I know Christmas is over and it'll be at least three or four weeks before we start seeing decorations on store shelves again, but I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine about ghosts. Specifically, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and (my personal favorite) Future from A Christmas Carol. Basically, I asked the question as to whether these supernatural entities are ghosts or something closer to demons.
Now I guess you could define "demon" as intrinsically evil, but I think a ghost is the essence of a human who is either stuck in our world / plane of existence or lingering there for their own reasons. If those reasons happen to be mean-spirited or "evil", does that make them a demon? No. When I think of a demon, I think more along the lines of an entity that has unearthly power (something cooler than floating or glowing) and is not of our world. There's more to it than that, but that's the Cliff Notes version. You see a shadow figure or hear disembodied voices? Could be a ghost. Is your dog possessed or are you being thrown onto the ceiling when you're trying to sleep? Sounds like a demon. Is that stuff evil? Depends on if you or the dog had it comin'.
Which brings me around to Scrooge. Sure, this old man was a crotchety jerk. Maybe he worked too hard and expected his employees to also give 110% when they're behind their desk. Hey, back then coal really WAS kind of expensive! But these things that visit him aren't just ghosts! They're time travellers. They create hallucinogenic food. (Ok you tell me how GoCPresent pulled that off!). But they weren't evil. Or...were they? Take GoCFuture. Ok, you teleport Scrooge into the days to come and show him (spoiler alert!!) he dies sad and alone. Point made. You reduced an old man to tears. Happy? He gets it. How about shoving his nose against his own tombstone. He'll buy the damn goose, all right!! Jeez!! Well, he was being difficult and needed some tough love. How about shoving the old guy into his OWN OPEN GRAVE!!! Yowza!! Even I think that's kind of harsh and I'm a horror writer!!
So, you decide. Possessed dog and getting knocked around into some walls or taken into the future to see your own horrific demise and then booted into hell via the ground where your own worm-infested corpse is laying. Makes that thing in Paranormal Activity seem kind of tame, doesn't it?