Can Demobats kill? Unpicking the new enemy in Stranger Things season 4

Can Demobats kill? Fans are eager to find out

Can Demobats kill is being asked by fans as Vecna is seen standing in the Upside Down facing the camera
(Image credit: Netflix/Future)

Demobats have been a feature of the Upside Down throughout Stranger Things season 4. Fans have been quick to ask can Demobats kill?

The latest installment of Stranger Things came to an epic conclusion on Friday 1 July, when Season 4 part 2 (opens in new tab) of the sci-fi series landing on Netflix. With a running time of 1 hour and 25 minutes and 2 hours and 30 minutes respectively, Volume 2 feels like watching 2 films back to back. The fragmented collection of Upside Down battling high schoolers and some of their parents, worked together from different sides of the world for a long awaited showdown with season antagonist Vecna. (opens in new tab)

Whilst fans await details for a Stranger Things season 5, many should consider filling the void with similar action packed sci-fi fantasy series, the Umbrella Academy (opens in new tab) currently streaming on Netflix.

Can the Demobats kill? 

No, the Demobats as a lone entity cannot kill. During episode 6, ‘The Dive’, Maya Hawke’s character Robin voices concern that a bite from one of the bats could induce something akin to rabies. However, the part-bat part-demon additions to the Upside Down have been confirmed by one half of the series’ co-creator Ross Duffer, as lacking the ability to kill. 

Speaking to Variety (opens in new tab), Duffer reassured fans that Demobat rabies doesn’t exist. In response to the question posed by Robin, he said “I wouldn’t worry about the bat thing. That’s more my thing. I have this thing, I’m worried about bats. That was just me, I was just fixating on bats at the moment I wrote that”.  

It appears that the volume of Demobats attacking at any one time can result in death. They move in huge swarms, and appear to viciously peck at their victims. It is the collective injuries from these violent bites that lead to death when they become relentless and heavy bleeding, shock and injury ensues.

Who do the Demobats kill? 

Eddie Munson is the only victim of the Demobats to die from his injuries. During the final episode, ‘The Piggyback’, the season 6 newcomer played by Joseph Quinn, sacrifices himself to the Demobats. Along with Gaten Matarazzo’s Dustin Henderson, the two use Eddie’s love of heavy metal to play Metallica's 'Master of Puppets' to distract the Demobats in the Upside Down version of Hawkins. Distracting the demonic creatures allows Steve, Nancy and Robin to creep into the Creel House to attempt bringing down Vecna.

Things don’t go to plan when Eddie and Dustin are swamped by Demobats and find solace in Eddie's trailer to escape them. The Demobats make their way into the trailer and while Dustin escapes through the gate back into the real Hawkins, Eddie stays in the Upside Down to fight them and give the others more time to kill Vecna. One of the bats knocks Eddie off his bike while he’s cycling at speed, and while on the floor they ferociously bite him until he succumbs to his injuries.

Steve has also been attacked by the Demobats, but survived. Fans were upset at the loss of Eddie, who had quickly established himself as a fan favourite. Posting on Twitter, one fan expressed hope that Eddie could still be alive. They said “all of us just denying Eddie's death because at some point the Duffer Brothers said that the Demobats can't kill, let's go delusional people we can keep hope up, if Hopper survived that explosion our boy can survive this too, he's alive, he has to be”.

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Another fan wasn’t alone in their theory that Eddie could return as a vampire (opens in new tab) next season, with several others agreeing. Sharing a montage of moments relating to Eddie’s death in an emotional video (opens in new tab), one Instagram user had fans getting upset in the comments. Many were upset that Eddie had died for a town that had treated him so badly. One said “he fought and protected a town that hated him” alongside a broken heart emoji.

What episode do the Demobats appear in?

The Demobats first appear in season 4, episode 6 ‘The Dive’. Nancy recalls that when Demogorgons have attacked in the past, they created a new gate at the site of the attack. Believing that Vecna will likely do the same thing, the Hawkins contingent of evil fighters do indeed find an electromagnetic field at the site of his last attack where Patrick died. 

Finding themselves in the middle of Lovers Lake, Steve discovers the gate at the bottom of the lake. Dustin names it ‘Water gate’, and Nancy, Eddie, Robin, and Steve pass through it into the Upside Down. First through the gate, Steve is immediately attacked by the Demobats. They attempt to strangle him with long tentacle-type appendages they have attached to them. They also bite at his torso which appears their favourite area to attack. Steve manages to fight them off, and is patched up by Nancy and Robin when he finds shelter.

Speaking about the earlier expressed fear that Steve could contract a form of Demobat rabies, one fan wrote on Twitter in response to his fight with the creatures “Robin's biggest concern not being fighting with Demobats in the upside down, but taking steve to the doctor because she's afraid he'll get rabies”.

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Of Steve’s triumph over the demonic beasts, another fan defended him after some viewers accused him of doing very little this season. They argued that killing Demobats (opens in new tab) with his bare hands surely amounted to doing something extremely productive.  

Will the Demobats be in Stranger Things season 5? 

Although unconfirmed, it appears likely the Demobats will return in season 5. They are associated with Vecna and respond to his wishes. With Vecna still alive, it is probable the Demobats will return with him. They appear to act as Vecna’s spies and protectors - they are on high alert to anyone who enters the Upside Down, and are quick to alert Vecna to the presence of intruders. 

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times (opens in new tab) about filming scenes including Demobats, Joseph Quinn who plays Eddie said “It was so funny. You get these hilarious instructions from Matt and Ross [Duffer] like ‘... and bat! And bat! And broom!’ They’re shouting ‘bat!’ at you and you have to pretend there’s a bat there’”. 

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Lucy Wigley
Lucy Wigley

Lucy is a multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ experience writing about entertainment, parenting and family life. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and telling you why you should watch them.