- Patrick Star
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Painting Snakes (debut)
- Raven (debut)
- Lord Poltergeist (debut)
- Lord Poltergeist's crew
- Charlie (debut)
- Gary the Snail (cameo)
- Cat-o-nine-tails (debut)
- Frankie Billy
- Nat Peterson
- Norma Rechid
- Abigail Marge
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Squidward Tentacles
- Sandy Cheeks
- Painting Monsters (debut)
- Donut demon (debut)
- Giant SpongeBob (debut)
- Flying Dutchman
- Dutchbomb (debut)
- French Narrator
- Skeleton customer (debut)
- Milkshake Gremlin (debut)
- Ghost Customer (debut)
- King Neptune (mentioned)
SpongeBob and Patrick are lying on the ground and watch the clouds until they see a haunted houseboat crashing to ground near them. Patrick wants to check it out but SpongeBob says that it looks dangerous. Patrick soon convinces SpongeBob to come with him, so the friends went to go check it out. Patrick thinks the boat is lame, but SpongeBob thinks it is real. SpongeBob looks at a painting of flowers that is in the boat and states that it is pretty but soon the flowers turn into snakes and hiss at SpongeBob which makes him panic.
Then, they meet Lord Poltergeist (who Patrick stupidly thinks is a robot that serves pizza). Lord Poltergeist says that he will sing a sea shanty to make SpongeBob and Patrick believe he is a real ghost. At the end of the song, Poltergeist asks if they believe now but Patrick still doesn’t believe and says he wants pizza so Lord Poltergeist gives him pizza that has anchovies on it, which scares them out of their wits. This causes them to fearfully acknowledge him as a real ghost, even causing a scared Patrick to be willing to sacrifice SpongeBob to save himself while the unamused Lord Poltergeist sarcastically remarks "That's a pretty nice friend, you got there." SpongeBob then asks why Lord Poltergeist is in Bikini Bottom and it is because there is a broken head gasket. Lord Poltergeist takes their souls but gives SpongeBob a doubloon to buy a new head gasket. He says that if they do not return with a new head gasket in 24 hours, their souls will be gone forever.
SpongeBob and Patrick run to the Krusty Krab and tell the customers about the ghosts, though their freaked out behavior causes the customers to flee. Mr. Krabs orders SpongeBob to calm down as he wants to know what is with the chaos. SpongeBob calms down and tells Mr. Krabs about how Lord Poltergeist stole their souls and gave them a doubloon to buy a head gasket. Mr. Krabs takes the doubloon and after seeing its real, he takes a head gasket from a boat that is outside the Krusty Krab, to the owner's ire. Mr. Krabs forces Squidward to come along with them after promising him a break room if he does come along and steal the ghost's treasure. Sandy then appears with ghost equipment, claiming she was looking for "milkshake gremlins" and wants to catch some ghosts.
The five go back to the boat where Lord Poltergeist was seen. Mr. Krabs steals the doubloons and hands bags of them to Squidward and Patrick. Mr. Krabs then sees a doubloon that is stuck to the bottom of the chest. He tries to pull it out but ends up setting off a trap which causes Lord Poltergeist to appear. SpongeBob gives him the head gasket and the lord gives SpongeBob and Patrick orange soda instead of their souls and reveals that he never took their souls in the first place. He sucks Mr. Krabs, Squidward and Patrick (who are trying to escape with the gold) into a void, and shows them their greatest fears.
First, Mr. Krabs has to use the restroom and finds a portable bathroom, but to use it, he must pay one doubloon and he screams at the thought of spending his loot. Next, Patrick wishes for a doughnut and then a talking one comes up on his head that Patrick annoys and the doughnut yells at him to pick something already. Patrick wishes for a doughnut with sprinkles, then chocolate, then a bagel, then a stack of pancakes, then a Krabby Patty, until he decides to go back to a plain doughnut. The doughnut screams at the fact that it must deal with Patrick for eternity as the starfish is oblivious to the fact that he had outsmarted his worst nightmare, something Lord Poltergeist intended to be impossible. Finally, Squidward encounters a giant SpongeBob, which makes him scream. Sandy sucks the three back into her ghost hunting equipment. Then, Mr. Krabs and Lord Poltergeist fight for the chest of doubloons. They fling it into the air and SpongeBob catches it and sees a "Property of the Flying Dutchman" stamp at the bottom of the chest followed by a phone number. The Flying Dutchman comes by to reclaim his doubloons (but ends up being tricked by Lord Poltergeist that they were looking for him to give him back the gold). Lord Poltergeist runs away until the boat breaks down.
Finally, the Flying Dutchman turns into a torpedo that makes a huge void that sucks everyone inside. The episode finishes with the Krusty Krab in the void with new workers and customers. When SpongeBob tells everyone to hold on to something, he tells Giant Demonic SpongeBob from the void to flip the restaurant. He does so, and then his face turns into The Flying Dutchman's and he laughs evilly.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ The Haunted Carnival - Eban Schletter [Title card]
‣ Undertow - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Opening]
‣ Another Krusty Krab Day - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs-shaped cloud]
‣ Happy Haunting Hosts - Eban Schletter [Flying houseboat appears]
‣ Deep Shadows - Eban Schletter ["It's probably just one of those fake haunted houses, you know, for babies."]
‣ ? - Eban Schletter [SpongeBob enters the houseboat]
‣ Some Things To Know About Monsters - Eban Schletter [Flowers turn into snakes]
‣ ? - Eban Schletter ["Even the spiders are fake."]
‣ Some Things To Know About Monsters - Eban Schletter [Giant hand grabs SpongeBob]
‣ Unknown Track 65 - Nicolas Carr [Organ music/Lord Poltergeist goes over to SpongeBob and Patrick]
‣ Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter [Patrick looks in captain's mouth]
‣ Hot Steel and Slide Licks - Jeremy Wakefield ["His bad breath is incredible."]
‣ Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter ["His hair is very authentic too."]
‣ I've Created a Monster - Eban Schletter ["Pizza parlors?! Arrgh..."]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr [Shot of coin]
‣ ? - Eban Schletter ["So you want me to sing you a shanty, eh?"]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield ["This show's gonna be so awesome."]
◦ We're the Ghouls of the Briny Deep - Luke Brookshier, Eban Schletter
‣ Down in Davy Jones' Locker - Nicolas Carr ["Do you believe we're real ghosts now?"]
‣ Drama Link (c) - Hubert Clifford [Lord Poltergeist poofs up pizza]
• What the Huh Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [Pizza box opens]
‣ Drama Link (b) - Hubert Clifford [Live anchovies on pizza]
‣ ? [Pizza box disappears]
‣ Out of the Crypt - Harry Lubin ["You are real ghosts! You are real ghosts!"/"Why have you come to Bikini Bottom, oh mighty dead person, sir?"]
‣ Deep Shadows - Eban Schletter ["Our engine room broke down."]
‣ Out of the Crypt - Harry Lubin ["Yes, you! And just as a little incident to make you return..."]
‣ Gothic Adventure - Mark Cousins, Adam Saunders [Lord Poltergeist takes SpongeBob and Patrick's souls]
‣ Unknown Track 66 - Nicolas Carr [Lord Poltergeist gives SpongeBob a doubloon]
‣ Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter [Captain checks his calendar]
‣ Dramatic Impact 6 - Ivor Slaney ["...forever!"]
‣ Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter ["Can we run screaming in horror from your ship now?"]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob and Patrick run screaming/SpongeBob and Patrick continue running and screaming]
‣ Unknown Track 10 - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob and Patrick order an ice cream]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob and Patrick run screaming to the Krusty Krab]
‣ Hot Steel and Slide Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob and Patrick run into the Krusty Krab doors]
‣ Sword Fight - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Ghosts, ghosts, a haunted houseboat!"]
‣ From the Dead - Ronald Hanmer [Customers run away]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (n) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Come back!"]
‣ Cellar Search - Philippe Pares ["Mr. Krabs, it was awful! We just had a spooky encounter of the ghostly kind!"]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (u) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs lets go of Patrick's tongue]
‣ Cellar Search - Philippe Pares ["The captain of the ghost gave us this doubloon and told us to buy him a new head gasket!"]
‣ Daily Chores Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Did you say... doubloon?"]
‣ Classic Horror Sting - Eban Schletter [Sandy appears]
‣ Daily Chores Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Great, then it's settled, let's go catch us some ghost gold!"]
‣ Shop-O-Rama - Nicolas Carr, Fabian Fernandez [Squidward's daydream]
• In a Minor Mood Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Super! Let's go catch us some treasure!"]
‣ Unknown Track 65 - Nicolas Carr ["So, here it is."]
‣ A Pirate's Life for Me (a) - Ron Goodwin [Treasure chest]
‣ Ghostly Presence - Harry Lubin ["That gold probably has ghost germs all over it."]
• In a Minor Mood Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs takes doubloons from the treasure chest]
• What's This - Nicolas Carr ["Ooh! Looks like I missed one."]
‣ Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs tries to take the last doubloon]
‣ Straight from Hell - Gregor F. Narholz [Lord Poltergeist reappears]
‣ Unknown Track 67 - Eban Schletter ["So if it's not too much trouble, do you think you could give us our souls back... now... maybeee."]
‣ Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter ["Those weren't your souls. Those were just a couple of old orange sodas that have been sitting in the sun too long."]
‣ Frightmare - Magnum Opus ["ME GOLD!"]
‣ Death Clock E - Dick De Benedictis ["Hmm. So this is limbo."]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr ["Uh-oh. Gotta use the can."]
‣ Death Clock H - Dick De Benedictis ["NO!!!"]
‣ Death Clock E - Dick De Benedictis ["Wow, this void sure is relaxing."]
‣ Unknown Track 101 - Donut appears on Patrick's head
‣ Unknown Track 90 - "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Welcome to your worst nightmare."
• New Vibe Hits 2011 - Nicolas Carr ["Hmm?"]
‣ The Donut Dilemma - Nicolas Carr ["Hey, stupid, don't you wanna eat me?"]
‣ Evil Mind 3 - Dick De Benedictis [Donut screams]
‣ Death Clock E - Dick De Benedictis ["Oh, great. I wonder what my vision of eternal suffering will be."]
‣ Death Clock B - Dick De Benedictis ["Hi, neighbor."]
‣ Unknown Track 65 - Nicolas Carr [Lord Poltergeist laughs]
‣ Terror Hunt - Phil Green ["You better let my friends out of there if you know what's good for ya!"]
‣ Death and Destruction 1 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Sandy activates the ghost catcher]
‣ Expectant Stab [#28] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Explosion]
‣ Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter ["Not so fast! That there booty be mine!"]
• In a Minor Mood Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Hey, you thieving bilge rat! I stole this gold fair and square!"]
‣ Comic Capers B - Charlie Brissette, Norman Mamey [Krabs and captain fight over the gold]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [Property of the Flying Dutchman]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr ["The Flying Dutchman? You ain't afraid he's gonna want it back?"]
‣ Malleus Mallificarum (a) - Dave Hewson [Flying Dutchman appears]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr ["The Dutchman! How did he track us down?"]
‣ Surrender 7 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Why, you scurvy little scum-scrubber! You've ruined everything!"]
‣ Spooks Appear 1 - Harry Lubin [Everyone comes outside]
‣ ? - Nicolas Carr ["So, it be me old first mate who stole me gold and me crew!"]
• Sad Sack Shanty - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["We just went out to get pizza."]
‣ Flight of the Witches - Cris Velasco [Captain runs over Flying Dutchman]
‣ Halloween Antics A - Kevin Riepl [Flying Dutchman follows Lord Poltergeist]
‣ Day of Reckoning - Andrew Blaney ["Don't go anywhere, kiddies! Cause you're about to be cursed like you've never been cursed before!"]
‣ Footsteps of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [Flying Dutchman turns into a torpedo]
• Jovial Pirate's Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Later, in the void...]
- There is a book based on this episode titled Haunted Houseboat.
- The title card is similar to that of "Big Sister Sam," except it is in black and white.
- The song "We're the Ghouls of the Briny Deep" is used again in the episode "Séance Shméance."
- Because Lord Poltergeist shows that October 5th is on a Thursday, that means this episode takes place in 2000, 2006, 2017, 2023, or 2028.
- In this episode, Mr. Krabs suggests using treasures to buy a break room for the Krusty Krab. Although in "Breakin'," Mr. Krabs is actually shown to have a break room hidden inside of a wall in the Krusty Krab. It is possible that Mr. Krabs didn't secretly install a break room until after the events of this episode.
- It is revealed Mr. Krabs doesn't believe in germs, at least on money. This likely explains why he bathes in money at times.
- Squidward breaks the fourth wall by saying, "I guess this is the part where I start screaming."
- This is the first episode of the series since "One Krabs Trash" with the 1986 Paramount logo, but with the 2010 Viacom byline. This variant was taken from the movie Paranormal Activity 3 which came out around the same time of this episode in 2011.
- This is the first episode to use "Hot Steel and Slide Licks," which has now replaced the old "Steel Licks."
- This is the second episode which is about ghosts yet The Flying Dutchman doesn't have a major role in it.
- The first is "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost," where The Flying Dutchman only appears in a book.
- This is the third half hour special of season 8. The first is "Frozen Face-Off," and the second is "A SquarePants Family Vacation."
- This is the fourth episode to show an atomic explosion, the first being "Dying for Pie," the second being "The Krusty Plate," and the third being "Frozen Face-Off."
- This is the fourth time Mr. Krabs appears as a real crab, his three previous appearances as a real crab are "Pressure," "Wishing You Well," "Rodeo Daze."
- When Patrick calls Lord Poltergeist "a singing robotic puppet" from "those pizza joints with the singing animated robots," he is referring to Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants.
- The cat-o-nine-tails bears a resemblance to the Kitsune of Japanese folklore. However, the Kitsune is a fox, not a cat.
- Historically, a cat-o-nine-tails was a whip with nine ends used to punish sailors in the navy.
- When Squidward says, "boring, representational art," the painting he points at is a ghost parody of American Gothic.
- Patrick's punishment is a reference to Tantalus from Greek Mythology.
- The gremlin that Sandy catches in her milkshake is similar in appearance to the creatures from the 1984 Spielberg film Gremlins.
- Lord Poltergeist's calendar only has six days in a week instead of seven.
- And on top of that, Lord Poltergiest's calendar has Halloween after October 31st.
- Head gaskets are often within and underneath the manifold of a car's engine. Mr. Krabs would have an increasingly difficult time trying to remove one rather than just opening the hood of a car and pulling it out.
- In the scene when SpongeBob says, "Uh-oh. I don't like the sound of that!" Patrick blinks his eyes and his eyelids are pink instead of purple.
- In one recent airing of this episode, the second part never began. Instead, "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost" aired.
- In the scene with Patrick and the donut, Patrick changes the flavor of the donut.