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Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost

The next stop on our Halloween tour: Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost! This animated movie came out straight to DVD in 2001. Like most Scooby-Doo movies, this one revolves around a mystery. In this case, there is a witch’s ghost tormenting the citizens of Oak Haven, a sleepy little town where famed Horror writer Ben Ravencroft goes to write his books. Ben Ravencroft runs into Scooby and the gang after they solve a mystery at a local history museum.
once Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred arrive in Oak Haven, they immediately begin to investigate the suspicious behavior of the mayor. The gang is skeptical about the Witch’s ghost being real , but once they see it for themselves will they believe in ghosts? Join the spooky adventurers as they try to solve the mystery of the Witch’s ghost!

Fred, Daphne and Velma with Ben Ravencroft

Why it is a fantastic Adventure: This movie is one that I view every October to get me into the Halloween and Fall spirit. The town of Oak Haven has a picturesque New England Fall setting: brown leaves, barren trees, a small Main Street where everyone knows everyone, and even a re-creation of a Puritan village. If you live in parts of the world where the weather doesn’t change much and Fall doesn’t really happen, this is a great way to get yourself and the kids in the proper Fall mindset.
Along the way, the gang meet a group of gothic witches who are in the rock band, The Hex Girls. This trio provides a few songs in the movie (which are actually pretty good) and help keep the kids entertained through the somewhat plodding mystery story.
Scooby-Doo provides the majority of the movie’s laughs, whether he is scarfing down a gigantic sandwich, begging for Scooby Snacks, or trying to churn butter in the Puritan village. He also provides crucial entertainment value in a story that is somewhat dark for a kids’ Halloween adventure.
On that point, the ghost in this movie is real. She is not someone dressed up in a costume to be de-masked at the end. She has a real thirst for revenge and will do anything to get her way. She brings pumpkins to life and turns them into evil jack-o’-lanterns that try to eat Scoobyand the gang. This is also a great way to get your kids’ imaginations soaring and get them creating and

Imagination running wild!

thinking out of the box.
The plot deals with witches, Wiccans and warlocks, and provides a safe introduction to the topic of real life witches- Wiccans -that you can elaborate on later if you so desire.
The mystery plot is a lot of fun and will keep your kids guessing until the end, especially since the witch turns out to be real (but who was behind the other part of the mystery, and why was the mayor being so suspicious?). There are plenty of eerie locations to keep up the Halloween vibe: abandoned mills, forests full of dead trees, a cabin shrouded in an eerie fog.

Overall, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghostis a great atmosphere setting movie with a fun mystery and a few teachable moments and imagination igniting ideas for your kids. Watch and get ready for Halloween!

Available to purchase on DVD from your favorite retailer!

The Hex Girls introduce your kids to great music and modern witches!

Fantastic Adventure #2: The Song & Dance Man

The second choice from my series Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment, is a Caldecott Award Winner, and you may be familiar with it. It is The Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman.
Sitting down and reading a physical book with our kids seems to be on the way out, as more and more parents are using Kindle Fires or iPads for children’s books. Those are nice alternatives if you don’t want books taking up shelf space in your home, but then your kids can’t draw in the book, hold the book with dirty hands, etc. With Song and Dance Man, I feel it is important to hold the physical book in your hands. It really helps the kids get lost in the world of the book when they can hold it themselves and put it right in their faces.

Glorious artwork allows your child to get lost in the world of the story.

 

Why it is a fantastic adventure: There is not much text in this story but what there is tells of a grand adventure. A trunk is discovered in an attic (where all great adventures begin) that contains grandpa’s old vaudeville top hat, cane. The kids learn that their grandpa used to be quite the dancer in his day, instead of the old man he is now. When I was a kid we never went up in the attic, so, of course, my mind went straight to all the possibilities up there. This book only furthers that imaginative lifestyle and gets your kid thinking and creating his or her own world of what could be up in the attic.
The illustrations are also a huge part of this adventure. They take up most of the page and really suck the reader into the world that they represent. I fondly remember staring at these illustrations for hours on end and creating new encounters in my mind every time. “Okay, there’s a radio in the corner. What if I turned it on? What type of music would come on?” This is a great way for your children to start viewing drawings and pictures as art forms. There are such detailed images in this story that your children could spend hours creating new ideas in their heads. Encourage them to draw or write out these new ideas to share with you.

This book does a masterful job with creating an adventure and allowing your children to become truly enveloped in the world it creates.