Case History: Thanks to Shaggy's bad navigation (he's holding the map upside down), the gang get lost and wind up in an old West ghost town, Gold City. They check into a guest ranch whose owner, Big Ben, is delighted to see them: seems that he's had no guests for quite a spell. When the gang wonder about this, Ben's assistant, Hank, explains that it's on account of the "Miner Fortyniner," the ghost of an old prospector who haunts the local mine searching for the last vein of gold. He's been scaring all the guests away—and Hank himself intends to light out soon.

With nothing else to do, the gang head into Gold City to look around. Initially they don't find anything—though in the saloon Shaggy is startled by a player piano and a tree branch—until they regroup at the hotel. There, Scooby is panicked by the appearance of the Miner in a mirror and knocks over a cigar-store Indian, dislodging a map of Gold City with what appears to be a safe combination scribbled in the corner. Opening the hotel safe, they find a secret elevator which takes them down into the mine itself. They explore, and the Miner appears and disappears behind some doors and chases Scooby and Shaggy in a rail car. But the pieces start to fall together when the gang follows a wire that leads them to a room containing a tape recording, a microphone/loudspeaker set up, and jars of crude oil. With these, they lay a trap for the Miner.

While Shaggy makes "choo-choo" noises over the loudspeaker, Scooby pilots a rail car with a spotlight attached, mimicking a freight train barrelling through the mine. He chases the Miner into and through a shack, and the Miner is unmasked as Hank. He had discovered that the mine, though exhausted of gold, is sitting on oil reserves; he had decided to try to scare off everyone so he could cheaply buy and exploit the land.

Big Ben


Disguises: Train
Food: Apples
Scooby Snacks: 2
Song: none
Exclamations: "Zoiks!" (6)
Villain's official statement: "Aw, dagnab it!"
Image Gallery

Unsolved Mysteries:

  • Stilts made Hank taller; how did he make his arms longer?

Season One Case Files