The Creepy Creature of Vulture's Claw is the tenth episode of the third season of The Scooby-Doo Show, and the thirty-fourth episode overall in the series. This episode is the last to originally air reusing the opening of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in a sense making it the thirty-fifth episode of that series.
While visiting Vulture's Claw Botanical Gardens, owned by one of Velma's friends, Professor Greer, the gang confronts a seven-foot-tall praying mantis that roams the grounds and is scaring away Professor Greer's associates.
Late at night in Vulture's Claw Botanical Gardens, a postman knocks on the door of a mansion, delivering a package for Professor Greer, who does his studies at the garden. All of a sudden, a seven-foot tall praying mantis creature appears and attacks the postman, forcing him to speed off in his truck, terrified.
Meanwhile, the gang are going to visit Professor Greer at the botanical garden. They arrive at the front gate of Vulture's Claw Botanical Gardens and swerve to avoid hitting the fleeing postman. Concerned by the mailman's hasty departure, the gang investigates. They encounter an intimidating man who accuses the gang of trespassing. Velma tells the man that they are here as friends of Professor Greer. The man introduces himself as Harry Keeble, the caretaker of the gardens. He warns them to leave and to take Professor Greer with them, and warns them about something big and evil running loose in the gardens, and then makes a suspicious exit, leaving Velma concerned about the professor's safety.
The gang makes their way through the gardens looking for Professor Greer. Scooby and Shaggy wander off and have a run-in with the praying mantis creature. They flee and run into Fred and the girls, and tell them about the mantis. Professor Greer appears and confirms Shaggy and Scooby's sighting, that there is indeed a creature in the garden. Professor Greer takes the gang to his mansion and explains that the mantis creature has scaring everyone else away, and the only one left is Mr. Keeble.
Professor Greer shows them a laboratory he found hidden in his mansion, and also shows them a diary that states the mantis was created when whoever wrote the diary entry made a fatal mistake in an experiment. Velma makes a note that the entry about the mantis is the only entry in the diary. Professor Greer also tells the gang the mantis didn't start showing up until he started working there. Scooby manages to bring a suspicious man out of hiding, who has been eavesdropping. Professor Greer introduces the man as Clive Dickerman, a real estate agent who wants to buy the garden from Professor Greer, and Clive tries to bargain with Greer, but Greer refuses to sell the gardens. Dickerman threatens Greer and makes an ominous exit. Greer tells the gang it would be best if they leave in the morning before anything bad happens to them.
The gang has a meeting and Fred and the girls decide to explore the gardens to investigate. Scooby and Shaggy dislike that idea and decide to go to bed. Shaggy and Scooby then change their mind, realizing they will be all alone in the mansion, and as they are about to leave their room, the mantis appears and chases them. Meanwhile, Velma, Daphne and Fred have another look at the laboratory and the diary, and find that there is no indication whose diary it is. They find another eavesdropper, and discover Professor Greer's assistant, Eric Arby. He claims that he ran away when that mantis creature appeared, but then came back to help.
Scooby and Shaggy manage to escape the mantis and meet up with the rest of the gang. The mantis makes another entrance, and frightens Eric away. After reuniting, the,mantis kidnaps Daphne. Fred, Velma, Scooby and Shaggy wake up Professor Greer and ask for help in finding Daphne. Professor Greer agrees as soon as he changes. Fred, Velma, Scooby and Shaggy run out to the garden when they spot a moving light from the window, only to find it was Clive Dickerman snooping around the garden. Fred and Velma begin to question Dickerman, but he escapes into the garden.
The mantis then appears and chases the four. They manage to lose him, and then they find Daphne in an old cabin. They run into Mr. Keeble again, and he warns the gang once more before leaving. Upon returning to the mansion, the gang finds fresh footprints covered in oil inside. Professor Greer appears, and the mantis's silhouette appears outside the window. Professor Greer flees, leaving behind oily footprints, and then Velma figures it out.
They trap the mantis and the praying mantis is unmasked as Professor Greer. He set up the labrotory and the diary entry all as a ruse to trick the gang into believing the result of a bad experiment was roaming the garden. Another clue was the oily footprints the professor left behind, proving he had been outside disguised as the mantis. And the mantis outside the window was just a cut-out and the growls heard were just on tape. Professor Greer did it because he found oil on the property and wanted to scare everyone away so he could finalize the deal to buy the property. Oil on the land was why Dickerman wanted to buy the garden so badly.
Cast and characters
|Casey Kasem||Shaggy Rogers|
|Frank Welker|| Fred Jones|
|Heather North||Daphne Blake|
|Patricia Stevens||Velma Dinkley|
|Michael Bell|| Clive Dickerman|
- Mantis/Professor Greer
|Harry Keeble||He tried to warn the gang away, saying something big and evil was loose in the garden.|
|Clive Dickerman||He wanted to buy the Vulture's Claw property from Professor Greer, but he wouldn't sell.|
|Eric Arby||He was found prowling around in the basement.|
|Professor Greer as the Mantis||To get the property, which had oil.|
- This episode finally brings an end to the short-lived attempt to relaunch Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!; after this the remaining episodes of the TV season would air under the Scooby's All-Stars block. Despite this Warner Home Video still release all season three episodes of The Scooby-Doo Show under the Where Are You banner even though every episode of the season has the opening to the former.
Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities
- The explanation as to why Professor Greer was trying to scare everyone away doesn't really make sense as it is implied he already owns Vulture's Claw so the sale had already gone through.
- Crocodiles are generally found near bodies of water, not in basements.
- In one scene, the Mantis's lower body was missing briefly when the mailman saw him.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Third Season DVD set.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series DVD set.
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