October 11, 2014


(ABC, September 7-December 7, 1985)

Hanna-Barbera Productions

Casey Kasem – Norville “Shaggy” Rogers
Don Messick – Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo
Heather North Kenney – Daphne Blake
Vincent Price – Vincent Van Ghoul
Susan Blu – Flim Flam
Arte Johnson – Weerd
Howard Morris – Bogel, Platypus Duck

For the history of Scooby-Doo, check out the post here.

            Developed by Tom RueggerThe 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is the seventh incarnation of the Scooby-Doo franchise and became the first incarnation of the series where the Mystery, Inc. gang encountered supernatural entities exclusively. 

Scooby and Shaggy, unwitting pawns.

The story goes, as established in the show’s intro, that Scooby (Don Messick) and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) accidentally freed 13 of the most powerful ghosts on Earth from the Chest of Demons when they were tricked by ghosts Weerd (Artie Johnson) and Bogel (Howard Morris). As only they could return the ghosts to the chest, Scooby and Shaggy were sent by warlock Vincent Van Ghoul (Vincent Price) after them with Scrappy (Messick), Daphne (Heather North Kenney) and a young con artist named Flim Flam (Susan Blu). Van Ghoul was largely inspired by Marvel Comics’ sorcerer supreme, Dr. Strange, while also resembling Price himself. Van Ghoul rarely left his castle sanctuary and guided the team via contact through crystal balls. 

Weerd, Vincent Van Ghoul, Scooby, Shaggy, Scrappy, Flim Flam, Daphne and Bogel.

Original characters Velma Dinkley and Fred Jones were once again absent from the team in order to continue to put greater focus on the antics of Shaggy and Scooby. Daphne was retained from The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, however her clothing, while keeping her classic purple and pink color scheme, was updated to 80s-style fashions that would change between episodes; unusual for cartoon characters who typically wore the same outfit forever. Likewise, Shaggy’s look was updated by being given a red t-shirt and blue jeans instead of his usual green shirt and brown bell bottoms. This color scheme would continue on in Shaggy’s appearances in the made-for-TV movies Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987), Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988) and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988). The Mystery Machine was also replaced by a larger red RV as their main mode of transportation. Flim Flam was the product of focus group testing, being forced into the series in order to give children something they could relate to in the show. 

It's cheaper than using a phone.

The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo debuted on ABC on September 7, 1985. Along with Ruegger, the series was written by Gordon Bressack, Chuck Couch, Rich Fogel, Cynthia Friedlob, Evelyn Gabai, Jeff Holder, Charles M. Howell IV, Gelnn Leopold, John Ludin, Mark Seidenberg, John Semper, Jr. and Misty Stewart-Taggart with music by Hoyt Curtin. The series failed to catch on and was cancelled after a single season of 13 episodes. ABC would pull it from its schedule and replaced it with reruns of earlier Scooby series Laff-A-Lympics. Unfortunately, this meant that the series was only allowed to show the capture of 11 of the 13 ghosts, with two still at large by its conclusion.

A warlock watches at the gang approaches in "Scoobra Kadoobra."

            13 Ghosts signaled two endings. It was the final series in the original 1969 Scooby franchise to air on Saturday morning. After being de-aged for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, the next time the original Scooby gang would be seen again as teenagers wouldn’t be until 1997’s Johnny Bravo episode “Bravo Dooby Doo”, which teamed up the titular character with the Scooby gang to solve a mystery. This was also Scrappy-Doo’s final series appearance, although he was still featured in the movies immediately following the show’s production. He eventually resurfaced in CGI-form as the villain of the first live-action Scooby movie in 2002, voiced by Scott Innes.

The end of the line for Scrappy-Doo.

            Warner Bros. Home Video released the complete series to DVD in 2010, including a bonus episode from the series Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! It was re-released in 2013, distinguishable by the new green border around the cover image. In 2019, a direct-to-video movie, Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost, was released as a follow-up to the series with the entire Mystery, Inc. gang summoned by Van Ghoul (Maurice LaMarche, replacing the late Price) to finally capture the last ghost released from the chest (ignoring the missing 12th).

“To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before” (9/7/85) – Scooby and Shaggy are tricked into releasing the 13 ghosts from the chest by Bogel and Weerd.

“Scoobra Kadoobra” (9/14/85) – The gang chases after a ghost warlock in a haunted castle where a powerful artifact to stop him can be found.

“Me and My Shadow Demon” (9/21/85) – The gang encounter a convention of ghosts and the Shadow Demon after being lured to Befuddled Manor.

“Reflections in a Ghoulish Eye” (9/28/85) – While attending a Ghost Chaser convention in Morocco, the gang encounters the Reflector Spector, who can trap mortals in a mirror dimension.

“That’s Monstertainment” (10/5/85) – Zomba traps the gang in an old horror film in an attempt to steal the chest.

“Ship of Ghouls” (10/12/85) – Needing a vacation, the gang head out on a cruise where Bogel and Weerd plot to further shatter Scooby’s nerves.

“A Spooky Little Ghoul Like You” (10/19/85) – Vincent is placed under an enchantment by Nicara at a warlock convention.

“When You Witch Upon a Star” (10/26/85) – Powerful witch Marcella tasks the bumbling Ernestine, Wanda and Hilda to perform a spell that will free her.

“It’s A Wonderful Scoob” (11/2/85) – Scooby quits the gang and Vincent takes him into the future to show him what will happen if he doesn’t help them stop Time Slime.

“Scooby in Kwackyland” (11/9/85) – The gang and Demondo end up trapped in the newspaper comics and have to rely on the strips’ characters to help them escape.

“Coast-to-Ghost” (11/16/85) – Rankor tricks Vincent into turning himself into stone, forcing the gang to team-up with Bogel and Weerd to find the Mask of Moomma to save him.

“The Ghouliest Show on Earth” (11/23/85) – A demon circus comes to town and enchants the residents, including Scooby’s parents and Flim-Flam.

“Horror-Scope Scoob” (12/7/85) – The gang appears on a TV show where the demon Sibulu steals the chest.

Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2017.

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