Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost is the second in a series of direct-to-video animated films based upon Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo cartoons. It was released on October 5, 1999, and it was produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
The Mystery, Inc. gang, which includes Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma, travel to a New England town called Oakhaven after being invited by horror writer Ben Ravencroft. Like a number of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo animated films released in the late-1990s and early-2000s, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost features real ghosts instead of simple bad guys in masks, giving the film a darker tone.
Ben Ravencroft, a famous horror writer who Velma is a big fan of, assists the Mystery, Inc. gang in solving a case at a museum. Ben invites them to his hometown, Oakhaven in New England. When they arrive, they find the town converted into a tourist attraction by Mayor Corey, complete with 17th-century replicas and attractions based on the alleged ghost of Sarah Ravencroft, an ancestor of Ben’s who was persecuted as a witch by the town in 1657. Ben disputes this, claiming Sarah to be a Wiccan who used natural herbs to heal people and had a diary that could prove her innocence.
Scooby and Shaggy are chased by a witch and run into Ben and the gang. They find broken tree branches at the scene and are drawn to an all-female goth rock band, “Hex Girls”, lead by Sally “Thorn” McKnight. The gang then decides to split up; Fred and Daphne stay to watch the Hex Girls, Velma and Ben go explore an old barn and Shaggy and Scooby follow the Mayor. Fred and Daphne see Thorn doing some sort of ritual and are convinced the Hex Girls are witches…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“Funny at times with plenty of suspenseful scenes, this edition to the Scooby collection is fine for kids who are comfortable with real versus imaginary violence.” Common Sense Media
” …it doesn’t have the punch of last year’s Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island — but it’s still scarier than The Blair Witch Project.” Entertainment Weekly
“So… just in case you didn’t know, Wicca wasn’t invented until the ’60s. Just wanna throw that out there. The women who were killed in the Salem Witch Trials were not Wiccan, they were just persecuted innocents. Also, it’s just a f*cking hippie religion, not a goddamn magic cult.” Films in Boxes
“This is the most quintessential Scooby-Doo movie, yet, and it contains the best and most memorable tropes of the series […] The whole Mystery gang’s here, and, though it’s not the most comical installment, it has several references to horror literature for adults to geek out about.” Tales of Terror