*Disclaimer: This post includes spoilers for the Curse of the 13th Ghost film.*
From what was originally advertised as an implied closing to the The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo series, those of us who watched the film learned that WB decided to use this opportunity to leave the ending completely up to fan interpretation.
To recap, the 13th ghost, Asmodeus, was revealed to be a man in a mask. The real Asmodeus, if there was one, was Vincent Van Ghoul's ancestor Asamod Van Ghoul. Velma reads out of the Tome of the Chest of Demons that Asmodeus did not want revenge, but rather redemption for his misdeeds. At the end of the film, we see what appears to be the shadowy, human-like form of the ghost of Asamod Van Ghoul, before he disappears into the abyss. Afterwards, Velma reveals that she just made up some of the story she read. However, we don't know which aspects she made up, leaving different several interpretations of what could have happened.
It seems WB wanted to end this film giving the audience the mentality of "Oh well, who could ever know?" In this post, I'm going to give my interpretation of what I believe happened. However, it's worth noting that there are numerous different interpretations that one could have from watching the film, which I will also lay out some of.
1. It was all fake.
This is the obvious interpretation, if the viewer were to side with Velma. None of the ghosts were real, and it was all just an illusion from the high altitude of the Himalayas. Of course, for this interpretation, it's worth noting that the gang was not actually in the Himalayas for any of the episodes except the first one.
2. Asmodeus is still out there, but the shadowy figure we saw wasn't him.
One potential interpretation is that that puff of smoke, or whatever it was, was not actually Asmodeus. Velma's explanation of the high altitudes causing hallucinations caused them to imagine they saw Asamod Van Ghoul.
3. Asmodeus is still out there, but Velma was wrong. He's still evil and disappeared before the gang could attempt to put him in the demon chest.
The uncertain variable here is how much of the story Velma made up. Maybe Velma was wrong about the 13 ghosts being fake, but she completely made up the story about "revenge" being also translatable as "redemption." He stopped his imposter, but fled the scene before the gang could capture him. This would mean the real Asmodeus is still out there somewhere.
4. Velma was correct; Asmodeus was redeemed and thus showed up one last time for a "thank you" before disappearing.
This is my interpretation of what happened. I think Velma read directly from the Tome of the Chest of Demons, but she believed it was false. Thus, she said she "made it up." Or, she read from the Tome, but didn't want to believe what she read could have been true, so she lied and said she made it up. It was a very unclear line, so there are numerous ways that Velma claiming she "made it up" could be interpreted. I think Asmodeus is redeemed, though I'm not sure how and I wish the film would have been clearer on this part. In general terms, I do believe that bad people can become good after a long time of self-reflection and thought of how their evil actions hurt others. The part I'm a bit conflicted on is that if Asmodeus is supposedly one of the 13 most evil ghosts on Earth, is it possible he could have redeemed himself? I guess we'll never really know all the details, but this is my interpretation of the ending of the film.
Now that I've shared my interpretation, I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on what your interpretations might be, whether they're the same as one of the options I listed or completely different. Let me know in the comments! :)