossoming. While she was making new friends after returning to Hawkins, she was also well aware of the monster, Mind Flayer.

Mind Flayer was back in the town to wreak havoc and create more destruction. So, in order to save the town from such devastation, Eleven and her friends decided to team up so that they could defeat the monster.

However defeating the monster was not an easy task, as their friend Billy was possessed, who was the Flayed. So, first, they had to fight Billy and Mind Flayer’s various forms to defeat the monster.

During their fight, despite their efforts, they were unable to protect Billy from Mindflayer and even Eleven suffered from a stroke and lost access to all her powers.

Season 4:

After losing her powers, Eleven was taken in by the Byers family and were all relocated to Lenora Hills, California under the supervision of Dr. Sam Owens.

However, Eleven was having a hard time adapting to her new life and even at school she was bullied and she could do nothing because she had lost all her powers.

She planned to spend the spring break with Mike as he was traveling to California to be with her, but her plans were disrupted when she was informed of a new threat in Hawkins by Dr. Owens.

However, because she didn’t have her powers, she was persuaded by both Dr. Owens and Dr. Brenner to take part in their plan to restore and boost her abilities, to which she agreed.

The process made Eleven re-experience her repressed memories as a seven-year-old at Hawkins lab, where she found out the truth about what actually happened at the Hawkins lab back in 1979.

Eleven was persuaded by both Dr. Owens and Dr. Brenner to partake in an experimental scheme to restore and even boost her abilities.

Despite being targeted by the military, Eleven was able to escape them and aid Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle in defeating the new threat at Hawkins- Vecna.

Why did Eleven escape the lab?

During the massacre at the Hawkins Lab, Eleven opened up an interdimensional gateway and even made contact with a creature in the void but when she touched the Demogorgon inside the Void, she was very terrified.

Her sudden interaction with the creature made her powers burst and she opened a Gate to the Upside Down inside the lab. While the opening of the gate created chaos in the lab, Eleven took it as an opportunity.

Eleven didnt know what to do and didn’t really want to be held responsible for the massacre so, amongst the chaos, Eleven escaped the lab through the drain pipe Henry had shown her years ago.

Why did Eleven kill everyone in the lab?

hawkins lab massacre

After knowing all there is to know about Eleven, it is clear as the day that it was not Eleven who killed all those people in the lab but it was the doing of Henry, who was the infamous monster, Vecna from the Upside Down.

So, up until the truth was revealed, it was believed that Eleven was the one who committed the gruesome act of killing everyone present in the Hawkins lab and even Eleven was under the guilt of being the one as she too was unknown about the truth.

Now you might be wondering how did she find out about the truth? Well, it all happened when she went face-to-face with Vecna. let us discuss a little about their interaction in the next segment of this article.

How did Eleven Find the truth about the massacre?

It wasn’t up until chapter seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab of season 4 that the truth about what had happened at the lab was revealed. Before we move on to the truth, here’s a little recap of chapter seven.

Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab

Giving a great ending to the first volume of the season, the seventh chapter had a lot of things going on. First of all, Joyce, Murray, and Yuri were able to enter Kamchatka and witness Hopper and a group of inmates fighting the Demogorgon.

After successfully escaping the creatures, they were finally able to escape and reunite. Back in Hawkins, Dustin, Lucas, and Erica came up with the theory that Vecna had spawned a gate at the site of each murder.

They passed down the information to Steve’s group and reunited inside Eddie’s trailer at the gate where Chrissy had died. Later, Nancy was possessed by Vecna, when she discovered Vecna’s real identity.

It was Vecna, who had started all the supernatural murders and was behind the annihilation of Vectors Creel’s family.

This chapter showed all the things that happened in the past and how the murderous creature, Vecna came into existence.

Eleven found out the truth about the past

When Vecna started the gate-death ritual he was interrupted by Eleven, who managed to get inside Max’s memory. There they engaged in conflict, using their powers to throw objects at each other.

Vecna ​​even managed to incapacitate both Eleven and Max, taking them into his mindscape and using vines to bind them to the fractured house.

It was then that Eleven found the truth about the past that the one behind the massacre and all the destruction and deaths was the one and only monster, Vecna. Well aside from the monster that the kids named, he was the son of Victor Creel.

When the kids were coming up with the theories regarding Vecna and his gates, they reunited inside Eddie’s trailer which was supposed to be the gate where Chrissy died.

Now, Robin and Eddie were able to escape but Vecna got a hold of Nancy and possessed her. While Nancy was possessed by Vecna she came to discover that Vecna was the son of Victor Creel, Henry Creel.

Furthermore, she also found out that it was Henry who killed his mother and sister with his psychokinetic powers and fell into a coma. Because of his special abilities and the danger that he possessed, he was placed in Brenner’s care.

There he became Brenner’s subject 001 on whom, Brenner performed various experiments in an attempt to replicate Henry’s power. Later, Henry approached Eleven and befriended her warning her against Brenner.

When Eleven tried to help him, he instead ended up killing all the other subjects in the lab. Eleven only remembered this when finally going up against him in Upside Down.

She realized it was henry all along who had committed the lab massacre and tried to kill her when she refused to help him fulfill his murderous goals.

When Eleven refused Henry’s proposal, he tried to kill her but Eleven soon overpowered him and sent him to the Upside Down where he became the monster he is now- Vecna.

Were Eleven and Vecna Connected?

eleven and one

Before we join the dots connecting Eleven and Vecna, let us take a look at Vecna’s past and how he ended up meeting Eleven.

Vecna’s Past

The main villain of season 4, Vecna was never a monster, to begin with, and neither he would have ended up in the lab in hands of Dr. Brenner.

Before turning into the vicious monster he was, he actually belonged to humble origins as the human Henry Creel, the son of Victor Creel.

After moving to a new house in Hawkins in March 1959, Henry discovered that he had remarkable psychokinetic abilities and could alter the perception of others.

Henry even used his powers on his family to psychologically torture them as he was inspired by misanthropic and nihilistic philosophy. His tortures eventually killed both his mother and sister and framed his father for the crimes, which drove him to madness.

Eleven and Vecna first encounter

The incident where Henry killed his family quickly captured Dr. Brenner’s attention and he took Henry to the Hawkins National Laboratory to be studied. There he became 001″One”, the laboratory’s first test subject.

Brenner even implanted a  Soteria into Henry’s neck, a miniature device that suppressed his powers and tracked his every movement; in Henry’s own words, he had become a ‘prisoner’.

Over the years, Henry soon became one of several orderlies who assisted Brenner and attended the lab whereas Brenner kept on performing tests to replicate Henry’s power.

While performing such experiments Dr. Brener abducted Eleven and brought her into the lab. There she first met Henry.

Henry was able to cultivate a close friendship with Eleven and even recognized her naivete and the powers that made her so much greater than the others.

Hence, even though both of them were very different from one other, they were connected in some way. They were not only the test subjects of Dr. Brenner but also had similar psychokinetic abilities.

Also, it was said that Vecna was a dark mirror of Eleven herself, sharing all her powers, and potentially others as well.

Why did Vecna kill everyone at the lab and what was his plan?


Since Henry had already developed a friendship with Eleven back at the lab he fooled her into believing that he was being controlled by Dr.Brenner and that the doctor was a bad guy.

In 1979, Henry tricked test subject Eleven into removing the Soteria chip with her powers so that he could be free from Dr. Brenner.

Unknown to Henry’s real plan, Eleven did as she was told and she removed the chip with her powers. However as soon as the chip was removed, Herny, in a fit of rage, used his restored powers to brutally kill every other subject in the laboratory.

He even tried to kill Eleven but was overpowered by her. She was strong enough to send him through the gate of the Upside Down, where he gradually turned into the being known as Vecna.

Well, Vecna wasn’t really a good guy from what we knew, and after killing his family and being subjected to many tests and experiments it was sure that his mind was certainly not in a good state.

Even after committing the lab massacre, it was confirmed that he did hate everyone and had murderous intentions but nobody could be sure of what was his real plan and why did he want to open the gates.

However, based on his small talk with Eleven at the end of chapter 7, it seemed as though there could just not be any real plans whatsoever, and he was just interested in the usual evil things.

For now, we can just assume that he just liked doing evil things and unleashing the iniquities on the world. Even his ways of doing such was a very well plotted one, although fans thought that he was going on a very slow pace instead of just getting it done.

Turns out he only needed four kills to open the gates and create havoc in the world. So, slow and steady wins the race? Probably yes in Vecna’s case as he was able to open all the gates with his slow and well-meditated plan.

Well, if we were to see their time back in the laboratory, Henry did become close to her as an Orderly, who took care of the test subjects in the lab.
So, one way to look at it; Vecna did care about Eleven. Also, some fans have pointed out that it might sound weird but Vecna could be seen trying to win over Eleven because she was the only true threat to him.
Hence it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that he did care about her as she was the one who sent him, to the Upside Down and made him Vecna. So he always had that hatred towards her and she was his main target.

If we were to consider the events at the Hawkins Laboratory it was sure that Eleven was stronger than Vecna as she easily overpowered him and sent him flying through the gates into the Upside down.

However, in Season 4, Vecna was brought back and he was not only terrifying but also more powerful than Eleven as he easily captured her and Max into his world and severely injured them, using his powers. So, overall Vecna was more powerful than Eleven.

Vecna and Eleven were similar to each other and even had similar powers, but they were different from day and light in their thinking and actions. While Eleven tried to protect her friends and loved ones with her powers, while Vecna only used them to inflict harm on others.

Also, it was clear that Eleven was not the one who killed everyone in the lab but it was all Vecna’s doing. With the latest season 4, it became clear as to why he killed them but still, there are many more mysteries surrounding him which might get answered in the next and final season of the show.


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