In the Netflix series Stranger Things, the psychic nosebleeds happen to a mysterious child appears in the woods “Eleven” , she seems to have escaped from a malevolent laboratory in which she was trained to use her telekinesis ability as a weapon. As Eleven uses her powers to fight the ruthless forces of Hawkins Power and Light, her nose bleeds to remind us that her powers come with a physical cost. The bigger powers she consume, the more severe her nosebleed and ear-bleed at occasions.
On several occasions, Eleven shows apparent telekinetic powers. She stops a fan with her mind, slams a door and keeps it shut, smashes a Coke can, and she even manages to use her abilities to kill two men who helped keep her prisoner in the Department of Energy. One of the best moments of the season is when Eleven uses her powers to make a school bully wet himself in front of the entire school after he insulted Will during a memorial ceremony for the vanished boy.
Eleven also seems to have some sort of powers to “move” voices as well. As she manages to channel Will’s voice through the school’s audiovisual equipment and through Mike’s radio. In a flashback within the same episode, Dr. Brenner has Eleven channel the voice of a man reading aloud down the hall through a speaker.
Where did we get the idea that using psychic powers causes nosebleeds?
The idea that using psychic powers requires some sort of physiological damage has lived on. Nosebleeds symptoms used as one of “The Five Signs of Death,” predicting that someone experiencing nosebleeds should expect to die soon.
The bloody nose appears to be a symptom of “overexertion”. Her powers are linked to her brain. Eleven’s nose bleeds when she overextends herself while using her powers. While the source and nature of Eleven’s powers are mysterious, there’s no doubt that she has telekinesis ability, and that her nosebleeds are linked to that telekinesis ability.
It is also believed that using psychic powers could raise the cerebrospinal fluid pressure. This fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, wouldn’t cause a nosebleed. It would likely lead to a coma.
But that’s all fictional from the author’s imagination. Nosebleeds aren’t caused by how hard our brains are used. The truth is, the majority of nosebleeds that happen in real life are caused by fist vs. nose or finger vs. nose collisions, as well as infections, allergen irritations and foreign bodies. High blood pressure can also cause nosebleeds, although it’s less dangerous than strokes or heart attacks.
We will see in the next season if Eleven will be back, and in what form, and how her powers will work. We only hope that if her telekinesis hasn’t cleared up, she’s discovered humidifiers and ice packs.