What the Hex Going On?

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What the Hex Going On?
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Premiere date: October 11, 1969
Directors: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
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"What the Hex Going On?" is the sixth episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! season one. It aired on October 18, 1969 on CBS. It was produced and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the co-founders of Hanna-Barbera Productions.

The gang visits their friend, Sharon Wetherby, at her estate, where the family has been cursed by the ghost of Elias Kingston, who wants her family's fortune.

Detailed summary

A ghostly voice calls out from a spooky mansion, beckoning to a man walking in a trance. On their way to visit their friend Sharon Wetherby, the Mystery Inc. gang see this odd sight. When they arrive at the Wetherby's, they learn that Sharon's Uncle Stuart is missing, and they deduce that he was the man they saw going into the deserted Kingston mansion. Investigating, the gang find Uncle Stuart, but he has been transformed into an old man. He tells them that he was called out of the Wetherby house by the ghost of Elias Kingston, who demanded that the Wetherby fortune be surrendered to him, otherwise, he would put an old-age hex on the family; he turned Uncle Stuart into an old man as a warning.

While Mr. Wetherby goes to speak to the sheriff, the gang stay behind with Sharon and her enfeebled uncle. The voice calls again, and Stuart walks out in another trance. When Scooby wakes the gang, they find that not only is Stuart gone, but Sharon is missing also. They go to the Kingston mansion to investigate. Their first clue is a watchdog that has been left to guard the mansion: what does a ghost need with a watchdog? Then they find the mummified bones of Uncle Stuart, who apparently had another run-in with the ghost. Finally, Elias Kingston himself appears and repeats his threat to the kids. They watch as he disappears into the Kingston family mausoleum in the cemetery next door and follows, noting that this supposed ghost has left behind fingerprints on the doorknob to the crypt. Inside they find a book on crystalomacy, but are trapped when the ghost locks them inside. They find a secret entrance out of the crypt and follow up on the crystalomacy book by going into town to consult a swami. The swami is out, and Scooby winds up impersonating the swami when a customer unexpectedly enters. After the customer leaves, the face of Kingston appears in the crystal ball and the table levitates, chasing them about the room. It crashes, revealing a fan-like motor beneath, and more clues quickly reveal themselves: packed suitcases, a professional make-up kit, and a closed-circuit TV camera, suitable for broadcasting images onto the crystal ball.

Back at the Kingston mansion, the gang lays a trap for the ghost. Shaggy and Scooby lure him out with a chest that is supposedly holding the fortune, which, instead of the Wetherby fortune, contains a water-squirting jack-in-the-box. They then use footage of the ghost himself with the special camera to frighten him into a trap.

Back at the Wetherby estate, the ghost is unmasked as Uncle Stuart. It turns out that he was greedy and wanted the family fortune all to himself, so he decided to disguise himself as the ghost of Elias Kingston in order to trick the family into giving it to him, and used make-up to make himself look older. When Stuart is asked why he conspired against them, Sharon and Mr. Wetherby decide to let him explain his purpose to the sheriff as the group celebrates with dinner.

Memorable quotes

Velma: Hey, look! Suitcases!
Daphne: Maybe somebody just moved in.
Shaggy: Then let's move out.

Characters

Legend
Character debut Speaking debut Ep. debut No lines Mentioned

In order of appearance:

Character Actor
Stuart Wetherby John Stephenson
Fred Jones Frank Welker
Velma Dinkley Nicole Jaffe
Daphne Blake Stefanianna Christopherson
Shaggy Rogers Casey Kasem
Scooby-Doo Don Messick
Sharon Wetherby Stefanianna Christopherson
Mr. Wetherby Don Messick
Ghost of Elias Kingston John Stephenson
Bulldog Don Messick
Crystal Nerdlinger
Swami customer Jean Vander Pyl


Organizations

Locations

Objects

Vehicles

Production

Development

Joe Ruby and Ken Spears either wrote or story edited, as they were unable to remember what they specifically did past the fifth episode.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • Before using the fingerprinting kit which was supposed to be for the mausoleum doorknob (but ends up being Velma's hand due to confusion), Shaggy says he'll give it the "old Sherlock Holmes touch."

Errors

  • As the gang drive to the Wetherby Estate, and Velma comments on how nice it is to be invited, Daphne has white sclera.
  • When Scooby laughs after Shaggy uses the fingerprinting kit on Velma's hand instead of the doorknob of the Kingston Mausoleum, the door itself is missing.
  • In the establishing wide shot of the Mystery Machine driving to the swami shop, Shaggy is holding a map.
  • After the levitating table crashes, the gang finds packed suitcases. Velma's mouth moves to the words "Maybe somebody must moved in," but it's Daphne's voice coming from Velma's mouth instead.
  • When Uncle Stuart is unmasked, Daphne says "And by a clever use of make-up, he made himself look old," but Velma's mouth moves to those words.
  • When the levitating table chases the gang, Velma says two of her lines: "It's after us," and "I've heard of flying saucers, but this is silly." The lens for her glasses is missing.
  • Whilst this episode refers to the practice of crystal-gazing as crystalomacy, the actual term is crystallomancy.
  • Much of the action takes place in either the Wetherby Estate, or the Kingston Mansion. Unfortunately, the backgrounds for the two are sometimes mixed up, unless the Wetherby Estate is really full of cobwebs.
  • The clock in the background is set at 8:00 throughout the episode.
  • The lights are on in the Kingston Mansion, even when Stuart is not in there.
  • Daphne says Uncle Stuart is going into the mansion when he walks right past the front door.
  • Why would Shaggy use roller skates inside the Kingston Mansion anyway? Even if the ghost would never catch him, it could still make enough noise to alert him as well as wake up the watchdog.
  • Shaggy said that Uncle Stuart was wearing a blue suit, red tie, and tennis shoes. He was actually wearing a brown suit, black tie, and dress shoes.
  • For some reason, the skeleton is not wearing Uncle Stuart's glasses.
  • The ghost threatens the gang and walks away. Curiously, they don't even try to follow him. 
  • There must have been quite a few intruders and snoopers before the gang showed up for Uncle Stuart/Ghost of Elias Kingston to hire a watchdog to look after the mansion. It's also unknown of its fate after the episode. It's most likely the Wetherbys adopted the dog, or they and/or the sheriff took it back to the dog shelter.
  • The fact that Velma brings the fingerprinting kit out of nowhere is likely toon physics. Also, using one looks quite professional of them, but the fact that they only use it this one time when they could've used it at any time would've been useful (which is most of the time), it just looks too convenient. Although perhaps using only once was intentional as it probably would be less fun to keep relying on it even if it does look odd only using it once.
  • When the Ghost of Elias Kingston walked into the mausoleum it was actually already open so it would've been more obvious to do that, although perhaps they were assuming he would've opened and closed before. Of course, they would also have to assume he'd be the only one to touch it (which would probably be justified by it looking like it had been abandoned).
  • Fred tells Shaggy for whatever reason to use the kit, instead of doing it himself or just asking Velma to use her own kit. He is considered leader after all.
  • Once they get the ghost's fingerprints, they could've tried matching it with suspects to learn his identity, although this would've taken more time than they had. But then again Stuart expects to get the entire family fortune on the spot.
  • While trapped in the mausoleum, Daphne passes a window with bars that only go partway up. It certainly looks like they could squeeze through there.
  • Just how far is it from the Wetherby Estate to the Kingston Mansion? Stuart travels the distance on foot while the gang travels it using the Mystery Machine.
  • It is shown that Uncle Stuart wore make-up to disguise himself as the ghost, somehow hiding his glasses and beard, which should've been at least partially visible.
  • How does Sharon end up on the top deck suddenly, after being tightly tied up and gagged? Does the ghost let her go or something? It is likely that the gang found and rescued her off-screen.
  • Although Sharon admits that she saw Uncle Stuart's wig blow off, she is still shocked when the gang unmasks the ghost.
  • The camera used in the trap is supposed to be a closed-circuit TV camera, but Fred uses it as a projector.

Everlasting influence

This episode has been adapted several times in the following decades:

Critical reception

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
French La Maison hantée The Haunted house
Greek Τι στο Καλό Συμβαίνει; What the Heck is Happening?
Hungarian Mi a csuda folyik itt? What on earth is going on?
Italian Che stregoneria è questa? What sorcery is this?

Home availability

References

  1. Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. Scooby Addicts.