Thanks to “The X-Files,” millions of people around the globe are terrified of what lies under the bed. They steer clear of sewers at all cost. And every 30 years they watch over their shoulders for a certain liver-eating mutant to come out of hibernation. Over the span of 11 seasons and 218 episodes, Fox’s quintessential TV series has scared the bile out of us with its parade of frightening creatures, as investigated by FBI Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Which ones were your all-time favorites on the show? Scroll through our photo gallery above (or click here for direct access) to see the most memorable “The X-Files” monsters ranked from worst to best.
“The X-Files” premiered on September 10, 1993 and ran for nine seasons, ending on May 19, 2002. It was brought back for two short-lived revivals in 2016 and 2018. The series stuck to its original format for much of its run, with Mulder and Scully investigating “monster-of-the-week” stories some weeks and “alien mythology” episodes other weeks. 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of “The X-Files,” so now is the perfect time to look back at the 14 best monsters of all time.
14. Big Blue
Episode: #3×22 “Quagmire”
Mulder and Scully travel to a small town in Georgia, where a prehistoric plesiosaur has been living in a lake and killing people. The agents eventually come to believe that an alligator is to blame for all the terror, so they leave the town, only for Big Blue to take a proud swim in the background with nobody noticing.
13. Soul Eater
Episode: #8×11 “The Gift”
Actor: Jordan Marder
Mulder seeks out the soul eater, a monster of Native American folklore, in the hopes that it can cure his brain disease. But when Mulder realizes that the soul eater takes on the diseases that it devoured, he tries to end its life out of mercy. Mulder fails, but John Doggett (Robert Patrick) inadvertently kills the monster when Doggett dies and it heals him by eating his death.
12. Jersey Devil
Episode: #1×05 “The Jersey Devil”
Actor: Claire Stansfield
Mulder and Scully look into a string of New Jersey deaths that are cannibalistic in nature and resemble the folklore tale of The Jersey Devil. Eventually, the female monster attacks Mulder and he lays eyes on the potential missing link between animal and human. After she is killed, the episode ends with one of her children watching hikers hungrily.
11. Rob Roberts
Episode: #7×03 “Hungry”
Actor: Chad E. Donella
Fast food worker Rob Roberts is actually a nice guy if you get to know him, but his extreme hunger for human brains is usually a deal-breaker. “Hungry” is unique in that it tells the story from the monster’s point of view, so Mulder and Scully are seen as the antagonists who are trying to stop Rob from feeding.
10. Guy Mann
Episode: #10×03 “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”
Actor: Rhys Darby
In a twist on the old werewolf myth, this lizard creature is bit by a human and thus turns into a man at night. He tries 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 turns back into a lizard and embarks on a 10,000-year hibernation.
9. Mr. Chuckleteeth
Episode: #11×08 “Familiar”
Actor: Keith Arbuthnot
Our favorite FBI agents look into an apparent animal attack of a young boy in Connecticut, but quickly suspect darker forces are to blame. Ultimately, Mulder and Scully come to realize that the lifelike puppet known as Mr. Chuckleteeth is a demon who’s been summoned by a witch who wants to punish her husband for cheating on her.
8. Garbage Monster
Episode: #6×15 “Arcadia”
After several people go missing at a blissful housing community, Mulder and Scully go undercover as a married couple to try to learn more. As it turns out, the man in charge of this cul-de-sac, Gene Gogolak, is enforcing the rules thanks to a murderous Tulpa creature from Tibet that’s made out of garbage.
7. Phyllis Paddock
Episode: #2×14 “Die Hand Die Verletzt”
Actress: Susan Blommaert
Substitute teacher Phyllis Paddock is actually a demon who can control people and animals. Her mission is to kill the members of a coven who fail to pay sacrifices to the demon Azazel. Mrs. Paddock is perhaps best remembered for the creepy scenes in which her eyes turn green and snake-like.
6. Lanny’s conjoined twin, Leonard
Episode: #2×12 “Humbug”
Actor: Vincent Schiavelli
Leonard, an underdeveloped human fetus, detaches himself from his conjoined twin Lanny and commits murders in and around a traveling carnival. Lanny knows that his brother is the culprit, but protects him out of guilt because he thinks Leonard is trying to find a replacement brother to latch onto.
5. The Great Mutato
Episode: #5×05 “The Post-Modern Prometheus”
Actor: Chris Owens
Before he joined “The X-Files” as FBI Agent Jeffrey Spender, Owens plays The Great Mutato, a Frankenstein-esque creature, in the show’s classic black-and-white episode. This Cher superfan is a genetic experiment gone wrong, but unlike many of the other monsters on our list, he isn’t evil at all.
4. Leonard Betts
Episode: #4×12 “Leonard Betts”
Actor: Paul McCrane
Like a lizard that can regenerate its tail, Leonard Betts has the unique ability of growing back any part of his body, including his decapitated head. Leonard feasts on cancer, which makes anyone with the disease the perfect victim … including Scully.
3. Eugene Victor Tooms
Episodes: #1×03 “Squeeze” and #1×21 “Tooms”
Actor: Doug Hutchison
A genetic mutant who can 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 steals special tokens from each victim, which is what tips off Mulder that Scully is next when he finds her necklace in Tooms’ nest. Because of his popularity, he was one of the rare villains to get a sequel episode. Tooms previously attacked in 1933, 1963 and 1993, which means 2023 is the year he is set to come out of hibernation … if he survived being squished under that escalator.
2. Mrs. Peacock
Actress: Karin Konoval
Mrs. Peacock resides under the bed in her family’s home in Pennsylvania, missing several teeth and limbs. She lives a secluded life along with her inbred sons Sherman, Edmund and George, and the family has no qualms about murdering anyone who dares come into their home.
Episode: #2×02 “The Host”
Actor: Darin Morgan
The quintessential “X-Files” monster, Flukeman is a cross between a human and a flatworm. The terrifying creature appears in the New Jersey sewer system where it kills several workers and bites others, transferring its larvae through its bite. Mulder eventually sends Flukeman back out to sea, but not before giving millions of “X-Files” fans a permanent fear of the sewers.
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