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“Never mind him, Peter Sam. He'd be frightened if he really saw a ghost.”
―Rusty explaining Duncan to Peter Sam

Duncan Gets Spooked is the twenty-fourth episode of the fifth series. It aired in an airing of Storytime with Thomas with Sleeping Beauty in the US.


Duncan, Peter Sam, Skarloey and Rusty are busy clearing their line of branches and debris. After Peter Sam is helped by Rusty to a water tower with his train, his trucks break away out of boredom and roll onto a bridge where they derail and plummet into the ravine. Peter Sam arrives to the scene of the incident and his driver realises that the trucks weren't properly secured, and they will need help to retrieve them, knowing that the Fat Controller will not be happy about the accident.

Peter Sam's driver is correct; that evening, the Fat Controller scolds Peter Sam for his carelessness and punishes him by making him work in the yards until he can be trusted again. Duncan chortles that Peter Sam's trucks will return to haunt him, so Rusty asks him about being scared of ghosts. Despite Duncan brushing them off as rubbish, Rusty attempts to scare him by telling him a ghost story; long ago, there was an engine who was crossing the same bridge over the ravine to return home. Unfortunately, he derailed halfway across and fell over the side into the swamp below and was never found. In the light of the full moon, his spirit has since been seen by workmen haunting the bridge trying to get home, but he never reaches the other side. Duncan is dismissive, but Peter Sam's driver gets an idea and plans with Duncan's crew to teach Duncan a lesson.

The next day, Duncan has to take coal trucks to the slate mines and bring ones filled with slate back. As part of the plan, his crew takes him over the bridge. Duncan comments that it does not seem haunted, but he still has Rusty's story on his mind. At the slate mine, Duncan tries to rush his crew to leave, complaining that Skarloey will take his favourite spot in the sheds. His driver tells him that they have to wait until their trucks are collected and he can tell the plan is working as Duncan is nervous.

That night, Duncan is just about finished with his work and is halfway across the bridge when he stops. He begins to see flickering lights that look like an engine in front of him, though it is actually just an engine formed by fireflies. Duncan's driver then secretly throws a large rock from the cab into the ravine below. Duncan - thinking it is the ghost of the engine - gets scared and quickly runs back to the safety of his shed.

Once back at his shed, Duncan closes his eyes tightly. His driver asks if he has been spooked, but Duncan claims he is asleep and initially refuses to open his eyes. He does however, when he thinks that his driver is not looking to make sure that he is still there for him.




  • This is the first episode to use the new large scale models of the Skarloey Railway engines, although Duncan, Peter Sam and Rusty's small scale models were used in the shed scene while Skarloey's was used as the Ghost Engine when he fell in the swamp. However, in the fourth series, larger partial models of the engines were made for use with the close-up scale human figures.
  • In the UK dub, when the trucks fall into the ravine, the music is omitted.
  • The ghost engine in Rusty's story uses Skarloey's model. Skarloey's large scale model is used when the engine falls off the bridge and his small scale model is used when it falls into the ravine.
  • The shed that Rusty, Peter Sam and Duncan were at was really the shed from Rheneas Station from the previous series.
  • This is the only episode of a few things:
    • The only episode from the Britt Allcroft Company in the US dub where the Skarloey Railway is referred to as a "railroad," judging by the fact that it is an American term. However, this is the first episode where a railway on the Island of Sodor is referred to as a railroad, which is a rare type of goof in the series since the term railway was usually the more appropriate term for the show.
    • The only episode in the fifth series not to feature any standard gauge engines.
    • The only appearance of Rusty's Ghost Engine.
    • The only episode in the fifth series where Duncan speaks. Also, in the US dub, Alec Baldwin provided a Liverpudlian accent instead of a Scottish accent since Baldwin probably didn't know how to that kind of accent.
    • The only episode to confirm fatalities in an accident (and thus the only episode where a character perishes on-screen).
  • The engine formed by the fireflies looks exactly like Rheneas and Smudger.
  • This episode most likely takes place during the events of Rusty and the Boulder, as the quarry is seen in this episode. In the aforementioned episode, it is stated that the quarry is brand new and is also then closed in a short amount of time.
  • The barrel the workmen stands near is the "Best Quality Diesel Oil" barrel from the fourth series episode, Bowled Out.
  • This episode marks the last time with two things:


  • When Skarloey passes by in the first scene, a red wire is visible underneath him.
  • In the UK dub, the narrator says that Rusty whistled goodbye, but Rusty is a diesel, and therefore has a horn, not a whistle. The US dub leaves this out.
  • In the US and in various international dubs, when Rusty leaves Peter Sam at the water tower, he makes puffing noises despite being a diesel.
  • When Peter Sam's trucks fall off the bridge, they are connected to each other, but when they hit the water, they are separated. They also land one on top the other, when the previous shot clearly showed the last trucks getting whipped off the bridge with enough force to reach the opposite side of the swamp. Also their loads fly out when derailing, but magically return when they hit the swamp.
  • When Duncan tells Peter Sam his trucks will come back and haunt him, Peter Sam's crew have several chips paint missing, and one has black glue around his neck.
  • Duncan's face moves when he makes a ghost sound. This also happens to the other engines in this scene as their eyes move around.
  • When the ghost engine falls off the bridge, he is rotating, but when the shot changes to him landing in the swamp, he has stopped rotating, which is physically impossible if Newton's first law of motion is applied.
  • Because both scales of models were used, Rusty's face changes size in the shed scene.
  • When the narrator says that Duncan keeps thinking about Rusty's story, Duncan jolts up for a second.
  • When the fireflies form the engine, the end of the tracks is visible in the distance.
  • In the shot of Peter Sam's driver speaking to Duncan's crew about the trick, a workman next to Peter Sam is missing his legs. This is more clearly shown in a rare picture.
  • When Peter Sam's driver speaks to Duncan's crew about the trick, his eyes are wonky.
  • Due to a film cut, when Duncan's face fades from shut-eyed to looking sad, his cab moves slightly.


Trucks: Let's break away!
Narrator: Their loads were heavy, and the couplings old. One snapped.
(a coupling snaps, punctuated with a "boing" sound effect; the trucks break away from Peter Sam)
Truck: Faster! Faster!
(Peter Sam arrives at the Old Iron Bridge to the scene of the trucks' accident)
Peter Sam's driver: This was our fault. We didn't secure them properly. We have to get help to pull them out. The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt will be very annoyed.
Narrator: (cut to the sheds later that evening) And he was.
The Fat Controller: UK dub: You will shunt trucks in the yards until I can trust you again. / US dub: You will work in the yards until I can trust you again.
Duncan: [to Peter Sam] Fancy not securing your trucks/freight cars on a hill. They'll come back to spook you and your special funnel. UK dub: Who-hoo-hoo! / US dub: Woo-ooo!
Rusty: And who's to say you're not afraid of ghosts?!
Duncan: Ghosts? Things that go bump in the night? Rubbish!
Rusty: Well, I'll tell you a story that'll make your funnel quiver.
[cut to the Old Iron Bridge one night]
Rusty: A long time ago, a little engine was returning home. It was a misty moonlit night. As the engine crossed the Old Iron Bridge, he suddenly lost control, and plunged over the side, into the swamps below.
[the engine falls into the ravine]
Rusty: He was never found again, but many a workman will tell you that when the moon is full, they have seen the little engine trying to get home. But he never reaches the other side.
[cut back to the present]
Rusty: So, what do you think of that, Duncan?
Duncan: UK dub: Pah! Nonsense! / US dub: Rubbish!
Rusty: Never mind him, Peter Sam. He'd be frightened if he really saw a ghost.
Peter Sam's Driver: Let's play a trick on Duncan.
Duncan: Haunted bridge. Pah!/Rubbish! It's as tame as a pet rabbit!
Duncan: If we don't go now, Skarloey will take my favourite place in the sheds.
Driver: UK dub: We can't go back until we've collected all the trucks. / US dub: We have to collect our cars first.
(Duncan gives a nervous look)
Duncan: It's the ghost! Take me back! Take me back, please!
(Duncan reverses and reaches the safety of his shed, and closes his eyes tightly)
Driver: Spooked, are you, Duncan?
Duncan: No! I'm asleep!
(Duncan initially refuses to open his eyes, but does, realising that his driver was making sure he was alright)

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Duncan Leva um Susto
Chinese Mandarin 受惊吓的邓肯
Czech Duncan se bojí
Danish Duncan får sig en forskrækkelse
Dutch Een spook voor Duncan
French Dominque a la trouille
German Duncan sieht Gespenster
Hungarian Duncan és a Kísértet
Italian Scherzetto per Duncan
Japanese まんげつのよるのできごと
Korean 깜박 속은 덩컨
Latin American Spanish El Susto de Duncan
Norwegian Duncan Blir Skremt
Polish Duncan się Przestraszył (Original)
Przestraszony Damian (Alternate)
Romanian Duncan Trage o Sperietură
Russian Дункан и приведение
Slovenian Franclja Prestrasijo
Swedish Det spökar for Duncan

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs




DVD Packs


  • Spooks and Surprises