Episode Summary

On the night before Christmas, Mulder convinces Scully to put aside her gift wrapping and stake out a reputed haunted house. But they discover a married couple living in the house, keeping a secret the agents never expected

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Mulder: I almost gave up on you.

Scully: Sorry. Checkout lines were worse than rush hour on the 95. If I heard Silent Night one more time I was going to start taking hostages. What are we doing here?

Mulder: Stakeout.

Scully: On Christmas Eve?

Mulder: It's an important date.

Scully: No kidding.

Mulder: Important to why we're here. Why don't you turn off your car and I'll fill you in on the details.

Scully: Mulder, I've got wrapping to do. It's the night before Christmas. [Mulder looks in the back of Scully's car and sees that it's filled with shopping]

Mulder: Oh. [Scully gets out of her car and joins Mulder in his car]

Scully: Let's hear it. Give me the details.

Mulder: Look, if you've got Christmas stuff to do I don't want to... you know...

Scully: Mulder, I drove all the way out here. I might as well know why. Right?

Mulder: I just thought you'd be more... curious.

Scully: Who lives in the house?

Mulder: No one.

Scully: Then who are we staking out?

Mulder: The former occupants.

Scully: They've come back?

Mulder: That's the story.

Scully: I see. The dark, gothic manor the, uh, omnipresent low fog hugging the thicket of overgrowth. Wait — is that a hound I hear baying out on the moors?

Mulder: No. Actually that was a left cheek sneak.

Scully: Mulder, tell me you didn't call me out here on Christmas Eve to go ghost busting with you.

Mulder: Technically speaking, they're called apparitions.

Scully: Mulder, call it what you want. I've got holiday cheer to spread. I've got a family roll call under the tree at 6:00 am. [Mulder locks her door]

Mulder: I'll make it fast. I'll just give you the details.

Scully: Okay.

Mulder: Christmas, 1917. It was a time of dark, dark despair. American soldiers were dying at an ungodly rate in a war-torn Europe while at home, a deadly strain of the flu virus attacked young and old alike. Tragedy was a visitor on every doorstep while a creeping hopelessness set in with every man, woman and child. It was a time of dark, dark despair.

Scully: You said that.

Mulder: But here at 1501 Larkspur Lane for a pair of star-crossed lovers tragedy came not from war or pestilence — not by the boot heel or the bombardier — but by their own innocent hand.

Scully: Go on.

Mulder: His name was Maurice. He was a... a brooding but heroic young man beloved of Lyda, a sublime beauty with a light that seemed to follow her wherever she went. They were likened to two angels descended from heaven whom the gods could not protect from the horrors being visited upon this cold, grey earth.

Scully: And what happened to them?

Mulder: Driven by a tragic fear of separation they forged a lovers' pact, so that they might spend eternity together and not spend one precious Christmas apart.

Scully: They killed themselves?

Mulder: And their ghosts haunt this house every Christmas Eve. [Scully laughs] I just gave myself chills.

Scully: It's a good story, Mulder... And very well told but I don't believe it.

Mulder: You don't believe in ghosts?

Scully: That surprises you?

Mulder: Well... Yeah. I thought everybody believed in ghosts.

Scully: Mulder, if it were any other night I might let you talk me into it but the halls are decked and I got to go. [They get out of the car, Scully heading for hers and Mulder heading for the house]

Mulder: My best to the family.

Scully: What are you doing? Mulder, don't you have somewhere to be?

Mulder: I'm just going to take a look.

Scully: [to herself] I'm not going to do it. My New Year's resolution.

Scully: Mulder!

Mulder: Change your mind?

Scully: Did you take my car keys?

Mulder: No.

Scully: Come on, Mulder. Don't kid around.

Mulder: Why would I take your car keys?

Scully: Maybe you, uh... Maybe you grabbed them by mistake.

Mulder: Maybe it was a ghost.

Mulder: That's a cold wind.

Scully: There must be a window open upstairs. You know, the weather report said that there was an 80 percent chance of rain maybe even a... maybe even a white Christmas.

[Thunder crashes and the front doors slam shut, Scully tries to open them, but they won't budge]

Mulder: I think the spirits are among us.

Scully: Mulder, will you quit trying to scare me and help me get these doors open.

Mulder: Sounds like there's somebody walking around upstairs. [Knocking sounds from upstairs] There. You hear that?

Scully: Mulder, I really have to go.

Mulder: There's nothing to be afraid of.

Scully: I'm not afraid, okay?

Mulder: Ghosts are benevolent entities. [Chains clank upstairs] Mostly.

Scully: You are not scaring me, Mulder.

Scully: Mulder...

Mulder: Shh! What was that?

Scully: These are tricks that the mind plays. They are ingrained clichés from a thousand different horror films. When we hear a sound, we get a chill. We see a shadow and we allow ourselves to imagine something that an otherwise rational person would discount out of hand. The whole... Mulder...? [Scully follows him upstairs] The whole idea of a benevolent entity fits perfectly with what I'm saying. I mean, that a spirit would materialise or return for no other purpose than to show itself is silly and ridiculous. I mean, what it really shows is how silly and ridiculous we have become in believing such things. I mean, that... that we can ignore all natural laws about the corporeal body that we witness these spirits clad in their own shabby outfits with the same old haircuts and hairstyles never ageing, never... never in search of more comfortable surroundings — it actually ends up saying more about the living than it does about the dead.

Mulder: Mm-hmm.

Scully: I mean, Mulder, it doesn't take an advanced degree in psychology to understand the... the unconscious yearnings that these imaginings satisfy. You know, the longing for immortality the hope that there is something beyond this mortal coil that we might never be long without our loved ones. I mean, these are powerful, powerful desires. I mean, they're the very essence of what make us human. The very essence of Christmas, actually. [They turn as a door creaks open by itself]

Mulder: Tell me you're not afraid.

Scully: All right. I'm afraid... but it's an irrational fear. [Scully goes to the door]

Mulder: I got your back.

Scully: Thank you. [Looking inside] Mulder, did it occur to you that there aren't ghosts here but that somebody actually might be living in this house?

Mulder: No one lives here.

Scully: But when you and I were sitting out in the car there was not a light on. And look at this.

Mulder: Must have been some kind of electrical surge.

Scully: Mulder, did you happen to notice the clock downstairs is keeping perfect time?

Mulder: Is it?

Scully: And how do you explain that? [Smoking fireplace] This fire's just gone out.

Mulder: Yeah.

Scully: Don't look so disappointed.

Mulder: Why would anyone want to live in a cursed house?

Scully: Mulder, it's not enough that it's haunted? It has to be cursed?

Mulder: Every couple that's ever lived here has met a tragic end. Three double murders in the last 80 years. All on Christmas Eve.

Mulder: I think there's a hiding space under the floorboards.

Scully: What are you going to do?

Mulder: There may be somebody trapped under there.

Scully: Mulder, don't.

Mulder: I got to get them out.

Scully: Not now.

Mulder: Hey, you have a gun, right? Rationally, you've been in much more dangerous situations. [Pulling up floor boards, Mulder exposes a body] I was half right.

Scully: Oh, my god.

Mulder: Hey, Scully... Look at this. [Exposing a second body]

Scully: It's a woman. Mulder, it looks like they were shot to death.

Mulder: Yeah.

Scully: You know what's weird?

Mulder: What?

Scully: Mulder, she's wearing my outfit.

Mulder: How embarrassing.

Scully: Yeah, well, you know what? He's wearing yours.

Mulder: Oh... Scully...

Scully: That's us.

Maurice: Hey!

Mulder: Who are you?

Maurice: That's a question I should be asking being this is my house you're standing in. This isn't one of those home invasions, is it?

Maurice: You drink? Take drugs?

Mulder: No.

Maurice: Get high?

Mulder: No.

Maurice: Are you overcome by the impulse to make everyone believe you? I'm in the field of mental health. I specialise in disorders and manias related to pathological behaviour as it pertains to the paranormal.

Mulder: Wow. I didn't know such a thing existed.

Maurice: My speciality is in what I call soul prospectors — a crossaxial classification I've codified by extensive interaction with visitors like yourself. I've found you all tend to fall into pretty much the same category.

Mulder: And what category is that?

Maurice: Narcissistic, overzealous, self-righteous egomaniac.

Mulder: That's a category?

Maurice: You kindly think of yourself as single-minded but you're prone to obsessive compulsiveness, workaholism, antisocialism... Fertile fields for the descent into total wacko breakdown.

Mulder: I don't think that pegs me exactly.

Maurice: Oh, really? Waving a gun around my house? Huh? Raving like a lunatic about some imaginary brick wall? You've probably convinced yourself you've seen aliens. You know why you think you see the things you do?

Mulder: Because I have seen them?

Maurice: 'Cause you're a lonely man. A lonely man, chasing paramasturbatory illusions that you believe will give your life meaning and significance and which your pathetic social maladjustment makes impossible for you to find elsewhere. You probably consider yourself passionate, serious, misunderstood. Am I right?

Mulder: Paramasturbatory?

Maurice: Most people would rather stick their fingers in a wall socket than spend a minute with you.

Mulder: All right, now just, uh... Just back off for a second.

Maurice: You spend every Christmas this way... Alone?

Mulder: I'm not alone.

Maurice: More self-delusion.

Mulder: No, I came here with my partner. She's somewhere in the house.

Maurice: Behind a brick wall? How'd you get her to come with you? Steal her car keys? You know why you do it — listen endlessly to her droning rationalisations. 'Cause you're afraid. Afraid of the loneliness. Am I right?

Mulder: I'd just like to find my partner.

Lyda: You look like you saw a ghost. There are ghosts in this house, you know.

Scully: Who are you?

Lyda: I live here, thank you very much.

Scully: Where's my partner?

Lyda: Why are you pointing that gun?

Scully: There were corpses right there underneath the floor!

Lyda: I think maybe the ghosts have been playing tricks on you.

Scully: I don't believe in ghosts.

Lyda: Then what are you doing here?

Scully: It's my partner.

Lyda: He believes in ghosts?

Scully: Yeah.

Lyda: Oh, you poor child. You must have an awful small life. Spending your Christmas Eve with him... Running around chasing things you don't even believe in.

Scully: Don't come any closer.

Lyda: I can see it in your face... The fear... The conflicted yearnings... A subconscious desire to find fulfilment through another. Intimacy through co-dependency.

Scully: What?

Lyda: Maybe you repress the truth about why you're really here pretending it's out of duty or loyalty — unable to admit your dirty little secret. Your only joy in life is proving him wrong.

Scully: You don't know me. And you don't live here. This isn't your house.

Lyda: You wouldn't think so, the way I'm being treated.

Scully: Well, then why is all the furniture covered?

Lyda: We're having the house painted.

Scully: Well then where's your Christmas tree?!

Lyda: We're Jewish. Boo. [Maurice enters the room]

Scully: Hold it right there. Don't make me shoot you. Stay where you are.

Maurice: We really attract them, don't we?

Scully: Where's Mulder?

Maurice: Mulder? Is that his name?

Scully: Where is he?

Maurice: He'll be along.

Scully: Move over there. Both of you, move. Move over there. Move other there.

Maurice: This violates our civil rights. I have friends at the ACLU.

Scully: Put your hands up.

[They put their hands up. Lyda has a gunshot hole through her abdomen and Maurice has one through his head. Scully faints]

Maurice: You see what we've resorted to? Gimmicks and cheap tricks. We used to be so good at this.

Lyda: We used to have years to drive them mad. Now we get one night.

Maurice: This pop psychology approach is crap. All it does is annoy them. When's the last time we actually haunted anyone?

Lyda: When was the last time we had a good double murder? Not since the house was condemned.

Maurice: This is embarrassing — amateur kid stuff.

Lyda: Look, if we let our reputations slip they're going to take us off the tourist literature. Last year no one even showed up.

Maurice: Oh, of all days, why did you pick Christmas? Why not Halloween?

Lyda: Now, who is filled with hopelessness and futility on Halloween? Christmas comes but once a year.

Maurice: You're right. These two do seem pretty miserable. We need to show them just how lonely Christmas can be.

Lyda: Now that's the old Yuletide spirit.

Mulder: What happened to the star-crossed lovers?

Lyda: Oh, let me tell you the romance is the first thing to go.

Mulder: It's you. You're Lyda, and that was Maurice. But you've aged.

Lyda: I hope your partner finds you a lot more charming than I do.

Maurice: Want your car keys?

Scully: Where did you get those?

Maurice: He's got nowhere to go this Christmas. No one to go with. Did he happen to mention a story about a lovers' pact?

Scully: Where did you get those keys?

Maurice: The man is acting out an unconscious yearning. The deep-seated terror of being alone.

Scully: Mulder, what are you doing? Mulder!

Mulder: There's no getting out of here, Scully. There's no way home.

Scully: Mulder, come on... Mulder, don't come any closer. You're scaring me. Put the gun down!

Mulder: What are you going to do? You going to shoot me?!

Scully: I'm not going to shoot you! I don't want to shoot you!

Mulder: It's me or you... You or me. One of us has to do it.

Scully: Mulder, look... We don't have to do this.

Mulder: Oh, yes we do.

Scully: We can get out of here.

Mulder: Even if we could what's waiting for us? More loneliness! And then 365 more shopping days till even more loneliness!

Scully: I don't believe what you're saying! Mulder, I don't believe a word of it. [Mulder fires, Scully drops her gun and stares in shock at the bullet wound in her abdomen]

Mulder: Merry Christmas, Scully. [He becomes Lyda] And a happy New Year.

Mulder: Scully?

Scully: Mulder... Is that you?

Mulder: What did you do?

Scully: I didn't believe it, Mulder.

Mulder: You didn't believe what?

Scully: I didn't believe that you'd do it... That I would... Merry Christmas, Mulder.

Mulder: What are you doing? [Scully fires, Mulder falls back bleeding from a chest wound]

Scully: Ah... I'm not going to make it.

Mulder: No, you're not... Not without me, you're not.

Scully: Are you afraid, Mulder? I am.

Mulder: I am, too. You should have thought of this.

Scully: You should have.

Mulder: You shot me first!

Scully: I didn't shoot you. You shot me.

Mulder: Scully...

Scully: What?

Mulder: Get up.

Scully: I can't.

Mulder: Get up... You're not shot. [Holds his bloody shirt away from his stomach]

Scully: What?

Mulder: Come on. It's a trick. It's all in your head. [He pulls Scully to her feet and holds out her bloody shirt. They both run out the now unlocked front door. Once outside, they look down at their now clean shirts, run to their cars and drive off quickly]

Lyda: You hear that? It's Christmas.

Maurice: One for the books.

Lyda: We almost had those two, didn't we?

Maurice: Almost had them.

Lyda: Two such lonely souls.

Maurice: Can't let our failures haunt us.

Lyda: You wonder what they were really out here looking for.

Maurice: Hard to say. People now... This is just another joyless day of the year.

Lyda: Not for us.

Maurice: No. We haven't forgotten the meaning of Christmas.

Scully: Mulder... None of that really happened out there tonight... That was all in our heads, right?

Mulder: It must have been.

Scully: Mmm. Not that, uh, my only joy in life is proving you wrong.

Mulder: When have you proved me wrong?

Scully: Well... Why else would you want me out there with you?

Mulder: You didn't want to be there? Oh, that's, um... That's self-righteous and... narcissistic of me to say, isn't it?

Scully: No, I mean... Maybe I did want to be out there with you.

Mulder: Now, um... I know we said that we weren't going to exchange gifts but, uh... I got you... a little something.

Scully: Mulder...

Mulder: Merry Christmas.

Scully: Well, I got you a little something, too.