"Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers" is such an amazing movie! From the location to the spooky music, everything about it is such a masterpiece! But, what made the movie so intriguing and wonderful is the multi-faceted and ever-tangled web of mysteries that were prevalent throughout the entire film. Over the years, I've mentioned to some fellow Scooby fans jokingly that I could literally write an entire article on my theories surrounding the mysteries and ghosts in this film...so that's exactly what I'm going to do!
I would imagine that many people view the mysteries in this film as "solved" like the ending of the film presents. What I find so interesting about this film, however, is that there are so many different ways you can interpret all the mysteries!
There's of course the somewhat more simplistic view that the movie's ending alludes to (per Shaggy's comment, "I guess there aren't any real ghosts here at all!) - the Skull Ghost and the Headless Horseman were both the sheriff's witty and devious brother, the ghost in the attic was Farquard trying to steal the treasure, the "ghost" ape was simply a real ape which escaped from the circus, and the glowing-eyed wolf was possibly just a wolf that ran out of the forest coincidentally at the same time Beauregard's ghost appeared. The only ghost that this is unclear with, is Shaggy's Uncle Beauregard. It's certainly probable that the sheriff's brother is the ghost, hence the Beauregard costume in the closet, though his appearance at the end of the movie makes this somewhat unclear.
Ever since I first watched the movie when I was in the third grade and about 8, I've admittedly always thought Uncle Beauregard's ghost was "real" and the sheriff maybe dressed up as him once or twice to take advantage of the legend. There were times where the sheriff undeniably could not have been the ghost, such as the time where he drove his bike through Shaggy's solid wall, which obviously, a human could not have done. He also tells Shaggy to "leave this place!" during this same scene. So by that line, his uncle also wants him to leave (maybe to avoid the dangerous situation of the sheriff being out to get him), and thus it hypothetically could have been the real ghost or the sheriff's brother any of the times he chased Shaggy and the dogs. However, there is two times where the ghost was almost positively the sheriff in disguise. When Shaggy and the dogs go through the trap door in the cemetery, you may remember that they accidentally drop the tombstone on the ghost (and cause him to yell "ouch!"). Going by the fact that the ghost was able to pass through a solid wall in the previous bedroom scene, the tombstone could not have hurt the real ghost, and would have likely gone through him. Another time that the ghost was most likely the sheriff was when he grabbed the clue from Shaggy. Given that Uncle Beauregard was the one that hid the treasure and wrote the clues, there would be no reason for him to steal the clue from Shaggy. So thus, by this hypothesis, some of the appearances were the real ghost trying to scare Shaggy away, though other appearances were most likely the sheriff. However, it is very tough to tell in some scenes, such as the bridge one or some of the house ones, if the Uncle Beauregard which appeared was the real ghost or the sheriff in costume.
The Skull Ghost is a really fun one to talk about, just because most people seem to presume that it was the sheriff's brother in all the appearances. However, if you look and listen closely, there are some differences in the Skull Ghost's physical appearance each time he shows up. The most prominent difference is that sometimes, the Skull Ghost is quite obviously a man in a suit with bones painted on. Other times, he seems to be made completely of real bones, and you can even hear his bones clanking against each other. You can see the side-by-side comparison I did of his appearances here. However, I'm not discounting the fact there that Hanna-Barbera just made an animation glitch here (as it's certainly been known to happen), but what I find particularly interesting about this is that this difference in appearances happens multiple times, but towards the end before they unmask the sheriff's brother, the Skull Ghost always appears in the black skeleton suit, while in the beginning few appearances, he is almost always the real-boned skeleton with a cape (which the sheriff's version of the ghost also doesn't have). My personal belief, because of this significant difference in appearance, which happens multiple times, is that the Skull Ghost was indeed real during the times in the beginning he appears without the black suit and with a cape.
The only ghost which is obviously fake, in my opinion, is the Headless Horseman, who was proven to be a dummy/mannequin on a robot horse. However, if you're more creative and imaginative than me, I'm sure you could probably think up an awesome theory surrounding the Headless Horseman! There are so many cool hidden aspects of the mysteries in this film, it wouldn't surprise me if there was some special "clue" thrown into the movie to hint that horseman was supposedly "real."
While we're talking about the Headless Horseman, let's get into the glowing-eyed wolf, which appeared with him at the beginning of the movie. There's unfortunately not too much to analyze about this particular "ghost"/creature, as it only appears at the very beginning of the film and for a brief 30 seconds, if even that. My opinion, which I'll admit is mainly based on how I think mystery movies should be as spooky, confusing and thought-inspiring as possible, is that the wolf is a "ghost" or some other supernatural creature, though again I have nothing to base that on other than my hopeful inner Scooby/movie nerd lol. What I do find interesting, however, is that no other Scooby sites list or even mention the wolf as a villain, or for that matter, at all, besides this one. I guess it just goes to show how unpopular of a villain he was, though I wish he would have showed up more in the movie! How cool would it have been to have a ghostly wolf running around the house in addition to all the other spirits?
The ghost in the attic is another interesting one to discuss, as it's super ambiguous as to if it was Farquard, the Sheriff, or a real ghost. By real-life logic, it would have had to have been a real ghost, as a person couldn't have lived and dropped the 20+ feet from the attic to the ground floor. However, cartoon logic would obviously allow this, meaning it easily could have been Farquard or the Sheriff (more likely of the two Farquard, as he had the jewel which the ghost stole). But, the ghost didn't look or sound like Farquard, and you once again could hear bones clanking (bringing it back to my Skull Ghost theory), so hypothetically, the ghost in the attic could have been a real ghost who was after the treasure.
The ape, who I believe Farquard called "Beebo" (or something to that affect) at the beginning of the film, is one of my favorite villains in this film! I love how un-self-aware/dimwitted he is, particularly his line "A ghost?" in reference to himself lol. It's never really proven otherwise, but I would claim that the ape was definitely a ghost. Farquard's comment at the beginning of the film that Uncle Beauregard shot the ape and had him stuffed, followed by the fact that the ape looks EXACTLY like the stuffed one Farquard shows everyone. The only argument I've heard against the ape being a ghost is that he is too timid to be a real spirit, as he is afraid of his spooky surroundings and the other ghosts. My only response to that is that ghosts can be quirky too haha! And before I end my discussion of the ape, I have to say that the ape's face when riding the mechanical horse at the end of the movie is soooo cute lol.
This movie is such a cinematic masterpiece with so many amazing plot twists, spooky spirits, and well-developed mysteries which you can interpret in so many different, unique ways. The sophistication and intricacy in this film is what makes it one of my favorite Scooby movies of all-time to this date. If anyone has any thoughts on this film, whether it's in general or related to your perspective of the many unsolved mysteries this film has, please let me know in the comments and I'll be more than happy to discuss thoughts with you!
~ WildwindVampire ~