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. The spirit closely resembles the Grim Reaper.
"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 Mrs. Dilber, Scrooge's laundress, 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 adaptations
- In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Christmas Future reveals himself to be Pete (voiced by Will Ryan).
- In the Jetsons episode, The Jetsons Christmas Carol, the spirit first appears to resemble the monolith from 2001, until the front is revealed as being adorned with computer buttons.
- In the 1984 made-for-television film, the spirit (played by Michael Carter) responds to Scrooge (played by George C. Scott) in the form of an eerie metallic noise that sounds similar to the screech of a cemetery's gate.
- In the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (performed by Don Austen) is depicted as a large, faceless figure in a tattered black hood.
- In Scrooged, The Ghost of Christmas Future is a shrouded figure with a skull-like television screen for a head and a skeletal hand.
- In the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, The Joker describes the Phantasm figure resembling the ghost to Arthur Reeves.
- In the 1993 Alvin and the Chipmunks episode, released as Alvin's Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is portrayed by Simon. He wears a white suit and a red hat and cape.
- In the 1994 animated made-for-television film A Flintstones Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was originally supposed to be played by Officer Philo Quartz, but it eventually turned out Dino portrayed the Ghost.
- In The Mask: The Animated Series episode "Santa Mask", The Mask appears as all three spirits to Dr. Pretorius after trapping him in a nightmare.
- In Ebbie the spirit initially resembles Luther, the security officer at Dobson's.
- In the 1997 made-for-television film Ms. Scrooge, the spirit is portrayed by Julian Richings in the appearance of a silent funeral parlor worker.
- In the 1998 animated made-for-television film An All Dogs Christmas Carol, Charlie B. Barkin becomes the spirit appearing to Carface Carruthers.
- In the 1999 made-for-television film, the spirit (played by Tim Potter) has shiny eyes that shine through his hood.
- In A Diva's Christmas Carol the spirit is portrayed by a miniature television set showing a future episode of Behind the Music about Ebony Scrooge.
- In A Carol Christmas the ghost is portrayed as an ominously stern looking chauffeur (played by an uncredited James Cromwell).
- In A Christmas Carol: The Musical a blind old beggar woman Scrooge rebuffs later becomes the spirit, depicted as a hag dressed in a white robe. She is played by Geraldine Chaplin.
- In the 2000 UK television movie, the ghost is played by Ben Inigo Jones.
- 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', the Scrooge-like figure Kazran Sardick becomes himself the Spirit.
- He is portrayed by Nice Peter in a black robe and a skeleton head in the Christmas 2013 Epic Rap Battle of History.
- In Batman: Noël, the Joker plays the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future.
- In the Thomas and Friends episode "Diesel's Ghostly Christmas", the Ghost of Christmas Future is portrayed by Thomas the Tank Engine.
- In the 2016 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Hearth's Warming Tail", Princess Luna (Tabitha St. Germain) represents the "Spirit of Hearth's Warming Yet to Come".
- In the Animaniacs episode "A Christmas Plotz", The Ghost of Christmas Future is played by Yakko Warner.
- In the Beavis And Butthead episode "Beavis and Butthead Do Christmas", the Ghost of Christmas Future is portrayed by Coach Buzzcut.
- 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