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Nightmare Fuel / Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

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"Watch the pretty coin of gold, and you will do as you are told..."

  • The musical cue that accompanies Captain Cutler's appearances in "A Clue for Scooby-Doo".
    • The stings that follow the debut of the Headless Specter and the reanimated Caveman are surprisingly uncanny, too.
    • Much of the underscore in earlier episodes (notably Hassle in the Castle) originates from older Hanna-Barbera shows (e.g. The Adventures of Gulliver and The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), and is much darker in tone and orchestration than the newer music scored for specifically for the show.
  • "A Night of Fright is No Delight"
    • The set-up is fairly spooky. The gang has to sail to an old mansion on a dark, stormy night to hear a will, read by Sanders' lawyer, Cosgood Creeps. The vinyl the will is recorded on warns that the mansion where they have to spend the night to inherit is haunted and ends with a creepy chuckle. Then Creeps says that he's leaving and will return tomorrow to see which of the heirs are still on the island — "if any", followed by another sinister laugh. It's scary even from the supernatural horrors implied by the set-up, but there's an additional level of horror for viewers who suspect a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax. While the Phantom Shadows don't actually harm anyone, it's not hard to imagine a more sinister meaning for whether anyone will "remain" come morning.
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    • The episode is pretty sinister when you get right down to it. A Ten Little Murder Victims-plot where the missing heirs later turn up as corpses in coffins?note  Yeesh.
    • It really shows that this episode was the one that the characters of Supernatural entered, using the rather creepy setup to full effect with the actual horrors of that show to outline just how terrifying such a premise could have been.
  • "Spooky Space Kook":
    • Episode 15 of the first season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! features the titular monster. The opening of that episode... We have an alien, dilapidated ship drifting eerily across the screen, and then the Space Kook, a lumbering spacesuit with a glowing, flickering skull inside its translucent dome, approaches, staring right into the viewer's eyes as it gives out this horrible shrieking cackle.
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    • Making things worse? The sound of the alien ghost-ship can be recognized as the "electronic rattlesnake" noise from The War of the Worlds.
    • The sight of a walking skeleton in a spacesuit might also be scarier in hindsight for Whovians.
  • If you think about it, several of the villains showed a willingness to kill.
    • The Ghost Clown hypnotized Scooby into doing the high-wire act, and then broke the trance when Scooby was still high above the ground. He also hypnotized Shaggy into being a lion tamer, and clearly said Shaggy would be a snack for the lion when he tried to break the trance.
    • The villains in "Mystery Mask Mix Up" were explicitly going to BLOW UP Shag and Scoob, and they don't even mind having to build a new storeroom to do it.
    • The Snow Ghost tried to saw Velma in half and then sent dynamite after her and Scooby.
    • The ghost of Captain Cutler locked Fred, Daphne, and Velma in an underwater room. They still had a link to their oxygen tanks. Had they remained trapped, they would have lasted quite a while before dying.
      • Not to mention the fact that there is a century old corpse of a diver in the room with them.
    • The Headless Specter at one point jumps repeatedly on a bed he thinks the gang is hiding in, even if he isn't really a villain.
    • Redbeard told Fred, Velma, and Daphne that he was going to kill them.
      Redbeard: So you shall join my crew!
      Daphne: What did he mean by that?
    • Although the titular criminal in "Jeepers, It's The Creeper!" never did anything to directly harm the gang, he did incapacitate the guard of an armored car in an implied No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, with the implied reason to keep him from being a witness. If The Creeper had no qualms about beating a security guard unconscious, he'd surely have very little reason not to give a savage beating to any of the Mystery Gang.
      • Fridge Horror sets in for the security guard when you realize the gang left him in the care of the man who assaulted him. Luckily, the sheriff mentions later that he was only tied up in the basement, but the revelation that Carswell was the Creeper gives a much darker cast to his line, "I'll take care of everything."
  • "Bedlam in the Bigtop":
    • The aforementioned Ghost Clown also hypnotized Daphne into performing a circus stunt, and she changed clothes to do so. Crossing into Fridge Horror territory, does it seem likely that a man who showed a gleeful willingness to feed Shaggy to a lion or watch Scooby plummet to his would-be demise from a high wire would have spared Daphne's modesty as she changed clothes?
    • Using Fridge Horror, that's not even the worst theory that can be made of it. For all we know, the Ghost Clown could have possibly stripped Daphne down and changed her into that costume himself. Plus, when you consider that said costume was a somewhat skimpy-looking ballerina outfit, that Daphne was the only one of his temporary victims that he didn't actively try to kill, and that the Ghost Clown is revealed to be an older man named Harry the Hypnotist, this goes straight into Squick territory. He could very well have had a thing for her for all we know.
  • Episodes like "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts" or "Hassle in the Castle" where the villain is a criminal wanted in several states provide a healthy dose of Fridge Horror as well. It's never mentioned what they're wanted for, and in any case, a man who's on the run from numerous state authorities might not hesitate to off a few meddling kids who were coming too close to blowing his cover.
  • "What the Hex Going On?" has a friend's relative, Uncle Stuart, disappear twice. The first time he reappears he is now an old man, and the second time they find him he is just a skeleton sitting in a chair. Lessened by the fact Uncle Stuart is really the villain and the skeleton is just a dummy, but still creepy.
    Shaggy: (referring to Uncle Stuart) Well I think we found him. Only he looks a bit older now...
  • "Nowhere to Hyde" has the ghost of Mr. Hyde, who has one of the scarier designs and creepy laughter. But his actions stand out among the rogues gallery of monsters; scaling buildings to rob jewelry, hiding out in the Mystery Machine, with the Mystery Gang none the wiser until he reveals himself, and worst of all, Mr. Hyde is portrayed to be the most cunning out of all the villains. Mr. Hyde places false clues, to frame a housemaid for his crimes, and completely fooled the Mystery Gang until his defeat. When Shaggy actually discovers a real clue that could expose the villain, Mr. Hyde comes out of nowhere and captures Shaggy before he could show it to the gang. Hyde then has Shaggy strapped to a table, while Hyde wordlessly implies to Shaggy that he's ready to kill him, or perform a horrible experiment on him.
  • "The Backstage Rage":
    • Though not quite as outright villainous as other villains on this page, the Puppet Master from "The Backstage Rage" is really creepy. His unblinking eyes and creepy laughter can make anytime he appears really uncomfortable. One of his most frightning moment is when Scooby sees Shaggy wearing a costume exactly the same as the Puppet Master, and looks at the two of them. The Puppet Master doesn't move, doesn't speak, doesn't blink.
    • The gang goes back to tell the doorkeeper what they've found. As Daphne tries to shake him awake, his head falls to the side and they realize he's a puppet. The effect is creepy in a way that's hard to describe.
  • As a whole, CBS rejected the show's original presentation art (under its working names Who's Scared? and Mysteries Five) because it was loaded with Nightmare Fuel. It was CBS children's programming head Fred Silverman who told Joe Barbera to give the show a comedy slant.