Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley have been entertaining people in books and on film since their story was first penned in 1843. There have been multiple versions of #Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" during these past 174 years including, animated shows with Mickey Mouse, Mr. Magoo, The Muppets, and even Jim Carrey in a Disney adaptation of the popular tale. There is a curious appeal for the spirit that returns to warn his former business associate to change his ways and the man who refers to Christmas as a "humbug." This Dickens classic [VIDEO]has been turned into school plays and also been utilized in television sitcoms.

The appeal of this curious tale of Scrooge and Marley

According to The Daily Mail, the character, Ebenezer Scrooge, was based on an 18th-century tightwad by the name of John Elwes, who was a millionaire but would not spend any money.

He died 35 years before Dickens penned his famous tale, but it is believed he is the inspiration for miser in the "A Christmas Carol." The old black and white versions of this classic hold a special appeal because they seem more suited for the time period in which Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge lived.

This story of confronting the past, present, and future, and coming to a place of redemption, warms the hearts of millions of people each year [VIDEO]. Whether it is a cartoon or a movie, almost every version of this beloved tale stays true to the original literature, almost word for word. When Scrooge sees Marley's face on the door knocker he is stunned and when his former business partner shows up Ebenezer refers to him as a hallucination that has come about because of the food he was eating.

Marley explains how mankind should have been his business when he walked the earth and he wants to keep Scrooge from suffering the same fate. When asked about his chain, Jacob Marley says he forged it link by link and yard by yard. If indeed John Elwes was the inspiration for "A Christmas Carol," he must have made quite an impression on Charles Dickens for him to create such a dastardly character.

Scrooge gets an opportunity that Marley never had

After Jacob Marley warns Scrooge to expect that ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, he leaves and something profound takes place. When Ebenezer looks out the window, he sees the earth is filled with lost souls going too and fro, just like his former associate. After visits from the spirits, Scrooge appears to have become a changed man. This indicates that Marley served his purpose.

It is believed that the character of Jacob Marley is based on a physician by the name of Dr.Miles Marley, whom Dickens once crossed paths with.

The author is supposed to have remarked about the unusual last name and is said to have told the physician that he would make his moniker a household word. It would seem that Charles Dickens kept his word, as both Scrooge and Marley have practically been household names for over a century.