Scooby Doo: The Headless Horseman of Halloween

Scooby Doo fell on hard times after, say, the first season. Plots got sillier, and, well, do I even have to mention Scrappy?

Still, the 70's incarnation had some good episodes - including the headless horseman episode, which even the short-lived, widely-ignored Scooby Dumb couldn't bring down.

The gang starts off at a party thrown by some the great great granddaughter of Ichabod Crane (whose family must wait until old age to start having kids; I suspect she left out a "great" or two), held at Crane Manor in Sleepy Hollow. The party falls into chaos when a headless horseman shows up. Where headless horsemen show up, chaos pretty generally follows.

The gang, of course, goes after him. After searching around for clues and dealing a better-than-average gang of drawing room mystery characters, they end up trying to break into the grave of the headless horseman to see if he's still there.

Now, let me repeat that. They end up TRYING TO BREAK INTO THE GRAVE of the Headless Horseman.

Now, look, I don't buy into the tired old "scooby and shaggy were potheads" jokes (scooby has the munchies because he's a dog, and Shaggy is always hungry because he never gets to eat - Scooby always gulps Shaggy's food down before he has a chance), but, seriously, these guys break a LOT of laws in this show. They break into houses, mausoleums, and scads of other places where they surely aren't welcome. I can usually take it in stride when they break into an old house, but trying to pry open a grave with what appears to be a tire iron is where I draw the line. Bad form, Freddie. Bad form. You could at least TRY to get a permit.

Or buy a copy of The Smart Aleck’s Guide to Grave Robbing.

While I'm on the topic, let me vent about another thing you hear a lot - people often wonder out loud (or on blogs) where it is they're going in that van. Are they following the Dead? Hauling drugs across the border? The fact is, they ALWAYS say where they're going. Usually it's either to visit an old friend or to see a rock music festival. It's true, though, that Fred and Daphne, in particular, seem to be remarkably well-connected. They know celebrities and big-shots in every rinky-dink town in the nation, as well as the better part of the U.K.

ANYWAY - this is a pretty cool Sleepy Hollow variation, and one of the best 1970s episodes of Scooby Doo. And while the monster or ghost may turn out to be some smuggler or realtor in a mask, as usual, the show is not without genuine supernatural overtones: surely there's no logical explanation for the fact that the Mystery Machine still runs. It does break down in plenty of episodes, but it's always back on the road in 22 minutes. The laugh track is kinda otherworldly, too.





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