With perhaps one of the most spooktacular openings in the series, we get an exterior shot of a haunted mansion. A glowing light is emitting from the window and the camera zooms toward the light to reveal a pasty hand holding a candle. As the hand moves, we see that it is attached to a headless spectre.
The camera cuts to the gang, who are driving in the Mystery Machine on their way to a rock festival. With it being 1970, I’m quite jealous! Perhaps they saw Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Stones, or my personal fave, Alice Cooper!
The Headless Spectre! Gulp!
Fred, who is driving, is not exactly sure of their exact location. So he stops the van in order to get a better look at a fallen road sign. The sign is unreadable, however Ezia Shanks, a local carrying a lantern down the road, stops to give them directions. Freddy asks Mr. Shanks where Interstate #5 is and Shanks informs him to go straight ahead until he comes to the fork. The left fork is the long way, the right is the short. Mr. Shanks then informs the gang to go the long way as the short way takes you past the HAUNTED MANSION, home of the HEADLESS SPECTRE!!!
When asked about the Headless Spectre, Mr. Shanks informs the gang that “Ain’t no one ever met the Headless Spectre and lived to tell about it.” Then Shanks blows out his lantern and disappears. Freddy and the gang get in the car and when they come to the fork, Freddy asks them which way they want to take. Velma and Daphne want to take the short way, but Scooby and Shaggy want to take the long way so they don’t have to drive past the creepy haunted mansion. Stuck with a tie, Shaggy suggests they flip a piece of bologna for the decision — the side with mustard being heads and the plain side being tails. Scooby, however, eats the bologna before a decision can be reached. With no other pieces of bologna around to flip, Freddy decides to take the short way as they are running low on gasoline.
Stranded in Spooksville
Right when they reach the Haunted Mansion, the car overheats and Freddy sends Scooby and Shaggy to a well in order to get a pail of water. At the well, they hear a moaning sound and a ghost rises out of the well, chasing them to the Mystery Machine. The whole gang then goes to the well and Velma tells Shaggy that he saw a “Scooby Ghost.” She also informs him that “The non-material embodiment or essence or organism that is seen as a spectre, wraith or apparition has been scientifically proven to be a sheer myth. In other words, there is no such thing as a ghost!” Shaggy wonders if the ghosts know that.
With no bucket in the well, the gang are unable to get any water. Spotting a light in the house they decide to go in and ask whoever is in there for a pail.
The Mystery Begins
As soon as they walk in the house, the door slams behind them and they realize that they are not alone. The light they just saw from the house turns out to be a lit candle, which starts to float and chases them into a room. In the room Scooby and Shaggy see a painted picture of Jefferson Stillwall, which seems to be pointing at something. When they look to see what he is pointing at, his head disappears, and then reappears when they get Freddy to look at it. In the room they hear some strange knocking noises so they decide to follow the sound.
The spooky sound seems to be coming from a room and when they enter it, they find CLUE #1, a box. Scooby opens the box and sees the head of Jefferson Stillwall, before he can be told that it is just a wooden dummy head, Scooby faints, and Shaggy has to give him two Scooby snacks to revive him.
They then spot CLUE #2, footprints which lead down the hallway. However, one footprint goes towards a door, and the other footprint goes down the hallway. Freddy decides to split up and he and Daphne go down the hall. Shaggy, Velma and Scooby go in the door.
Behind the door, the room is so dark that Shaggy comments that he feels like he was dunked in ink and left in a coal mine. He also comments on Velma’s cold, clammy hands. Velma thinks his hands feel like a dead fish. When they walk out of the room, Shaggy and Velma are both holding the hands of the Headless Spectre.
Musical Interlude – Love the World
The episode cuts to a chase scene with the song “Love the World” playing in the background. When the chase scene ends, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby end up in a well. Shaggy leans against the well wall and reveals a secret tunnel. As they go through the tunnel, Daphne and Fred find CLUE #3 an old book which turns out to be a Diary. The last entry was written on July 12, 1822 and it reads “Marching men in single file hide the secret. Stillwall shows the way.” They then hear the thumping noises again and decide to leave the room.
As they exit, Freddy trips over a rug to reveal a secret passage, they decide to carefully go down it, but Daphne ends up falling and they end up in a fruit cellar where they bump into Velma, Shag and Scoob. Down there they find CLUE #4, some rubber balloons and helium gas. There Freddy figures out the balloons were used to make the ghost float that Shaggy and Scooby saw earlier at the well. Velma then reads the diary and figures out the Men marching in single file means a column. So they go back to the picture to see what column Stillwall was pointing at.
The picture appears to be pointing out a window at a greenhouse, so Shaggy and Scooby go down to investigate. There they run into a fly trap which they feed a Scooby Snack. The trap is hungry for more and snaps at the two who run right into the Headless Specter. The two then run to the fruit cellar, and grab some balloons to sail out of the well. Floating on another balloon, the Headless Specter flies right towards them. Scooby punctures his balloon on a weather vein and as it deflates he crashes into Shaggy and the Specter and all three of them crash into a chicken coop.
“Oh my ache’n head“, Henrod Stillwall says as his head pops out of the Headless Specter costume. Turns out Henrod is the Great, Great, Great, Great Grandson of Jefferson Stillwall. The headless picture and floating candle were gags to scare intruders away so he could peacefully search for the hidden treasure that rightfully belonged to him. So the gang decide to help him find the treasure, and Freddy comes up with a plan. But first they have to investigate the knocking noises they hear in the mansion.
I Would Have Found It If It Wasn’t For You Snoopers
Walking into a room to investigate the noise, they spot a man with an axe, and a sheet over his head chopping at a column. Surprising the phony phantom, they get him to chase Shaggy and Freddy, whilst Velma and Daphne wait outside of the room to trip him with a rope.
he runs right into a column which traps him and the gang removes the sheet revealing Ezia Shanks. Inside the column is a carpet bag full of the lost treasure. Mr. Shanks replies that “I would have found it if it wasn’t for you snoopers.” And Velma ties up the loose ends of that they would have found the treasure first if somebody did not move the original painting as it should have been pointing at this column.