Xena: Warrior Princess

Season 6 Episode 2

The Haunting of Amphipolis (1)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 09, 2000 on
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Xena finds her home town, Amphipolis, deserted and possessed by sinister powers from Hell, which are trapping her mother's soul and those of the town. Xena learns that her daughter has been endowed with the power of heaven as the Messenger of Eli. She also discovers that Mephistopheles, the King of Hell, has orchestrated the plan to force Xena to spill the blood of the Messenger, which will free him. However, if Xena kills him, then she will inherit his throne and be forced to take his place in Hell.


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  • by far the scariest episode ever,and very well made.

    much in the same vein as season 4s india quartet of episodes The Haunting Of Amphipolis is a strange yet stylish tale through the great life of Xena,as she,Gaby and Eve return to Amphipoilis only to find it haunted by the grisly spirits of death tht reflect on our heroes lives and causes them to make drastic decisions.

    this episode is a very well made tour de force for our characters and Eve is certainly of a great use in this episode as the trio battle all the forces of dakness.

    it is a very good episode and certainly one of the best of season 6.

    Heart Of Darkness continues this story to a much greater effect.moreless
  • Xena and the leader of hell battle it out !

    Xena comes back home only to be greeted by her mother's death and the leader of hell. After many scares which were aimed at Eve and Gabrielle Xena finally took her own life so she could go fight the leader of hell only there was one complication. If she beat him she would have to take his throne as queen of hell which is something she didn't want for sure. The leader of hell wanted Eve's blood to be spilled so he can unleash hell on earth and Xena agreed to that. When he came to the surface Xena fought him and won. The episode ends with Xena getting a visit from her mother's spirit but the end wasn't here. It wasn't even near because Xena has now become the queen of all evil. Great episode. Nice special effects. Rivetting battles and many spooks. I loved it !moreless
  • Xena returns home to Amphipolis to visit her mother with Gabrielle and Eve, only to find the place deserted, and haunted by some sinister powers. One of the best – not to mention scariest – episodes in quite a while...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This is the best episode of 'Xena' in quite a while. In fact, I'd rank it as a series classic.

    It has all the hallmarks of a Halloween episode, so it is odd that it wasn't the episode originally broadcast nearest to Halloween itself.

    Amphipolis, and Cyrene's tavern, seem to look different every time we see them! But that's just a niggle, and they aren't seen often enough for it to really stand out.

    There are some really scary moments in this episode, the most terrifying being Gabrielle's hands being attacked by the maggots, until they are eaten away and just bone remains.

    I couldn't quite make sense of Gabrielle being pulled though the stone down into the pit of zombies, but it made for an exciting scene none-the-less!

    When Gabrielle is possessed, Renée O'Connor gives a great performance, making everyone's favourite bard really creepy.

    I'm still not sure about Eve. Adrienne Wilkinson plays her well enough, but she seems to have gone from a supposedly heartless warrior into a not overly bright young woman. I don't know, maybe it was just me. She just doesn't seem to have the same depth of believability as Lucy Lawless as Xena or Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle.

    When Xena sees a supernatural flashback to the death of her brother, a nice continuity touch is that she is wearing her 'evil Xena' costume that she would have been wearing around that time.

    The story loses momentum slightly later on as the cause of the hauntings is explained, but is still a good tale. Mephistopheles is an interesting if slightly generic feeling villain. His makeup reminds me of Bacchus from the popular second season episode 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'.

    All-in-all, this is an exciting episode with some truly scary moments; I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to see the conclusion to the Mephistopheles plot.moreless
  • In the name of Eli, and all the powers of heaven, I command these evil spirits to be CAST OUT!

    This was an excellent episode in all respects, possibly one of the best Xena episodes ever! With an incredible plot, fantastic special effects, great sets, as well as fantastic acting, it is a standout episode.

    Xena has returned to Amphipolis, which looks nothing like it did last time we visited! The house itself sets a fantastic mood, it truly does feel like a haunted house. Xena, Gabrielle and Eve are all forced to endure a variety of creepy, quirky and downright scary experiences as Mephistophales, the King of Hell, tries to scare them into shedding Eve's blood and allowing him into the mortal world.

    The special effects during this episode were fantastic. The maggots in the food, and Gabrielle's terrifying experience with her hands, no to mention Gabrielle's possession by Mephistophales are gory and horrifying - not at all what we are used to in Xena.

    Gabrielle is a standout for the early part of this episode - she seems to suffer from most of the horror early on, and she handles it beautifully. Her possession is quite frightening and gives the whole episode a feeling of realism.

    Eve, on the other hand, does little for me. I am not an Eve fan in any sense, and even in this episode she seems to bring little to the overall plot and feel. Somehow I just don't buy her 'Messenger of Eli' role. However, to give her her due, I found her ability to 'cleanse' the people and things possessed by evil spirits very impressive, and unlike others, I never got tired of hearing her cast the spirits out! I liked the religious, battle-of-good-and-evil sort of feel that her ability and dialogue gave to the episode. At all other points though, she shows no spark or character, just a sort of terrified hopelessness.

    I liked how the episode tied up loose ends in regard to Amphipolis, and there was a nice moment at the end where Eve meets her grandmother, if only for a brief moment. This sweet moment counter-acted the emotional moment where Xena is exposed to her mother's murder at the stake. Watching Cyrene cry desperately for her daughter right at the end is heart-wrenching.

    Overall, everything about this episode works, and it leaves you with a fantastic cliffhanger: just what is Xena going to do now that she has inherited the throne of Hell?! That is an answer for another episode...moreless
  • The messengers + Poltergeist= an exciting episode!

    This episode is a series classic. Mephistopholese, the king of Hell sends spirits to Cyrene's tavern so the town burns her as a witch, trapping her in Heell! Xena, Gabriellle, and Eve enter the equation to put a stop to this madness. However when Gabrielle is possessed, they find out that Eve is the intended target. After a visit from Livia, Xena spills her own daughter's blood to resurrect Mephistopholese and (of course) defeats him, causing her to inherit the kingdom of Hell. This episode is one of my favorite episodes because of it's exceptional acting, horror movie genre and amazing special effects.moreless
Anthony Ray Parker

Anthony Ray Parker


Guest Star

Tamati Rice

Tamati Rice

Archangel Raphael

Guest Star

Steve Wright

Steve Wright

Villager #1

Guest Star

Adrienne Wilkinson

Adrienne Wilkinson


Recurring Role

Darien Takle

Darien Takle


Recurring Role

Charles Mesure

Charles Mesure

Archangel Michael

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Eve: Gabrielle, what's wrong?
      Gabrielle: The legend. Xena, you killed the King of Hell. What happens now?
      Xena: I don't know. I've got a feeling it's not over yet.

    • Mephistopheles: (after Xena brings him to Earth to kill him) Isn't this what you wanted? To face me on Earth-- and make me pay for all I've done to you?! Does the thought of taking my place on the throne of Hell suddenly not appeal to you?

    • Gabrielle: You cannot kill every demon from Hell!
      Xena: I only need to kill one. And he will never expect me to...
      Gabrielle: To what? To what?!
      Xena: To take his place. Mephistopheles said whoever kills the King of Hell must inherit the throne.

    • Eve: Grandmother?
      Xena: Did you see her, Eve?
      Eve: I felt her. I could feel her spirit. She's dead, Mother.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Originally this episode was set to be the season 6 opener, but was changed to "Coming Home", because of the amount of editing in "Motherhood" which ended up with too much material they really wanted to use left on the cutting room floor. "Coming Home" therefore was reworked for the season premier, leaving this episode as the second episode of season six.

    • The slime covering Renee from the Hell Pit was made out of KY Jelly, pureed asparagus, and vegemite. Lucy and Adrienne really were trying to help scrub her off in the shower, since the mixture smelled so bad!

    • DISCLAIMER: No maggots were harmed during the making of this motion picture, although a few were found stuck in Gabrielle's teeth.


    • Xena's father's name was Atrius, as we know from the episodes "Ties That Bind" and "The Furies". So why was Cyrene calling out "My Orestes!" when she was reliving killing him? Orestes was the name of the Furies' victim that Gabrielle met in "The Furies". He was guilty of killing his mother Queen Clytemnestra to avenge his father King Agamemnon, whom Clytemnestra killed. Cyrene is obviously connecting her own killing of Atrius to those other famous family murders. The story is best known from Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy.

    • The title (but not the plot) of this episode is an allusion to the classic horror film The Haunting of Hill House. Gabrielle's possession is reminiscent of The Exorcist, and various scenes in the story (maggots in the fruit, tearing off skin, trapped under the floor with dead bodies) were taken directly from Poltergeist.

    • Mephistopheles is the name given to one representation of Satan. It is also the name of the demon in the German legend of Faust.