David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Scooby-Doo And The Campus Kelpie

December 4, 2018

Inside Higher Ed today had a cool story about abandoned college campuses, and how one, in particular, Knoxville College, is trying to resurrect itself through online learning.  It made me want to revisit a satirical piece from The Cronk of Higher Education from a few years ago that featured a dying college reinventing itself as an Old West Ghost Town.  Even then, I thought the only thing missing was the presence of Scooby-Doo, the gang and the miner forty-niner.

Sadly, I believe The Cronk is no longer "in business," so I dedicate today's blog to the spirit of The Cronk staff and writers.

I present to you the lost Scooby-Doo episode, "Scooby-Doo And The Campus Kelpie."

Opening Scene: The Mystery Van sputters around a moonlit lake, until coming upon a sign that says "Ante Dil Uvian College: 3 miles."  As the camera pulls back and the van fades from sight, a spout of water shoots out of the lake, forming a water horse of frightening detail.  

Scene cuts to interior of Mystery Van, Freddie driving, Velma sitting in the passenger seat with a map, Daphne in the seat behind Freddie, checking herself out in a mirror, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo lounging on the far back set of seats.

Shaggy:  "Crimminy, Scooby, give me some room."

Scooby: "Nuh-Uh." He spreads himself out even farther, causing Shaggy to fall to the van floor. {Canned laughter erupts}

Velma: "Would you two cut it out back there?"

Fred: "Really, guys, we're almost at the College."

Shaggy pulls himself up, glancing at Daphne's mirror, which reflects through the van window onto the lake. We see the angry water horse spout from the lake again.

Shaggy: "Zoinks!  Did you see that?"

Daphne: "See what?"

Shaggy: "That watery figure out there?"

Fred: "What are you talking about Shaggy? You weren't even looking out the stupid window."

Shaggy: "I saw it through Daphne's mirror."

Daphne pulls the mirror down and investigates it.  "Well, I saw nothing."

Velma: "Look out the window, you idiot, is it still there?" {Canned laughter ensues}

Shaggy, teeth chattering: "I ain't looking out that window.  You look Scoob."

Scooby: "Uh-Uh."

Daphne: "Not even for a Scooby snack, Scoob?"

Scooby: "Well . . ." {Canned laughter}

Daphne throws him a Scooby snack and he scarfs it down before Shaggy can get it.

Shaggy: "Fine, now you have to look, Scoob. What do you see?"

Scooby turns to look through his paws:  "I don't see anything."

Meanwhile up ahead, the road bears a sign, saying "Welcome To AnteDU."

Fred: "Well, I see the Ante Dil Uvian Welcome Center.  We are here."

Velma: "Something doesn't look right.  It seems deserted."

Fred: "You're right, Velma.  Shaggy, what did the Admissions' Rep tell you?"

Shaggy: "She told me to come right in and park by the administration building.  She said anyone could help me."

Fred: "Well, there is no one around."

Velma:  "Let me see that stupid admissions' letter, Shaggy."

Camera focuses in on a yellowed piece of paper dated 1975.  It reads, "Accepted into medicinal plant program, Shaggy."

Velma: "You idiot, this letter is 40 years old." {Canned Laughter ensues}

Daphne: "Gee, I wonder if it is closed down."

Fred: "I don't know. I do think I see someone in that building up there."  {Camera focuses on a curtained window with a hunched over figure shown in silhouette through it.}  "Well, we might as well stop and talk to them. It's two hours back to any sign of civilization."

Scene cuts to door of ivy-covered building.  Fred stands in front, Velma and Daphne right behind, Scooby and Shaggy cowering behind the ladies' skirts. Fred knocks via the heavy door knocker.  The pounding echoes throughout the quiet night.

Daphne: "I don't think anyone is coming."

Fred: "We saw someone again. Maybe they didn't hear us."

He knocks again.  The same pounding echoes through the night.

Velma: "As loud as that is, I would think the dead could hear us."

Shaggy and Scooby look at each other in fear.

Shaggy: "The dead? Now why would you say that?"  {Canned laughter ensues}

Finally footsteps can be heard coming down the hall. The door opens to reveal a hunched over old man, wearing a tweed jacket, balding, and clutching a dusty book.

Old Man: "Who are you?  Why are you here?"

Velma: "We're here because our friend Shaggy here {Shaggy shakes head to suggest that he is not the mentioned Shaggy} got accepted into your school." {She holds out the yellowed acceptance letter.} "But where is everybody?"

Old Man laughs as he reads the letter: "Ho, ho, boy are you late?" He scrunches his face and looks more at the letter.  "Real late! I am guessing you have been spending too much time with the medicinal plants." {Canned Laughter ensues}

Shaggy: "What do you mean by that?"

Daphne: "And again where is everybody."

Old Man:  "Everybody is gone.  Ante Dil Uvian College hasn't had a residential population since 2010. Now we just run some online courses."

The mystery gang looks at each other in amazement.

Fred: "Wait, a minute. If there aren't any students attending here, who are you? Why are you still here?"

Old Man: "I am Holgren Ante Dil Uvian, great-grandson of the college's founder, Walter Ante Dil Uvian."

Velma:  "And why is the college deserted, Mr. Dil Uvian? What happened?"

Second old man appears out of nowhere: "The Kelpie scared all the students away!"

Daphne: "Kelpie? What is that?"

Dil Uvian: "Sigh.  A water ghost who shows up in the shape of an angry horse."

Scooby: "Water Ghost?"

Shaggy: "Shape of a horse? Gulp." {Canned Laughter ensues}

Dil Uvian: "But, it doesn't exist, no matter what this crazy old loon says."

Second old man: "Water Ghost in the shape of a horse!  The place is haunted, I tell you. Been haunted for a decade and drove all the students away."

Dil Uvian: "Lies!  A horse didn't bring down this college. An ass did! Pay no heed to Professor Crankshaft here."

Fred: "Excuse me, are you saying there is a haunted donkey, not a haunted horse?"

Crankshaft: "Horse! No donkey!"

Dil Uvian: "Yeah, right." Turns to the Mystery Gang. "Professor Crankshaft has been bitter ever since the college shut down and ended his research on Post-Modernist Postal Carriers." {Canned Laughter ensues}

Fred: "Are you the only two people here?"

Crankshaft: "No, there is also Arthur Cantaviler, professor emeritus of Physics."

Dil Uvian: "Cantaviler and Crankshaft both remain on the staff here.  They refuse to be removed.  They get paid to keep up the premises."

Daphne: "Then, what do you do Mr. Dil Uvian?"

Dil Uvian: "I make sure the server stays up so that our half dozen online classes can run."

Fred: "Hold on, we are getting off the subject. Mr. Dil Uvian, you said that a haunted donkey brought down the college."

Dil Uvian: "Not a donkey and not haunted. An ass of a President, President Lachrymose.  He ruined the college."

At that moment, they are interrupted by a rushing sound of water. They turn to look at the lagoon in front of the administration building to see a large water horse form out of the water.  It neighs in anger for several seconds, then collapses back into the lagoon.

Shaggy: "Zoinks, what the heck was that?"

Crankshaft: "Our specter of a horse!"

Dil Uvian: "No, it wasn't. It's just some glitch in the plumbing."

Velma: "Well, you gentlemen are in luck.  We're mystery solvers. Let us get to investigating."

Fred: "You're right, Velma.  Shaggy, you and Scooby check out the maintenance shed. The girls and I will go to the library and do some research on the water horse."

Scene cuts to Fred, Velma, and Daphne in the library.

Velma: "Boy, this brings back some memories. Hours spent in the stacks studying for finals."

Daphne: "I didn't even know colleges had libraries.  This one is kind of creepy."  She blows dust off of books in the stacks.

Fred: "Anyone see any history of the college?"

Velma: "No, I think we are in the science section. There are a lot of books on engineering in here."

Daphne: "Same here. Strange!"

At that moment, they hear a terrifying scream that can only be Shaggy.

Fred: "C'mon, let's find those two."

Scene cuts to outside the maintenance shed.  Shaggy and Scooby can be seen hiding behind some crates, nervously pointing at the image of an angry horse head on the side of the shed. {Canned laughter ensues}

Shaggy: It's that water ghost thing!  Go attack it, Scooby."

Scooby: "Nuh-Uh."

Shaggy: "Not even for a Scooby snack?"

Scooby: "No way." {Canned Laughter ensues}

At that moment the rest of the gang appears from behind them.

Daphne: "What's going on?"

Shaggy: "Look, there is that water horse ghost thingy!"

Fred: "No, it's not, you two idiots. That's just a projected image of a horse head."  He walks up and does rabbit ears in the shadow on the wall.

Scooby and Shaggy laugh nervously.

Shaggy: "Oops."

Velma: "So, where is it coming from?" She looks around. "It seems to be coming from that second floor window in that old dormitory."

Fred: "Let's go check it out."

Shaggy: "Do we have to?"

Velma: "C'mon you two sniveling cowards." {Canned laughter ensues}

Scene cuts to interior of old dorm room.  The whole gang is in the room.

Daphne: "It's pretty much empty."

Fred: "Hmm?  Keep looking."

Velma: "Wait, is that a hole in the wall up there? I think there is something moving behind that hole."

Fred: "You're right, Velma. Quick, what is on the other side of that wall?"

They race out into the hall and open the door to a room that would be on the other side.  It reveals a large shower/bathroom.  On a stool is an old man, holding a camera pointed through the hole.

Shaggy: "Who are you?"  The old man drops his camera, right as Dil Uvian and Crankshaft come running through the door.

Dil Uvian: "That's Professor Cantaviler!"

Crankshaft: "Leave him alone. He's doing no wrong."

Dil Uvian: "What do you mean, he's filming through that peep hole."

Crankshaft: "There's nothing wrong with that.  With no one to peek on, he has not violated any ethics clause."

Velma: "Professor Crankshaft is probably right, Mr. Dil Uvian, but I still suspect foul play."

Dil Uvian: "What do you mean?"

Fred: "I think Velma is on to something, Mr. Dil Uvian.  I am guessing that with that camera projecting through that hole, it creates a hologram image that when directed through the lagoon or the lake can make a water spout appear to be a horse."

Crankshaft: "That's a ridiculous theory.  Not even worthy of a common lecturer."

Fred: "I suspect that back in the maintenance shed we will find a device to create the water spout. The kind of thing a physics instructor could construct."  Cantaviler looks nervously back.

Cut to scene at maintenance shed.  The group is searching with flashlights.

Daphne: "We have to be right."

Crankshaft: "I think you all are crazy. Been reading too many dog-eared mysteries." He reaches over to bop Scooby's ears, who has been cowering from a mouse. Upon being touched, he jumps back and knocks a sheet from off a pile of junk. Fred lifts the sheet completely to show a giant crank.  He turns it and out the window, we see a water funnel.

Shaggy: "And there you go, that's how you get a water horse ghost thingy."

Velma: "I am guessing our two professors here wanted to create a legend about the campus being haunted, perhaps to bring students back."

Cantaviler: "And we would have gotten away with it if not for you meddling kids."

Cut to Mystery Van driving away from campus.

Fred: "Well, I am sorry Shaggy that you aren't going to be able to attend college."

Shaggy: "That's o.k. I doubt I am college material."

Daphne: "What? A long-haired, poorly groomed young man with his comfort dog. I think you and Scooby would fit right in."

{Canned laughter ensues}