The 10 Creepiest X-Files Episodes

By Cory Casciato in Daily Lists, TV
Monday, October 29, 2012 at 8:08 am
5) Unruhe

Another serial killer episode, although this one has some decidedly supernatural elements thrown in for good measure. Those elements come in the shape of spirit or thought photography, caused whenever the off-putting, lazy-eyed, stilt-walking killer is nearby. He thinks the weird shit that the photos pick up are demons, and he's "saving" his victims by lobotomizing them. Admittedly, the photos are unsettling and bizarre. Still, as terrifying as the photos are, it's got to be worse to be strapped into a dentist's chair and lobotomized without anesthetic by an enthusiastic and clearly insane amateur. (S4, Ep. 4)

4) Squeeze

The show got started with the creepiness early with "Squeeze," a now-classic episode about a mutant who needs to feed off human livers every 30 years to survive. He can also contort his body into impossible shapes to squeeze through air ducts and other tiny spaces -- a talent that comes in handy when murdering people for their livers. A lot of its creep factor comes from the superb performance of Doug Hutchison as Eugene Victor Tooms, a role he would reprise later in the same season in an also-creepy episode called "Tooms." Hutchison would go on to be creepy in lots of other stuff, too, including real life, where he married a 16-year-old girl when he was 51. (S1, Ep. 3)

3) Folie a Deux

This is as close as The X-Files ever came to doing a zombie episode, and it is a doozy. A call-center employee begins seeing his co-workers as living dead and his boss as an insect monster, eventually taking everyone in the building, including Mulder, hostage. Turns out, he only seems crazy, as Mulder begins seeing the same visions (again, the possibility that Mulder is simply nuts plays a part in the episode, which adds to the fun). The episode's climax finds Mulder restrained in a hospital bed as the insect creature comes after him to make him yet another zombie. A zombie nurse tries to stop Scully, but she gets a glimpse of her true, dead form in time to know that she needs to shoot first and ask questions later. The creepy bug man, the zombies, and the use of darkness all contribute to making this one a first-class skin-crawler. (S5, Ep. 19)

2) Home

There's "kinda spooky with the lights off" creepy, and then there's "oh god, what is it, make it stop, get it off me" creepy and this episode falls squarely in the latter camp. Somehow it mashed up the most appalling elements of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eraserhead and every horrible fan fiction that ever appeared on this site into something that was somehow, barely fit for television. The plot can be basically boiled down into Mulder and Scully vs. inbred mutants, but the execution, from the tense direction to the gut-churning makeup work, was a home run. Sure, you'll need a shower and possibly therapy once it's over, but it'll have be worth it. (S4, Ep. 2)

1) The Host

Here's another episode that draws a lot of its creep from its bad guy. Only here, instead of a serial killer with a supernatural secret we get a disgusting half-human monster called the Flukeman that lives in the sewer and wants to eat you and/or impregnate you with its horrific fluke-spawn. The creature here is one of the all-time grossest of the series, and the fact that it lives in the sewers and pulls at least one victim down through the toilet is enough to give you the willies every time you use the bathroom for weeks afterward. Seriously, is there ever a time you're more vulnerable? Way to go for our weak spot, X-Files. (S2, Ep. 2)
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