This call for papers came to my attention via Jack Hunter through a Facebook group:
Partly inspired by my son’s lockdown viewing, I am currently considering putting together an edited collection on Scooby Doo and the Paranormal. Here’s some of my thinking, and some of the themes the book would be exploring:
Mystery Inc. first scrambled across our television screens – likely pursued by some kind of ghoul, monster, ghost, or creep – on September 13th 1969. In the intervening 50 years, the mystery solving escapades of Daphne, Velma, Fred, Shaggy and their Great Dane Scooby Doo have captivated the imaginations of generations of young people. For many, shows such as Scooby Doo, Where are You? (1969-1970), The Scooby Doo Show (1976-1978), The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo (1985) and more recently What’s New Scooby Doo? (2002-2006), Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated (2010-2013) and Be Cool, Scooby Doo (2015-2018), have been a first introduction to the gothic, mysterious and paranormal and have had a big influence on the lives of many devoted fans.
In his best-selling book The Demon Haunted World (1995), for instance, astrophysicist Carl Sagan held up the Scooby Doo cartoons as a beacon of rationalist thinking on Saturday morning television. Sagan saw Mystery Inc. as a popular vehicle for promoting scepticism towards claims of the paranormal amongst the youth. But over the years and the various iterations of the gang, they have also come into contact with ‘real’ paranormal entities and occult phenomena, encountering monsters, ghosts and demons that did not wear masks. In the 1985 series The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, for example, Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Scrappy and Film Flam are tasked by Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by none other than Vincent Price), with re-capturing 13 very real demons in a magical chest. Scooby Doo, therefore, has an appeal to different strands of ‘paranormal popular culture,’ from the scepticism and debunking communities to ghost hunting and legend tripping groups seeking genuine paranormal phenomena.
This companion seeks to explore the relationship between Scooby Doo and the real-world of the paranormal, by examining the connections between the show and social and cultural phenomena such as:
* Ghost hunting.
* Paranormal investigation, parapsychology and psychical research.
* Skepticism, rationality and debunking.
* Legend Tripping.
* Folklore and Urban Legends.
* Cryptids and real-life monster flaps of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
* Multiverses and many worlds.
* H.P. Lovecraft and the weird.
* Other elements of supernatural, paranormal and mysterious popular culture.
I would be very interested to hear thoughts, and from potential contributors. If this is something you have been thinking about, but have never made manifest, this would be a great opportunity
You can get in touch via jack.hunter(at)uwtsd.ac.uk
Of related interest: