To Switch a Witch is the fourth episode of the third season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,[Note 1] and the twenty-ninth episode overall in the series. It was later repackaged as the fourth episode of the third season of The Scooby-Doo Show, and the twenty-eighth episode overall in the series.
The gang travels to Salem to visit a friend, Arlene Wilcox, on Halloween night. However, the town is being haunted by a witch, and the townsfolk suspect Arlene, who is a descendant of the witch in question, and sets out to get a confession from her.
It is Halloween in Salem. An old caretaker is digging graves in a cemetery. Suddenly, a glowing witch appears, clad in a purple robe and green wig. The caretaker runs off screaming she's back. He arrives at the house of Squire Marley (one of the town leaders), claiming the old witch of Salem, Milissa Wilcox, has risen from her grave to seek revenge after being burned at the stake over 200 years ago.
The gang is on their way to Salem to see an old friend, Arlene Wilcox, who has just inherited her family's house. When they arrive, they see Squire Marley nailing the witch's sign to one of the trees. He warns them to leave, saying that Arlene has been possessed by the witch of Salem. The gang ignores his warnings and goes inside Arlene's house to find out what is going on. She tells them that Squire Marley saw the witch and claimed she looked exactly like Arlene, knowing that Arlene is a direct descendant of Milissa Wilcox. After being shown their rooms, Shaggy and Scooby dress in their Halloween costumes. Shaggy is a peasant, and Scooby is dressed like a witch, looking very similar to Milissa Wilcox. It is there that they first encounter the witch, who appears in their room. Before they can call for help, the witch disappears in a cloud of green smoke.
Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Arlene rush upstairs to find a terrified Shaggy and Scooby. Daphne notices a strange liquid on the ground that is eating away the carpet. As they look out the window, they see the witch running back to the graveyard. They pursue her, leaving Arlene alone at the house. The gang arrives at the graveyard just to see the witch run to her grave and disappear in another cloud of smoke. Velma goes behind the grave and finds a hot piece of wire, a clue to the mystery. After being warned again, this time by Gar Mooney, the caretaker, the gang heads to the Salem Witchcraft Museum to look through old records. There they find the Wilcox family tree, where Arlene's name is marked out and replaced by the word "Gemini". Shaggy says maybe Gemini is Arlene's birth sign(making a joke about being born under a hospital sign himself). Velma tells Shaggy that Arlene can't be a Gemini, because Geminis are born in the spring and Arlene's birthday is in October. Fred realizes that "Gemini" is a clue; Velma agrees with this and the ink blots. The gang split up, with Fred, Daphne, and Velma going back to Arlene's house, and Shaggy and Scooby trick-or-treating.
While they are trick-or-treating, Scooby is mistaken for Milissa Wilcox, and taken by Squire Marley and the town mob back to the witchcraft museum for an old fashioned confession (by repeatedly dunking him under water). Fred, Daphne, and Velma find the Wilcox house deserted and head to the graveyard, where they find Arlene. Arlene had escaped the mob after being warned by Gar Mooney. Shaggy then arrives after escaping the confession unseen, and the gang heads to the museum to rescue Scooby. They are successful, until the mob begins chasing them thinking they are the witches assistants. The gang goes back to the graveyard to dig a hole to trap the witch in. Shaggy and Scooby foil the plan, but the witch falls into another hole, trapping herself. Squire Marley arrives just as the gang reveals what has been happening. The witch is actually Arlene's twin sister, whom Arlene had never met or known about. Fred and Velma tells Arlene that they realized that she had a twin when the gang found the Wilcox family record which said "Gemini", which means "twins". Fred tell Arlene that her sister's name was carefully blotted out. She was trying to scare Arlene out of town in order to steal her inheritance and estate. Fred reveals that Gar Mooney was also assisting her sister. The wire Velma found behind the grave was built by Mooney to make the witch glow. Also the acid on the carpet in Arlene's house came from the battery built from the wiring.
Marley apologizes to the gang and Arlene and escorts the unnamed Wilcox and Gar to jail.
Later at Arlene's place,she thanks everyone for their help, especially Shaggy and Scooby for saving her. Fred wonders where are Shaggy and Scooby. Shaggy is seen giving Scooby some chicken soup because he caught a cold from being dunked so many times, only with the chicken still left in. Scooby tries to say "Scooby Dooby Doo", only to end up sneezing.
- Ghost Witch of Old Salem (single appearance)(Arlene Wilcox's sister's disguise)
- Arlene Wilcox's sister (single appearance)
- Gar Mooney (single appearance)
- Milissa Wilcox (single appearance)(portrait)(deceased)
- Townspeople (single appearance)(miscellaneous speaking)
- Mouse (single appearance)(no lines)
- Cat (single appearance)(no lines)
- Chicken (single appearance)(no lines)
- Piece of wire
- Strange liquid
- Scrub brush
- Witch dummy
|Arlene Wilcox||She looks like the witch.|
|Squire Marley||Grumpy attitude. He warned the gang to leave.|
|Gar Mooney||He also warned the gang to leave.|
|Arlene Wilcox's twin sister as the Ghost Witch of Old Salem
|To frame Arlene and get the family inheritance.|
|Casey Kasem||Shaggy Rogers|
|Frank Welker||Fred Jones|
|Heather North||Daphne Blake|
|Pat Stevens||Velma Dinkley|
|Janet Waldo||Arlene Wilcox|
Ghost Witch of Old Salem (Arlene Wilcox's twin sister)
- It is presumed that the year takes place in 1978.
- The witch's sign (also referred to as "Mark of Mormal") is a real-life alchemical symbol for sulfur, also known as the Leviathan Cross in the occult.
- The only time Scooby-Doo sneezing his catchphrase at the end of the episode.
- This is the first time Scooby gets sick.
Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches
- At the very beginning of the episode, the entrance gate to the cemetery is spelled correctly. However, later in the episode, when Fred, Daphne and Velma are driving towards it to park, the spelling briefly changes to "cemetary" before reverting to the proper spelling.
- Also, in this shot of the mystery machine approaching the cemetery, Shaggy's silhouette can be seen despite the fact that it is only Fred and the girls driving there.
- As the gang stand on the porch after arriving at Arlene's house, Daphne's tights are missing in the group shot.
- Although it is Velma who points out that the rug is being eaten away at, and her mouth is moving, it's Daphne's catchphrase and voice that are being used to describe it.
- A possible explanation for this could be that because nobody can be seen on-screen at the time, the writers thought it appropriate to give Daphne a comment, since she was the only one who hadn't spoken yet since entering the room.
Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities
- What century were the townspeople living in? Their behavior, speech, and mannerisms were greatly exaggerated to resemble real Puritans from the 1600s.
- Milissa Wilcox's death is anachronistic. Her grave marker indicates she died in 1778, but the Salem witch trials took place in 1692-1693. While executions for supposed witchcraft continued into the 18th century in various parts of Europe, the Salem witch trials were the last recorded executions in colonial North America. The last execution in Britain was in 1727.
- Likewise, Milissa was burned at the stake; in reality, burning at the stake was a common execution method in Europe, but was never used to execute accused witches in North America. In North America, most accused witches were instead hanged, including all but one in the Salem witch trials.
- Salem is depicted as a rural, wooded area, but in reality, both Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts (at the time of the Salem Witch Trials, Salem Town and Salem Village, respectively) are well-populated small cities.
- Soon after Scooby sits down to eat and affixes a bib to himself, Shaggy removes a platter from Arlene's refrigerator that was filled with various foods, some of which were in their own bowls and other dishes which in turn, were stacked on the platter. He places it on the table before turning his back and reentering Arlene's refrigerator. In the interim, the plates slide back and Scooby gulps down the food, but we never see the dishes again, as if he ate those too.
- It seems very odd that the generic witch costume that Shaggy brought with him for Scooby to trick or treat in happens to be a carbon copy of the costume worn by this episode's villain. Later in the episode, a dummy witch in the Salem Witchcraft Museum can be seen wearing the exact same costume.
- After the witch disappears after Fred, Daphne, and Velma spot her in the cemetery, Velma finds a hot wire behind Milissa Wilcox's grave, where the witch was last seen. However, the wire was not seen falling from her costume, or at all, at least not before Daphne identifies it.
- After Fred takes note of the symbol imprinted on Milissa's grave, the camera pans to Shaggy and Scooby, who were last running into the cemetery after Fred, Daphne, and Velma. However, there are two things that weren't there before. First, Scooby is holding a broom, which isn't seen until now, and the second is Gar, the cemetery's caretaker, who has seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
- A possible explanation for Gar's sudden appearance is that he may have walked in after Shaggy and Scooby, and merely has gone unnoticed until now. Evidence to support this includes the fact that immediately after he speaks for the first time in this scene, Scooby and Shaggy both run away, with Scooby screaming "Yikes!" as he does so, suggesting that they hadn't known he was there, and that he startled them when he spoke.
- Why was Gar surprised to see the symbol? One would expect the cemetery's caretaker to be familiar with what the Wilcox headstone looks like, especially considering how it ties into a well-known aspect of local history, unless he was faking a lot of surprise, being complicit with the witch.
- Immediately after Scooby and Shaggy have rejoined the gang, Gar warns them to leave, but he disappears just as mysteriously as he appeared.
- The witch can be seen and heard cackling next to another spot in the cemetery, but none of the gang seem to react to this.
- A possible explanation may be that the gang had left already, and only the audience was meant to see the witch at this moment.
- When Velma says, "Hey! Look at this!", regarding one of the books in the museum, it appears to the viewers as if the pages are blank. When the camera pans to Velma's perspective, however, the book gains ornate writing, and a depiction of the symbol found on Milissa Wilcox's grave.
- When the Gemini clue is discussed, an inkblot is mentioned, but there is no indication to the viewer as to what this means.
- Gar Mooney shows up at Arlene's door, and he asks her to open the door. Arlene completely ignores Fred's earlier advice not to open the door for anyone, and lets Gar in.
- As Gar races inside, he tells Arlene how Squire Marley has assembled a mob that believes Arlene is a witch, who has set out to capture her, and in fact, are coming after her right now. He tells her that she must leave her house at once, but when she says that she's waiting for the gang, he mentions how the mob will be at her house any second, and insists that she leave. She proceeds to open the front door and run out at full speed. If the mob will be at her house "in any second", wouldn't it have been much safer to turn and run out the back door?
- After the mob captures Scooby by mistake, Squire Marley directs them toward the witchcraft museum. Why would any of the items there actually be functional if it's intended to be a museum?
- At the museum, Shaggy manages to take one hand from the scaffold and point at Scooby, then put it back. If he could take his hands off, why did he not do it before?
- When he reached the graveyard, Shaggy was out of shoes, but by the time he returned to the museum, he was wearing shoes again.
- Shaggy was in his normal clothes when Scooby jumps on him after escaping, but when Scooby is licking him, Shaggy is back in his Halloween costume.
- After the mob notices Shaggy, another mob appears out of nowhere, and grabs Shaggy, taking Squire Marley's lead.
- The Ghost Witch of Old Salem is a rare case (no pun intended), as the culprit's name and true self isn't revealed. It's also unknown if she was actually wearing a mask or make-up.
- Arlene apparently never knew her sister despite the fact the two were twins. This should be very impossible as there was no way Arlene could not have seen her sister during their youth. However, it could be implied Arlene's sister was put up for adoption or placed in foster care which would likely be the reason Arlene never knew her. However, it can be also argued that Arlene never had a twin and that her 'twin' only pretended to be her long-lost sister and even use makeup to mimic her appearance, and that she wrote 'Gemini' on the family records.
- Arlene's twin sister might have been separated from Arlene when they were newborns or infants due to possibly a divorce and ensuing custody issue.
In other languages
|French||La Sorcière de Salem||The Witch of Salem|
|Greek||Η Μάγισσα||The Witch|
|Hungarian||A boszorkány bosszúja||The Vengeance of the Witch|
- Scooby-Doo: The Ghoul, The Bat And The Ugly & To Switch A Witch VHS released by Turner Home Entertainment and Blockbuster Entertainment in 1996.
- Scooby Doo's Wedding Bell Boos VHS released by Turner Home Entertainment in 1997.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Third Season DVD set released by Warner Home Video on April 10, 2007.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series (limited edition) DVD set released by Warner Home Video on November 9, 2010.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series DVD set released by Warner Home Video on November 21, 2011.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series DVD set released by Warner Home Video on November 13, 2012.
- Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Around the World DVD set released by Warner Home Video on May 15, 2012.
- Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy DVD released by Warner Home Video on August 19, 2014.
- Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy Blu-ray Disc released by Warner Home Video on August 19, 2014.
- Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery Blu-ray Disc/DVD released by Warner Home Video on July 21, 2015.
- Best of Warner Bros. 50 Cartoon Collection: Scooby-Doo! DVD set released by Warner Home Video on August 13, 2019.
Squire Marley: So you still refuse to confess to witchcraft?
Velma: I must save my sister witch.
- In a short-lived revival attempt.
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|The Tar Monster|