Birth and early life Henry Creel was born in 1947 to Victor and Virginia Creel, and had an older sister by three years named Alice. According to his father, he was a "sensitive" boy who did not fit in with his peers. Many of his teachers and doctors described him as "broken".
1959 A fresh start In the spring of 1959, Virginia's great-uncle passed away, leaving her a small fortune that was used to buy a large house in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. Victor and Virginia hoped the move could mark a fresh start for Henry and Alice, but Henry was pessimistic: he didn’t see how Hawkins would be different to any other place he had lived. But to his surprise, Henry found solace when he discovered a nest of black widows living inside the new house's bathroom vent. Henry was both fascinated and comforted by the spiders; he related to how “misunderstood” they were, deeming them to be "most important of the predators" for how they provided structure for the weak. Henry was inspired to make illustrations of a fantastical super-predator, which he envisioned as a gigantic spider-like beast. Henry grew to loathe human civilization, most specifically its artificial structuring of days, weeks, months and years. Henry did not want to be part of society’s "mindless play" of eating, sleeping, working, reproducing, and dying, but he realised he didn’t have to. Henry discovered he possessed, or had somehow developed, remarkable psychokinetic abilities, finding he could manipulate the downstairs grandfather clock with the power of his mind alone. Henry began testing the scope of his abilities by mutilating various animals. The dead animals throughout the neighborhood were believed to be the attacks of a wildcat, which made Victor paranoid for his family's safety. Henry also had the power to view the memories of his victims and use them against them in form of involuntary hallucinations and visions. Henry made Victor hallucinate memories fighting in World War II, including an incident where he inadvertently set fire to a baby in a cradle. Victor's paranoia drove him to believe that a demon lived inside their home, but Virginia slowly began to suspect these happenings were somehow the doing of her son, and despised him for it. Virginia wanted to send Henry to a psychiatrist, which Henry believed to be ridiculous, since in his view, he “wasn't the one who was broken". She got in contact with Dr. Martin Brenner, hoping for him to take Henry away.
Tragedy strikes One night, as the Creels sat around the dinner table, Henry used his powers to set off the radio, distracting his father. The lights began to flicker; suddenly, Virginia was launched into the air and mutilated, her bones cracked and her eyes gouged out, before lifelessly crashing back to the floor. Victor attempted to escape through the front door with the children, but Henry used his powers to jam the lock, while making Victor hallucinate back to the war. While Victor was hypnotized, Henry killed Alice the same way as their mother. Henry intended to kill Victor in the same manner, but he had inadvertently ruined his plans to do so by turning on the radio. The music playing on the radio provided Victor with an anchor to reality; Victor thought he heard "the voice of an angel", allowing him to break free of his son's control. Upon snapping out of the trance, Victor collapsed. Henry also collapsed and passed out, as he had greatly overexerted his powers. Some time later, Victor awoke as the sole family member left relatively unscathed from the massacre. Victor was arrested for the murder of Virginia and Alice and sent to Pennhurst Mental Hospital. There, Victor’s mental health deteriorated; he attempted suicide by gouging his eyes out, but was prevented from ending his life.
1959 - 1979 Papa's intervention Victor was told that Henry entered a coma and died a week later due to shock, but in truth, his death was a hoax orchestrated by Dr. Brenner. Brenner took Henry to Hawkins National Laboratory, where he intended to both study and closely supervise the boy. Brenner inserted Soteria into his neck, a miniature device that suppressed his powers and tracked his every movement; in Henry's own words, he had become a 'prisoner'. Henry was designated Hawkins Lab's first test subject, with Brenner tattooing "001" on his forearm to mark the occasion. In time, Henry became one of several orderlies who assisted Brenner and attended to the lab. Brenner deeply distrusted Henry, however, and would occasionally order the other orderlies to torture him as a means of intimidation. Hoping to recreate Henry’s powers in other individuals, Brenner commenced a series of new experiments and programs. In Project MKUltra, Brenner gave volunteer test subjects experimental drugs and placed them inside sensory deprivation tanks. Some of these volunteers, such as Terry Ives, were pregnant, and had their newborn children abducted by Brenner. These children were raised at Hawkins Lab, and would prove to have similar psychokinetic abilities to Henry. During Henry's time as an orderly at Hawkins Lab, he took a particular liking to one of Brenner's test subjects, Eleven. After witnessing her being bullied by the other test subjects, he believed both of them were similarly misunderstood, and also believed Eleven to be the most powerful of the test subjects. Henry helped Eleven during times when her peers ridiculed her, offering encouraging words and advice.
1979 The massacre at Hawkins Lab On September 8, 1979, Henry offered Eleven a chance to escape from the lab, giving her a key card and telling her to meet him in the basement. He showed her an escape route through a drain pipe, before convincing her to use her powers to remove the “Soteria” suppressant chip from his neck; unbeknownst to Eleven, this act restored Henry’s long-dormant abilities. Shortly after this, security guards stormed the basement; the two reached a corridor but were surrounded by the guards. Henry used his restored powers to maim and kill the guards; he took Eleven to a storage cupboard and told her to wait there, revealing his ‘001’ tattoo before leaving. Henry proceeded to go on a murderous rampage throughout the laboratory, killing all the other test subjects and various Hawkins Lab personnel, and rendered Dr. Brenner unconscious. Eleven entered the Rainbow Room and watched in horror as Henry finished killing Two. Henry explained himself to Eleven, telling her of his origins and philosophy; he asked her to join him in his goal to eradicate humanity. But Eleven refused. She used her powers to fling Henry into the wall; angered and disappointed, Henry stood back up and outreached his hand, with Eleven doing the same. The two test subjects engaged in a psychokinetic duel, with Henry initially overwhelming and almost killing Eleven. However, Eleven, finding strength in a distant memory, ultimately overpowered Henry, pinning him against the wall of the Rainbow Room. She began disintegrating his body, but somehow, she opened an interdimensional gate in the wall, through which Henry was transported. The gate began to seal up, and just after the membrane separating the worlds finished healing, a dazed and mortified Brenner entered the Rainbow Room. Though he initially held Eleven responsible for the massacre, he later discovered Henry was to blame after reviewing the security camera footage. Brenner was mystified by Henry's disappearance, and wondered if he was still out there somewhere, "hiding in the darkness".
1979 - 1986 A discovery in purgatory After Eleven sent Henry through the gate, he was transported to a mysterious alien realm. This was an alternate dimension defined by mountainous terrain, floating rocks and electrical storms; this realm would later transform in appearance to become the place known as "The Upside Down". Henry fell through the dimension for a lengthy period, during which he was horrifically burned and mutilated by lightning strikes. This was only the beginning of a gradual bodily transformation; he would become totally unrecognisable, and when he would later re-emerge, he would be initially known to "The Party" as a monster nicknamed "Vecna". At first, Henry believed the dimension to be a kind of ‘purgatory’, but he changed his mind, coming to view it instead as “a realm unspoiled by mankind”. Henry began to traverse the alien terrain, encountering “so many things”, including a species of faceless humanoid predators. Eventually, Henry discovered “the most extraordinary thing of all”: a swirling, storm-like mass of shadowy particles; it is not known if the mist possessed its own independent will, or consciousness. Henry used his powers to reconstitute the mist into a form that satisfied him: a giant, spider-like entity with a flame-shaped head, not unlike the giant spider-like creature he had fantasized about and illustrated as a child. In time, this entity would come to be known as the Mind Flayer. With the Mind Flayer under his control, Vecna’s powers greatly expanded. The Mind Flayer’s body could split into smaller pieces while sharing a collective consciousness. These smaller pieces could possess other creatures and beings, tying them to the same core consciousness; through the Mind Flayer, Vecna could connect various lifeforms to a shared hive mind, with Vecna's will at the top of the chain.
The hidden enemy On November 6, 1983, Brenner ordered Eleven to make psychic contact with a Demogorgon she unwittingly encountered while immersed in an altered state of consciousness. This action accidentally opened a second, non-temporary gate to the Upside Down at Hawkins Lab, and somehow also led to a shift in the fundamental nature of the Upside Down itself. This new gate, dubbed the "Mothergate", allowed the Upside Down to begin to spread through. Will Byers, a child resident of Hawkins, was captured by the aforementioned Demogorgon and brought to the Upside Down's version of the town's public library. Although he was safely recovered by friends and family, Will began to have visions of the Upside Down; a psychic connection between Will, the other world and the creatures that lived there had been established. in 1984, Vecna first attempted to take over the world by exploiting the psychic connection to Will. Acting through the Mind Flayer, he possessed Will and an army of adolescent Demogorgons, or "Demodogs". Eleven interfered by closing the Mothergate, severing the psychic link between the worlds and killing the Demodogs in the process. As Eleven closed the Gate, Will's friends and family worked to force a piece of the Mind Flayer out of his body, which in turn became dormant after the Gate's closure. The isolated piece of the Mind Flayer remained dormant at Brimborn Steel Works until 1985, when a newly opened Gate reestablished the psychic link to Vecna. Via this piece, Vecna began kidnapping and possessing multiple humans and rats, feeding them chemicals and melting their bodies into puddles of biomass. This biomass was then combined to create a proxy form, through which Vecna could directly act in the human world; like the Mind Flayer, this proxy form also resembled a spider, and had the same flame-shaped head. However, this proxy form was rendered useless and inert after the new Gate was shut, and the psychic link disabled once again.
1986 Vecna’s curse In March 1986, Vecna resurfaced, taking a more direct approach in his attempts to destroy humanity. He would strategically prey on teenagers with trauma or experiencing mental health issues.On March 14, 1986, Chrissy Cunningham had told Ms. Kelly that she was having severe headaches that wouldn't go away. She also told her that she was having nosebleeds out of nowhere and waking up out of her sleep in a cold sweat due to nightmares. Chrissy was targeted by Vecna due to her mother's emotional abuse because of Chrissy's weight and eventually succumbed to Vecna's Curse and died on March 21. The following morning, after Chrissy's initial report, Fred Benson also went to Ms. Kelly with the same concerns. Fred was targeted by Vecna due to him crashing a car and leaving his friend to die and eventually succumbed to Vecna's Curse and died on March 22. Later on March 23, Patrick McKinney's headache got worse, cauing his nose to bleed in the back of Jason's jeep. Patrick was targeted by Vecna due to his parents fighting all the time. On that same day, Vecna also targeted Max Mayfield when she and her friends were looking at Chrissy and Fred's files in Ms. Kelly's office, Max revealed that Chrissy's issues started a week ago, Fred's six days ago and her's started five days ago. A day later, on March 24, while at Billy's grave, Vecna possessed and attempted to murder Max. He showed himself as Billy and blamed Max for Billy's death, saying Max "wanted him to die." She tells him that he's wrong and when Venca reveals himself, she runs off and finds a cloud of red smoke. She enters Vecna's mindscape and when her friends play her favorite song, a portal back to reality opens. Max is able to brace herself and attack Vecna, then runs toward her friends as Vecna tries to drop pieces of the Creel house onto her. She dodges his attacks and eventually attaches herself back to reality, clutching Lucas as she falls to the ground. On March 25, Vecna goes after Patrick again, and the latter succumbs to Vecna's curse.
On March 26, when the teens enter Watergate and defeat some of the Demobats, they arrive at the Upside Down-version of the Wheeler house to look for Nancy's guns. They soon realize that the Upside Down is stuck on the day that Will disappeared. Once Dustin and the gang realize they're stuck in the Upside Down, he takes Holly's Lite Brite and communicated with Nancy and the others. They all devise a plan to go to Eddie's trailer so that the teens could return to Hawkins. As the four kids rode off into the Upside Down, a Demobat spotted them and alerted Vecna. As soon as he became aware of the teens attempting to leave the Upside Down using another portal, he targeted Nancy, due to her feeling guilty about Barbara Holland's death, and entered her mind. However, instead of hurting Nancy, Vecna ordered her to tell Eleven what she sees, sent her with several glimpses into the future in utter horror, and let her awakes from the trance.
The battle of minds After letting Nancy go, Vecna continued to stalk Max to be his last victim, when Max decided to confront him, he began to chase her in the mental world. Max temporarily escaped into her memory of the winter dance, since this was a positive memory. However, Vecna was able to follow her, even here. When he was about to kill her, Eleven appeared in the memory as well. After realizing it was her, Eleven threw Vecna against the stairs, then he and Eleven began to fight, telekinetically throwing objects at each other. Finally, Vecna managed to incapacitate Eleven, and he began to kill Max, breaking her arms and one leg, but Eleven, full of anger and inspired by Mike's words, released all her power, pushing Vecna to a column just before he could kill Max. Vecna told her that she had lost but she mockingly told him that it was he who had lost. In the Upside Down, Nancy, Steve and Robin got to where Vecna's body was and Steve threw a molotov cocktails at him, setting him ablaze. At the same time in Russia, Murray Bauman set several demodogs and demogorgons on fire, and due to the hive mind, Vecna felt this as well. The combination of these attacks caused him to be forced out of Max's mind and return to the physical world. Robin threw another molotov, and Nancy shot at him with a shotgun, giving Vecna no time to fight back. Nancy's last shot sent Vecna flying out the window, falling hard to the concrete, destroying his physical form, giving the teens the impression that he had been killed. Although he had not killed Max, she eventually died as a result of her injuries, unleashing the future he had shown Nancy. All four gates opened and intersected with each other. Before any further damage could be done, though, Eleven brought Max back to life. However, Max fell into a coma. Two days later, Eleven, Mike, Will, Jonathan, and Argyle arrived in Hawkins. Eleven reached into Max's mind in the hopsital, but could not find her consciousness. Later that day, Will sensed that Vecna is actually alive, but hurt, and realizes that his plan is coming to fruition as black particles from the Upside Down began to emerge from the gate and spread throughout Hawkins.