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Ghost Haunted And Paranormal Television Shows

Act 1


by Kenneth Mayence

Many of us grew up in the golden age of television, Ghost supernatural and strange things appeared before our eyes on a daily basis. from cartoons to shows and movies the other side was always a station away. In this upcoming multiple set of articles I will try to give a synopsis of the shows that have lived and died and still haunt many of us today. And of course a glimpse into present and the future.

Many of these Cartoons shows and dramatic programs and comedies follow all the ghost haunted rules and a few do break them. But in essence it all shows us that at times the realms of the strange can be very real if only it is a show a movie or even a documentary.

From Vampires, witches, ghosts, aliens, spooks, UFO's, Mystical and ESP experiences and the down right strange and unreal. TV has brought the paranormal world into our homes over the decades. Exposing many of us from a early ripe age to see the supernataural in a natural way.

Kids and Ghosts!

Scooby-Doo is a long-running American animated television series produced for Saturday morning television in several different versions from 1969 to the present. The original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, was created for Hanna-Barbera Productions by writers Joe Ruby & Ken Spears and character designer Iwao Takamoto. Hanna-Barbera produced numerous spin-offs and related works until being absorbed in 1997 into Warner Bros., which has handled production since then. Though the format of the show and the cast (and ages) of characters have varied significantly over the years, the most familiar versions of the show feature a talking dog named Scooby-Doo and four teenagers: Fred "Freddie" Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers.

These five characters (officially collectively known as "Mystery, Inc.", but never referred to as such in the original series) drive around the world in a van called the "Mystery Machine", and solve mysteries typically involving tales of ghosts and other supernatural forces. At the end of each episode, the supernatural forces turn out to have a rational explanation, typically criminal plots involving costumes and special effects intended to frighten or distract. Later versions of Scooby-Doo featured different variations on the show's supernatural theme, and include characters such as Scooby's cousin Scooby-Dum and nephew Scrappy-Doo in addition to or instead of some of the original characters.

Scooby-Doo was originally broadcast on CBS from 1969 to 1976, when it moved to ABC. ABC aired the show until canceling it in 1986, and presented a spin-off, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, from 1988 until 1991. A new Scooby-Doo series, What's New, Scooby-Doo?, aired on the WB Network during the Kids' WB programming block from 2002 until 2005. The current Scooby-Doo series, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, airs Saturday mornings on The CW network. Repeats of the original series, as well as second-run episodes of What's New, Scooby-Doo?, are broadcast frequently on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the United States and other countries.

CBS network debut on Saturday, September 13, 1969 with its first episode, "What a Night for a Knight". The original voice cast featured Don Messick as Scooby-Doo, Casey Kasem as Shaggy, Frank Welker as Fred, Nicole Jaffe as Velma, and Stefanianna Christopherson as Daphne. Seventeen episodes of Scooby-Doo were produced in 1969.

Warner Bros.' 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo feature film was a box office success, and resulted in a sequel two years later.

Official Scooby Doo Web Site http: www2.warnerbros.com/sd_brand/index.html

Casper The Friendly Ghost

The New Casper Cartoon Show debuted on ABC in 1963, and stayed on Saturday mornings until 1969. Here's the opening title sequence, which was heavily influenced by the folk music show "Hootenanny".

Casper the Friendly Ghost is the main character of the Famous Studios theatrical animated cartoon series of the same name. As his name indicates, he is a ghost, but is quite personable. According to the 1995 feature film Casper, his last name, when he was alive, was McFadden, making his "real" name Casper McFadden.

Casper was created in the early-1940s by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, the former devising the idea for the character and the latter providing illustrations. Intended initially as the basis for a children's storybook, there was at first little interest in their idea and when Reit was away on military service during the Second World War, Oriolo sold the rights to the character to Paramount Pictures' Famous Studios animation division, for which he had occasionally worked.

The Friendly Ghost, the first Noveltoon to feature Casper, was released by Paramount in 1945. In the cartoon, Casper is a cute, pudgy ghost-child, who prefers making friends with people instead of scaring them. He leaves his home at the local haunted house and goes out to make friends. However, every person or animal he meets takes one horrified look at him and runs off in the other direction. Distraught, Casper unsuccessfully attempts to commit suicide (apparently forgetting that he's already dead) before he meets two little children who become his friends. The children's mother at first rejects Casper, but later welcomes him into the family after he wards off a greedy landlord.

Casper appeared in two subsequent Noveltoons before Paramount started a Casper the Friendly Ghost series in 1950, and ran the theatrical releases until the summer of 1959. Nearly every entry in the series was the same: Casper leaves the (after)life of a regular ghost, tries to find friends but scares nearly everyone, and finally finds a (cute little) friend, whom he saves from some sort of fate. The cartoon series also boasted a catchy title song which was written by Jerry Livingston and Mack David.

 

Casper went on to become one of the most famous properties from the Famous Studio. Alfred Harvey, founder and publisher of Harvey Comics began producing Casper comic books in 1952, and in 1957, purchased the rights to the character outright.

After Harvey bought the rights to Casper and many other Famous properties in 1959 (including Herman and Katnip, Little Audrey, and Baby Huey), they began broadcasting the post-1950 theatrical Famous shorts on a television show sponsored by Mattel Toys titled Matty's Funday Funnies on ABC in 1959 which introduced the Barbie doll to the public. The other Famous produced Casper cartoons had already been acquired by television distributor U.M.&M. T.V. Corp. in 1956. U.M.&M. retitled just "A Haunting We Will Go", but miscredited "Featuring Casper The Friendly Ghost" as "Featuring Caspers Friendly Ghost".

Casper was voiced by Julie McWhirter in the Hanna-Barbara cartoons, by Malachi Pearson in the 1995 movie Casper and The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper, by Jeremy Foley in Casper: A Spirited Beginning and Casper Meets Wendy, by Brendon Ryan Barrett in Casper's Haunted Christmas and by Devon Werkheiser in Casper's Scare School. Devon Sawa is the only actor to play the character in live-action, portraying him in a sequence from the 1995 film in which Casper was temporarily brought back to life.

The Ghostly Trio (known as Fatso, Fusso and Lazo in the comics and Fatso, Stinkie, and Stretch in the film series), are fictional characters in the Casper the Friendly Ghost's series. They appear in Paramount Pictures' Famous Studios theatrical cartoons from the 1950s. They have also made numerous Harvey Comics appearances and were featured in Casper and the Ghostly Trio.

Casper and the Ghostly Trio #7 Source: www.tvacres.com/images/casper_ghostly.jpg

The Ghostly Trio are Casper's uncles. In most of their appearances, they are shown to, in contrast to Casper, love scaring people and they generally seem to treat Casper as their own personal slave. However, in Casper's Scare School, they are uncharacteristically nice to Casper and they are shown to care for him. In fact, when Casper leaves for Scare School, they spend most of the time he's gone crying. There had previously been a few indications that they cared for Casper, but they were few and far between.

In the Casper feature film, they manage to become friends of sorts with Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and keep a promise they made to him, overcoming their usual hatred of humans.

In Harvey comics, Nightmare was a beautiful and gentle ghost horse, a good friend of Casper the Friendly Ghost. She did not fit her name in any way, either in looks or in personality. She could fly, and often gave rides to Casper. She could also talk, although in the 90's animated series, she can only whinny.

Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost is a fictional character that appeared in titles published by Harvey Comics. Spooky first appeared in Casper the Friendly Ghost #10 (June 1953).

Spooky is written with a Brooklyn accent, for example calling his girlfriend and fellow ghost Pearl, "Poil." His iconic derby hat is, therefore, a "doiby."

After several appearances in Casper the Friendly Ghost, Spooky moved to several spin off titles, including Spooky Spooktown (1961-76), Spooky Haunted House (1972-75) and Tuff Ghosts Starring Spooky (1962-72). The original ran until #161 in September, 1980.

Spooky is part of the 1963 animated television series The New Casper Cartoon Show, which ran from 1963 to 1969.

In 1996, after the success of the Casper feature films, a new animated show, Casper, premiered on Fox Kids. Spooky was voiced by Rob Paulsen.

Topper

Topper was a television situation comedy series based on the 1930s film series Topper.

The thrust of the story is that the sophisticated Cosmo Topper (Leo G. Carroll) is vice-president of a bank. He is married to the sweet but somewhat dumb Henrietta (Lee Patrick). They live in a house in a Los Angeles suburb that they bought from the estate of a fashionable young couple, George and Marion Kirby (Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys), who died after being swept away by an avalanche. Their St. Bernard, Neil, who was unable to rescue them, also died with them. Cosmo finds that his house is haunted by their ghosts and that of their alcoholic St. Bernard. Only Cosmo can see or hear them.

The ghosts try to put some excitement and joy into the life of the somewhat stodgy and conservative Cosmo. In action that would anticipate the later series Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, the ghosts would cause strange (but very humorous) events to happen, for which Cosmo would have to create some kind of explanation to others who would be baffled, and often even amusingly frightened, by seeing them.

The show ran on CBS from 1953 to 1955. 78 episodes were produced. Both ABC and NBC later aired repeats of these episodes (ABC in 1955 and NBC in 1956). In later decades Topper would be popular in syndication. Some episodes are available on DVD.

 

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows is a Gothic television soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971. The show was created by Dan Curtis, who tells of a dream he had in which a girl takes a long train ride to visit a large mansion. The story "bible", which was written by Art Wallace, does not mention any supernatural elements. It was considered daring (and unprecedented in daytime television) when ghosts were introduced about six months after it began. The series became hugely popular when, a year into its run, vampire Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid, appeared. In addition to vampires, Dark Shadows featured werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, both into the past and into the future, and a parallel universe. A small company of actors each played many roles and, as actors came and went, some characters were played by several actors. Major writers in addition to Art Wallace included Sam Hall, Gordon Russell, and Violet Welles. 

Dark Shadows has the distinction of being the only long-running soap to have every episode released for home video (including a reconstruction episode #1219, the videotape for which is lost), first on VHS and currently in progress on DVD. (Episodes were numbered from #1 to #1245, but some episodes were pre-empted due to holidays, news, etc. so the number of episodes actually broadcast is 1225.)

 

Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable story lines and an unusually adventurous music score. Now regarded as somewhat of a camp classic, it continues to enjoy intense cult status among its followers. Director Tim Burton and pop icon Madonna have both gone on record as fans of the series. As a child Johnny Depp was so obsessed with Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him.

 

Dark Shadows pioneered the concept of a soap opera with a supernatural theme. In later years, the prime-time satire Soap would introduce an Exorcist-inspired storyline. Days of our Lives would feature a groundbreaking plot in which its leading female character, Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), was possessed by Satan. Coming full circle, the soap operas Port Charles and Passions would emerge in the 1990s, both largely driven by supernatural-based plots involving vampires, witches, and werewolves. Twin Peaks was a prime-time soap with many supernatural elements, but without the classic movie monsters. Even the popular Joss Whedon series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, with their continuing serial plotlines, could be described as treading a path first laid by Dark Shadows.

Coming soon: Part Two, ... Rod Serling and the door to the The Twilight Zone

The World's 100 Most Haunted Places

The World's 100 Most Haunted Places

So please read these very haunted ghost stories and watch a real ghost video or two. And be sure to visit our Haunted America Tours Home Page to find more then your heart should take. This web site is not for the squeamish. These Very real Haunted places are sid to be the best places to capture a real ghost on film, video, or digital voice recorder or have a real paranormal encounter.

HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS Official Web Site is a ghost tour information site; our information is only as reliable as readers' contributed ghost and haunted reports. We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for your misadventures. Use common sense. Read our ghost hunting recommendations. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information. Never trespass on private and/or posted property without permission from the proper authorities.

 

The Real Haunted Hotels In America

Hotels, like airlines, overbook reservations because they know that not everyone is going to show up. But some of their inventory goes to third-party travel sites like TravelNola.com, which contract with hotels ahead of time to sell a preset block of rooms.

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