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The Best Scooby-Doo Villains, Ranked

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Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Few series, animated or otherwise, have had as significant of an impact as Scooby-Doo. The series made its debut in 1969 with the original show, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! It followed a group of four mystery-solving friends — Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma — as they traveled around in their signature Mystery Machine van with Shaggy’s talking Great Dane, Scooby-Doo.

Since its original debut, Scooby-Doo has seen massive success over the years, continuing to this day. The Mystery Inc. gang was the subject of more than 15 TV series and more than 40 animated movies. The gang was also adapted into several live-action movies, most notably those from the early 2000s starring Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Freddie Prinze Jr.

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Scooby-Doo and the gang are ubiquitous in pop culture and have been appealing to audiences of all ages for more than 50 years. The series, movies and countless spin-offs have featured well-known celebrities, iconic soundtracks and lines, and, of course, signature villains.

While most of the bad guys Mystery Inc. encounters are typically discovered to be just another “man in a mask,” some of these villains have become just as recognizable as the gang themselves. The bad guys are essentially the epicenter of each episode and have delivered lasting spooks and scares throughout the series.

New Scooby-Doo media is always on the horizon, like Mindy Kaling’s new adult animated series Velma, for HBO Max. While we wait, let’s recap some of the best Scooby-Doo villains so far.

The Headless Specter made his appearance in the episode “Haunted House Hang Up” in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! During the episode, the gang is on their way to a music festival, and Fred is driving along some back roads to get there, when they come across a farmer who warns them about a haunted mansion on the road ahead. So, being Mystery Inc., they head up to the mansion to investigate. Here, they encounter the Headless Specter, a Victorian-era dressed figure that tries to chase the gang out of the mansion.

The Headless Specter is a classic villain, found in a classic Scooby-Doo environment — a haunted mansion. The Headless Specter also made an appearance in the early 2000s Scooby-Doo video game Night of 100 Frights.

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