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This Disturbing Episode Of ‘The X-Files’ Has A Surprising Origin Story

“The X-Files” is well-known for its generally creepy vibe. However, there are particular episodes that certainly stand out on the freaky spectrum. While everyone has their personal favorite, many fans agree that one of the creepiest episodes of the cult classic is Home.

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But there’s something especially weird about the supposedly fictional story.

In the episode Home, agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are called on to investigate the murder of a baby found on the outskirts of a small town in Pennsylvania.

Eventually, the pair’s investigation leads them to the creepy house pictured above. Living there is a family of three deformed brothers and their limbless, amputee mother who had previously been assumed dead. The twist? The baby was hers. Feedback on the episode was so extreme that Fox vowed to never air it again (they did).

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While that might sound shocking, what’s even weirder is where inspiration for the story came from — the autobiography of Charlie Chaplin.


Back when he was first becoming famous, Chaplin toured the countryside with a traveling theater group. In order to stretch his meager income as far as it would go, Chaplin went out of his way to stay in the cheapest places possible.


One night, this led him to a miner’s house in a town called Ebbw Vale. After dinner one night, the young man’s host told Chaplin that he had something to show him. He opened a cabinet in the kitchen and out crawled a man with no legs. The miner then barked at the legless man to perform.

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Chaplin recalls:

A half man with no legs, an oversized, blond, flat-shaped head, a sickening white face, a sunken nose, a large mouth and powerful muscular shoulders and arms, crawled from underneath the dresser … “Hey, Gilbert, jump!” said the father and the wretched man lowered himself slowly, then shot up by his arms almost to the height of my head.

“How do you think he’d fit in with a circus? The human frog!”

I was so horrified I could hardly answer. However, I suggested the names of several circuses that he might write to.

Needless to say, the incident shocked Chaplin. Enough so that he included it in his autobiography, which was later read by “X-Files” writer Glen Morgan.

Though Morgan didn’t remember the incident exactly, it served as the basis for the mother of the brothers in Home. “I think I read that like 13 years ago, and ever since then I thought, ‘***, I gotta do something like that!’” Morgan explained in a documentary about the TV series.

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(via Mental Floss)

That is disturbingly awesome actually. As a huge fan of “The X-Files” I’m always happy to learn more about the motivations and inspirations behind certain episodes.

Which is your favorite episode?

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