Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a fictional character in English novelist Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. It is the third and final spirit to visit the miser Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve.
|Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come|
|A Christmas Carol character|
Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Original illustration by John Leech (1843).
|First appearance||A Christmas Carol (1843)|
|Created by||Charles Dickens|
"The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand."
Scrooge finds the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come to be different from the rest of the ghosts and the most fearsome of the Spirits; it appears to Scrooge as a figure entirely muffled in a black hooded cloak, except for a single spectral hand with which it points. Although the character never speaks in the story, communicating entirely by pointing, Scrooge understands it, usually through assumptions from his previous experiences and rhetorical questions. It is notable that, even in satires and parodies of the tale, this spirit retains its original look.
When the Ghost makes its appearance, the first thing it shows Scrooge is three wealthy gentlemen making light of a recent death, remarking that it will be a cheap funeral, if anyone comes at all. One businessman said he would go – but only if lunch is provided. Next, Scrooge is shown the same dead person's belongings being stolen by Scrooge's charwoman, Scrooge's laundress, Mrs. Dilber, and the local undertaker and sold to a fence called Old Joe. He also sees a shrouded corpse, which he implores the Ghost not to unmask. Scrooge asks the ghost to show anyone who feels any emotion over the man's death. The ghost can only show him a poor couple indebted to the man momentarily rejoicing that the man is dead, giving them more time to pay off their debt.
After Scrooge asks to see some tenderness connected with death, the ghost shows him Bob Cratchit and his family mourning the passing of Tiny Tim. The spirit then takes Scrooge to a rundown churchyard and shows the repentant miser his own grave; Scrooge then realizes the dead man of whom the others spoke ill was himself. For the first time the hand appeared to shake. "Good Spirit," he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it: "Your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!"
Scrooge then watches as the Spirit's robe shrinks to become his bedpost and finds that he is back in the present on Christmas morning. Along with the visions supplied by the other spirits, the ghost's warnings about Scrooge's future transform him into a better man.
Appearance in notable film and TV adaptationsEdit
- In the 1951 film Scrooge, the spirit is depicted as a shrouded figure with a single hand extended.
- In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Christmas Future reveals himself to be Pete.
- In the 1984 made-for-television film, the spirit (played by Michael Carter) creates an eerie metallic noise.
- In the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol, the spirit is depicted as a large, faceless figure in a tattered black hood.
- In Scrooged, the spirit is a shrouded figure with a skull-like television screen for a head and a skeletal hand.
- The spirit appears in the 1994 animated made-for-television film A Flintstones Christmas Carol.
- In Ebbie the spirit initially resembles Luther.
- In the 1997 made-for-television film Ms. Scrooge, the spirit appears as a silent funeral parlour worker.
- In the 1998 animated made-for-television film An All Dogs Christmas Carol, Charlie B. Barkin becomes the spirit.
- In the 1999 made-for-television film, the spirit (played by Tim Potter) has eyes that shine through his hood.
- In A Diva's Christmas Carol, the spirit is portrayed as a miniature television set.
- In A Carol Christmas the ghost is portrayed as a stern looking chauffeur.
- In A Christmas Carol: The Musical, the spirit is depicted as a hag dressed in a white robe.
- In the 2000 UK television movie, the ghost is played by Ben Inigo Jones.
- In A Christmas Carol (2006 film), the ghost is a spooky walrus voiced by Teresa Gallagher.
- Taz (Jim Cummings) portrays the ghost in Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas.
- In Disney's A Christmas Carol, the ghost is depicted as a shadow of a huge cloaked figure.
- In the Doctor Who 2010 Christmas special "A Christmas Carol", Kazran Sardick becomes the Spirit.
- In Batman: Noël, the Joker plays the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future.
- In the 2019 miniseries, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is portrayed by Jason Flemyng.
- Hearn, Michael P. (1989). The Annotated Christmas Carol / A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; illustrated by John Leech; with an introduction, notes and bibliography by Michael Patrick Hearn. Avenel Books. New York. ISBN 0-517-68780-1.
- Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol (and Other Christmas Writings). Edited introduction by Michael Slater. Penguin Classics