The Best X-Files Episodes To Watch For Halloween
Here are our choices for the most fitting episodes of The X-Files for your Halloween marathon.
The adventures of FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are better known for the grand–and often crushingly inconsistent–alien conspiracy mythology created by Chris Carter. But The X-Files leap-frogged genres all the time, allowing for stories steeped both in science fiction and more supernatural fare perfect for an epic Halloween marathon. Here’s my personal picks for the best episodes from the show for the Spooky Season.
“Terms of Endearment” – Season 6, Episode 7
Can your The X-Files Halloween marathon go wrong with Bruce Campbell? To suggest it could is pure heresy.
During a time when the X-Files have been officially disbanded–and so Mulder, of course, continues to obsessively pursue relevant cases while somehow keeping his job–the Evil Dead icon guest starred as Wayne Weinsider; a medical technician with multiple wives and a penchant for killing babies. Mulder begins to suspect Weinsider is a demon who murders his own spawn because they’re too human, but as usual the unconventional federal agent only sees part of the picture.
“Folie à Deux” – Season 5, Episode 19
In one of the scariest The X-Files episodes, just like on Halloween a lot of people are wearing costumes; unlike All Hallow’s Eve, however, the costumes are the less scary option.
There isn’t much scarier than a monster only you can see. In “Folie à Deux” telemarketer Gary Lambert (Brian Markinson) takes his office hostage, raving that his boss is a monster who is turning his co-workers into zombie drones. The episode has you fooled into thinking Mulder will actually come off looking like the sane one compared to Lambert, until the crazed telemarketer’s jumps from him to Mulder like a disease.
“Squeeze” – Season 1, Episode 3
The X-Files didn’t take long to give fans Halloween-worthy stories. In its third episode, the series introduced one its first recurring villains and one of the most chilling — the long-lived cannibal Eugene Victor Tooms played by future The Green Mile star Doug Hutchinson. Able to squeeze his body through just about any opening no matter how narrow, along with eating human livers to extend his life, Tooms is one of the scariest single characters in the show’s long history.
“Bad Blood” – Season 5, Episode 12
For a marathon of The X-Files on Halloween, some laughs should be welcome as well. To that end, “Bad Blood” opens perfectly, with the seemingly helpless Ronnie — played by Patrick Renna of The Sandlot fame — chased down in the woods by a killer who drives a wooden stake through his heart. Before the opening credits roll we learn that killer is Mulder and, unfortunately, that the fangs Ronnie is sporting are fake.
Much of the rest of the story is told in hilarious flashbacks, with Mulder and Scully both giving their own versions of events and in the meantime revealing exactly what each thinks of the other. Scully sees her partner as annoyingly cocky, uncaring, and oblivious to her pains; while Mulder sees Scully as an uncooperative harpy who leaves her professionalism aside as soon as she meets Sheriff Hartwell (Luke Wilson). And of course, the truth that Ronnie is not a fanged vampire proves to be only part of the story.
“Home” – Season 4, Episode 2
Any The X-Files Halloween episode list would be criminally undone without Season 4’s “Home.” Along with featuring references to incest with a family so deep into in-breeding that the men are essentially super-strong and super-dense neanderthals, “Home” survives as arguably the most brutally violent episode in the show. By the way, while it would be impossible to recognize her, the woman who plays the matriarch of the bizarre Peacock family–Karin Konoval–would go on to play the orangutan Maurice in the rebooted crop of Planet of the Apes films.
“Detour” – Season 5, Episode 4
“Detour” transplants The X-Files to the Florida wilderness, and would give your Halloween party one of the most chilling stories in the series. Initially just looking to delay an annoying journey to a team-building conference, Mulder immerses himself in an investigation into a missing hunter. Mulder, Scully, and their new friends–who include Star Trek: Discovery‘s Anthony Rapp–soon find themselves lost in the woods as prey to hunters who are seemingly invisible.
“Irresistible” – Season 2, Episode 13
Along with Eugene Tooms, one of the few recurring “monster of the week” villains was Donnie PFaster, played to perfection by Nick Chinlund (Training Day) and introduced in “Irresistible.” A death fetishist who prefers his victims to be women with the right color hair and the right color fingernails to collect. The X-Files villain makes for a perfect Halloween addition, particularly when he levels up and takes Scully herself hostage.