The X-Files (1993–2018)
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Rumors of witchcraft and sorcery surrounding a bizarre murder at a supermarket in a small New England fishing town lead Scully, who's on vacation, to a little girl and a cursed doll that may be hiding a murderous presence.


Kim Manners


Chris Carter (created by), Stephen King | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Susannah Hoffmann Susannah Hoffmann ... Melissa Turner
Larry Musser ... Jack Bonsaint
William MacDonald ... Buddy Riggs
Jenny-Lynn Hutcheson ... Polly Turner
Henry Beckman ... Old Man
Carolyn Tweedle Carolyn Tweedle ... Jane Froelich
Dean Wray ... Rich Turner
Gordon Tipple ... Assistant Manager
Harrison Coe Harrison Coe ... Dave the Butcher (as Harrison R. Coe)
Ian Robison Ian Robison ... Ranger
Elizabeth McCarthy Meek ... Shopper (as Elizabeth McCarthy)
Tracy Lively Tracy Lively ... Clerk
Sean Benbow Sean Benbow ... Customer


While on a weekend off in the small New England town of Ammas Beach, Maine, Scully comes across a grocery store full of people who tried to gouge out their own eyes. The people have no idea why they did this to themselves. On the telephone, Mulder tells her it all sounds like witchcraft but she isn't so sure. One woman in the store, Melissa Turner, seemed unaffected by it all but her reputation for being a witch works against her. She was widowed the year before and her boyfriend Dave stabbed himself in the eye and died in the grocery store incident. Scully focuses on Melissa's daughter and in particular, the young girl's doll. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

8 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stephen King produced several drafts of the script for this episode, though Chris Carter did the final rewrite to nail the essence of the characters of Mulder and Scully. See more »


At approximately 9:30, when Scully first talks to the sheriff after reviewing the security footage, she refers to him as "Captain Bonsaint", but his name badge shows his position is "Chief" and this is how he is later addressed at several other times, including by Scully. See more »


[repeated lines]
The Doll: I want to play!
See more »


Referenced in The X-Files: Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster (2016) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
[the show's opening theme]
See more »

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User Reviews

I am rather embarrassingly susceptible to doll tales in horror and yet, "Chinga" completely missed the mark for me. One of my least favourites
11 February 2018 | by SLionsCricketreviewsSee all my reviews

The idea of bringing an acclaimed and influential horror writer like Stephen King into the world of 'The X-Files' to do what is essentially intended to be a horror episode probably sounds like a great idea but I found "Chinga" anything but scary and that is an unusual statement coming from someone who has an embarrassing fear of dolls and their portrayal in film, as marked by the film Child's Play which still to this day remains a fairly effective horror film in my eyes.

"Chinga" could, and should, have been a lot of fun. Here is another episode that sees Scully and Mulder separated from one another as was often the case with the fifth season as the season's production was hampered by the ongoing production of the film, Fight the Future. The greatest thing to really happen to this episode is the way in which Chris Carter has written the dynamic of Scully and Mulder. Though it's no "War of the Coprophages" which did the same concept to greater effect, it's still very solid and there's plenty of humour in watching this, the best part of the script, come together nicely on screen thanks to an ever palpable chemistry between the stars.

And that's really all I particularly enjoy about "Chinga". Even the Scully/Mulder element is nothing profound but it's enjoyable in an episode that is otherwise somewhat of a chore. Stephen King's screenplay really misses the human element that is so often present in 'The X-Files' in that he fails at surface level characterizations, in this case the widowed mother who is going through hell with her young daughter. In most episodes, there would be a decent level of empathy that the viewer could project onto the supporting characters but there's nothing of the sort here.

Even more disappointing is how truly non-frightening this episode is and the doll in particular is terrible. The voice work done on the doll is the complete anthisesis of what it is intended for, which is to be creepy. Whenever the doll would say "I want to play" or whatever other remarks it would come up with, just prior to performing another killing, I was not scared but completely frustrated and uncomfortable that something so ineffective made its way into 'The X-Files', especially via the hands of an auteur (albeit in a different medium) like Stephen King.

"Chinga" isn't offensive but I was particularly frustrated watching this episode. What I sought was not what I got and while that's not an inherent negative, this episode offered little to no fun. The mystery is weak, the suspense is non-existent, there are no real palpable stakes at play here and the idea of having a passive protagonist, which the show often does superbly in episodes like "Die Hand Die Verletzt", is not well handled here. If what you seek is a fun Child's Play sort of remake from one of the genre's great writers, then "Chinga" will be sure to disappoint. It's a surprisingly non 'X-Files' episode of 'The X-Files' that is probably the result of Stephen King's guest writing opportunity.

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