Haunted House Hang-Up

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Haunted House Hang-Up
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Premiere date: October 10, 1970
Music composed by: Ted Nichols
Directors: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
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"Haunted House Hang-Up" is the fifth episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! season two, and the twenty-second overall. It aired on October 10, 1970 on CBS. It was produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the founders of Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Scooby and the crew investigate an old mansion with a headless specter on the loose.

Detailed summary

A headless figure, holding a candlestick, roams a seemingly abandoned, spooky old mansion.

Fred, Daphne, Velma, Scooby, and Shaggy cruise down a wooded back-road towards a rock festival when they pull up to a farmer on the road who says his name is Asa Shanks. He informs them there is a fork in the road and that they should take the long way because the short way leads past the mansion, haunted by a headless specter. To Scooby and Shaggy's horror, it's decided they go the short route because they're low on gas. The van then overheats and Shaggy and Scooby go look for water in an old well by the mansion. But a white-sheet "ghost" floats up out of the well and the gang doubts Shaggy and Scooby's story. Realizing there is no bucket in the well, the gang heads inside the mansion after seeing a light. Entering, they are chased away by a floating candle. Then the gang finds a small parlor with a painting of a man named Jefferson Stillwall pointing to something. The head goes missing from the painting, only seen by Shaggy and Scooby and again, the gang doubts them. They hear a knocking noise and they follow it to a room with an empty box with a wooden head inside (which causes Scooby to pass out in terror). The curious clan follows footprints and end up splitting up to follow different footprints. Velma, Scooby, and Shaggy stumble into a dark room and find the Headless Specter! In a colorful chase, the specter tries catching the three until they crash through a window and fall down into the well, finding a hidden passage.

Fred and Daphne find a bedroom with an old diary with an entry stating "July 12, 1822. Marching men in single file hide the secret. Stillwall shows the way". Then, they find a trapdoor that leads to a fruit cellar. The passage found by Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby leads to the fruit cellar and the gang reunites. In the cellar, they find canisters of helium and a jar of balloons. They deduce the ghost in the well was just a sheet covered over a helium-filled balloon. Velma concludes that the diary refers to a line of columns and the painting of Stillwall in the parlor must be pointing to a specific column. But the painting points to an old greenhouse. Shaggy and Scoob enter the greenhouse and find the specter. Pursued, they run into the well and fly up on the balloons. Shaggy, Scooby, and the specter crash into the hen-house, and the Headless Specter is unmasked as Penrod Stillwall, the descendant of Jefferson Stillwall. He made up the specter to scare people away so he could search for the treasure, which is rightfully his since he's a descendant of Jefferson Stillwall. The gang assures Mr. Stillwall that none of them want his ancestor's treasure and even offers to help him look for it.

The gang and Mr. Stillwall hear the thumping noises coming from the attic again--Mr. Stillwall admits that he thought the gang was the one making all the noises while they thought he was the one doing it. Fred and Shaggy go up into the attic to see a man wearing a sheet over himself, chopping the walls of the attic with an ax. The man spots them and gives chase, but Shaggy and Fred lead the chase outside, where Daphne and Velma are waiting with a tripwire. They trip up the sheeted-figure, who crashes into a column, making it collapse. The sheeted figure is revealed as Asa Shanks, Penrod's neighbor, who was also looking for the treasure. Scooby reveals the treasure from inside the column: a carpetbag stashed with hundreds of thousands of dollar bills. Penrod is overjoyed by the discovery and wants to know how he can thank the kids, with Shaggy simply asking where the nearest pizza parlor is.

As the gang continues on towards the music festival, they discuss the direction of the painting and figure it must've been moved. Scooby then rapidly plays on his drum, tangling his arms.

Memorable quotes

Daphne: One Dog Night and Credence Shaggy are really rockin' tonight.


Fred: I wish I could find some kind of groovy road sign that would tell us where we are.
Velma: There's some kind of a sign.
Shaggy: Hope it doesn't turn out to be an ad for shaving cream.


Daphne: I wonder what it says.
Shaggy: It says 24,000 miles to China, that-a-way.


Shaggy: Let's flip a slice of baloney to decide.
Daphne: What?
Shaggy: Heads we go to the right, and I eat it. Tails we go to the left and I eat it.
Velma: How can you have Heads and Tails on a slice of baloney
Shaggy: Heads is the mustard side, tails is plain.
Velma: Of all the ridiculous... Oh, all right.


Daphne: Wow, is this car overheating.
Shaggy: And, like, I thought we had ourselves a built-in steam room.


Daphne: Look, guys. There's a light in that old haunted mansion.
Shaggy: Then that's our cue to light out of here!
Scooby: And how!
Fred: Now just hold it a minute you two.
Shaggy: It's probably the Headless Specter.
Scooby: Or a ghost!
Velma: Like your ghost in the well, Scooby?


Shaggy: I've seen guys do the splits, but this is ridiculous.


Shaggy: I feel like I've been dipped in ink and let loose in a coal mine.


Shaggy: Help! I'm drowning, call the coastguard!
Velma: Stand up, the water's only knee deep.


Shaggy: My stomach's emptier than a piggybank on a day after Christmas.


Asa: And I've found it if it wasn't for you snoopers!

Characters

Legend
Character debut Speaking debut Ep. debut No lines Mentioned

In order of appearance:

Character Actor
Headless Specter Hal Smith
Daphne Blake Heather North
Velma Dinkley Nicole Jaffe
Fred Jones Frank Welker
Scooby-Doo Don Messick
Shaggy Rogers Casey Kasem
Asa Shanks Hal Smith
Well ghost Hal Smith
Asa Shanks Hal Smith
Jefferson Stillwall (picture) N/A
Penrod Stillwall Casey Kasem
Phony phantom Hal Smith


Organizations

Locations

Objects

Vehicles

Production

Development

Credited writers are Larz Bourne, Tom Degenais, and Bill Lutz, while Joe Ruby and Ken Spears story edited.[1]

Filming

Music

The theme song's lyrics were written by David Mook, while Ben Raleigh wrote the music, which was performed by George A. Robertson, Jr. The score was composed by Ted Nichols, who was credited as the musical director.

Songs

The song below was produced by La La Productions.

Behind the scenes

  • Shaggy's disapproval of shaving cream ads may result from negative remarks on his goatee.
  • This is the first instance in the franchise where the main ghost (the Headless Specter) was not the actual villain, trying to scare people away to cover up some kind of criminal/illegal activity.
  • In this episode, colored screens are used as transitions as opposed to the regular fade to black, which is only used for the commercial breaks.
  • This episode could be inspired by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's original pitch for the show which was a group of kids who were in a band and would solve mysteries in-between gigs, often getting lost along the way. In this episode, the gang is going to the Rock Music Festival, where it looks like Shaggy and Scooby are going to play.

Errors

  • Velma stands firm with Shaggy that "there's no such thing as a ghost" back at the well, but she had already seen plenty of "ghosts" before then and seemed to believe their existence at first.
  • How could Penrod see if his head was inside his shirt?
  • If Penrod did own the mansion, he couldn't possibly live there, given its old dilapidated Georgian architecture. The greenhouse is also broken down, yet it looks as if the plants have been cared for.
  • The Mystery Machine's engine is shown at the back of the van instead of the front, meaning that there are no rear doors.
  • Even if it was daylight savings, the gang still takes half the night to solve the mystery, and then once it's solved it's not the festival they're heading for, but a pizza parlor.
  • It's easy to imagine that Penrod told the story of the Headless Specter to be more menacing, but he apparently didn't tell anyone how Jefferson came to lose his head.
  • Penrod doesn't mention making the balloon look like a ghost, but presumably, he did that, too.
  • The holes in the balloon should not hide the balloon. Also, when Fred's holding the sheet, there's no visible eye or mouth holes.
  • Scooby, Shaggy, and Velma likely would've not survived the fall down into the well. They aren't hurt in the slightest.
  • When Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby fall into the well, Velma says the water is only knee-deep. In fact, it's only ankle-deep.
  • Fred says that the "last entry" was July 12, 1822, which appeared to be in the middle of the book, and turns the page on to that entry as he says it. He couldn't be certain that was the last entry without checking the next page.
  • When Velma reads aloud the diary entry, she says "Marching men in single file could a column..." at an uninterrupted pace. This was supposed to be a partial reading and a deduction of what this diary segment meant, but the absence of a proper transition and omission of a second verb convey this entire line as a recitation of the diary.
  • Shaggy is still able to enunciate, even with a balloon in his mouth.
  • With no head, the Headless Specter shouldn't be able to make a sound, although as a ghost (or at least as a pretend one) he could have the power to make a sound.
  • Whether he's standing or kneeling (most likely the former), the way the Headless Specter is positioned at the bottom of the chimney, there would've had to be a removable panel on the floor.
  • Presumably the portrait was done in conjunction with the diary clue, but it isn't made clear.
  • If Shaggy had been smarter and not goofing around he wouldn't have almost got eaten, to begin with.
  • Even if Penrod was just trying to scare people away, it didn't stop him from jumping on top of Scooby, Shaggy, and Velma, who he thought was hiding under a bed unless he knew there were just pillows underneath the sheet. He also tried to knock Shaggy off his balloon.
  • Asa looks like he's chopping inside a barn instead of a mansion.
  • Asa was clearly wearing a bed sheet or table cover, etc., and yet he still frightens Fred and Shaggy. What probably made it more frightening was that he was holding an ax (although he wasn't holding it when he chased them).
  • Asa tells the gang about the Headless Specter, saying that nobody has seen the Specter and lived; either Asa made it up on his own, or he saw Penrod's Specter and was frightened off, thus contradicting his statement, or he saw the Specter and wasn't scared away.
  • Asa bothered to tell the gang about the Headless Specter, but for some reason, he didn't think about making his disguise headless.
  • Clearly minutes have passed between the time it took the gang to catch Penrod and Asa, yet the former managed to change into a sweater by the time of the latter's capture. Either this is an animation mistake or he was wearing one underneath his costume.
  • There isn't a sheriff to arrest Asa in this episode, he's simply left in the care of Penrod. Presumably, he called the sheriff after the gang had left.
  • When Shaggy, Velma, and Scooby hold hands with the Headless Specter, how would they know that his hands feel cold and clammy, or "like a couple of fish right out of the lake", especially when he's wearing gloves?
  • A stone pillar on top of a person would kill them.

Everlasting influence

Critical reception

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Greek Το Ακέφαλο Φάντασμα The Headless Ghost
Hungarian A kísértetkastély képe The painting of the haunted house

Home availability

References

  1. ^ Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. Scooby Addicts. Retrieved April 15, 2020.