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The Harum-Scarum Sanitarium

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The Harum-Scarum Sanitarium
Drcoffin
The Scooby-Doo Show
Details
Air date October 23, 1976
Cronology
Previous episode Scared a Lot in Camelot
Next episode The No-Face Zombie Chase Case

The Harum-Scarum Sanitarium is the seventh episode of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, later repackaged as the seventh episode of the first season of The Scooby-Doo Show.

Premise

On vacation in Niagara Falls, the gang ends up at a mental asylum haunted by a former doctor ghost, Dr. Coffin. When the kids notice ambulances coming and going with no patients, they decide to find out what they are really carrying.

Synopsis

Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma are driving down a dark road on a stormy night, on the way back from Niagara Falls. Soon, they realize they are lost. They run into a Canadian border patrol officer, Officer Oldfield, who warns them to not drive past the sanitarium, which is rumored to be haunted by the Ghost of Dr. Coffin. The gang contiues to drive, but thanks to the sign being struck by lighting and it pointing the wrong way, they take the wrong road-towards the haunted sanitarium. They follow an ambulance all the way to the Shady Sanitarium. There, they witness paramedics carrying a patient inside, and Velma thinks that it's strange that they're doing this in a storm and at night. They get out of the van and are chased by guard dogs. But moments later the dogs just wander off like puppies. The man inside the sanitarium, Dr. Tooksbury invites them in to dinner. He claims that the dogs can be tamed by different kinds of music, that's why they wandered off.

Dr. Tooksbury tells the gang that he was Dr. Coffin's assistant and that his patients keep disappearing. Mystery Inc. decides to spend the night. Fred, Shaggy and Scooby in one room, and Velma and Daphne in another. The boys see Dr. Coffin outside their window and Scooby finds a secret passage into a room containing a giant mirror. Shaggy hits a switch and the roof slides openb, revealing the moon which shines down and reflects off the mirror. It is a solar furnace, and Fred doesn't know why it is in the sanitarium. Dr. Coffin appears again in the mirror and Fred, Shaggy and Scooby flee. Velma and Daphne witness paramedics carrying another patient into the hospital. The patient does not look like he's alive anymore.

The whole gang follows the ambulance as it drives away-right to a deep chasm. The ambulanxe has vanished-all of a sudden, Dr. Coffin appears on a cliff and laughs maniacally and then disappears. They decide to get some sleep and try to solve it in the morning. Back at the sanitarium-in the middle of the night-the mad doctor begins playing the organ putting Scooby in a trance. The gang wakes up and goes to the organ room, where they wake Scooby up and get chased by the guard dogs-right into a room full of wigs, which is their second clue. The gang splits up to look for clues, and Shaggy and Scooby find the mad doctor's labratory. Dr. Coffin appears and chases them around the sanitarium. Fred, Daphne and Velma find the morgue, where they discover the "patients" they have been seeing are just piles of gold bars on a gurney with wigs poking out from under the sheet to make it appear to be people. The paramedics have been smuggling gold out in and out from the sanitarium.


Then, Scooby and Shaggy run in with Dr. Coffin behind him. They hide under a blanket on a gurney and Dr. Coffin and his two henchmen take Scooby and Shaggy and load them on the ambulance and drive away! Fred, Daphne and Velma follow the ambulance to a mine full with gold and a machine that wraps the gold in bread wrappers. Scooby and Shaggy escape and are chased in rail cars, but Dr. Coffin and his henchmen fall into the machine and get wrapped up. Dr. Coffin is unmasked as.. Officer Oldfield! The border patrol officer. The man posing as Officer Oldfield was the ringleader of a gold smuggling operation. He used the ghost of Dr. Coffin and the guard dogs to scare people away. They put human-shaped casts of gold on gurneys with the wigs and loaded them on ambulances to drive the gold across the border, and the authorities would think they were just patients. Then they would mold the gold into bars with the solar furnace and smuggle it across the border into the U.S. The gold smugglers were arrested soon after.

Cast and characters

Actor Character
Don Messick Scooby-Doo
Casey Kasem Shaggy Rogers
Dr. Coffin's henchman
Frank Welker Fred Jones
Ghost of Dr. Coffin
Cuddles and Schoonkums
Heather North Daphne Blake
Patricia Stevens Velma Dinkley
John Stephenson Dr. Tooksbury
Sheriff
Alan Oppenheimer Officer Oldfield
Non-speaking roles
Dr. Coffin's other henchman
Worm

Villains

  • Ghost of Dr. Coffin/Officer Oldfield

Suspects

Suspect Motive/reason
Officer Oldfield He warned the gang not to drive to the sanitarium.
Dr. Tooksbury His strange manner made him suspicious.

Culprits

Culprit Motive/reason
Officer Oldfield as the Ghost of Dr. Coffin Pretended to be a Canadian border patrol officer and the ghost of Dr. Coffin to warn and scare people away, respectively, from the sanitarium he was temporary storing gold in.

Locations

Notes/trivia

  • In real-life Niagara Falls is surrounded by two cities on both the Canadian, and the American side both named Niagara Falls.
  • A sanitarium (sanatorium) was a medical facility for long-term illness (such as tuberculosis before antibiotics). The word was also used as a socially-acceptable term for "psychiatric hospital".

Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches

  • When the gang is being chased by the dogs, Daphne disappears briefly making it look like one of the dogs is only chasing Fred and Velma.

Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

  • Niagara Falls is surrounded by two cities (Niagara Falls, NY and Niagara Falls, Ontario) so the "middle-of-nowhere" woodland setting seen in this episode is almost entirely fictional.

Home media

Quotes


Previous Episode:
Scared a Lot in Camelot
The Scooby-Doo Show
Season 1
Next Episode:
The No-Face Zombie Chase Case

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