Marley's Ghosts

  • 2015 - 2016
  • 9 episodes (2 series)

Sitcom about a woman who can talk to the dead: particularly her former husband, lover, and their vicar. Stars Sarah Alexander , Jo Joyner , Nicholas Burns , John Hannah , Mina Anwar and Juliet Cowan

Key details

  • Objective Productions
  • John Stanley Productions

Marley has a rare gift that comes with mixed blessings. She can talk to the dead, which sadly now includes both her husband Adam, her lover Michael as well as the local vicar. Awkward.

So begins a bizarre ménage-a-quatre, with Adam, Michael and the vicar all moving in, albeit in ghostly form, to Marley's home.

Stream and download

Powered by JustWatch

Additional details

Website links, broadcast details.

  • Saturday 6th May 2023 at 3:30am on Gold - Series 2, Episode 5
  • Tuesday 2nd May 2023 at 3:25am on Gold - Series 2, Episode 4
  • Monday 1st May 2023 at 3:30am on Gold - Series 2, Episode 3

View all 181 repeats

Share this page

Donate to british comedy guide.

Join us in our mission to support and promote British comedy across the decades.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Get all the latest news and information in your inbox, with our range of email newsletters to meet all interests.

  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews

Marley's Ghosts

John Hannah, Sarah Alexander, Jo Joyner, and Nicholas Burns in Marley's Ghosts (2015)

Marley has a rare gift, she can talk to the dead. However, this gift is a mixed blessing as the ghosts she can currently communicate with sadly include her husband Adam, her lover Michael an... Read all Marley has a rare gift, she can talk to the dead. However, this gift is a mixed blessing as the ghosts she can currently communicate with sadly include her husband Adam, her lover Michael and the local vicar. Marley has a rare gift, she can talk to the dead. However, this gift is a mixed blessing as the ghosts she can currently communicate with sadly include her husband Adam, her lover Michael and the local vicar.

  • Sarah Alexander
  • Nicholas Burns
  • 4 User reviews
  • See more at IMDbPro

John Hannah, Sarah Alexander, Jo Joyner, and Nicholas Burns in Marley's Ghosts (2015)

  • Marley Wise

Jo Joyner

  • Tina Jarvis

Juliet Cowan

  • Gary Jarvis

Ella-Rae Smith

  • Mrs. Nathan
  • Miss Randolph

Miranda Hennessy

  • Supermarket Manager
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

More like this

A Touch of Cloth

Technical specs

  • Runtime 40 minutes

Related news

Contribute to this page.

John Hannah, Sarah Alexander, Jo Joyner, and Nicholas Burns in Marley's Ghosts (2015)

  • See more gaps
  • Learn more about contributing

More to explore

Production art

Recently viewed

Disney Wiki

  • ImageMovers Digital

A Christmas Carol

  • Films based on books
  • Animated films
  • Disney films
  • PG-rated films
  • Português do Brasil
  • View history
  • 3 Soundtrack
  • 4 Production
  • 6 Differences from the original story
  • 7 Reception
  • 9 External links

The movie begins with the book A Christmas Carol opening and the words, “Marley is dead.” appearing. The scene then shows the deceased Jacob Marley in his coffin with two pence coins covering his eyes at the funeral parlor. He apparently has died the night before on Christmas Eve. The undertaker (funeral director) hands a pen to an elderly, outstretched hand of Ebenezer Scrooge, who uses it to sign his name on the death certificate as being a witness. The undertaker then holds his hand out for a tip. Scrooge looks at him menacingly and then reluctantly takes out a penny and drops it in his hand. However, the undertaker still keeps his hand out, expecting more. Scrooge, even more reluctantly, takes out a second penny and very slowly and almost unwillingly drops it in the undertaker’s hand. As he turns to leave, he takes the tuppence covering Marley’s eyes, rubs them off, and pockets them.

The film then cuts to Christmas Eve seven years later as the camera zooms all around the town in 3D as everyone is cheerful in the streets. Kids are spinning wheels on sticks, townspeople are buying all sorts of Christmas foods, a butcher working in a basement for a party throws a chunk of beef at some poor kids begging for food, only to have a dog grab it and have the kids chase it, some other kids holding on to the bumper and riding on the back of streetcars and carolers in the street singing. However, one lone man walking to work is in no mood for this – Scrooge. Dogs cower away from him, kids start running away upon seeing him, and even the carolers stop singing as he passes by them.

Scrooge then goes to his place of business, where he works as a money collector. Bob Cratchit is working there, shivering from the cold in the building as he only has a dying coal ember to keep him warm, with the rest of the coal locked up, with the keys on Scrooge’s desk. Shortly, in walks Scrooge’s nephew Fred, all cheerful and full of Christmas spirit. He offers to invite Scrooge to his home for Christmas, but Ebenezer quickly declines, telling Fred he’s a fool for wasting his time and money on the holiday and scolding him that he could be rich if he focused more on money and less on his friends and wife. When Scrooge asks Fred why he got married, Fred replied that he was in love. Scrooge hastily dismisses him with repeated “Good afternoons.”

Soon after, two kindly gentlemen come into Scrooge’s place of work collecting for the poor. When they ask Ebenezer what he would like to contribute, Scrooge replies, “Nothing”. Mistakenly thinking he wanted to donate anonymously, they ask him again, but Scrooge says he won’t give money to anyone poor, especially since some of the donations were going to prisoners and mentally insane people too for the holidays. When the two men ask him to think again of the poor, Scrooge angrily says that they should all die to decrease the surplus population on the planet. Saddened by Ebenezer’s reply, the two gentlemen leave.

Near closing time, Cratchit asks Scrooge for Christmas Day off tomorrow. Scrooge reluctantly gives him the time but tells him to come in extra early the following day to make up for the time off. They both then leave & go their separate ways, Ebenezer walking hunched over with his cane and Cratchit happily sliding down an icy hill with some local kids.

Ebenezer arrives at his cold, lofty house. He looks at the door knocker and goes to open the door but drops his keys. He bends over to get them, and as he stands back up, the door knocker has been replaced with the glowing head of Jacob Marley’s ghost. Stunned, Scrooge slowly reaches toward it, and just as his hand nears it, the face pops up distorted and roars at him. Ebenezer falls backward down his front stoop in fright. As he gets up, he looks at the door again but only sees the original door knocker. Convincing himself it was just a hallucination, he goes into his house.

Scrooge is then seen in his nightcap and pajamas, eating some gruel (a thin oatmeal porridge) in a bowl by his fireplace in his master bedroom. Just as he’s about to go to bed, he hears some loud noises, getting louder by the moment. The chimes to his doorbell start ringing, loud and & louder until Scrooge has to cover his ears at the sound of them. He then hears something walking up the stairs to his room, with very loud thuds – then as they reach the shut door to his room, silence. Then suddenly, half a dozen huge ghostly lit cement blocks wrapped heavily in chains burst through the room at Scrooge. As they all land around Ebenezer, we see they are attached to the ghost of Jacob Marley as he floats into the room. Marley explains that he’s being punished for all his past indiscretions and bad deeds in life. Scrooge wonders why since he was such a good man of business like himself. Marley explains that while he was a good businessman, he was a horrible human being and that the more chains on a ghost mean more punishment. He then warns Scrooge that if he keeps on his current path, Ebenezer’s chains will be even worse than Marley’s. Jacob tells Scrooge that he’ll be visited by three spirits, all throughout the night. Scrooge humorously asks him if all three can visit him at the same time. Jacob says the first ghost will visit him soon as he rises up to leave. As Marley leaves through the window, Scrooge sees many other spirits floating outside, doomed to an eternity of chains & cement blocks. One other ghost outside sees Scrooge looking at him & flies up towards him, but slams into the window as the screen goes black.

The next scene is pitch black until a small flickering light appears and gets brighter and brighter. It wakes up Scrooge and forms into a ghost but looking very much like a lit candlewick. It announces itself as the Ghost of Christmas Past and tells Ebenezer that it will take him to his memories of the past. It touches Scrooge with some pixie dust to give him the ability to fly with it, and they take off through the town. Just like at the beginning of the movie, we see the flying POV whizzing around town until we arrive at another part of the country where Scrooge remembers being raised and bred. The ghost takes him to a schoolhouse, where we see a lone Ebenezer sadly staring out a window. It seems his father, who was equally cold as Scrooge is now, left him there for his education but never came to get him each year. The schoolhouse morphs into an older, more worn version years later where Scrooge is still all alone by himself, as he has been year after year until one day his sister arrives joyously and tells him that their father “overnight” had a change of heart and, filled with Christmas Spirit, has sent a wagon to bring Scrooge back to his family for the holidays. The spirit tells Scrooge that she later bore a son, who turned out to be Scrooge’s nephew Fred.

We next see Scrooge as a young apprentice to a Mr. Fezziwig on Christmas Eve. When his work shift is over, Fezziwig joyously flips off his desk and starts dancing around, ordering his workplace to be turned into a banquet hall for Christmas. The tables and chairs get pushed back to create tons of room for dancing, and sure enough, the scene morphs into a festive Christmas celebration with food, dancing, and singing. Fezziwig and his wife dance, followed by each young boy and girl. When it’s Scrooge’s turn, he meets a young lady named Belle and is instantly smitten.

We cut to years later, where Scrooge is now very rich but has gotten colder. His fiancée Belle asks for her release from him to break off the engagement, saying that he’s changed and cares more about money than about love. She tries to remind him how happier they were when they were poorer but in love. However, she says he’s found a new idol to cherish – his money. Scrooge acts defensive and derisive towards her, saying that he’s worked hard to get where he is and refuses to give up what he’s doing. Seeing that Ebenezer will not give up his love of money over her, Belle sadly walks out of his life.

At this point, the elder version of Scrooge wants no more of these sad memories and tries to extinguish the Ghost of Christmas Past by covering it with the extinguisher cap that it carries. Initially, it seems to work; however, the cap then takes off like a rocket, flying it and Scrooge up almost towards the moon. The flame then fizzles out, and Scrooge hurtles down to earth, crashing down loudly as he closes his eyes. However, when he opens them, he finds he’s back in his own bedroom.

Scrooge then sees a glowing light behind his bedroom door. He slowly approaches and opens it. Upon entering, he sees the room filled to the top with food and drink. Sitting atop of it all is the Ghost of Christmas Present (Jim Carrey), who appears to Scrooge as a laughing giant with dark brown curly hair, robe-clad with an empty scabbard hanging on his side. He says he is one of over 1,800 brothers (one brother for every Christmas since the very first one, with him as the latest). The Ghost takes his torch and spreads the embers on the floor, making it transparent. The house floor then rises and flies all around the city, showing all the happiness and warmth spread by the townspeople during Christmas. At this point, Scrooge realizes that on every 7th day, the few places that poor people can warm their meals are closed for religious reasons. The Ghost explains to Scrooge that some claim to know him and do their acts of greed in his name; the ghost then tells Scrooge that these so-called “Men of the Cloth” are strange to him and that Scrooge should blame these acts of greed on them not him.

The house then lands on the poor, run-down home of Bob Cratchit. He and Tiny Tim have not arrived home yet, but his wife and other children are cooking and waiting for them to arrive. They both then walk in with Tim on Bob’s shoulders, both happy and joyful. Despite being poor, they are happy being together as a family. As Tim goes to check the pudding, Bob and his wife talk about Tiny Tim. He has an illness that requires him to walk with a crutch. Bob pretends to tell his wife that Tim is getting better each day, but his face and mannerisms tell a different story as he starts getting sad. Scrooge asks the Spirit about Tim and if he will live. The Ghost first states that if everything remains unaltered by the Future, yes, he will die”. Then, using Scrooge’s own words against him, his face morphs into Scrooge’s own and suggests he “had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”.

The Ghost of Christmas Present then takes Scrooge to the property of Scrooge’s nephew Fred. While not as rich as Scrooge, he does seem to be pretty well off. Fred and his friends and family are playing a game of “Yes and No” where he thinks of something, and they have to guess what it is with him only giving “yes” or “no” answers. This prompts someone to stand up and shout, “I know! I know! It’s your uncle Scrooge!” Fred says, “Yes!”, and everyone laughs at Scrooge’s expense. Fred then raises a toast to his uncle but has to convince everyone else to raise their glasses to him as well.

The Ghost says his time on earth is almost done. Scrooge then sees a clawed hand underneath the Ghost’s robe and asks who or what that is. The Ghost lifts up part of his robe to reveal a skinny demonic boy and girl. The boy is called Ignorance, and the girl is called Want. The Ghost warns Scrooge to beware of them both. Then, Ignorance leaps at Scrooge and turns into an adult prison convict, while Want leaps up and turns into a mental patient in a straight-jacket, and both torment him with his own words, “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”. The Ghost laughs as he rapidly ages, then turns into a skeleton and then to dust, leaving Scrooge all alone in the room. Ignorance and Want are the manifestations of Scrooge’s view of prisoners and mental patients, as stated when he talked to the charity collectors.

Scrooge looks down at his own shadow – which slowly starts turning into the form of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The Spirit hovers above him, then, with bony, clawed outstretched hands, lunges toward him, sending him down some stairs. Scrooge looks up to find a group of businessmen at the exchange laughing and joking about the recent death of a colleague that happened on Christmas. They mention that it will be a cheap funeral and they would only go if lunch was provided. Feeling small and getting smaller, Scrooge is then chased by the Ghost, who is driving a chariot led by large black horses with blood-red eyes. Ebenezer tries running away, but the streets start getting narrower. After several close calls running away, Scrooge eventually arrives at an underworld rag and junk shop where he finds his charwoman (cleaning lady), Mrs. Dilber, with the shopkeeper, whom she calls Old Joe. Apparently, Mrs. Dilber has been stealing items from a client’s house after his death and is trying to sell them to Old Joe. She holds up a large gold and red cloth and laughingly comments that someone was “fool enough” to cover the body with it, implying she stole it off the corpse. Miniature Scrooge, noticing the stolen goods as his, yells at the lady, “You’re fired!”. Old Joe then suddenly starts lifting up a fire poker and looking at Scrooge. It seems like he’s about to hit Ebenezer, but it turns out he is actually looking at a rat behind the shrunken miser and tries to hit it. Both Scrooge and the rat run away for safety, with Scrooge escaping down a drainpipe. Ebenezer rests for a second alone and in the dark.

Suddenly, the Ghost’s carriage and horses crash through a wall and start chasing Scrooge again. He captures Scrooge with his clawed outstretched hand and shows him a corpse covered by a simple shroud. The Ghost starts to lift the shroud (we only see the very top of the corpse’s head), and Scrooge begs the Ghost to not show him anymore, scared of what he might see, which the Ghost surprisingly relents. Ebenezer then asks if there are any moments of happiness or tenderness connected with this person’s death. The ghost then shows him a husband coming home to his wife looking sad but then showing it was all an act. It seems they owed some debt to this person, but now that he died, they’re no longer obligated, ironically showing the moment of “happiness” Scrooge wanted to see. The Ghost then whisks Scrooge to the house of Bob Cratchit again. Only this time, the entire family is sitting down, deeply saddened. Bob soon walks through the door, almost lifeless and dejected. His family tries to cheer him up but to no avail. They’re all mourning the passing of Tiny Tim. Scrooge, sitting on the stairway watching this, starts getting upset. Then Bob walks up the same stairway and seems to stop and look directly at Scrooge. Cratchit’s eyes are almost completely red from all the tears he’s shed, and he looks absolutely miserable. He walks past Ebenezer up to Tiny Tim’s room, where we see the shadow of Tim’s body lying on a bed. Bob kneels beside the casket/bed and starts sobbing uncontrollably.

Lastly, Scrooge is then blown by the Spirit into a graveyard, where he winds up next to an unkempt grave covered in snow. The Spirit starts to brush away some of the snow, revealing Ebenezer’s name. Scrooge pleads with the Spirit, telling him he’ll change his ways. Undeterred, the Spirit then brushes off some more snow, revealing Scrooge’s birth date, then death date of Dec. 25, stopping right before the year. Devastated, Scrooge pleads even more that he’s seen the error of his ways and will repent and change. However, Scrooge starts to fall into the grave, hanging on by only a tree root. The bottom of the grave reveals a casket that glows red, signifying that if he continues to be as he is, he will be sent to Hell. Scrooge asks if these events are set in stone or could they be changed. The Spirit just points to the grave. As Ebenezer begs and pleads, even more, the root he clings onto becomes the Spirit’s clawed hand. Terrified for Scrooge, The Spirit then reveals its face, a black, demonic skull with terrible burning eyes, and lets go of Scrooge, making him fall into the casket below. As soon as Scrooge falls completely in, he opens his eyes… and sees he’s back in his own bedroom.

Realizing that he’s still alive, Ebenezer jumps for joy, delighted that he’s been given another chance. He opens up his window and sees a young boy pulling a sled. He asks the boy what day it is. When the boy replies Christmas, Scrooge tells the lad to go and get the biggest goose at the butcher shop and bring it to him, offering him a full schilling if he does it fast enough. Scrooge then sees Mrs. Dilber, his cleaning lady, and starts dancing with her. Shocked and understandably frightened, she tries running away, only to have Scrooge slide down the stairwell and catch up to her, telling her she’s the prettiest thing he’s ever seen. She nevertheless runs away, claiming he’s gone mad. Scrooge then sees the butcher with the goose, pays for it, and gives the kid his promised tip. Ebenezer then merrily runs about town, clinging to the bumper of the cars down the street as the kids did. He then encounters the gentlemen who asked him for donations earlier the previous night and whispers an amount he’ll donate that absolutely stuns them. He then approaches the same carolers at the beginning of the movie as well. At first, he says nothing but then jumps alongside them and sings the last part of the song! Then he gives them a generous tip in their cup. Lastly, that day, he arrives at the door of his nephew Fred. He’s playing that same “Yes or No” game that Scrooge saw with the Ghost of Christmas Present. However, just as the girl was about to say, “I know! I know! It’s your uncle Scrooge!”, Ebenezer walks in. Looking very repentant, he asks his nephew if he can join them for Christmas. Nobody says a word a first, and for a few seconds, it’s very quiet. Then, suddenly, his nephew and friends all welcome him with open arms as they all enjoy a nice Christmas.

The next day, Scrooge is already at work, gleefully laughing at what he’s about to give Bob and his family when Cratchit arrives 16 minutes late. Ebenezer (keeping up the guise of his old, miserly self) orders Bob into his office. As a result, of his being late, he tells Bob he has no choice but to… give him a substantial raise. Bob, eyes shut, expecting the worst, suddenly opens them. Scrooge then says he’ll take care of him and his family and especially provide for Tiny Tim, and they’ll never have to worry about anything again! He gives Bob some money for coal to keep his work spot warm and sends him on his way. Bob leaves but peers back into the window to see Scrooge laughing and dancing around. He then turns to the audience and finishes narrating the story. Bob said that Tiny Tim got better, and Scrooge became like a second father to him. Scrooge indeed repented and lived up to his word as being nicer and more generous, even more than anyone imagined. The film ends with Tiny Tim on Scrooge’s shoulders shouting, “God bless us, everyone!”, as the scene turns into the last page of the book as it closes.

Soundtrack [ ]

Track listing

Production [ ]

In July 2007, it was announced that director Robert Zemeckis had written a screen adaptation of Dickens' 1843 story. The film utilizes the same kinds of motion capture techniques used previously by Zemeckis in his films The Polar Express and Beowulf .

Zemeckis wrote the screenplay with Jim Carrey in mind, and Carrey signed on to the project. Similar to Tom Hanks in The Polar Express , Carrey plays a multitude of roles in the film, including Ebenezer Scrooge as a young, middle-aged, and old man, along with the all three of the Christmas spirits that haunt him.

Also in the cast are Bob Hoskins , Colin Firth , Gary Oldman , Darryl Sabara (from the Spy Kids films), Cary Elwes and Robin Wright Penn . Oldman, Elwes, Hoskins and Wright Penn, like Carrey, all play multitudes of roles. Zemeckis, director of the Back to the Future trilogy, has previously stated that A Christmas Carol is one of his favorite stories dealing with time travel. The music was scored by Alan Silvestri , who has collaborated with Robert Zemeckis a lot. Silvestri also wrote the song God Bless Us Everyone , the title refers to the novel's ending.

This is the third film adaptation of A Christmas Carol released by Disney, the previous two being the 1983 animated featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol and the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol (released under the Disney banner, almost a decade before Disney bought the Muppets). Other adaptations by Disney included the 1974 record album A Disney Christmas Carol (which became the basis for Mickey's Christmas Carol ), the 101 Dalmatians TV series episode "A Christmas Cruella", and the "Ebenezer Daring" sketch in The Replacements holiday special "Dick Daring's All-Star Holiday Stunt Spectacular V".

This is also the second Disney film directed by Zemeckis, the first being Who Framed Roger Rabbit (both movies had Bob Hoskins in a key role). A DVD and Blu-ray of this film was released in the North America region on November 16, 2010.

  • This is Disney's third adaptation of the story, following Mickey's Christmas Carol and The Muppet Christmas Carol .
  • This is the second version of the story, in which a Scrooge character hangs over a fiery abyss, following Scrooge McDuck .
  • This was the first mainstream Disney-made film since Sleeping Beauty to include both a storybook opening and a storybook closing .
  • This was one of the last films Bob Hoskins star in before his retirement in 2012.

Differences from the original story [ ]

This is one of the most faithful adaptions of A Christmas Carol brought to the screen but it includes several differences.

  • In the story, the " Ghost of Christmas Present " dies but he just disappears. In the movie, they show him dying at length.
  • Unlike in the story, Scrooge falls into his own grave (similar to Mickey's Christmas Carol ).
  • The whole "future" scene with the horse chase and Scrooge becoming smaller is not in the story. In fact, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the novel is nearly immobile except for the pointing finger.
  • Old Joe does appear in the story. However, in the movie, he chases a shrunken Ebenezer Scrooge , as well as a nearby rat, with a fire poker.
  • At the end of the Ghost of Christmas Past sequence; as in the story, an emotional Scrooge snuffs out the spirit with his own cap but then unlike the text the old miser is jetted skyward.
  • Unlike the story, the movie doesn't show Belle with her family.
  • In the story, Scrooge encounters a separate ghost riding a phantom hearse before his visit with Jacob Marley . In the movie, the phantom hearse is moved up to The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.
  • In the Ignorance and Want scene, they are two gnarled children in the story and in the movie, they're street urchin spirits which after, Ignorance becomes a prison convict and Want becomes an insane woman who ends up in a straightjacket.

Reception [ ]

The film received mixed to positive reviews from US film critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 53% of 184 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.9 out of 10. The site's general consensus is that "Robert Zemeckis' 3-D animated take on the Dickens classic tries hard, but its dazzling special effects distract from an array of fine performances from Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman."

The film opened at number one in 3,683 theaters, grossing $30,051,075 its opening weekend, with an average of $8,159 per theater. The film has come to gross an estimated $137,481,366 in the United States and Canada and $181,000,000 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $318,481,366.

Gallery [ ]

A Christmas Carol - Poster

External links [ ]


  • 1 Once Upon a Studio


Marley's Ghosts

Marley's Ghosts

Streaming in:

BritBox Amazon Channel

Marley's Ghosts - watch online: streaming, buy or rent

Currently you are able to watch "Marley's Ghosts" streaming on BritBox Amazon Channel or buy it as download on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play Movies .

Newest Episodes

S2 e6 - christmas, s2 e5 - carly, s2 e4 - the art teacher.

Marley has a rare gift that comes with mixed blessings - she can talk to the dead, who sadly now include both her husband Adam, her lover Michael and her vicar… Awkward.

Videos: Trailers, Teasers, Featurettes

Trailer Preview Image

Production country

People who liked marley's ghosts also liked.

800 Words

Popular TV shows coming soon

All the Light We Cannot See

Upcoming Comedy TV shows


Bloody Disgusting!

The Horrors of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and its Most Terrifying Ghost, Jacob Marley

' src=

Though it’s now a mostly forgotten tradition, Christmas was once a time for telling ghost stories around the fire. Telling ghost stories during winter was a folk custom that dated back centuries, but the 19th century, in particular, saw the holiday undeniably associated with ghosts. In Europe, anyway. When the Puritans came over, they left this tradition behind. Regardless, one famous yuletide spooky tale did manage to cross the pond to become a holiday staple; Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic, A Christmas Carol . 

In the story, the miserly, frugal Ebenezer Scrooge is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future to remind him of the importance of kindness and the joy of the holiday. The spectral visitations are heralded by a warning from the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley. The idea is to scare some sense back into Scrooge, to course correct his life; both with the otherworldly guides and insights into melancholic moments from his past. The Ghost of Christmas Past is described as an angelic spirit of burning bright light, and Christmas Present resembles jolly Father Christmas. While authoritative, neither are scary. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a silent, hooded phantom not unlike a Grim Reaper. The figure is meant to be a foreboding warning of imminent doom, a final push to scare Scrooge straight.

But as ominous as this spirit is, the most terrifying ghost of the story and its many adaptations is Jacob Marley.

Marley’s arrival offers up the biggest scare of the story; Scrooge is alone in his darkened chambers late in the evening, the perfect moment of quiet vulnerability that allows for maximum impact when it comes to supernatural surprise guests. Marley presents a familiar face twisted and transformed by death. He lived his life similar to Scrooge, which doomed him to purgatory in the afterlife. Bound by chains and heavy money boxes forged by greed during life, Marley is cursed to wander the Earth for eternity. Marley’s ghastly sight serves up the dual purpose of offering the first ghoulish jolt of the story and an ominous warning of where Scrooge could wind up if he doesn’t change his ways. Forget the forbidding spirit of Christmas Yet to Come; it’s Marley that elicits chills.

In the countless adaptations of Dickens’ story, the terror of Marley tends to translate well to screen. No matter the take on the familiar tale, be it through the lens of Disney or an adult comedy, Jacob Marley is one scary dude. Here are some of the absolute creepiest takes on Marley…

A Christmas Carol (1984) 

marleys ghost disney

George C. Scott ( The Changeling , The Exorcist III ) stars as Scrooge in this made-for-TV movie, so the horror bonafides are already in place with this adaptation. Scott’s performance is the most substantial reason to watch this version, but for the horror fan, it’s also one of the darkest and spookiest versions of the story. That includes Frank Finley’s ( Lifeforce ) take on Marley.

Scrooged (1988)

marleys ghost disney

Richard Donner’s modernized and loose adaptation put Billy Murray in the Scrooge role (as Frank Cross), and offered up a quirky comedy-fantasy version that sets it apart from the rest. That includes John Forsythe’s Lew Hayward, a twist on Jacob Marley that trades money boxes for golf bags. Lew’s heavily decomposed figure is ghastly, and it’s highlighted by the mouse that scurries out from a hole in his noggin and the cobwebs that drape across his rotted body.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

marleys ghost disney

That this is a Disney movie only makes this take on Marley even scarier; no one will be prepared for the nightmare fuel going into this movie. Seriously. Robert Zemeckis’ 3D computer-animated feature doesn’t hold back when it comes to its ghosts. Marley first appears in a jump scare involving Scrooge’s front door, knocking the miser off his feet. Then enter the chains, via 3D effect, once Scrooge has nestled into his chambers. None of that holds a candle to Marley’s confrontation with Scrooge. His eyes roll around in his skull in unnatural ways, he exudes haunting menace, and his jaw unhinges grotesquely, like a freaking snake.

If you ever wondered what would happen if that gauze wrapped around Marley’s head came off, well, this paints a graphic picture.

BBC’s A Christmas Carol (2019)

marleys ghost disney

This more horror-centric take on the classic gives Marley a more prominent role to play and an active interest in Scrooge’s journey. Portrayed by Stephen Graham, this Marley isn’t as undead or ghastly as his counterparts, though chains bind him. But that doesn’t make him any less intimidating- he gruesomely loses his jaw as well. The actor even took the fake jaw home as a souvenir . 

' src=

Horror journalist, RT Top Critic, and Critics Choice Association member. Co-Host of the Bloody Disgusting Podcast. Has appeared on PBS series' Monstrum, served on the SXSW Midnighter shorts jury, and moderated horror panels for WonderCon and SeriesFest.

marleys ghost disney

You may like

marleys ghost disney

5 of This Week’s Coolest Horror Collectibles Including Nostalgic VHS Boxes from Spirit Halloween

holiday horror streaming

10 Holiday Horror Movies to Stream at Home for Christmas 2022!

marleys ghost disney

8 Holiday Horror Movies to Stream on Hulu This Month!

‘The Exorcist’ vs. ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ – Why the Original Classic Is Far More Shocking Than the Modern Sequel

' src=

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for The Exorcist (1971) and The Exorcist: Believer (2023).

On lists ranking the scariest movies of all time, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist invariably falls at or near the top. Faithfully adapted from the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, the 1973 film stunned audiences with its brutal vulgarity involving then fourteen-year-old actress Linda Blair. The story follows Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), a mother and movie star who will stop at nothing to protect her daughter Regan (Blair) from a demon called Pazuzu. Coming to her aid, Fathers Merrin (Max von Sydow) and Karras (Jason Miller) perform a dangerous exorcism and lose their lives to the unholy force. In spite (or perhaps because) of the film’s notorious reputation, The Exorcist was a massive hit with box office lines stretching around the block and waves of traumatized moviegoers streaming out after the final credits. Few films since have had such an impressive cultural impact while retaining the ability to shock and destabilize five decades later. 

Part of the film’s power lies in the horror of innocence lost as an increasingly demonic young Regan convulses on her bed. Not only does she physically assault anyone who comes near, but the possessed young girl spits some of the most upsetting lines of dialogue ever uttered by an onscreen child. David Gordon Green’s legacy sequel The Exorcist: Believer follows not one, but two young girls, Angela (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia O’Neill), possessed by a demonic entity who may or may not have ties to Regan MacNeil. When confronted with the truth of his daughter’s condition, Angela’s father Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr.) seeks out an aging Chris for help in navigating this hellish ordeal.

With twice as many victims and double the demonic power, does this result in a more shocking film? To find out, we’ll stack up Friedkin’s most infamous scenes against their counterparts in Green’s sequel in an ultimate battle to ordain the most shocking Exorcist entry of all time.

Dimmy’s Mother vs. Angela’s Birth

marleys ghost disney

Both films build on the foundations of tragedy. Father Karras is a loving son trying to care for his ailing mother in Manhattan while living in Jesuit housing in Georgetown DC. Worried about her living alone, he urges her to move to an assisted living facility, but she adamantly refuses to leave her home. After a brief stay in a psychiatric ward, she passes away at home and it’s days before anyone discovers her body. Karras carries extreme guilt over abandoning his mother, compounding his already dire crisis of faith. In the midst of the exorcism, Pazuzu exploits his grief by speaking with her voice and using her image to beg for help. Even worse, it insults her memory with degrading comments and insists she’s now burning in the fires of hell.

Green’s film begins with tragedy on a larger scale. While vacationing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Victor and his very pregnant wife become caught in the devastating earthquake of 2010. Trying to escape her hotel room, she falls in the collapsing stairwell and Victor must choose between treatment for her injuries or the safe delivery of their unborn child. Catching up with the single father thirteen years later, we’re led to believe he chose the life of his child. However, during the exorcism, the demon reveals that he actually instructed doctors to prioritize his wife’s health, a choice he’s tried to keep secret for thirteen years. The demon also exploits this decision, asking him to once again choose between his daughter’s life and the life of another. 

WINNER: The Exorcist: Believer

Though the death of a parent and the accompanying grief is always horrifying, Green’s earthquake is a nightmare brought to life. Not only must Victor face a devastating choice, but this opening scene is a recreation of a real disaster that affected an estimated 3 million people taking with it more than 100,000 lives.  

Medical Exams Showdown

marleys ghost disney

One of the most harrowing scenes in Friedkin’s original film involves Chris’s desperate attempts to help her daughter. As an A-list star, she has the resources to consult with a team of doctors and exhaust every treatment in order to find a cure for Regan’s condition. Unfortunately this means submitting Regan to a battery of painful tests including spinal taps and angiographic imaging. Cutting edge technology by 70s standards, these tests feel brutal and barbaric today. One procedure involves inserting a heavy needle into Regan’s neck, causing blood to spurt out across her body. With her head stabilized and a doctor pumping fluid into her artery, Regan winces in pain as the lights dim and machines bang just inches from her face. Even more upsetting, these tests reveal absolutely nothing. She has been put through medical hell and comes out the other side with more questions than answers. 

After disappearing for three days, Angela and Katherine emerge from the woods disheveled and confused. The authorities waste no time bringing them to the local hospital in hopes of finding out where they’ve been and what they’ve survived. The two girls endure multiple tests of their own including swabs, stitches, exams, and X-rays culminating with a procedure commonly known as a rape kit. Fortunately this invasive exam reveals no signs of sexual assault in either girl, but watching them suffer through the painful ordeal feels horrific in and of itself. 

WINNER: The Exorcist

Angela and Katherine endure a humiliating day of invasive tests, but luckily they’re surrounded by their parents and professionals trained to make the experience as painless as possible. These compassionate caregivers stand in sharp contrast to the masked doctor who tells Regan she’s going to feel “some pressure” then proceeds to cut into her neck. She suffers through this horrific arteriogram surrounded by strangers with her mother watching from behind a pane of glass. Anecdotal evidence from the film’s premieres reveal this scene to have caused the most visceral reactions, made all the more upsetting by its unflinching accuracy.  

Faces Lurking in the Shadows

marleys ghost disney

The demonic forces mostly exert their unholy influence through their chosen hosts, but they also project evil energy out into the larger environment. Chris hears suspicious noises coming from the attic and a crucifix appears in Regan’s bedroom without explanation. In a 2000 restoration subtitled The Version You’ve Never Seen , Friedkin added imagery from an unused makeup test to hint at this demonic oppression and amplify an already terrifying scene. As Chris enters the kitchen to answer a ringing phone, the overhead lights flash on and off intermittently plunging the room into darkness. Standing next to the oven’s hood, Chris peers into the next room as a demonic face appears just inches away. Gone in an instant, this subliminal imagery provides a terrifying reminder that no one is safe in the MacNeil household. 

Arriving home from the hospital, Victor tries to make Angela as comfortable as possible. He tucks her into bed and gently reminds her that he will always love her no matter what. While asking again what happened over the three days she was missing, a devilish face appears in the room just behind his own. It’s unclear whether Angela sees or recognizes this apparition, but it’s presence shows that not only has the Fielding house been infiltrated by a demonic force, but it will stop at nothing to corrupt the bond between Victor and his daughter.  

Friedkin originally deemed these images “too theatrical” and removed them from the film’s original cut. However, by peppering them into the 2000 rerelease, he adds an ominous presence to a film we didn’t think could shock us more than it already has. Green’s addition of a horrific face in Angela’s room may be jarring, but it disappears so quickly that it’s possible to miss it altogether. 

Spider Walk vs. Bedroom Brawl

marleys ghost disney

Friedkin’s film horrified audiences with its theatrical cut, but several infamous sequences were left on the cutting room floor. Dubbed the spider walk, one notorious scene tantalized genre fans for decades before finally premiering in the film’s 2000 rerelease. Just moments after learning about the death of her director and friend, Chris turns toward a mysterious sound. Regan is scuttling down the stairs like a hideous spider, her body bent into a horrifying backbend. At the foot of the stairs, she flips over and chases her mother and Sharon (Kitty Winn), the nanny, while flicking her tongue into the air like a hellish lizard. 

Though Angela has been cleared by her doctors, she returns home dazed and out of sorts. Victor wakes her up the next morning and notices that his daughter has reverted to infantile habits and wet the bed. While the confused father prepares a bath and strips the sheets, Angela creeps up behind him and attacks. She slams his head into the bedframe and viciously knocks him to the floor. Not only is this a violent mockery of a family game, but Victor can no longer pretend there isn’t something seriously wrong with his daughter.

This one is no contest. There’s a reason the spider walk sequence was cut from Friedkin’s original release. It’s still jarring to watch this little girl patter backward down the stairs leading with her upside down head and the sinister grin on her face makes it all the more frightening. While Angela’s attack could ultimately be chalked up to an accident or PTSD, there’s no doubt that something evil is going on in the MacNeil home. 

In Restraints vs. In the Hospital

marleys ghost disney

Before Pazuzu takes possession of Regan’s body, it makes its presence known in horrifying ways. After a disturbing incident at Chris’s cocktail party, Regan begins screaming and calls to her mother through the bedroom door. Chris bursts into the room to see the entire bed violently shaking, seemingly moved by unseen hands. Later scenes show Pazuzu tossing Regan’s body around the room and causing her to harm anyone who gets too close. She convulses back and forth, strikes visitors, and injures herself before they finally manage to sedate and restrain her. For the rest of the film, Regan appears strapped into a heavily padded bed, only freed as she levitates during the deadly exorcism. 

After Angela’s violent attack, Victor arranges for her to stay in a psychiatric ward until he can find some answers. As a single father struggling to make ends meet, he can’t afford to miss work to care for his daughter round the clock. Having enlisted Chris’s help to save his daughter, the two distraught parents visit Angela’s room and observe her from behind protective glass. The young girl growls at them from under the bed and scratches Regan’s name deep into the door’s wooden paneling. 

Another easy contest, the sight of Regan wildly thrashing back and forth in bed is both heartbreaking and frightening. Achieved through practical effects, a malfunctioning harness caused a painful fracture to Blair’s lower spine, footage that made its way into the final cut of the film. While the implication that the demon has been laying in wait feels ominous, Angela’s sinister face and unpredictable actions simply can’t hold a candle to the horror of Regan’s transformation. 

Crucifix Masturbation vs Corrupted Communion

marleys ghost disney

As the demon strengthens its hold over Regan, the tween begins to act out in increasingly vulgar ways. Hearing a commotion, Chris runs up to her daughter’s bedroom to find absolute chaos. An unnatural wind is blowing through the room and Regan is using a crucifix to stab her crotch with so much force that blood splatters all over her nightgown. Chris jumps on the bed and tries to wrestle the cross away but Regan grabs her head and shoves it into her lap screaming “ lick me.” Chris emerges with her face covered in blood as Regan strikes her with enough force to send her flying across the room.                                                                                                                                  

After bringing Katherine home from the hospital, her parents attempt to reinstate their weekly routine. This includes church on Sunday morning where they prepare to give thanks for their daughter’s safe return. Unfortunately, Katherine has other ideas. The recovering girl, still bruised and bloody from her time in the wilderness, sits strangely in the pew and stares at her younger siblings. The positioning of her skirts implies she is masturbating during the service but we never get clear confirmation. As her parents get up to take communion, Katherine sneaks to the back of the church. She emerges with her white dress covered in communion wine screaming, “the body and the blood” over and over again as the congregation looks on in horror.

It’s difficult to describe how effective Friedkin’s scene is. Not only is Regan being forced to viciously assault herself, but her poor mother receives unthinkable punishment for trying to intervene. This moment is also followed by Regan turning her head around backwards and screaming obscenities. Trapped in the room with a monster who looks like her daughter, Chris can do nothing but turn her own head to the wall and wail. While Katherine’s actions are shocking, no one is physically harmed unlike Chris who will likely be traumatized by this moment for the rest of her life. 

“Help Me” vs “Help Me”

marleys ghost disney

One of the most upsetting moments in Friedkin’s film leads to Regan finally getting the help she needs. While the poor girl sleeps, Sharon notices something truly horrific and rushes to tell Father Karras. Lifting the shirt of Regan’s nightgown to expose her stomach, they see raised marks appear from underneath her skin. These faint lines seem to form the words “help me” a clear sign that the real Regan is calling out from deep inside her tortured body. 

Green recreates this moment and adds his own bloody spin. Photographic records taken during Angela’s exam reveal the same words marked in bloody scratches on her own stomach. Nurse and neighbor Ann (Ann Dowd) finds the photo and remembers a similar occurrence described in Chris MacNeil’s book recounting Regan’s terrible ordeal. When confronted with this connection, Victor can no longer deny that what his daughter truly needs is an exorcist. 

This one is a bit more difficult to decide. While Angela’s damaged skin is more physically destructive and causes scars she will carry for the rest of her life, we only see the after effects of this injury. There’s something so unsettling about watching the faint cry for help appear on Regan’s skin, making us wonder what kind of hellish prison the little girl is currently trapped in. 

Deadly Dresser vs. Blinding Wounds

Dick Smith makeup The Exorcist

Though Regan is Pazuzu’s direct target, Chris does not escape the film unscathed. While her daughter assaults herself with a crucifix, Chris attempts to grab the weapon, earning a backhanded blow that knocks her to the floor. As the household staff rushes to her aid, the door closes on its own and a heavy bureau rumbles across the room moved by unseen hands. She meets Father Karras with the marks of Regan’s violence clearly visible across her face.

Unfortunately, Chris does not fare so well in Green’s sequel. Visiting Katherine’s home, she and Victor find the house nearly deserted as the demonically possessed little girl wanders the halls terrorizing her family. When Chris enters the girl’s bedroom, the demon seems to recognize her from Georgetown all those years ago. Katherine jumps onto the bed and stabs Chris in both eyes, using a crucifix to blind the woman trying to save her. 

Leaving aside the question of Chris MacNeil’s presence in this sequel, there’s no doubt that Green’s story is more brutal to its legacy character. She emerges from her Georgetown home traumatized and bruised but mostly okay. However, this new interaction with the demon has forever taken her ability to see.

Two Deadly Exorcisms

Exorcist Believer

Both films climax with horrifying exorcisms that prove fatal to several men of the cloth. We don’t see Father Merrin die by Pazuzu’s hands, but the medication he’s been taking leads us to believe the strain of this religious rite has caused a fatal heart attack. Father Karras reenters the room to find his body lying on the floor, the demon watching on with pleasure. With hope fading away, Karras makes a devil’s bargain that ends up taking his own life. He asks for the demon to leave Regan and enter his body then throws himself out the window. Falling down a steep flight of stairs, he lands in a bloody heap on the street far below.

Once Ann begins to suspect possession, she turns to Father Maddox (E.J. Bonilla) to help the two tortured girls. Unfortunately, he’s unable to convince the Catholic Church to get involved and tries to dissuade Victor from going ahead with the ritual. Father Maddox later enters the Fielding home determined to join the fight on his own accord, but the demons take quick action. As he begins to read from the Bible, the girls cause his head to slowly twist to the side. We hear a horrific crack and watch as the bones of the young priest’s spine begin to poke into the skin of his neck while his head faces backward, snapping his neck with the unholy force. 

WINNER: The Exorcist  

While Father Maddox’s grisly demise is certainly unsettling, we know very little about the man himself. However, Friedkin’s tale belongs just as much to the exorcists as it does to the girl they’re trying to save. Our hearts break for Father Karras when he finds the body of his mentor and we wince as he tumbles down the concrete stairs. Lying in a pool of blood, he gives a dying confession by squeezing the hand of his best friend, a devastating ending to a harrowing film. 

WINNER: The Exorcist – 7

The Exorcist: Believer – 2

Fifty years after its theatrical release, Friedkin’s film still packs quite a punch. Though Green attempts to double the emotional impact with two possessed children, we lose the emotional connection to the doomed girls and the slowly escalating terror as demons take incremental control of their bodies. While Green’s film is undoubtedly shocking, he’s battling a true titan of the genre. It’s unlikely that few films will ever be able to match the shocking vulgarity, violence, and vicious cruelty on display in Friedkin’s flawless film. 

sawtooth jack

These 13 New Horror Movies and Shows Are Releasing for Friday the 13th This Week!

marleys ghost disney

The Original Screen-Worn Freddy Glove from the Original ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Is Up for Auction!

Halloween Miramax

‘Halloween’ – Miramax Slashes Into the TV Rights to the Franchise!

marleys ghost disney

Over 13 Brand New Pieces of ‘Friday the 13th’ Merchandise Released for Friday the 13th Today!

marleys ghost disney

The Next ‘V/H/S’ Goes Sci-Fi; Shudder Reveals Seventh Installment at New York Comic Con!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Screen Rant

A christmas carol: 10 creepiest moments in the holiday classic.

A Christmas Carol has been adapted so many times throughout history and most of them feature a handful of really creepy scenes.

To say that Charles Dickens's  A Christmas Carol   is a timeless holiday tradition would be a gross understatement. The work has been adapted and retold more times than almost any other work of fiction, and to this day audiences haven't grown tired of seeing the emotional and spiritual redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge.

RELATED:  10 Excellent (But Obscure) Holiday Horror Movies You Can Stream Right Now

But one thing some people forget is that the tale is a ghost story first and a Christmas story second, making room for all sorts of creepy moments and eerie imagery. As frightening as it is festive, there are more than a few instances in many versions of the holiday classic that will scare the dickens out of a few viewers.

Disney’s Depressing Opening

Even without Robert Zemekis's uncanny motion-capture , the opening to Disney's 2009 adaptation hits the viewer right in the face with its creep-factor. The image of Jacob Marley's corpse lying in his casket with coins on his eyes will never fail to shock the viewer with its sudden appearance.

Credit to Disney for sticking to the original text in showing audiences Marley indeed "dead as a doornail." Still, that image isn't going to go away anytime soon.

The Haunted Hearse

In some versions, namely the 1985 adaptation, Marley's hearse can be seen either as a prologue device or as its own entity stalking Ebenezer Scrooge.

RELATED:  5 Of The Best Adaptations Of A Christmas Carol (& 5 Of The Worst)

This is usually done in reference to a line from the book stating that Scrooge's stairs were large enough to accommodate a locomotive hearse, and in disbelief, he hallucinates one rising up to his bed chambers. That image alone is nightmare worthy, film or not.

The Marley Knocker

If there's one image everyone associates with Jacob Marley, it's the one of his ghostly face suddenly appearing on the door knocker to Scrooge's abode. Christmas time or not, seeing the specter of someone's dead friend and business partner would definitely scare the wits out of anyone.

Even old Ebenezer Scrooge gets scared silly on occasion. Simply put, it's a perfect setup for the haunting that is to follow.

Marley’s Ghost

This is the part of the story where things go from Christmassy to creepy. As Scrooge ventures through a darkened old house and eventually receives a frightening visitation from Marley's ghost. Some versions rely on subtlety, like the sound of rattling chains coming up the stairs for example.

RELATED:  A Christmas Carol: Ranking the Best Versions of the Spirits

But others go full force and have doorbells ring incessantly, the haunting sounds of ghostly moans, and sometimes even Marley's face appearing on the fireplace before the fully-formed Jacob Marley appears to issue his warning to Scrooge.

The Wandering Spirits

This is an addition from the novel many versions understandably cut, but the versions that do feature it never fail to creep viewers out. In all honesty, can any filmmaker be blamed for omitting this stunt?

As Marley departs from Scrooge's chambers, he flies out the window into a sky full of ghosts, all adorned with chains and crying out in agony. Yes, a vision of screaming, damned souls. That's the Christmas spirit, right ?

Andy Serkis as Christmas Past

2019's dark and gritty reboot of  A Christmas Carol  won't be winning too many awards, especially with the intense liberties it takes with the story, but one feature that can't go unnoticed is Andy Serkis as the Ghost of Christmas Past.

RELATED:  Christmas Carol 2019: 10 Hidden Details Everyone Missed In The BBC & FX Version

Consider this an honorable mention of sorts, but Serkis's performance as a corrupted Father Christmas is certainly a beacon of brilliance in an otherwise grey, gruesome, and grim ghostly Christmas tale.

Ignorance and Want

Along with the wandering spirits, the appearance of Ignorance and Want is another unsettling image that only makes it into a handful of versions, but it's a poignant message of the cold reality of much of the poor population.

The second spirit warns to ignore them, slander those who talk of them, admit they exist but do nothing about it, and doom will engulf the world. A stark and cold truth for a Christmas film , isn't it?

Christmas Yet To Come

Of course, there's no getting away with leaving this example of tall, dark, and scary out. The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come is without a doubt the most frightening and intimidating character in the entire novel, thus so he is in most adaptations across the board.

RELATED:  10 of the Darkest Christmas Movies Ever Made

Usually portrayed as a shadowy figure in a black cloak, reminiscent of the Grim Reaper, the third spirit is the one who essentially scares Scrooge to the straight and narrow, along with some of the audience members as well.

Old Joe’s Parlor

A personal jab at Scrooge's greed and ego , one of the sights shown by the ghost of the future is seeing the old man's worldly possessions being stolen and sold to a sleazy merchant in London's seedy underbelly.

His buttons, blankets, and bed curtains are stripped fresh from his corpse and sold by the people he abused in life so that they benefit from his death. No good deed goes unpunished, right?

The Graveyard

This is the moment that completely and utterly changes Scrooge for life. How could seeing one's own snow-flecked grave mourned by no man possibly get any darker? How about those rare occasions where Scrooge is literally dragged into Hell?

Even both Disney versions resorted to that scare tactic . It's a bit over the top, but Scrooge is a better man because of it. Nightmare-inducing and permanently scarring, sure enough, but it does make that happy ending all the more worth it.

NEXT:  10 Creepy Things That Are Actually in Beloved Christmas Movies

marleys ghost disney

Top 10 Disney Ghosts

It’s Halloween and what better way to celebrate than sitting down with our favorite top 10 Disney Ghosts? These are ghosts (both fictional and “real”) that have appeared in movies and the theme parks:

10. Blackbeard’s Ghost

marleys ghost disney

Blackbeard’s Ghost

Directed by Robert Stevenson (who also directed Mary Poppins and The Love Bug ), the 1968 film follows Peter Ustinov’s jolly Blackbeard — who finds himself in modern times thanks to an ancient curse. It’s a fun, but forgotten, Disney classic and vintage Disney family fare.

9. Undead Captain Jack Sparrow &  Captain Barbossa & Crew

marleys ghost disney

“You best start believin’ in ghost stories, Ms. Turner…”

Barbossa said it best, “You best start believin’ in ghost stories, Ms. Turner — you’re in one!” Technically, while they’re not ghosts, when cursed, they become “ghosts” of their former selves… Still, Captain Jack Sparrow, Barbossa and his crew of undead make for a pretty good ghost story.

8. Zero in The Nightmare Before Christmas  

marleys ghost disney

Zero in The Nightmare Before Christmas

No need for vet checkups when you’re a ghost dog. This paranormal pup is the best friend of Halloweentown’s hero, Jack Skellington – but don’t worry Zero’s “spook” is much worse than his bite.

7. Goofy as Jacob Marley’s Ghost in Mickey’s Christmas Carol

marleys ghost disney

Goofy in Mickey’s Christmas Carol

While there are three main ghosts that appear to Scrooge McDuck, it’s Goofy’s performance as Jacob Marley’s ghost that really scares us. The character was also turned into an action figure that was sold in Disney Parks.

6. Master Gracey, Madame Leota in Haunted Mansion

marleys ghost disney

Jennifer Tilly as Madame Leota in 2003’s The Haunted Mansion

One is heartbroken for a lost love and the other is a chatty, overly friendly disembodied head. They both haunt the Haunted Mansion attraction and movie of the same name.

5. Headless Horseman in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 

marleys ghost disney

The Headless Horseman

Easily the stuff of nightmares for anyone under the age of seven, the Headless Horseman strikes terror into the hearts of children — and still some adults.

4. “Lonesome Ghosts”

marleys ghost disney

Lonesome Ghosts

Released through RKO Radio Pictures on December 24th, 1937 (three days after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) , “Lonesome Ghosts” is a classic cartoon that features Mickey, Donald and Goofy — and plays like Ghostbusters — but the real stars are the spooky ghosts. An edited, silent version of the cartoon was released in 1973 for the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer.

3. Former Cast Members 

There are countless urban legends about ghosts that haunt locations around Disney parks: There’s the bellhop that supposedly haunts the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World, the ghost of a boy that appears in the Rivers of America trying to swim to Tom Sawyer Island or the ghost rider on Space Mountain — but former Disneyland Cast Members swear there’s a ghost inside the Tomorrowland Expo Center at Disneyland.

Deborah Stone was a ride operator at Disneyland for the America Sings attraction (A.K.A. Carousel of Progress) in 1974, the 18-year old was killed when she became trapped between the attraction’s rotating stage. Cast members have since experienced weird moments like doors closing on their own in backstage areas when no one else is around, or hearing a gentle female voice warn them to “be careful.”

2. Captain Salazar 

marleys ghost disney

The villainous Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem)

Arguably the first featured Disney villain to be a ghost, the dreaded pirate hunter Captain Armando Salazar from the upcoming film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales  is all kinds of scary. What’s scarier than ghosts? Spiteful, rage-filled, vengeful ghosts.

1. The Hitchhiking Ghosts from Haunted Mansion

marleys ghost disney

The iconic hitchhiking ghosts from The Haunted Mansion

Possibly the most famous ghosts of all time, the hitchhiking ghosts are the standard for creepy and spooky theme park ghosts. Marc Davis was responsible for the creation of these spectral oddities and they still have the power to jolt you out of your seat.

Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley's Ghost #1

Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley's Ghost » Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley's Ghost #1 released by self published on November 2017.

Summary Short summary describing this issue.

last edited by mrnobody32 on 01/11/23 02:06PM View full history

Enjoy this new version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol in graphic novel form - Harvey Kurtzman's Marley's Ghost.

Marley's Ghost is the posthumous completion of legendary creator Harvey Kurtzman's adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens' novel—A Christmas Carol. Kurztman's ambitious concept for Marley's Ghost began in the 1950s—as an early "graphic novel"—but was never realized. Now, over 60 years later, writers Josh O'Neill and Shannon Wheeler expand upon Kurtzman's extensive adaptation notes while illustrator Gideon Kendall's outstanding artwork utilizes Kurtzman's breakdowns and stylistic choices to make this long-lost vision a reality!

Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) was the creator of MAD, Playboy's Little Annie Fanny and TRUMP, and Help Magazine. He is considered one of the most influential creators in the history of sequential art with the industry's Harvey Awards named in his honor.

Gideon Kendall is an illustrator and animation designer whose clients include Disney, Cartoon Network, and The New York Times. Marley's Ghost is his first full-length graphic novel.

Josh O'Neill is the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning writer and editor of Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream. Shannon Wheeler is the Eisner Award-winning creator of the comic Too Much Coffee Man and a contributor to The New Yorker.

"As a stylist, as an illustrator, as an innovator of layout, as a storyteller, he made everything that came before inadequate—and everything after transformative." —Anthony Bourdain on Harvey Kurtzman

"Kurtzman was a God!" —Terry Gilliam

Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content only available on comiXology and Kindle.

Edit Image Title

Embed image, what size image should we insert (this will not affect the original upload), how do you want the image positioned around text, link to comic vine content.

You can search for any Comic Vine content.

Link to a page

Insert table, embed tweet.

Enter the URL for the tweet you want to embed.

marleys ghost disney

User reviews Add new review

Pick a list.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.

Thanks, we're checking your submission.

Use your keyboard!

Log in to comment

marleys ghost disney

Gift Me Your Time

How Does Dickens Present Marley’s Ghost?

Dickens shows that the suffering Marley is facing is a consequence of his attitude towards people. His Ghost is said to have chains made of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deed and other items.

How does Dickens present the ghost of Jacob Marley in Christmas Carol?

He had a clasp around his middle. A long chain wrapped around him made of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds and heavy purses was presented to him by Dickens to show that he isn’t free of his sins.

How does Dickens use Marley’s ghost to explore the theme of redemption?

Scrooge is shown how important it is for him to change by using the ghost of Marley. After experiencing purgatory, he was only able to see the error of his ways and that’s when his own change came too late.

What does Marley’s ghost symbolism?

This Ghost wants to show Scrooge that if he keeps doing what he’s doing, there’s going to be consequences. Jacob was the one who paid for his actions. If he doesn’t change, Scrooge will die the same way.

How does Dickens use the ghost?

Dickens uses the phantom as a literary device to explore social and moral issues in his novels. The ghosts look like they are from a tradition of allegory.

Who does the Ghost of Christmas Present represent in A Christmas Carol?

The Ghost of Christmas Present is interested in the current life of Scrooge. The novella’s first edition hand-coloured drawing by John Leech is similar to early-Victorian images of Father Christmas.

What is the significance of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol?

Jacob was the first ghost to visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve. The first character introduced in the novella is the dead friend of Scrooge who was tortured by his own greed and selfishness in the afterlife.

How does Marley’s ghost show redemption?

He is redeemed by his willingness to change after being shown the error of his ways by ghosts. The moral message of the novella is that all humans have the chance to act in a kind way towards one another.

How would you explain Marley’s ghost appearance?

Cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses were made out of steel and wound around him like a tail. Scrooge was able to see the two buttons on his coat because of his transparent body.

Why does Marley’s jaw drop?

The teeth that were pulled were more likely to become infections than the rest of the teeth. If he had been a smoker, he might have developed oral cancer, which would have led to the decline of his jaw.

Which ghost has the most impact on Scrooge?

Scrooge was taught the most by the ghost of Christmas gift. He was the only ghost who cared for Scrooge. During the scene where the ghost took Scrooge to see his nephew’s Christmas day celebration, Scrooge was excited and wanted to take part in the games.

How does Dickens present the supernatural?

The Ghost is depicted as a personification of the past by Dickens. The supernatural nature of the Phantom could be argued to be so.

What are the 4 major themes of A Christmas Carol?

The Christmas spirit is what it is. The Christmas spirit is the main theme of the story and it gives us a glimpse into Victorian England.

Why does Dickens present the Ghost of Christmas Past?

The main purpose of The Ghost of Christmas Past is to assist Scrooge in his process of change. The ghost reminds him of the good times when he used to love people. This will cause Scrooge to rethink his way of life.

How does Dickens present Scrooge’s reaction to the Ghost of Marley?

The catalyst for Scrooge’s change can be found in the character of Marley. He instills fear in Scrooge by making him feel a terrible sensation after the visit of Marley. This gives Scrooge a chance at redemption, as he initially drives his desire to change because of his fear.

How is Marley’s Ghost described?

How has dickens presented the ghost of christmas past.

The spirit is like a child, yet not so like a child as an old man, which gave him the appearance of being diminished to a child’s proportions, according to Dickens.

Privacy Overview


  1. Marley's Ghost

    marleys ghost disney

  2. A Christmas Carol (2009) Marley's Ghost HD 1080p Part 3

    marleys ghost disney

  3. A Christmas Carol (2009) Marley's Ghost HD 1080p Part 2

    marleys ghost disney

  4. A Christmas Carol (2009) Marley's Ghost HD 1080p Part 4

    marleys ghost disney

  5. 'A Christmas Carol': Ruta back as Marley's ghost

    marleys ghost disney

  6. drama* on the waterfront: A Christmas Carol: A Retrospective of Ghosts

    marleys ghost disney


  1. Pepper's Ghost Disney's Toy Story Buzz Hit The Car (1995)

  2. Cowboy Lullaby

  3. Haunted mansion good ride stop

  4. Why Everyone Thinks Disney is Evil

  5. Marley's Ghost

  6. Marley's Ghost @ Reggae Jam 2022


  1. Marley's Ghosts

    Marley's Ghosts. TV sitcom. Gold. 2015 - 2016. 9 episodes (2 series) Sitcom about a woman who can talk to the dead: particularly her former husband, lover, and their vicar. Stars Sarah Alexander, Jo Joyner, Nicholas Burns, John Hannah, Mina Anwar and Juliet Cowan. Like this. Overview.

  2. A Christmas Carol (2009) Marley's Ghost HD 1080p Part 1


  3. Mickey's Christmas Carol

    Mickey's Christmas Carol is a 1983 American animated Christmas fantasy featurette directed and produced by Burny Mattinson.The cartoon is an adaptation of Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, and stars Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge.Many other Disney characters, primarily from the Mickey Mouse universe, as well as Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio (1940), and characters from The ...

  4. Jacob Marley

    Background information Feature films A Christmas Carol Voice Gary Oldman Portrayed by Goofy ( Hal Smith) ( An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players & Mickey's Christmas Carol) Statler ( Jerry Nelson) ( The Muppet Christmas Carol) Performance model Gary Oldman Character information Occupation

  5. Marley's Ghosts

    Cast and characters Sarah Alexander as Marley Wise Jo Joyner as Vicar Nicholas Burns as Michael Walton, Marley's lover John Hannah as Adam Wise, Marley's husband Mina Anwar as Tina Jarvis (Series 1) Episodes Series 1 (2015) Series 2 (2016) References ^ " 'Ghosts are more possible than time travel...'

  6. Marley's Ghosts (TV Series 2015-2016)

    40m IMDb RATING 6.5 /10 383 YOUR RATING Rate Comedy Fantasy Marley has a rare gift, she can talk to the dead. However, this gift is a mixed blessing as the ghosts she can currently communicate with sadly include her husband Adam, her lover Michael and the local vicar. Stars Sarah Alexander Jo Joyner Nicholas Burns

  7. A Christmas Carol: Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost The First of the Three Spirits The Second of the Three Spirits The Last of the Spirits The End of It Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner.

  8. A Christmas Carol

    A Christmas Carol is a 2009 animated 3D movie adaptation of the Charles Dickens story of the same title. The movie was released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 6, 2009. It received its world premiere in London Leicester Square, which had a Dickensian theme. The movie begins with the book A Christmas Carol opening and the words, "Marley is dead." appearing. The scene then shows the ...

  9. Marley's Ghosts

    Marley's Ghosts - streaming tv show online TV Track show Seen all Like Dislike Sign in to sync Watchlist Rating 73% 6.5 Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Made in Europe Runtime 28min Age rating TV-14 Production country United Kingdom Marley's Ghosts (2015) 2 Seasons Season 2 Season 1 Watch Now Buy 2 Seasons HD PROMOTED Watch Now Filters Best Price Free SD HD

  10. Watch Marley's Ghosts, Season 1

    Marley's Ghosts. Season 1. A sitcom about a woman, who on the death of her husband and her lover, realizes she can see the dead. She now must learn to live with her dead husband, lover, and a Vicar. 36 2015 3 episodes.

  11. The Horrors of 'A Christmas Carol' and its Most Terrifying Ghost, Jacob

    Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009) That this is a Disney movie only makes this take on Marley even scarier; no one will be prepared for the nightmare fuel going into this movie.

  12. Holiday Scrooge and Marley Meet and Greet Wows Disney Guests

    Credit: @horrificnetwork on Twitter. "Hark Hear the Bells" echos in the background of the Ebenezer Scrooge and Marley meet and greet. The two characters are brought to life (even the ghost of ...

  13. Marley's Ghosts (@MarleyGhosts)

    The latest Tweets from Marley's Ghosts (@MarleyGhosts). Twitter fan account for Marley's Ghosts on @goldchannel #MarleysGhosts

  14. Jacob Marley

    Jacob Marley is a fictional character in Charles Dickens 's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, a former business partner of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who has been dead for seven years. [1]

  15. A Christmas Carol Stave One: Marley's Ghost Summary & Analysis

    Jacob Marley, Scrooge's business partner, has died seven years previous. Inside the office, Scrooge watches over his clerk, a poor diminutive man named Bob Cratchit. The smoldering ashes in the fireplace provide little heat even for Bob's tiny room. Despite the harsh weather Scrooge refuses to pay for another lump of coal to warm the office.

  16. A Christmas Carol: 10 Creepiest Moments In The Holiday Classic

    Marley's Ghost This is the part of the story where things go from Christmassy to creepy. As Scrooge ventures through a darkened old house and eventually receives a frightening visitation from Marley's ghost. Some versions rely on subtlety, like the sound of rattling chains coming up the stairs for example.

  17. Top 10 Disney Ghosts

    While there are three main ghosts that appear to Scrooge McDuck, it's Goofy's performance as Jacob Marley's ghost that really scares us. The character was also turned into an action figure...

  18. Marleys Ghost

    Marleys Ghost - Etsy Marleys Ghost (1 - 60 of 167 results) Price ($) Shipping All Sellers Marley's Ghost Wool Felt Christmas Ornament (3) $60.00 FREE shipping Charles DICKENS Christmas Carol SCROOGE Marley's Ghost Illustration Victorian England Print Art (855) $7.95 Scrooge & Marley two-sided hanging wall sign with bracket (754) $70.00

  19. Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)- Marley's warning

    Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) is warned by the ghost of his partner Jacob Marley (Goofy) that he will face a more worser fate.

  20. Harvey Kurtzman's Marley's Ghost #1 (Issue)

    Gideon Kendall is an illustrator and animation designer whose clients include Disney, Cartoon Network, and The New York Times. Marley's Ghost is his first full-length graphic novel.

  21. Marley's Ghost Visits Scrooge

    Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupMarley's Ghost Visits Scrooge · Alan SilvestriA Christmas Carol℗ 2009 Walt Disney RecordsReleased on: 2009-01-01P...

  22. How Does Dickens Present Marley's Ghost?

    June 19, 2023 by Shari Hampton. Dickens shows that the suffering Marley is facing is a consequence of his attitude towards people. His Ghost is said to have chains made of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deed and other items. Jacob Marley: Character Analysis - 'A Christmas Carol' (updated & animated)

  23. Famous birthdays for Oct. 17: Felicity Jones, William Anders

    Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Those born on this day are under the sign of Libra. They include: Advertisement. -- Jupiter Hammon, America's first published Black poet, in 1711. -- Pope John Paul I in 1912 ...

  24. PDF AQA English Literature GCSE

    Marley's Ghost has multiple purposes within the novella. Firstly, Dickens uses his character to introduce the reader to religious and supernatural themes . He is the first Ghost to appear to Scrooge, an arrival which is made more dramatic by the narrator's repeated assertions that "Old Marley was dead" .