Happy October! As a show that first aired in 1969, Scooby-Doo has kept a reputation for being pretty wholesome. While the show is definitely spooky, I don't know that I've ever been outright scared watching Scooby-Doo, and I'm always positive that whatever monster that's chasing after the Mystery Gang is most likely just a middle-aged man with an affinity for Halloween costumes. But did you know that in 1999, Cartoon Network aired a Scooby-Doo special that parodied The Blair Witch Project that was so unsettling, it terrified viewers?
You can rewatch the special here, which begins with this ominous title:
And for those who forgot how The Blair Witch Project begins, here's a quick refresher:
Apparently, Velma is recording the team's latest mystery adventure. Here's the gang:
If you're looking at that picture and going, "Hey, that background looks suspiciously lifelike," you're not wrong. This film is actually live-action, shot near writer Larry Morris' old home, and animation was added on top of these shots. Fun fact, the real Mystery Machine was actually in Canada at the time, so the crew had to fly over just to get shots featuring the van.
That also means that all of the "interviews" Velma conducts with local townspeople about the local "haunted woods" feature actual people, including this poor person that Shaggy absolutely decimates.
At any rate, the Mystery Gang decides to ignore the neighbor's warning and spend the night in the haunted woods, with a weirdly calm attitude about the whole thing.
During their first night staying out in the woods, the gang hears some weird growling outside of their tent, and as usual, decide to send Shaggy and Scooby out to investigate. Oh, and did I mention the forest they decided to stay in is right next to a GRAVEYARD?
As Shaggy and Scooby are exploring the forest, they catch a quick sight of the monster before booking it back to the tent.
If you've ever seen a fake video of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster, that's the vibe of this guy.
After they wake up the next day, the gang finds a pile of Scooby snacks outside of their tent, similar to the real Blair Witch Project, where the trio finds piles of rocks stacked outside of their tent.
Like in the actual Blair Witch Project, the gang loses their way in the woods and can't find their way back to the van. It also means that tempers are flaring, like this exchange where Daphne attacks Velma.
After Shaggy and Scooby eat the map that's supposed to lead them back to the van (Yes, EAT IT), the gang is apparently more lost than ever, which leads to this breakdown from Fred:
After it gets dark, Velma and Daphne hear the same growling outside, which leads to this legitimately unsettling scene of Daphne running away screaming as Velma chases after her in the dark.
That's right, SCRAPPY. DAPPY. DOO. He's in this Blair Witch Project special for about two seconds until the gang decides to ABANDON HIM IN THE WOODS. Time for a brief survey.
Eventually, the gang finds an abandoned house, but the monster finds them there. Here's a closeup of the monster, which is still somehow less scary than that picture of Scrappy.
The ghost chases them around in a good old-fashioned Scooby Doo chase scene before Velma finds Shaggy in this freaky parallel of the Blair Witch Project.
I won't reveal the ending, but here's a hint:
Do you remember this special, or have you rewatched it as an adult? What's a kids program that absolutely scared you as an adult? Let me know in the comments!