As part of the Protestant Reformation the Catholic belief in appearances of
heavenly beings such as the Virgin Mary and various saints and angels was
formally rejected. However, the desire to experience contact with the
supernatural world persisted and grew into belief in the reality of witches as
proof of the reality of spirits both good and evil. While Marley shows Scrooge
the spirits of the tormented dead, who suffer because they now realize how evil
they were in life (a concept that accords better with Mormon concepts of hell
than the Protestant version), the three "ghosts" who give Scrooge a
panoramic revelation are not the souls of dead people, but are angels from God.
But calling them that would be too Catholic for England. Ghost stories are
reassurances of the reality of the soul's continued existence and the
justice meted out to evil men.
Interesting. Guess it now makes sense to me that my favorite Christmas movie is
Thanks for the information. I had always thought that the "scary ghost
stories" part of Most Wonderful Time of the Year was a little bizarre. I
figured it had to do with A Christmas Carol, but I sure have never had any
experience with other ghost stories. Very interesting. Maybe we will watch
Sixth Sense today.
Fascinating article. And fun.