A ‘Stranger Things‘ superfan has been wowing neighbours with his amazing festive lights display inspired by the hit Netflix show.
Giles Wallwork, 44, started watching the popular supernatural fiction series – set in Indiana, USA in the 1980s – in the summer after recommendations from pals.
Within one week, Giles had worked his way through all eight episodes of the first season and wanted to pay homage to the programme this Christmas.
He took inspiration from a scene in which Winona Ryder’s character Joyce Byers creates a Ouija-board style display which lights up different letters as a way of communicating with her missing son.
The civil servant bought a circuit board as well as red, blue and green LCD lights and two power adaptors for the homemade creation which cost him £50.
He taught himself coding and learned how to programme the circuit board so that each letter of ‘Merry Christmas’ lit up in the correct order with flashing lights.
Giles says he has since had people ringing his doorbell to congratulate him on his innovative display in the window of his home on Avenue Road, King’s Heath, Birmingham.
Giles, who lives with wife Sarah, 43, a charity worker for PDSA, and their 11-year-old daughter Cherry, said: “I started watching the show in late summer after some friends recommended it to me.
“I watched the first episode and I was hooked. I got through the first season in a week.
“The plot centres on Winona Ryder’s son who goes missing.
“She has a breakdown and discovers some Christmas lights in a cupboard which light up when she tries to speak to her son.
“She puts the lights on a wall with a letter from the alphabet under each light and her son communicates to her through the Christmas display, with the letters flashing and spelling out sentences.
“Originally, I wanted to create my own version for Halloween but I didn’t have enough time to pull it off and I wanted to do it justice.
“I researched if anyone else had done something similar and noticed a few American fans had done it for Halloween.
“I decided to adapt their instructions and do my own version for Christmas.
“I looked up the blueprints on how to get the lights to work and bought some programmable LCD lights.
“I also bought a circuit board and two power adaptors.
“I then started to learn how to do coding and I programmed the circuit board so that I could tell it what letters to light up and in what colours.
“The display took a few days to put together.
“Some locals have been a bit perplexed because I don’t think they have seen the programme, but the reaction online and from fans of the show has been really positive.
“Some people have come to my door to congratulate me on it, which was pretty funny.
“I just wanted to pay homage to the show and I thought this was the best way to do it.”
Neighbour Brian Watts, 56, said: “I haven’t a clue what it means and I thought it was a bit weird.
“But by daughter watches the show and seems to be very impressed by it. I guess it’s one of those things, if you’ve seen the programme it means something.”
The lights have also been getting a lot of attention on social media, with Helen Phillips commenting on Facebook: “Will definitely be checking this out. What a wonderful idea.”
Donna McAllister said: “This is amazing!!!”
And Lucy Reid added: “Genius”.
Stranger Things is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by Matt and Ross Duffer.
The show is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, and is a homage to 1980s pop culture inspired by the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, Robert Zemeckis, and George Lucas.
It stars Wiona Ryder, young British actress Millie Bobby Brown as ‘Eleven’ as well as David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin,
The plot centres on Ryder’s character trying to find her missing 12-year-old son Will with the help of a psychokinetic girl and the rest of Will’s friends.