We study Uncle Stewart Wetherby from “What the Hex Going On”, a Scooby Doo Where are You episode about a ghostly neighbor, mausoleums, flying tables, and a family fortune. There is a saying, the richer they are, the crazier they are. The Wetherby family is certainly both wealthy and eccentric. Uncle Stewart suffers from an alter-ego taking possession of his identity through the episode piece by piece. We follow his downward spiral into mental illness.
To understand Uncle Stewart we need to first understand the Wetherbys. The Wetherbys live on an estate along with their neighbors. Only three members of the Wetherby family live in their large, lavish mansion; Mr. Wetherby, his daughter Sharon, and Uncle Stewart. While large and has the traits opulence; artwork, huge chandeliers, antique furniture, and the family fortune, the mansion is evidently run down. The place is unkempt, dirty, dark, and dank. We guess they won’t afford help.
Mr. Wetherby is your stereotypical blue blood. He is even dressed in a blue dinner jacket carrying a tobacco pipe that never leaves his hand. His daughter, Sharon, doesn’t have a worry in a world other than stroking the hair out of her eyes. Nothing phases her. Watch her get over Uncle Stewart’s kidnapping plot in less than 3 seconds with a “groovy”.
A talented man, Uncle Stewart had a background in theatrics. He could master television special effects and was a wizard in make up. Yet, he felt trapped in a run down mansion reminded each and everyday, as Sharon grew older, the bloodline that would end up inheriting the family fortune. From his chair, Uncle Stewart had countless days and nights staring out his window. Peering into the foggy landscape of the abandoned Kingston mansion, psychotic visions slowly infested his psyche.
Long dreaming to be part of another rich family, he adopted his neighbor’s. The Kingston mansion had long been unoccupied, their family members long buried in their family mausoleum. According to Stewart’s made up legend, Elias Kingston was the last to bury his family leaving no one to bury him. Uncle Stewart’s depression had lasted too long until one night he heard the voice of Elias Kingston’s ghost call for him. We see Uncle Stewart wander next door. The Ghost of Elias Kingston speaks with an echo. In his mind the voice emulates from the Kingston mansion. He is not simply throwing his voice.
Uncle Stewart had no reason to expect the Mystery Machine would arrive at the moment of his trance. In full character, he stretches his arms under control of his own sub conscious. The Ghost of Elias Kingston is coming alive!
The episode introduces the Ghost of Elias Kingston through Stewart’s narration. This is only his account. He returns to the Wetherby estate horribly aged and with a warning. Remembering carefully, this is Stewart’s first make up change. He does not switch back and forth between “old man Stewart” and the ghost. His transformation is one way. As soon as the gang turn their backs, Uncle Stewart hears Elias’s voice call for him a second time. The ghost wants another piece of his soul.
Later, at the Kingston mansion, the gang discovers the death of who we knew as “Uncle Stewart”. He is only bones as Stewart’s alter-ego, Elias Kingston, has taken possession of his identity. We will learn that Sharon had caught of glimpse of Uncle Stewart without his wig. Elias Kingston had no choice but to kidnap her. Stewart Wetherby was powerless and incapable of ending the plot. The Ghost of Elias Kingston wants the family fortune.
The episode ends on a somber note for many reasons. Fred performs an exorcism by spraying off Stewart’s make up. No one is impressed how he had disguised his glasses. Sharon’s shock and curiosity is so short lived, she brushes off a member of her family as soon as someone changes the subject to food. Uncle Stewart and his membership into the family is quickly forgotten as easily as the family continues to make their wealth. Escorted out of the estate by the sheriff, Uncle Stewart is mute having lost his voice. We can’t help to think that deep down inside, the Ghost of Elias Kingston is still speaking to him.
Sharon had asked why would Uncle Stewart do it? We just answered.