In honor of the 25th anniversary of “The X-Files,” we’ve ranked all of the show’s scariest, creepiest, bile-spewing monsters from worst to best in our photo gallery above. Thanks to Fox’s Emmy-winning sci-fi series, which premiered September 10, 1993, millions of people around the globe are now terrified of what’s in the sewers or who might be squeezing through their air vents. Over the span of 11 seasons and 218 episodes, FBI Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) encountered dozens of monsters, but we’ve narrowed down our list to the Top 10 most memorable. Do you agree or disagree with our rankings? Sound off in the comments section.
10. Soul Eater (“The Gift”) — Mulder sought out the soul eater, a monster of Native American folklore, in the hopes that it could cure his brain disease. But when Mulder realized that the soul eater took on the diseases that it devoured, he tried to kill it out of mercy. Mulder failed, but John Doggett (Robert Patrick) inadvertently killed the monster when Doggett died and it healed him by eating his death.
9. Rob Roberts (“Hungry”) — Fast food worker Rob Roberts was actually a nice guy if you got to know him, but his extreme hunger for human brains was usually a deal-breaker. “Hungry” was unique in that it told the story from the monster’s point of view, so Mulder and Scully were seen as the enemies who were trying to stop Rob from feeding.
8. Guy Mann (“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”) — In a twist on the old werewolf myth, this lizard creature was actually bit by a human and thus turned into a human at night. He tried his best to fit in with the human world by giving himself a name (Guy Mann) and taking on a job that he hated, but in the end he turned back into a lizard and embarked on a 10,000-year hibernation.
7. Phyllis Paddock (“Die Hand Die Verletzt”) — Substitute teacher Phyllis Paddock was actually a demon who could control people and animals. Her mission was to kill the members of a coven who failed to pay sacrifices to the demon Azazel. Mrs. Paddock is perhaps best remembered for the creepy scenes in which her eyes turned green and snake-like.
6. Lanny’s conjoined twin (“Humbug”) — Leonard, an underdeveloped human fetus, detached himself from his conjoined twin Lanny and committed murders in and around a traveling carnival. Lanny knew that his brother was the culprit, but protected him out of guilt because he thought Leonard was trying to find a replacement brother to latch onto.
5. The Great Mutato (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”) — Before he joined “The X-Files” as FBI Agent Jeffrey Spender, Chris Owens played The Great Mutato, a Frankenstein-esque creature, in the show’s classic black-and-white episode. This Cher superfan was a genetic experiment gone wrong, but unlike many of the other monsters on our list, he wasn’t evil at all.
4. Leonard Betts (“Leonard Betts”) — Like a lizard that can regenerate its tail, Leonard Betts had the unique ability of growing back any part of his body, including his decapitated head. Leonard feasted on cancer, which made anyone with the disease the perfect victim … including Scully.
3. Eugene Victor Tooms (“Squeeze” and “Tooms”) — A genetic mutant who could stretch and elongate his body, Eugene Victor Tooms has been murdering people and eating their livers for a century, hibernating for 30 years between kills. He stole special tokens from each victim, which is what tipped off Mulder that Scully was next when he found her necklace in Tooms’ nest. Because of his popularity, Tooms was one of the rare villains to get a sequel episode.
2. Mrs. Peacock (“Home”) — Mrs. Peacock resided under the bed in her family’s home in Pennsylvania, missing several teeth and limbs. She lived a secluded life along with her inbred sons Sherman, Edmund and George, but the family had no qualms about murdering anyone who dared come into their home.
1. Flukeman (“The Host”) — The quintessential “X-Files” monster, Flukeman was a cross between a human and a flatworm. The terrifying creature appeared in the New Jersey sewer system where it killed several workers and bit others, transferring its larvae through its bite. Mulder eventually sent Flukeman back out to sea, but not before giving millions of “X-Files” fans a permanent fear of the sewers.