Mystery Inc. is usually known for unmasking fake ghosts and monsters, but The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo: The Complete Series (1985-1986) goes in a different direction. First off, the Scooby gang only features Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, and Scrappy-Doo. Secondly, the Mystery Machine is a plane that’s designed differently from the original van.
The gang arrives in Tibet by accident one day and bumbling ghosts, Bogel and Weerd trick them into opening the legendary chest of demons. Inside the chest are 13 of the most evil ghosts in the world. Now Mystery Inc. has to find and recapture them all before they cause any real damage.
Assisting the team are new Mystery Inc. members, Flim-Flam a young magician/con-artist and Vincent Van Ghoul a warlock who is very knowledgeable about these monsters. Vincent Price voices the role of Vincent Van Ghoul, which is appropriate since he is a classic horror icon.
One by one, the Scooby gang encounters the ghosts and use all of their wits to get them back into the chest. Bogel and Weerd also help out the evil spirits as bumbling henchmen, but they never get caught even after their “boss” does.
Scooby and Shaggy are well known for using disguises to comedically outwit the ghosts, but this time Daphne actually goes along with it as well as Scrappy and Flim-Flam. She never has before. Isn’t that peculiar?
Although the series only lasted 13 episodes, it was very consistent when it came to completing the long-term goal, unlike some shows that drag it out and end up cancelled without closure. Then again, there were supposed to be a total of 13 ghosts to recapture and I only counted 11. (Twelve, if you include the creature that came out of the chest in the episode Ship of Ghouls.)
This was a good Scooby-Doo series that’s both funny and adventurous. Mystery Inc. has never faced so many evil spirits before, so where were Fred and Velma during all this?