This was kind of a no brainer that it would make it on the list. You have such a wide range of horrific monsters to choose from. Flukeman, Cigarette Smoking Man, Tombs, the fat sucking guy from “2shy”, Donnie Pfaster, the black oil, the entire cast of “Bad Blood”. (Okay that last one wasn’t that scary…although Mulder singing “Shaft” was disturbing on many levels). The list can go on for some time. For 9 years they creeped us out, not every week, but consistently they had the hairs on the back of our neck standing up.
So let’s take a look at the most horrifying episodes in no particular order.
Eve. There is just something about sociopathic children that is frightening. When they’re in stereo it’s even worse.
Die Hand Die Verletzt. Satanists. Ritual murder. The evil substitute is really a demon out to kill just about everyone. What’s not to get a creep factor from?
Irresistible. There was nothing supernatural or mystical about this episode. Just a serial killer who takes a liking to Scully. (Yes it’s implied he might be something more demonic and less human, but that is never really delved into…besides it’s human behavior that frightens us the most.) This was more frightening because for so much of the episode we don’t have any X-file to blame, any supernatural cause to have as an excuse for the evil and the terror…just a man who likes to hurt people.
War of the Coprophages. With the exception of spiders there is probably no bug creepier than cockroaches…and a whole episode of them, even if it’s humorous, just leaves you feeling uncomfortable. Especially in that part where the cockroaches crawl across the screen.
Chinga. Yeah we’ve seen the evil doll theme before. But this one was written by Stephen King. And it was bloody.
Folie a Deux. Bug like monsters creating zombies no one can see. Do I need to explain why that’s creepy?
Scary Monster. It had the feel of that Twilight Zone episode where the kid might send you out to the cornfield…only far more horrifying tortures.
And finally Roadrunners. Most people missed this episode because it was after Duchovny left the show…but that’s part of why it’s terrifying. If Mulder isn’t there to save Scully, then who will? (Not to suggest that Scully didn’t save Mulder’s ass a lot). And the idea of a giant worm that burrows into you and takes you over in “Puppet Master” fashion equally disturbing. But what was worse was that we spent half the episode watching it burrow into Scully. I don’t get frightened by movies or TV often, I’m usually too busy analyzing how everything works and probably working on something else at the same time…but I remember this episode had me actually worried about what would happen the first time it aired.