Those of you who have been reading my BC articles regularly know that I am a huge X-Files fan. Most of my friends know this, and every year, I get the same emails: which X-Files episodes would be the best to watch during a scare-fest?
So here are my recommendations for 2009’s X-Files scare-fest. Rather than simply list them, I chose to provide you with a full, two evening long menu of episodes you can make a marathon out of, separated into categories, and, sometimes, ideas for supper and snacks.
So what kind of scare fest you want? Would you like a ghost story, a monster story, a horrific story, a chilling story, or a spine-tingler? Yes, The X-Files are that fabulous, and you have a whole set to choose from.
The Horrific Monster Stories
Season 1, Episode 3: "Squeeze" and Season 1, Episode 21: "Tooms": Not only do they feature the same monster and can be watched back to back, but Tooms definitely is a monster that can freak you out while feeling sorry for him. A genetic mutation makes Eugene Victor Tooms wake up from decade long hibernation and eat five fresh livers before slumbering back to sleep. And yes, fresh means he removes them out of his victims – by hand – and eats them.
And just because it isn’t disgusting enough to think that such a monster exists, try serving something made with liver, or come up with anything with a viscous texture (resembling bile) to go along with viewing.
The Ghost Stories
Ultimately, Halloween is about witches and ghosts. So these episodes are my favourite to watch.
Season 2, Episode 11: "Excelsis Dei": An old age home is haunted by the ghosts of tenants past who were mistreated by underpaid and overworked staff. But one staff member cares – perhaps too much. Wanting to help, the staff member ends up unleashing an invisible force that rapes a nurse and kills another staff member. And you thought the old age home your grandparents stay in was creepy.
Season 6, Episode 6: "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas": This is a ghost story, yes, and it will drive you nuts – but it’s also a funny story. Mulder and Scully investigate a haunted house, but its ghosts only come out on Christmas Eve. And these are not your typical ghosts. They do not really intend to scare the living daylights out of Mulder and Scully; they merely want to play with their heads so much, they will kill each other–thus reclaiming their house’s critically-acclaimed "haunted" reputation. Because yes, there are travel guides devoted exclusively to haunted houses. And no, I don’t own one. Yet.
Season 8, Episode 6: "Invocation": Not quite a ghost story, but just about: our fearless agents investigate the case of a little boy who, ten years after having been kidnapped, returns… looking exactly like he did when he disappeared. Yup, instead of being 16, he’s still 6. This poses an unusual conundrum for our agents, since this is a season that features Scully partnered with Doggett. And no, I’m not going to go into the mytharc to explain the whos and the whats of this switch. Go watch for yourself. It’s so worth it.
The Spirituality Gone Wrong Stories
Season 2, Episode 14: "Die Hand Die Verletzt": Two teenage boys, trying to impress two teenage girls (oh, how the story never ends), take them deep into the woods to practice a satanic ritual that ends up being real. Not only that, they happen to live in a city where a real satanic group exists, and they are not very happy when Mulder and Scully show up. Mayhem ensues, of the scary kind of course.
Season 8, Episode 12: "Badlaa": A very creepy mystic, who goes around dragging himself on a set of wheels that need some serious oiling (but make for a great creepy noise that is making me, as I type, shiver), smuggles himself out of India to seek revenge. And, again, this is a Scully/Doggett story, so don’t be looking too hard for Mulder.
The Freaky Stories
Season 3, Episode 8: "Oubliette": This one is freaky because of the whole paranormal connection between two people and also because a child’s life is at stake. A young girl is kidnapped from her home, and somehow, a fast food worker who lives miles away collapses, experiencing what the child is feeling. The connection is simple, albeit slightly freaky: the woman was herself kidnapped as a child and held hostage for years. Of course, Mulder is the only person who sees the connection, and figures out that the woman is the key to finding the girls before she is killed.
Season 4, Episode 2: "Unruhe": This is a freaky one for many reasons. First of all, our fearless Agent Scully is once again put straight in the path of danger, and second, Mulder finds this out because of a photograph. In short, a deranged man who hears voices in his head is convinced that the women with whom he crosses paths, look a certain way, are also plagued by these voices. He seeks to help these women by performing an at home lobotomy. Ouch.
The only clues left behind are photographs, as the killer seems to have the ability to imprint his thoughts on any nearby unprocessed film.
Season 5, Episode 16: "Mind’s Eye": A murder is committed by a blind woman – or the police would have it. Step in Mulder and Scully – well, Mulder mostly – and we find out that while the woman did see the murder (which explains how she knows so much about it), she didn’t see it with, well, her eyes – but rather (as the episode’s name so casually mentions it) with her mind’s eye. Freaky and a little sad, a great way to top off a X-Files Halloween marathon.