This episode of Spider-Man 1967 has a decidedly macabre feeling to it. Given that it was near Halloween during its first air date, one would guess that the intent was to give it that particular flavor.
Our spine-tingling tale involves the Green Goblin's quest for demonic power. A well-known mystic has items in his possession that will open the door to the spirit world. This would give the Goblin access to unlimited power.
Peter and Betty attend a show by Grandini The Mystic. During his performance, he becomes aware that there is someone in the library of his house taking a book of witchcraft. That someone is the Green Goblin. When Betty turns to Peter, she finds his seat empty.
As Grandini described the Goblin is indeed taking a book titled Witchcraft from his personal library. [Somewhere a line from the eponymous song is playing] His intent is to use it to acquire supernatural powers in addition to the ones he already has. Spider-Man arrives at his house [More of a castle really. This guy must be loaded] but is unable to stop the Goblin.
The next morning at the Daily Bugle Jonah assumes that this Green Goblin is Spider-Man in another identity, despite Peter's insistence to the contrary. Betty arrives to deliver a special classified ad that requires his direct approval. Jameson reads it aloud and goes into a trance. When Peter snaps him out of it, he orders everyone out of his office. The Goblin – who was listening from the window - enters Jameson's office, informing him that he has a specific need for him.
At Grandini's house/castle Spider-Man shows the paper to Grandini who explains that this is used to find a medium to speak to the spirit world.
Back at the Daily Bugle, the Goblin has placed Jameson in a trance and is speaking to the spirits about a ritual that will give him unlimited power. He needs the Scepter of Osiris to stir the potion that will bend the demons to his will. He asks the spirits where the Scepter is located. They respond that its in the mummy case in Grandini's library [Yeah, why go to the trouble of creating a new location?] Spider-Man arrives and tries to capture the Goblin. The Goblin commands the spirit speaking through Jameson to assist. The spirit causes Jameson's desk to rise suddenly and knocks out Spider-Man. Satisfied that he is favored in the spirit world, the Goblin leaves.
Jameson quickly snaps out of his trace. When he sees the unconscious Spider-Man on the floor, he calls the police. Once the police arrive, Jonah insists that they arrest him. The officer won't arrest him without a specific charge. This gives Spider-Man the time he needs to recover and leaves for Grandini's place. [Both Jonah and the Goblin passed up a chance to unmask Spider-Man. I find this difficult to accept. Are we sure that Jonah is actually out of his trance?]
Upon arrival he finds the Goblin stealing the scepter from the mummy case as directed. His efforts to stop him prove futile and the Goblin once again escapes. His only option is to learn where the Goblin plans to hold his ritual and stop him.
Peter returns to the Daily Bugle and tricks Jonah into reading the incantation once again. He asks where and when the ceremony will take place. The time is midnight but the location is known only to the Green Goblin. Peter plants a spider-tracer on Jonah hoping that he'll be brought along for the ceremony.
His hunch pays off and Jonah leads him to an unidentified cemetery where the Goblin has prepared a special clear liquid and placed it in a black cauldron. Once he stirs his witches' brew, four demons appear [Actually they resemble "Cousin Spooky" from Casper the Friendly Ghost © but even less frightening]. After a brief fight, the Goblin orders the demons to destroy Spider-Man. Seeing how inept the Goblin is, the demons refuse. They tell him that he is "not fit to join their evil band" and disappear. [So he'll never tour with Mayhem. There will be other gigs. Just not this good.] Spider-Man webs up the Goblin and leaves him for the police.
The next day Jonah tells Betty of his experience waking up (out of his trance) in a jail cell next to the Green Goblin. He was not a happy camper.
First off, you are right. The Green Goblin doesn't dabble in the occult. He's more of an eccentric mob boss character, at least he was in every issue published before this episode was aired. Why they decided to go this route is beyond me.
Skipping over that and evaluating the story for the story, it's not too bad. He's a goblin. They needed something for a Halloween-themed show. It kinda makes sense.
3.5 webs. The supernatural aspect - while inconsistent with the depiction in the comics - is handled as well as it can be given that it's a Saturday morning cartoon. I'm not sure you could even talk about conjuring demons anymore due to stricter content regulations.
Perhaps that is why I rate this a bit higher. It's practically forbidden content, much like Jonah's ubiquitous cigar smoking. It's a unique story that would never make it past the censors today as it is written.
Now is the time to bring back the "funny caption" game to this review. Match the numbers here with the screen cap numbers above.