In honor of Stranger Things season 3 and the chaos that centers around the Starcourt Mall in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, real people from Indiana were asked to talk about some of the mall “horrors” they experienced back in the 1980s.
I promise, no spoilers lie ahead if you haven’t watched Stranger Things 3 yet, and it’s not required for you to still be entertained by the nostalgia these “horrific” memories of shopping malls in the 1980s will bring back.
To better understand the culture of malls in the 1980s, the Indianapolis Star asked for “horror” stories from people who actually worked in Indiana malls during the 1980s.
Ready for some real life terror?
“You could not go get a slice of pizza and a soda without being asked out. Honestly, it was frightening to me,” recalled Vicki Bohlsen of the pizza makers at the Greenwood Park food court.
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“I saw some pictures that were kind of disturbing as I was printing them,” Jeri Reichanadter said of her experience working at CPI Photo Finish in Lafayette Square.
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“There’s some utility back hallways you could get to, even if you didn’t work at the mall. That was pretty creepy. That’s the thing that keeps the whole thing running. It has to be there. But you think, ‘Man, there could be anything in here,'” Jennifer Shirk remembers about her time working at the Lazarus department store at Castleton Square.
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Bohlsen, who now has kids of her own, says it wasn’t all bad though.
“I didn’t mind working on a weekend night, because I’d see everybody,” she recalled. “They’d walk by and come and talk to me.”
“Now all they have to do is create a group chat to organize their night,” Bohlsen added. “Back in the ’80s, we had to pick up the regular phone and call and arrange. I tried to tell them, ‘You either went to the mall, or you went to the football or basketball game. You knew you’d see people.'”
PICK UP… A REGULAR PHONE?!?! Oh, the humnaity!
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Have you got any “scary” memories of spending time at a mall in your youth?