Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" is the third and final Christmas episode of the FOX sci-fi drama The X-Files, aired as the sixth episode of the show's sixth season (though it is the season's eighth episode in production order).


Fox Mulder calls Dana Scully on Christmas Eve to investigate a haunted house in Maryland. He tells her that during Christmas 1917, a young couple was faced with death from both war and an epidemic. They agreed to a lover's pact, one killing the other and the remaining one committing suicide. He explains that they could not stand the thought of being alone after the other died and during the afterlife; they wanted to experience it all together. That was 81 years ago. Now, Mulder explains, they want to make couples who venture into their mansion have the same fate.

Scully is hesitant and not interested in exploring the house because it's Christmas Eve and she has wrapping to do, but she eventually relents. Once inside the house, strange things happen: the door slams shut, there are creaks heard in the ceiling from the upper floor, there are gusts of wind, a shadow in the form of an old woman in a nightgown, and the house has a clock which keeps perfect time and starts dinging at exactly midnight. They fearfully and hesitantly decide to investigate the floor above them. Scully calls their fear an irrational one that all humans face. Mulder does not listen to her analytical view; instead, he tries to find a door that will open. One finally does and Scully marches bravely into the room to discover a massive library.

Mulder and Scully investigate the room, along with its eccentric features. The floor boards start shaking, and upon cracking open a few boards, they discover two corpses that have the same clothes and hairstyles as them along with two gunshot wounds. They decide to go search other rooms, only to find that every door they walk through is the same room they first entered. They then decide to split up, hoping to find a way out of it.

While separated, Mulder and Scully meet the inhabitants of the mansion, Maurice and Lydia. They soon turn Mulder and Scully against each other. Scully is told that Mulder will kill her. She meets back up with him, only for him to pull out a gun and shoot her. She, completely confused, loses consciousness, and the perspective shifts. It is revealed that Lydia is actually the one carrying out these actions and, through her ghostly ability to create apparitions, causes Scully to see Mulder instead. Meanwhile, he comes upon her lying on the floor bleeding. When he leans over her to try and help her, she shoots him in the stomach. Again, the audience sees that it is Lydia pretending to be her, manipulating him.

Mulder and Scully stumble down the stairs in hope of just getting outside to die. They meet up by the door, both crawling on the floor, covered in massive amounts of blood. Scully claims Mulder shot her, while he claims vice versa. He realizes that that could not have happened and stands up. The illusion is broken, and they leave the house. Maurice and Lydia sit by the fire, holding hands, saying that they almost had Mulder and Scully. Meanwhile, at Mulder's apartment, he and Scully exchange gifts, even though they told each other they would not.



Actor/actress Character
David Duchovny Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Dana Scully
Lily Tomlin Lydia
Edward Asner Maurice

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External links[]

20th Century
Miracle on 34th Street (1955 remake) (1973 remake) (1994 remake) • Die HardDie Hard 2Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkGeorge Balanchine's The NutcrackerTrapped in ParadiseJingle All the WayHome Alone 4The Family StoneDeck the Halls12 Men of ChristmasHome Alone: The Holiday HeistJingle All the Way 2Home Sweet Home Alone
Television episodes and specials
20th Television
M*A*S*H "Dear Dad" • "Dear Sis" • "Death Takes a Holiday" • "All About Christmas Eve"
Tracey Ullman "Santa Baby" • "Kay's Gift" • "Merry Catnip"
The X Files "Christmas Carol" • "Emily" • "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"
Malcolm in the Middle "Christmas" • "Christmas Trees" • "Pearl Harbor" • "Hal's Christmas Gift
Bones "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" • "The Santa in the Slush" • "The Goop on the Girl"
How I Met Your Mother "How Lily Stole Christmas" • "Little Minnesota" • "False Positive" • "Symphony of Illumination" • "The Over-Correction" • "The Final Page, Part 1" • "The Final Page, Part 2"
Glee "A Very Glee Christmas" • "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" • "Glee, Actually" • "Previously Unaired Christmas"
New Girl "The 23rd" • "Santa" • "LAXmas" • "Christmas Eve Eve"
The Mindy Project "Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party" • "Christmas Party Sex Trap" • "Christmas" • "When Mindy Met Danny"
Last Man Standing "Last Christmas Standing" • "Putting a Hit on Christmas" • "Elfie" • "Wedding Planning" • "Gift of the Wise Man"
Other shows "Christmas Story" • "The Worst Noel" • "Haus Arrest" • "Amends" • "Blue Christmas" • "A Christmas Story" • "Cookies for Santa" • "In God We Trust" • "Road to Tradition" • "Afternoon Delight" • "Christmas" • "The Glitch That Stole Christmas" • "Secret Santa"
20th Television Animation
The Simpsons "Simpson Christmas" • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" • "Marge Be Not Proud" • "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" • "Grift of the Magi" • "Skinner's Sense of Snow" • "She of Little Faith" • "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" • "Simpson Christmas Stories" • "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" • "The Fight Before Christmas" • "Holidays of Future Passed" • "White Christmas Blues" • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas • "The Nightmare After Krustmas" • "'Tis the 30th Season" • "Bobby, It's Cold Outside" • "The Way of The Dog" • "A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas" • "Manger Things" • Feliz Navidad
King of the Hill "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" • "Pretty, Pretty Dresses" • "Hillennium" • "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas" • "The Father, the Son, and J.C." • "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" • "Ms. Wakefield"
Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" • "The Best Christmas Story Never" • "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" • "Rapture's Delight" • "A Cleveland Brown Christmas" • "Road to the North Pole" • "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" • "Murray Christmas" • "Season's Beatings" • "Die Semi-Hard" • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" • "'Tis the Cleveland To Be Sorry" • "Minstrel Krampus" • "Christmas Guy" • "Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas" • "The 2000-Year-Old Virgin" • "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" • "Ninety North, Zero West" • "Gifted Me Liberty" • "Don't Be a Dickens At Christmas" • "Santa, Schmanta" • "Christmas is Coming" • "Yule. Tide. Repeat." • "The First No L" • "Christmas Crime" • "The Return of the King (of Queens)" • "Family Guy Christmas for Hulu"
Futurama "Xmas Story" • "A Tale of Two Santas" • "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" • "I Know What You Did Next Xmas"
Bob's Burgers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" • "Christmas in the Car" • "Father of the Bob" • "Nice-Capades" • "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" • "The Bleakening" • "Better Off Sled" • "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" • "Yachty or Nice" • "Gene's Christmas Break" • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "The Nightmare 2 Days Before Christmas"
Other cartoons "Hook's Christmas" • "A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman" • Olive, the Other ReindeerIce Age: A Mammoth Christmas • "The War on Grafelnik" • "Miracle on Culpepper Slims Boulevard" • "A Very Solar Holiday Opposites Special" • "Dip the Halls Adventure" • "Xmas with The Skanks Adventure"