This is not to be confused with the comic book story of the same name from Forever Smurfette.
As Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and Brainy venture into the forest, Smurfette notes aloud that she has never seen this part of the forest being so dry before, an observation that Papa Smurf shares. Smurfette also points out that they still haven't found the wild forest pondsnort, to which Brainy replies in his usual know-it-all manner that one can't find pondsnort unless one finds a pond. When he gets hurled by Smurfette due to his need to elaborate on the subject, he lands near a pond that has clearly been without water for a long time. Smurfette comments that the whole area could use a good rain, and no sooner does she say that, the clouds start to pour down rain. Brainy sees a log that they can run into for cover from the rain, but after they enter Papa Smurf sees that the water level is rising, so they leave to find shelter on higher ground.
Meanwhile, Johan and Peewit are traveling down a road on their mounts, having lost their way thanks to Peewit's "short cuts" as an annoyed Johan points out. When they come to a fork in the road, wondering whether to turn left or right, Peewit sees a castle nearby. They enter into it, expecting food and shelter, only to find that there is nobody there and not even a bit of food for the hungry jester to eat. Peewit can only conclude that the castle must have been deserted, and as he and Johan try to take their rest for the night, the jester also thinks that it must be haunted as he keeps waking up to strange sounds. Johan simply dismisses Peewit's comments until they both hear footsteps that waken them both up. Trailed by a scared Peewit, the young knight goes into the hallway with his sword drawn, expecting to find trouble, only to see that it is the three Smurfs looking for shelter. Papa Smurf had expected the castle to be deserted, and Peewit is about to confirm that it is when he suddenly hears the bell ringing, frightening him.
While the Smurfs head for the fireplace to dry themselves, Johan and Peewit bravely go to the bell tower to find out who's ringing the bell, only to find the bell ringing itself. Johan observes that the bell has rung twelve times, indicating the current time as "the witching hour". Peewit wonders what that's supposed to mean when a ghostly figure appears out of nowhere, causing the pair to flee the bell tower. The ghost reappears throughout the castle in an attempt to intercept the two adventurers and communicate with them, but all he does is cause them to run in another direction. The Smurfs soon see the ghost that is chasing their human friends, but when the ghost sees them, he becomes frightened having never seen Smurfs before. He starts fleeing from them, with a delighted Brainy in pursuit until the ghost disappears through a wall, causing the Smurf to hit his head.
Finally, Johan and Peewit together with the Smurfs discover the ghost is actually friendly, introducing himself as Adelbert de Baufort. He tells his visitors that the land of his once magnificent castle had seven fountains that during his lifetime, were dried up by the evil witch Sarah, whom he had once crossed. Because of this, the land around his castle dried up, causing the people of his estate to leave. Blaming him for causing the springs to dry up, the spirits of his ancestors cursed Adlebert after his death to haunt the castle as a ghost until the day that the seven fountains flow again. As the ghost of Aldebert vanishes after telling his story, Johan asks if there's any way they can help, and Papa Smurf says that only Sarah would know how to restore the springs, and she's been dead for a hundred years. Johan suggests that maybe Sarah had passed on her magic abilities to someone else, and Papa Smurf says he knows of a sorcerer nearby who perhaps can help.
The following day, Johan and Peewit are led by the Smurfs to the sorcerer's cabin, despite Peewit fretting the magician may turn them all into toads. When the terrifying-looking sorcerer answers the door to Johan's knock, Peewit panics and bolts. Then he sees a toad hop by and, assuming it is Johan turned into one by the sorcerer, tries to catch it. Only after he dives into a pond after it does he see Johan standing at the edge with the sorcerer, and realizes he has been pursuing a real toad. The sorcerer informs the pair that Sarah's abilities have been passed on to another witch named Rachel, but the sorcerer doesn't know where she lives. Peewit is ready to turn back, but Papa Smurf says he knows of this Rachel and that she owes him a favor.
Following Papa Smurf's directions, Johan, Peewit, and the Smurfs arrive at Rachel's cabin only to find nobody inside to answer the door. Papa Smurf decides that they should wait inside for her, but tells the others not to touch a thing. Peewit finds a jar that he thinks is full of water to cool himself off with, but upon splashing the liquid in it upon himself, he bursts out in an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Papa Smurf finds out that Peewit had splashed himself with Laughing Water. Just then Rachel arrives and, finding Peewit laughing like crazy from her Laughing Water, picks up another jar full of regular water and douses the jester with it, restoring his senses. When she learns what her visitors want, she offers them a magical divining rod that once belonged to Sarah, which Johan eagerly accepts. All Rachel wants is for her visitors to bring it back when they are done with it, and Papa Smurf assures her he will.
Soon Johan, Peewit, and the Smurfs are searching all over the forest with the divining rod. Just as Peewit is beginning to wonder if the thing will truly work, the rod pulls Johan in a certain direction before it strikes the ground, causing a gusher of water to erupt. Seeing that one of the seven fountains is restored, Peewit tries his hand at finding the next fountain with the divining rod and is also pulled in a certain direction until the rod strikes a tree stump, and then suddenly another gusher of water erupts. Eventually all seven fountains are restored with the divining rod, which Johan and Peewit report to Aldebert while the Smurfs return the rod to Rachel. But Aldebert says that he cannot pass on to his ancestors yet, not until the one and only true heir returns to the castle within two days after the springs' restoration, else all is lost. Johan wonders how they can find "the one true heir", and Aldebert shows them the imprint of the Baufort seal which has been passed on from father to son for many generations, the seal that he says "the one true heir" will possess. Johan says that he and Peewit will start their search on the following day, and Aldebert reminds them that they only have two days to find him.
By morning, Johan and Peewit are awakened by somebody calling himself Gil De Baufort, who is now claiming the castle for himself. He is soon joined by another person called Louis De Baufort who is also claiming the castle for himself. A third person climbs through the window, calling himself a De Baufort and also claiming the castle for himself. As the three start fighting it out over who has the rightful claim, a fourth person joins in, calling himself a De Baufort, and escalates the already intense situation. A fifth person comes along, but to Peewit's surprise he isn't a De Baufort descendant; rather, he represents Jean De Baufort, who he claims is the "one true heir", and even says that Jean has the family seal. The four De Bauforts stop fighting among themselves when they hear of that and conspire together to get the seal from Jean De Baufort, but as Johan bravely tries to stop them from doing such a dastardly deed, they conspire to have him and Peewit be put into the dungeon.
During the night, the Smurfs return to the castle to find other humans in it, with Brainy wondering where Johan and Peewit are. As they search for their friends, the four De Bauforts have Jean's representative write a letter to his master, telling him of an urgent matter that he must attend to. Meanwhile, Aldebert is scaring one of his descendants, which catches the attention of Johan and Peewit who are trapped in the dungeon. As they call out his name, the Smurfs head for the dungeon to inform Johan and Peewit of the trap the De Bauforts are setting up for "the one true heir". Then Aldebert shows up, but tells them as a ghost he cannot touch anything that would help them escape, and all he did was scare the person who held the keys to the dungeon. That gives Johan an idea, and soon Aldebert is going around the castle scaring most of the descendants while the three Smurfs wear cloths and pose as ghosts to get the keys from the family member who holds them.
With Johan and Peewit now free, they and the Smurfs head upstairs in the hope that Aldebert will cover their escape, but as morning has now risen, he ends up vanishing, saying that the following night will be his last night. Peewit has the idea of covering themselves in bedsheets to keep the De Bauforts scared long enough to escape, but soon Peewit's cover is blown, causing the De Bauforts to now chase after the five ghost impersonators. With no way of escape except to leap off a high wall down into the moat, Johan, Peewit, and the Smurfs take that chance and hide out from the De Bauforts, hoping that they could find a ride so they could get to Jean De Baufort before the other family members do. Peewit with his wild wet hair scares one of the De Bauforts off his horse, enabling him, Johan, and the Smurfs to take it on their journey to deliver the family seal imprint to Jean. The other De Bauforts realize that their prisoners have escaped and now they must deliver their message to Jean with greater urgency.
Soon the borrowed horse ends up tiring out, and Papa Smurf sees that they still have a long way to go to reach the village of Jean De Baufort. However, the only thing Peewit is concerned about is food, and soon he finds himself following his nose as he catches a whiff of food in the air. As Johan futilely tries to stop Peewit, the De Bauforts have already connected with Jean and delivered their message, which he is reading at that moment. Jean wonders why he needs to come alone with the family seal, and as one of the De Bauforts tries to tell Jean that there are traitors afoot, Peewit seizes the sausage link that one of them is eating and draws most of the De Bauforts away from Jean, with the remaining one telling Jean that Johan and Peewit are the traitors he mentioned. The two adventurers reveal that the other De Bauforts are the real traitors by producing the imprint of the family seal, which Jean recognizes.
With Jean learning about the ghost of Aldebert who spoke unto Johan and Peewit about the curse of the castle that can only be lifted by "the one true heir" by midnight within two days of the seven fountains being restored, they come up with a plan of how they can get back inside the castle together. Soon with Johan, Peewit, and Jean disguised as soldiers, they trick the remaining De Bauforts into opening the drawbridge so they can enter. Once inside, the three humans and the Smurfs quickly race to the bell tower where they are to meet up with the ghost of Aldebert as he shows up one last time at midnight. He soon appears and sees that Jean carries the family seal, which means that he can now go to his rest with his ancestors. But they're not out of trouble yet, as the other De Bauforts are battering down the door to the bell tower to break through the barricade set up. Aldebert tries to put his haunting skills to good use once again, but as he is becoming intangible, he poses very little threat to the De Bauforts who soon have the three humans right where they want them.
While Johan and Jean fight with three of the De Bauforts, one of them goes after Peewit and chases him up the bell tower, where the Smurfs are already ringing the bell. One by one the other De Bauforts get knocked through the window by the bell and fall into the moat below, with the last two fighting over who has the seal when it gets knocked out of their hands. Johan retrieves the seal and gives it back to its rightful owner, and by morning Aldebert sees that the curse is now lifted as Jean has rightful ownership of the castle, so Aldebert can finally join his ancestors in peace. While the humans and the Smurfs watch the ghost disappear, Johan asks Jean what he intends to do with the other De Bauforts, and Jean says that Peewit already has the solution: he subjects Jean's other family members to his "wonderful singing" while they take care of cleaning up the castle.
- The episode is based on the Johan and Peewit comic book story "The War Of The Seven Springs". Notable differences between the original story and the episode are as follows:
- In the comic the ghost of the Castle ruler doesn't float around but rather walks. He also appears once a month, rather than every night.
- In the comic, the castle ruler was an alcoholic who had asked the witch to turn the rivers from the seven wells into wine. When the crops started to fail and everybody under his rule was terminally drunk and he pleaded with the witch to return the wells back to water, she refused and when he tried to pressure her to change her mind, she dried the wells up. Due to American censorship prohibiting the display of alcoholic drinks in Saturday morning children's entertainment, that part of the plot was all but omitted, instead the ghost simply says that the witch cursed him for having crossed her, to which Papa adds that she was very evil and powerful.
- In the comic, the Smurfs didn't have as large a supporting role as in the cartoon episode. Also only Papa, Smurfette, and Brainy appear.
- In the comic, the seven springs are situated several miles apart from each other, and it takes Johan and Peewit quite a bit of work finding them, while in the cartoon they are only inches apart.
- In the comic, there was no two day deadline. When Johan and Peewit find the rightful heir to the castle, their travel leads them to Besdorf, Germany which is a journey of several weeks; they don't run into him just like that.
- The magic flute from "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute", a story that isn't canonical with the Smurfs cartoon show, makes a cameo in the comics where Peewit spots it at the witch Rachel's house.
- The level of violence during the battles depicted in the comic book have been turned down several steps for the cartoon episode.
- The King, Princess Sabina, and Dame Barbara did not appear in this episode.
- One of the few episodes to be animated at Hanna-Barbera Australia, albeit uncredited.
- Brainy is shown swimming across the moat when the Smurfs, Johan, and Peewit are escaping the De Bauforts, even though in a later episode, "Handy's Sweetheart", he claims to not be able to swim.