The Spirits of '76 is the sixteenth and final episode of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, later repackaged as the sixteenth and final episode of the first season of The Scooby-Doo Show.


In Washington, D.C., the gang get locked up in the Splitsonian Institute for the night. This institute is chock full of antiques, inventions, and the ghosts of Benedict Arnold, William Demont, and Major Andre.


The gang visit Washington, D.C., but got caught in a rainstorm. Shaggy suggests staying the Splitsonian Institute, which impresses Velma for having an idea that doesn't involve food. Upon arriving, they're unknowingly being watched by a ghost.

Inside, the gang find many models, though the museum is devoid of people. A security guard walks by, explaining that the place is haunted by ghosts. As he leaves, the guard warns them that it's nearly closing time. Noticing that the guard's shoes are squeaky and wet, Fred tells the others to keep their eyes open. Shaggy sees a tableau of  "Traitors of American History", with wax dummies of Benedict Arnold, William Demont and Major Andre. As everyone except Scooby moves away from the dummies, Scooby sniffs William's dummy, but was shoved away. He hides under a giant locomotive that the gang examined. Suddenly, one of the dummies turned on the locomotive, making a lot of noise. Scooby falls through a trap door under the train and lands in a cotton gin that also turns on. The gang started looking for Scooby, asking another guard Mr. Clives to help, though he also tells them that it's nearly closing time. As they leave, the dummies listened to the whole conversation. After meeting back at the still operational locomotive, Fred finally turns it off and Scooby gives out weak 'relps'. They find the trap door and Scooby tangled in the cotton gin's belt and proceed to help him out.

Mr. Clives and Mr. Grumper assume the gang already left and started the time lock.

After getting Scooby out, they examined the cotton gin and started to look for a way out. They find extra dummies for the wax figures upstairs, then the ghost of Benedict Arnold and seals them in, leading them to split-up and find another way out.

Fred and the girls find wet footprints like the ones Mr. Grumper leaves behind, they follow them to a dead end and see one going right through the wall. They suddenly see the ghosts of Benedict and Major Andre and flee.

Scooby takes a dinosaur bone, causing the skeleton to collapse and ends up chase by the ghost of William Demont. They end up crashing sending the three ghosts away and running into the others.

They finally got back upstairs and run into Mr. Clives who informs them that the museum's closed and put on a time lock till noon. They hear the locomotive starts again and Mr. Grumper says that it's been turning on by itself every time the engineer fixes it. Scooby backs into a wall knocking a bearskin off the wall onto him. Once the trains stops, he accidentally scares the engineer Mr. Wilt, until Velma removes the bearskin. He explains that he sleeps in the museum and has to fix the train every time it starts. As he leaves, the gang sees that he also leaves wet footprints and headed back to the basement.

They search the basement, where they find the old cotton gin begins to turn on. They can also hear the automated train going off upstairs at the same time. Velma inspects the cotton gin, and notices several of the parts of it are newer the rest. They follow the belts of the cotton gin, as well as wet footprints to the end of the wall. Scooby switches a lever that flips a hidden switch, allowing the wall to turn. The gang follows a flooded cavern to a concrete wall with a huge hole drilled in it by a machine. They discover huge bags of money there. On the other side of the wall, there are dozens of printing presses. The gang catches the three ghosts after Scooby traps them with one of the antique planes.

They unmasked the Ghost of Major Andre, who is an accomplice. Then they unmask the Ghost of William Demont, who is Mr. Wilit, the city engineer. Finally, Shaggy addresses the Ghost of Benedict Arnold as "grumpy old grumper", and tells him that the jig is up. However, when he unmasks the ghost it is not him, but the cheery Mr. Clive.

A government agent shows up to arrest them. The gang explains that they put the real wax dummies in the basement, and when the honest guards made their rounds, they thought the museum was empty giving them the chance to stay inside all night and work the drill. They were trying to dig through the wall in the museum to reach the money inside of it. They used the cotton gin to power the drill and the locomotive was to cover the noise so no one will notice. Mr. Wilit confessed that he stumbled on the old plans of the abandoned storm drain running to the mint in some dusty old files and devised a scheme to rob the mint. Mr. Grumper reveals that his feet were always wet due to always mopping the wet footprints and puddles the ghosts made. Shaggy holds one of the bills which he thought was 200 hamburgers, however, the agent explains that all of the ghosts efforts were in waste, as the money is worthless. To which Scooby immediately eats the phony bill and it ends with Shaggy and Scooby Doo laughing.


Main characters:

Supporting characters:


Other characters:



  • Tandem bicycle
  • Dinosaur skeleton
  • Antique cars
  • Wax dummies
  • Cannon
  • Wright Brothers Plane
  • Calliope car
  • Cotton gin
  • Locomotive



Suspect Motive/reason
Mr. Grumper Grumpy attitude. He left wet footprints behind.
Mr. Wilit He said he was sleeping inside the museum. He also left wet footprints behind.


Culprit Motive/reason
Mr. Clive as the Ghost of Benedict Arnold
Mr. Wilit as the Ghost of William Demont
Their henchman as the Ghost of Major Andre
To steal money from the mint.


Don Messick Scooby-Doo
Mr. Clive
Casey Kasem Shaggy Rogers
Frank Welker Fred Jones
Mr. Wilit
Heather North Daphne Blake
Pat Stevens Velma Dinkley
John Stephenson Mr. Grumper
Government agent
Ghost of Benedict Arnold
Ghost of William Demont
Ghost of Major Andre

Full credits

The following credits reflect closely as possible to how they are seen on-screen.


  • This is the last new Scooby episode of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour; however, new episodes would continue to air under the Scooby's All Star Laff-a-Lympics banner, and later repackaged episodes of The Scooby-Doo Show, thus being the season one finale of that aforementioned series.
    • This episode is also the last to air in 1976.
  • The title of the episode and the name of the group of monsters are references to the year it was aired, which is a rare occurrence.
    • Another possible explanation is as a reference to the year 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed, and a year often used as a symbol for the Revolutionary War era.

Cultural references

  • The "Splitstonian" Institution is a parody of the Smithsonian Institution, a group of museums, and research centers, established in 1846, and administered by the U.S. government. Its headquarters is located in Washington, D.C.
  • The United States Mint is located a little over a mile north of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Benedict Arnold was a general who changed sides in 1779, and opened secret negotiations with the British to hand over West Point. Major John Andre was a British spy (therefore not an American traitor) who was carrying plans of Arnold's plot to the British when he was captured and hanged in 1780. William Demont was an adjutant (assistant officer) to Colonel Robert Magaw during the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776. Demont switched sides, and joined the British.

Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches

  • None known.

Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

  • Several times there are impossible scenes. William Demont is shown watching when the gang talks to Mr. Wilit. Role-trading among the culprits could explain that, but once Mr. Clive is in front of all three figures and then they move immediately after he leaves the room.
  • Just like the plane in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode What a Night for a Knight, how is it possible for vehicles in a museum to have enough fuel (or steam) to operate?

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
French Esprit, Es-Tu Là? Spirit, Are You There?

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