Die Hand Die Verletzt

Phyllis Paddock (played by Susan Blommaert) was a being of demonic origin who posed as a substitute teacher at Crowly High School in Milford Haven, New Hampshire. (TXF: "Die Hand Die Verletzt")

Demonic Possession

The members of the school's PTA were descendants of witches who practiced the dark arts, and they kept faith with their ancestors' ancient ways. However, over time they had become lax in their practice of the religion, and they had also watered down some of the more cruel aspects of their rituals. One night in 1994, a group of four students decided to hold a mock seance in the woods surrounding the town, and through their actions they (unintentionally) invoked the demon Azazel.

Whether or not Mrs. Paddock was Azazel itself or simply one of the demon's minions is left unclear, but she possessed extremely dark powers. It was she who was responsible for the death of the student in the forest; she tore out his eyes, ripped out his heart, and displayed his remains in a ritualistic manner. Following this she caused the suicidal death of a girl who happened to be the stepdaughter of the coven's leader, Jim Ausbury. Mulder went to Ausbrey's home to question him, discovering that he was indeed involved in dark practices.

Using her powers, Paddock put in a fake call to Mulder, saying that she was Scully and that she was in trouble at the high school. The FBI agent handcuffed Ausbury in his basement and then went to assist Scully; while he was gone Paddock sent a python to crush and devour the helpless man. She then used manipulation to bring about the deaths of the remaining three members of the coven. They had intended to sacrifice Mulder and Scully to renew their devotion to their religion, but Paddock instead used mind control to cause one of the group to shoot his brethren before turning the gun on himself.

GiIt was revealed that Azazel was extremely displeased that they had neglected to pay sacrifice to him for so long, and thereby punished them for their misdeeds. In Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen, Robert Shearman and Lars Pearson propose that the episode is a parody of people who pay "lip service" to their religions, only partaking and invoking religious rights and practices when convenient, as well as distorting them to fit their own agenda. Jim Ausbury admits that while his sect practiced satanism they watered it down and spared the more gruesome aspects of it, fitting the idea of only using religion when it suits a person. It is likely Paddock's spread of havoc was also punishment for the sects ill-following practices. She not only spared the lives of Mulder and Scully, but also left them alone for the most part departing with a note on a blackboard that read, "Goodbye. It's been nice working with you". Implying that she not only had no ill-will to the agents but saw them as coworkers in the punishment of the sect.

Powers & Abilities

Whether or not Mrs. Paddock was Azazel or a demon remains a mystery. However, she possessed extraordinary powers:

  • Possession - She is able to control people.
  • Electrokinesis
  • Eyes turned green, snake-like, when controlling/becoming the snake - The snake had extraordinary eating ability, rapid digestion and regurgitate just the bones.
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