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"You know what they always say; ugly things are hairy, but spooky things are scary."
— Mr. Conductor
ThingsthatGoGa-HoogaintheNighttitlecard
Things That Go Ga-Hooga in the Night
Director(s)

Gregory Lehane

Producer(s)

Britt Allcroft
Rick Siggelkow

Writer(s)

Brian McConnachie

Conductor

Ringo Starr

Air date

June 4th, 1989

Previous episode

Mapping it Out

Next episode

Is This the End?

Things that Go Ga-Hooga in the Night is the nineteenth episode of the first season.

Plot

Harry explains to Stacy how a wire and pulley system he set up will automatically take care of the overnight mail. Harry tells Stacy that since all of the work is done for her, she doesn't have to spend the night at the station. Stacy politely tells Harry that she intends on staying overnight anyway.

Matt and Tanya arrive and ask Stacy if she's really going to spend the night at the station. Harry is confident that his mail switching system will work and tries once more to convince Stacy. Stacy again kindly declines, explaining that she doesn't want to risk the mail bag getting stuck on Harry's system as she wants Shining Time Station to be known as the most reliable station on the line. Harry then decides to also spend the night with her so she won't be alone.

When Stacy goes off to look for a sleeping bag, Matt and Tanya ponder what spending the night at the station would be like. They are suddenly startled to see a top hat scuttle across the station floor and stop at the arcade stairs. As they go closer to investigate, Mr. Conductor emerges from beneath the hat.

Mr. Conductor explains that he found the top hat in the lounge car on the express to Twiddly Junction. He then asks why they look as if they’ve just seen a ghost. The kids claim that they knew all along that it was Mr. Conductor, but he catches on and teases the kids for being frightened. He tells them that he would've been just as frightened to see such a sight and would have jumped and screamed. This all reminds Mr. Conductor of the time Percy played a scary joke on Thomas, and he proceeds to tell them the story.

Since Stacy and Harry intend on staying overnight, Matt and Tanya decide they want to as well, and beg Stacy to let them do so. Stacy makes it conditional on if their parents give their permission. The kids become excited and Stacy remarks that their parents haven't even agreed yet.

Just then, a woman wearing an ornate paper hat and costume calls out to Stacy. It's Wendy Brackman, an old friend of Stacy's. She introduces Wendy to the Matt and Tanya who are curious and ask her about her appearance. Stacy reveals that Wendy can make anything out of paper, and Wendy adds that she makes hats but likes making masks. Stacy asks Wendy if she could show demonstrate her talents to the kids as she goes to the ticket desk to call the kids' parents. The kids want to make scary masks and when we next see them, Tanya is wearing a dragon-like mask as Wendy makes a skeletal one for Matt. Wendy bids everyone goodbye just as her train arrives. Stacy breaks the good news to Matt and Tanya that their parents agreed to let them spend the night at the station.

Schemer tries to frighten them by telling them about how scary the station is at night in the dark with the boogieman, and tells them about "the man with his head on backwards", who used to frighten Schemer when he was small. They run off outside to play as Schemer complains that today's children aren't as afraid as he was at that age. Schemer suddenly experiences a “Genius Time” moment, and decides that the children need something to be afraid of.

That night, Tanya and Matt are in their sleeping bags. Harry joins them from his workshop with a blanket roll. When the kids tell him that they can't sleep, Harry shares his experience of being the same way when he drove the overnight train to Pelican Falls. Harry then leaves the kids and goes into his workshop.

When Mr. Conductor appears, the kids aren't sleepy and ask Mr. Conductor to tell them a bedtime story. Mr. Conductor settles on telling them a story about the time Percy got covered with treacle and hay, making for quite a sight.

The kids try to sleep but a screeching sound startles them. A hand places an nickel in a jukebox. Tito awakens his band mates to tell them that a mysterious hand just gave them a nickel to play something. The band sleepily begins to play a slow version of “Clementine.”

The kids are still pondering who played the jukebox when Stacy comes in to check in on them. She's surprised to find them still awake and tucks them in pretending that she's putting them into envelopes (their sleeping bags). She tells them that she'll be in Harry's office and that she'll see them in the morning.

The children become increasingly startled when they hear crashing sounds. Stacy and Harry rush out of the workshop having heard it too. Harry and Stacy decide to investigate, reassuring the kids that it was probably the wind knocking something over.

Just then, a figure covered in a white sheet and wearing a ball cap slinks into the station, but retreats when Harry's voice is heard. Stacy notes that the Midnight Special is due any time with the night mail, and Harry is eager to see if his pulley system works. As they both leave the station, the sheeted figure returns, but is revealed to be Schemer when he steps on the sheet and pulls it off. Irritated at being foiled, he throws the sheet away and it lands over the wire of Harry's pulley system. In another "Genius Time" moment, Schemer decides to become "the man with his head on backwards" to frighten the children.

The kids complain that their sleeping bags are knotted at the bottom, so they both dive inside their bags to fix them. Schemer has put his jacket and cap on backwards and walks towards the kids. He becomes frightened himself when he glances around and sees two sleeping bags standing upright and wriggling. Schemer runs off screaming and knocks himself out when he bumps into the jukebox, waking up the puppets. As he runs toward the station's exit, the children's paper masks are lit up from behind by the passing Midnight Special, while the sheet is caught by the mail bag sliding across the pulley system and pulled ghostlike across to the other side. Convinced he's just seen the real man with his head on backwards, an unnerved Schemer panics and runs away screaming just as Harry and Stacy come back into the station.

The kids complain of being tired, while Harry congratulates himself that his system worked and the mail is now ready to be picked up by the Daybreak Express. Stacy concurs but says that she wanted to be there to be sure. Harry and Stacy lay out their bedding beside Matt and Tanya as the kids chide them to get to sleep. Everyone wishes one another goodnight, even in the jukebox.

Characters

Thomas Stories

Percy loved the story about the ghost train his driver told him. At first he didn’t understand the story was just for entertainment. Percy repeated the story to Thomas. However, Thomas thinks ghosts are a lot of hot air and he tells Percy the thinks so. Percy wished the story was real. That evening Percy hit a cart of Lyme that a farmer left on the tracks. White powder covers his smart green paint. Percy sees the perfect opportunity to play a trick on his blue tank engine friend. With Toby’s help, Percy makes Thomas into the silly one who thinks he’s seen a ghost.

Mr Conductor finishes the story of Percy's tricks. Summertime has come to the Island of Sodor. Workers cut the dead grass in a field. They load the fresh hay into freight cars brought by Percy. Toby then took the hay filled cars to the hills for farmers to feed their livestock with. Percy continued to give Thomas a hard time over the ghost fiasco. Thomas was already fed up with Percy for being late all the time. He snapped back at Percy by calling him an ugly green caterpillar. When Percy goes to the harbor a crate of sticky stuff gets dropped on top of him. He had to head back threw the field of hay during high winds. The wind blew straw onto the tracks which made the rails slippery and caused Percy to stall. When Percy finally back to the station he looked like a green hairy caterpillar with all that straw stuck to him. His driver more kindly described Percy as a woolly bear. Thomas and Toby could not stop joking about it.

Jukebox Band Segment Song

  • Clementine

Trivia

  • Tanya is shown to have brought a Garfield pillow when she and Matt stay at the station for the night.
  • The episode's title is a play on words taken from an old Scottish prayer: "From ghoulies and ghosties; And long-leggedy beasties; And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!".
  • Ringo Starr's US narrations of "Percy's Ghostly Trick" and "Woolly Bear" were never released on home video, though the latter can be heard on the Audio CD of the Random House book Diesel's Devious Deed.
  • Nicole Leach said in an interview with SiF that she had fond memories of this episode.

Quotes

  • Kara: I think Thomas was silly. 
  • Mr. Conductor: Our imaginations usually fill up more at night than during the daytime and Thomas has certainally did that night.

Gallery

Episode

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