10 Creepy ‘X-Files’ Episodes That Were Based on Real Stories

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After a 14-year hiatus, The X-Files has returned, and sci-fi fans across the universe are happy to have Mulder and Scully back again.

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The show has tackled all kinds of storylines about ghosts, aliens, and top-secret government experiments. But you’d probably be surprised to learn that some of the episodes are actually based on true-life stories of the paranormal.

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Take a look at the list below and prepare to get creeped out.

1. Family Love

The creepy episode about the inbred Peacock family was based on the real-life Ward clan that lived in upstate New York. The documentary Brother’s Keeper documented the story of the four Ward brothers, who were all illiterate and lived under one roof. One brother’s death sparked a murder trial and raised questions about family and incest.

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2. The Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil has been a part of folklore in the Garden State for many years. The creature is rumored to look like a kangaroo with leathery bat wings and legend has it that the Devil has attacked people throughout the state.

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3. The Philadelphia Experiment

Mulder and Scully also try to get to the bottom of a mystery based on a supposed real-life 1943 military experiment that allowed a Navy ship to become invisible and teleport from Philadelphia to New York.

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4. A Shot to the Head

In 1848, a man named Phineas Gage suffered a horrific injury when a crowbar impaled his head and brain after an explosion. Gage survived the accident, but personality was dramatically different for the rest of his life. An X-Files episode concerned a man who underwent a personality change after being shot in the head.

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5. Polly Klaas

The tragic 1993 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas in California inspired an episode about a young girl who was abducted and held captive.

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6. Area 51

What better subject for an episode of The X-Files than the mysterious, top-secret government facility known as Area 51? In an episode called Dreamland, Mulder and Scully attempt to discover the truth about the installation.

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7. Black Magic

The episode Fresh Bones was based on a series of real-life suicides at an American military base in Haiti. The show used the story and added an element of voodoo and black magic to make it as creepy as possible.

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8. Operation Paperclip

After World War II, over 1,600 German scientists and engineers (many of them members of the Nazi party) were recruited by the U.S. government and brought to America to work during the height of the Cold War. An episode of the show exposes the results of experiments done by Nazi doctors working for the U.S.

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9. Unit 731

During World War II, the Japanese army performed horrifying experiments on civilians and POWs in a secretive project known as Unit 731. Human experimentation abounds in the episode based on the historical atrocity.

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10. El Chupacabra

Throughout Latin America, the Chupacabra is known as a mythical creature that attacks and drinks the blood of livestock. The term literally means “goat sucker.” In an episode that uses the Chupacabra as a storyline, Mulder and Scully investigate the death of an illegal Mexican immigrant who other migrants believe fell victim to the deadly goat sucker.

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h/t: Ranker