As promised by Marley's ghost, Scrooge is visited as the bell tolls one o'clock by the first of three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past. The apparition is 'a strange figure' seeming to be both an old man and child.
The ghost shows Scrooge scenes from his childhood and a lively scene with his cheerful old boss, Fezziwig. Next he takes Scrooge to a time where his younger self is with his fiancée, Belle.
She is telling the younger Scrooge how she must leave him because he has changed and seems to love money more than her.
Then they see the girl become a woman, with her happy family. Scrooge is upset and the ghost returns him to his bed.
The second spirit is the Ghost of Christmas Present who takes Scrooge to the Cratchit family where he sees the humility with which the family tolerates its poverty. The sight of Tiny Tim, who is sick and weak, saddens him.
Next the spirit shows Scrooge his nephew and friends as they celebrate and joke about how Scrooge is a 'ridiculous fellow'.
Lastly, the ghost shows Scrooge two poor children, Ignorance and Want. The ghost disappears and a dark hooded phantom comes towards Scrooge.
The final spirit is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who leads Scrooge through scenes relating to a man's death. He shows him the Cratchits whose son, Tiny Tim, has also died. Finally the ghost shows Scrooge the gravestone of the man the people have been talking about. It bears the name: Ebenezer Scrooge.