The Scene of Haunting in Silent Adaptations of A Christmas Carol

Murray Leeder


This article argues for the "lanternic" or "phantasmagorical" qualities of Charles Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol, in which the ghosts are figures of authorship and manipulators of images. It further articles that the qualities carry over strongly into the story's silent-era film adaptations, of which four (dated 1901, 1910, 1913 and 1923) are examined for a sense of medium awareness expressed through film form. It ends with remarks on the 2009 Robert Zemeckis adaptation as a digital era-inheritor to this reflexive tendency.


silent films, ghosts, supernatural, adaptation, medium awareness, reflexivity

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